Beautiful Books Linkup Thingy #2

1:38 PM

Remember last month? I participated in Beautiful Books, a three month blog linkup found here. It's focused on the three stages of writing: plotting, writing, and editing, with questions each month, and it's a lot of fun so far! I'd encourage you to go do that, like, now. I'm doing it for my NaNoWriMo novel, but you can use any WIP of yours to answer the questions.

My first Beautiful Books post.

And now, the questions! 

1. Be honest: how is your writing going?

I've kind of hit a rough spot. 

2. What's your first sentence/paragraph? 
I usually hate the many social occasions of the Cities, but it is practically impossible to hate tonight’s ball. Like the other attendants, I am caught up in a whirlwind of colors, lights, sounds, tastes, smells, the entire aura of the Grand Ballroom. My mother has outdone herself tonight and she knows it; you can see it in the way she laughs and takes compliments and practically shines in a red gown that shows off her dark coil of hair.

So what if it's kind of boring. 

3. Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?

I don't have a cover (I suck at making them, really) but I do have a fancy collage thingy! 

I think it captures the story rather nicely. 

4. Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.)

The pictures are in said collage thingy, but I shall post them here with names. In another collage thingy. Because those are fun and waste time I could otherwise be spending on productive things. 

Yes, this took far too long to make.

5. What scene are you most excited to write?

There's a particular snippet with Io and Cassander (can you say OTP?) dancing under the stars that I'm planning for later on. Yes, I'm very excited about that. They're just so...adorable, I suppose.

6. Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing.

And then he steps forward some more, all at once, and grabs my wrist. Cassander looks angry, horrified, shocked, frozen, unsure of what to do, wanting to shout, waiting perhaps for Yarrow to realize the abhorrent things he has done today and grovel and beg for forgiveness as he should. Cassander has no right to touch me, high though he is, but Yarrow’s hand is warm and rough and dangerously tight around my wrist and he’s close enough so I can smell the ashes and rich surface dirt from the house on him and I want to pull away but all of a sudden I am unable to move. “I can get you to City Royale,” he says. I think perhaps he is stunned at what he’s done, too.
Somehow I find my words. “Oh, can you?”
“Do you think he knows the way? Do you think he could keep you both fed, and under shelter when it counted, and guide you through forests and over the mountains all the way back to your precious castles in the sky, Princess Io? Look at the man, he is hardly fit for historian’s work in white gloves, much less surviving the days it would take to get you there. You would be lost before the day was out. You need me.”
“I have no need for a traitor to accompany me,” I reply. My words shake slightly, but they sound braver than I feel, which is surely an easy feat to accomplish. “What makes you think I would allow you to come?”
“Listen to me, we don’t have much time. Any moment now your enemies will come stomping through the trees like a herd of cattle and you will be right back where you started, and do you want that? I can help you.”
I don’t doubt that he is sincere. I can read faces, and there is nothing but cold hard negotiatons there. But for someone to change his mind so quickly…
“What do you want?”
“Ah, there we are,” Yarrow says, and grins slightly again. “I want a reward. Enough to live comfortably. I want transportation up to a city, any city, I don’t care which, and I want papers stating my freedom, signed by either your hand or the king’s. For me and my sister. For that, I can take you to City Royale.”
Asking for half of that would be vastly overstepping his boundaries, and we all know it. Cassander is still frozen in silent shock.
“Very well,” I say.

I'm not sure why I enjoyed this so much, but I did, so there. I loved the clash of wills.

7. Now that you're writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?

Oh, yes. But I'm a big-time pantser, so I kind of expected that, y'know? Every process is different. But a new villain popped up out of nowhere and there were some betrayals that added a whole new layer to the story, so I'm excited about that. Betrayals are fun. Also, apparently we'll be visiting more areas than I thought we would, and exploring more of some of the minor characters, none of which I planned.

But oh well. 

8. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that's difficult to write?

Hmm...probably Cassander. I was super excited to start writing him, but he's a tricky fellow! I'm having a hard time getting into his head and understanding his motives. 

9. What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?

My favorite aspect is definitely the feel of it. It's really something I've never attempted before, and I'm loving it so far. I mean, post-apocalyptic royalty? Sci-fi with lots of fantasy twists? Scheming royal siblings? I don't know what corner of my brain this crawled out of but I'm really loving it. It with hints of gold. You feel me? 

Favorite character was Cassander before, and I do still love him, but Yarrow decided he wanted more parts and woah, did he just jump in there. He's snarky, rebellious, cynical, practical, and I love him to death. Also he has plans he won't tell me about. I'm kind of worried about that. 

10. Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and your characters?

Well, I'm definitely seeing lots of a friend of mine in Io, my lovely MC. In a good way, said friend :-) And Yarrow's a lot like me, with regards to opinions and such, and I can really see his side best. But my life is boring and I can't say this novel has been influenced by any decisions.  Sigh.

11. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?

When We Come Alive by Switchfoot really feels like my novel. Also, it's a gorgeous song. A lot of Switchfoot songs have that feel, which is amazing, because it gives me an excuse to listen to them 24/7. The Edge of the Earth also sounds a lot like these characters. And the Beasts of the Southern Wild soundtrack, which, let's face it, is just wonderful. 

12. Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?

Probably - no, definitely Cassander. He's smart, funny, well-read, and I mean, he spends most of his time either reading or piecing together artifacts. How cool would that be? He's also a slight snob, but I think I could get over that for the intelligent conversations. 

13. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)

All three, really. I'm also challenging myself to have 80k by the end of November, something I did last month and really felt satisfying to me. I've been pretty unmotivated lately, even with all my various rewards and self-loathing, but I'm working on it. 

14. What inspiring quote keeps you writing?

This is my favorite writing quote.
Definitely my favorite writing quote. 

But if we're talking about inspiring quotes to keep me writing...

Probably my favorite writing quote
This one. 

15. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?

Nervous! I'm not sure what's going to happen by the end, and it's getting pretty intense already. 

Well, that's it! Do participate in the linkup, and if you do, share your post below! I'd love to read them. I'd love to read ALL the linkup posts. 

Also: How's your month going? Have you read anything interesting these past six days? Written anything you just love? If you're doing NaNo, how's that going? Comment away. 


  1. *GASP* I love your opening!!! Ooo I can see pretty dresses in my minds eye O_O *awee*

    Wow, excellent collage. I loved the fantasy palace on the left in the middle. "Yes, this took far too long to make." IT ALWAYS DOES. When I used to write little fics on forums, I'd spend a whole evening making a collage when I was meant to be writing the story it was for. Urgh e_e The second quote was my favourite and The Edge Of The Earth is such a great song! Makes me feel so a l i v e ._.

    Great post. I found it from the linky when I added mine! You seem to be doing great so don't stop now =D

    1. Thank you! I am rather fond of that ending, myself :-) And the collages *did* take forever. I'm glad you liked them! I'll be sure to check out your contribution to the linkup!

  2. THIS IS WONDERFUL. I love your character pictures and I adore your names!! Io?! Cassander?! LOVE. (I love shipping my own characters too...I have a very unlikely couple at the moment and I just think they're adorable. lol Hey, as long as we amuse ourselves, right?!)
    I hope you get through this rough spot okay, though. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!

    1. Thank you for reading! I like the names, too. They're the result of a good deal of name searching last month. Huzzah for shipping!

  3. I love Yarrow and Cassander already; they're so different!
    I did do this linkup as well, and just published the post (I think I may have included too many pictures. . .whoops). It's here:
    Your project looks amazing!

    1. Oh, huzzah! I'm off to read it. And thank you!

  4. I've gotta be honest, your gif usage in the first question had me ROFLing. Hard. (I'm not exaggerating!) I loved it so much. It made my day. And thank you for inspiring me to use gifs more, especially in my BB answers. They can be so fun. I hope you don't mind that I went off of your gifs idea for my post! (If you do, I'm very sorry, and no offense was intended.)

    Your novel, especially your cast (and Yarrow!) sound amazing. Simply put, this post made my day. Thank you SO much for linking up!

    1. Haha, that's perfectly fine...I probably overuse gifs in blog posts, to be honest. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for reading!

  5. I love your cover collage and your character photos. I'm especially curious about Io's name, because I know of it in Greek Mythology—but I assume your MC hasn't gotten herself turned into a cow? Still, love it!

    1. Thank you!

      Haha! No, that doesn't happen...but it IS symbolic, as because the villain is jealous of her she's been forced to run away from her home in the floating cities and be with the commoners below. So there's that :-)

    2. That sounds even better! That's an awesome use of symbolism, though.

  6. I didn't read your first post for this, but I got so much information just from your snippet, it was great! I love that he's a traitor and that she seems very strong willed. Love those kinds of heroines. Also, that scene was kind of sexy which I also really like reading.

    This MS sounds great, I'm going to go back and read your original post now!

    Kat @ Readiculous Blog

  7. Your book sounds AWESOME!! And I don't think your intro was boring. It drew ME in, anyway. X) lol "Betrayals are fun." XD they are, tho. ;D


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