Friday, January 08, 2016

Beautiful People | Maybe I'm Overly Ambitious

Hola, Worldings! This is the time of year when a lot of people are getting into the spirit of setting goals. Cait @ Paperfury is no different. Now that NaNoWriMo is over, so is Beautiful Books That means the regular Beautiful People posts have been resumed. This month, we're talking writing goals! I already touched on this in my yearly summary but the questions that Cait asks have gone into a little more depth so I figured I take a stab at it.

Let's get to it, shall we? Onwards!

What were your writing achievements last year?

I went expanded on this in my yearly summary so I'll stick to the basics. 

My three largest achievements:
1) Getting myself picked up by Focus on the Family Clubhouse Magazine for an article I wrote

2) Going to the Florida Christian Writer's conference (I learned SO much there and I was never sure if I'd ever get to a conference like that)

The awesome conference people. I'm in there somewhere XD

3) I finished my first novel ever :D 

Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year

Definitely polishing "Living City". I hope to have that done by the end of August—potentially sooner if an agent requests it (*crosses fingers that I can get an agent to begin with*). 

I know this is going to take a lot of focus and effort—I'm already finding that it's a huge challenge to edit one book while trying to write another one that's in a separate genre—so I've go to buckle down and keep this schedule of mine. 

List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year

I love this question so much cause it's forcing me to think. Let's see....

1) Staying consistent with my writing. That whole "write everyday" thing that people talk about has been applied to my life and I want to keep it that way. 

2) The beginnings of my novels. I know I can always edit them but I really wish I felt good about my beginnings while I write them.
Writing beginnings, I feel like this poor girl
3) Character voices. Making each character distinct from one another and also making each POV character easily distinguishable between novels is something I want to master one day. 

4) Emotion. I'm not a terribly emotional person and already I'm noticing that it's showing in my novel. The emotional reactions of many of the people isn't what it should be. I've got my trusty "Emotion Thesaurus" though. It shall be my guide ;)

5) My platform. By the end of the year, I want to master blogging and keeping up my Facebook page. By NaNo, I hope to include twitter into the mix. I also have plans to buy a domain and print business cards. It's a lot of work but I'm willing to put the time into it. 

Are you participating in any writing challenges?

Yep! Camp NaNo in April for "Crec" and NaNoWriMo in November for "Sunken Sky". I also may participate in Voice Week again. I did it in 2014 and it really changed the way I looked at writing defined voices. Since voices are a focus of mine this year, it's definitely worth the consideration.

What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?

Currently I have seven Alpha readers. One of them who is both an Alpha and Beta reader is also my unofficial critique partner. As for expanding: yes, I DO have plans for that. I hope to get more Betas: male and female, writer and non-writer. This month I'll hunting for them since I have it in my schedule to send my manuscript out to them in February.

Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research

Yes I do! "The Emotion Thesaurus" for one, is great for research; "Now Write! Science-Fiction, Fantasy and Horror" is one I picked up from my book store specifically for the writing exercises at the end of each informative chapter; and "Blogging for Writers" is one that my sister got me for Christmas that has some great technical and market tips. I hope to read all three and write reviews for them right here. I'm looking forward to it ^ ^

Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?

Hm....probably Masara Gold. I know a lot about her but I can't seem to write effectively in her voice. Maybe I don't know her as well as I think I do?

Since I'm working on "Crec" this year, I definitely need to get the hang of her. I'll be CCing (character chating) with her and use her in the writing exercises in the "Now Write!" book. Also, I have a few tips and tricks I'm gonna use on her.

This picture of Masara's celebrity look alike reminds me of a scene I recently wrote :) 

Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?

Edit, yes. I wrote my process down in last month's Beautiful Books post. As I mentioned above, I hope to have the whole thing polished by the end of August. Of course, this means that I'll need to edit every day until then. Bring it on.

As for querying, I'll be doing that in the summer if I don't get picked up by anyone at the conference in Florida. All I know about the queries is that I'll be looked for agents instead of going directly to a publishing house.

Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?

I want to see more retellings of stories that aren't classified as a fairytale. For example, I've found a few for Frankenstein in my bookstore and I know there's one for the Nutcracker out there. Some retellings of Shakespeare plays would definitely hold my interest.

Excuse me while I check out a few of these from my library

As for the holes, I thing YA need more mythology that's not written by Rick Riordan (which I love, don't get me wrong). Even adult fiction needs it. I want to see more of this ^ ^ I touched briefly on some other holes in my post, "7 Reasons Why Every Aspiring Author Should Work In a Bookstore"

What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

I go into more detail with this in my yearly summary post. Basically I have four main goals. 

1) Prep for the conference in February (business cards, one sheets and all that jazz) 

2) Polish "Living City" 

3) Draft "Crec" 

4) Draft "Sunken Sky" 

I'm ambitious, I know ^ ^ I also know that I'm not the only one ;) But hey, this way I'll never run out of stuff to do this year! Three cheers for that!

Get it? Three cheers? :D 

What are your writing goals this year? 
Did you do Beautiful Books? Share a link with me in the comments and I'll stop by your blog!

Happy New Year, Wordlings! 


  1. These are some great goals, Cassia! I can't wait to see them fulfilled! I'm so excited for you and how much you've grown in 2015. ^ ^

    1. Aw, thank you, Tori! 2015 was definitely a year of growth for me and I can't wait to take that into this year ^ ^

  2. Congratulations on getting your article picked up by Focus on the Family!

    Also, that's a lot of Shakespeare retellings, and now I need to check those out. :)

    I'm looking forward to your writing book reviews because I've heard about two of them (the Emotion Thesaurus and the Now Write! one), and I'm interested to see if they're any good. :)

    Good luck on all your editing plans. :D *gives you virtual coffee*

    1. Thank you, Liz!

      Yay! Another Shakespeare fan!! :D Do you have a favourite play?

      I look forward to reading them too! Hopefully that can be helpful to both me and other writers. So far the Emotion Thesaurus is amazing!

      Thank you so much! *takes the coffee and guzzles it* I'm ready for this!

  3. Nice post! Perhaps you are ambitious, but it is infectious. ;)

    Heh, writing emotion is interesting. I'm not an emotional person either (it gets awkward when someone is crying in front of you and you just stand there thinking, "Tears. What are these for?") and I don't relate to emotional characters. I'm finding my writing is more emotionally powerful and authentic when I err toward understatement. I'm struggling with giving POV characters distinctive voices, too, now that I'm writing third person—I didn't have that issue with first person. xD That's been my biggest challenge with this book.

    Ooh, Shakespeare retellings. I recently read King Lear after a friend pointed out the parallels in my WIP. Now that I'm aware of them, I'm including some deliberate hat-tips to the Bard.

    I wish you the best in your endeavors! :D

    (Oh, yeah. I did the thing too. )

  4. I can totally relate! Negative emotions especially are hard for me to write. I can feel them deep down when I'm writing but when I re-read what I wrote, it's not there anymore XD

    Oh yes, third person is tricky for that. That's what I'm writing as well and it's definitely getting tricky. Especially between the two novels. My MCs are very different so it's a challenge (but a fun one ^ ^)

    YEEES! I love Shakespeare allusions! Just for that I want to read your book :D Is it possible to fangirl over Shakespeare? Ah, well, who cares...I do it anyways! ^.^

    Thank you! I wish you the best as well :)

  5. I can handle sorrow pretty well, I think, but joy and anger are really tough for me. xD I can take a stab at joy by inserting humor, but I so rarely feel anger that I don't really know how to go about it, and I feel a great disconnect when reading about characters in moments of rage. But I fear that sorrow overpowers my writing, haha.

    Yes... I suspect that's a challenge that we primarily have to master through experience, but if you can ever articulate any hints you learn, I'd love to hear them!

    Ooh, yay. :D Ha, well, most of my favorite authors are dead, so that's how I have to fangirl. ;)