Beautiful Books #2: Pantsing and Writing The Middle Bits

10:27 AM


Today is yet another day for me to rant about my NaNoWriMo novel, thanks to Cait and Sky.

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Once again I'm linking up with Beautiful Books, a link-up for writers that involves answering questions about your novel. Last month I talked about my NaNo novel itself and all the plans I had for that, but this time it's more focused on yours-truly and the writing process. 

I could probably just start using X-Men gifs for everything and be okay with that. 

THE QUESTIONS 


Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
Hm.

It's fun to write, like I expected. It's turning out well. My characters are how they're supposed to be so far, though they're fleshing themselves out a little more. I didn't plot, so I don't know how I expected that to be, but I'm getting there with plot. But at the same, it's nothing like how I thought it would be. So it's a weird experience. 

What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
Oh, how I love my babies. 
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
I'm a pantser, always and forever. Trying to plot makes me want to burn everything I've ever written and stab myself with a spoon. I figure things out way better if I feel like I can improvise everything. On the downside of this, editing is a trainwreck and takes forever. On the plus side, writing is always an adventure full of plot twists and characters that I didn't expect. I've tried plotting several times...let's just say it never works out. 

Eleven is actually a good representation of how I approach writing/life. 
What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
Some people, apparently, have rewards for finishing goals and such. 

I eat the chocolate while I'm writing and then reward myself by...not writing anymore. And probably marathoning Bones but let's face it, I'd do that anyway. 

What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
I've never understood why people would go to great lengths to find names that "fit" the characters and have a meaning that matches up to them or whatever because...that's not how naming works. Parents don't give their kids names based on seeing the future and knowing how their story is going to turn out. So I give them names that sound cool and fit their background. I also try to pick names that are memorable but not too weird, so they stick out to readers in a sea of Michaels but aren't totally un-spellable. 

What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
Middle! People hate the saggy middle bits. I hate the saggy middle bits. But at the same time...I usually already have the beginning and ending in my head, so the middle is where all the pantsing magic happens. New characters and plot twists and everything else come flooding in and I have that awesomeness to deal with, even when it's difficult. So I like the middle best. It's full of surprises. 

I don't know, it just fits. 
Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
Oh, my darling Flint. 

I refuse to apologize for my NaNo writing. 
What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)
There are people who research for first drafts. 

I don't do that thing. 

My goal with a first draft is to get it from my brain onto the page as quickly as humanly possible. Ain't nobody got time for research then. I've looked up vampire puns because reasons and that's about the extent of the research I've done for this thing. It being set in modern times with modern kids helps some. I've barely even touched Google for this. 

(The weirdest thing I've ever researched...let's just say I now know all about surviving after you've had your throat slit.) 

Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?
I'm a very extroverted writer, in every way possible. I love word wars. I love writing with people in the room. It gives me allll the energy and motivation to get stuff done, which is much appreciated. I love sharing with people, too. I shove writing down people's throats all the time so they can flail over my characters too. Or hate them secretly. I'll never know.

"I JUST WANT TO BE APPRECIATED." 
What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? 
It depends on the day. I'm fond of popcorn, which is distracting. Also chips. Also crackers. Also all the unhealthy things that will inevitably distract me from actually writing. Habits are random, too. But I usually go write at the coffee shop on Saturdays; that's kind of the only thing that stays consistent here. I have to change it up.

Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!
I listen to alllll the music. All the time. (This playlist is probably a good representation of what I like right now.) I write all the time, whenever I can, since nighttime doesn't work as well for me anymore. I write anywhere, also, as long as it's not the desk where I should do my writing. I'm a rebel that way. 

How is NaNo going for you? Have you participated in Beautiful Books yet? Go do the thing.

22 comments

  1. Ooh, I love Flint already. That first sentence/paragraph was wonderful.
    I don't write much, but naming is really hard for me to do, not because I want to have a name that suits the character (like you said, that's not really logical in most circumstances), but for all the reasons you mentioned. I get perfectionistic. Anyway, I hope your NaNo writing continues to go well! Good luck!

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    1. Additionally, the title of your first chapter is my favourite thing on planet earth right now.

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    2. Haha, thank you! I'm a huge Fall Out Boy jokes person and I finally got to work that in so I'm all kinds of happy.

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  2. I love all your snippets! The beginning sounds cool, and I like Flint. :D

    I don't usually research for first drafts either. I tried once and couldn't really find anything helpful, so I just wrote.

    I agree with your middle writing theory. It's the best to write because that's where all the unexpected things happen. Although I do like the climax too, because TENSION!

    Good luck on NaNo!

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    1. Thank youuuu! I basically live for writing ALL THE TENSION and such, so the middle bit is my favorite. (Also, I have trouble with climaxes in stories and try to avoid them with really long middles. It doesn't work.)

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  3. I'm so tired and because of that I uh might have laughed for waaay too long at the title of your first chapter. That joke is the best. I approve. All the quotes here were great and I kinda really want to read this novel.

    Also, I so agree with your middle writing... thingy. (as you can tell NaNo has killed my brain) I normally have a vague idea of the ending, of the beginning... but all the great pantser stuff happens in the middle. Sometimes it's pretty great.

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    1. Don't worry -- I wrote it and sat there and laughed for a good long while and then felt stupid for being so amused by my own thing, so we're on the same level there. xD I'm hoping to put this on Wattpad after some editing, so...

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  4. I love the snippets, 'There's A Vampire in Tasha's Backyard' (by Fall Out Boy). I laughed so hard.
    This is awesome I need to read this, the style is perfect. You are so right about the name thing. I need to remember that.

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    1. Thank you! <3 I'm having a lot of fun with it.

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  5. YOUR STORY SOUNDS LIKE SO MUCH FUN.
    Oh gosh, research. I have actually been doing a good bit of research for my NaNo project... mostly about names common in certain countries and how long it takes to get from here to there. So that's been hindering my writing time recently (maybe I should have done just a LITTLE more planning before I started)... buuut there are also times when my characters ride across the ocean in what's basically a hamster cage tube, so then I can just make up how long it takes. Sci fi is fun. I'm discovering that. xD

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    1. It IS so much fun.
      xD
      I do research *sometimes* but generally I start writing very quickly and forget all about it even if I mean to do it later...I write sci-fi, so that's probably not the greatest thing. *le sigh*

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  6. This story sounds so cool! I love the snippets! I'm not usually a fan of the vampire story but this sounds so funny and the characters sounds like just the sort that I love. I haven't participate in NaNo yet, but I am hoping to next year. Keep up the good work!

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    1. I don't read vampire stuff, like, ever, so I'm kind of just rolling with this and making fun of things and it's possibly turning out well. :P Thank you!

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  7. I'm not doing NaNo because there's so much going on with college writing and other projects. But I am doing a short story collection right now, which I really like. I'm excited to see more of your project, though! I've also tagged you for a blog tag in case you want to check it out: http://cierahorton.blogspot.com/2015/11/a-writers-life-for-me-tag.html

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    1. Ooh thank you! I'll definitely check it out. <3 And I feel ya on having so much stuff to do. Looking back on it, NaNo may not have been a wise thing to attempt this year. But oh well.

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  8. Yay someone else who researches in their second draft. XD I usually make a list of things to research for my first editing round haha. I'm glad writing is going well for you. ^ ^ What's your word count? I'm at 33K. I also did BB this month. ^ ^ http://storitorigrace.blogspot.com/2015/11/beautiful-booksthe-writing-process.html

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    1. That's way smarter than not writing a list, which happens to me because I'm forgetful. :P

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  9. I really like the snippets you shared. Your narrator sounds sassy and sarcastic and vampires in garden sheds? YES PLEASE! Aimee, just finish the book already because we nee more snippets (more Aimee books?) in our lives.

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    1. Hahaha thank you! You'll definitely see more of this!

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  10. OMG THE FALL OUT BOY CHAPTER TITLE. It's just, argh, SO ON POINT. And ooh, surviving after your throat's been slit? That is pretty creepy. But researching vampire puns = the best Googling.

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    1. I had to work a Fall Out Boy title in *somewhere*, so that totally happened. xD (And yes, it's a very creepy fact that I learned and had to be make happen somewhere.)

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  11. LOL, I love this! And Flint does sound quite amazing.

    Pantsing for the win! (until we get to editing, of course. And then we hate everything)


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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hey. hey. talk to me. i'm a fan of comments and flailing with you. go for it.