Friday, November 7, 2014

Beautiful Books #2: How's the Writing Going?

Beautiful Books is a new linky hosted by Notebook Sisters and Further up and Further in.

[It is a] three-month-long blog event linkup focused on three different stages of writing: plotting, writing, and editing. It was designed with NaNoWriMo in mind.
They ask questions each month that we answer on our own blogs about the novels we plan to write (whether in NaNoWriMo or just on our own)

I AM doing it through NaNoWriMo, so if you want, let's be NaNo friends! You can find me here.

1. Be honest: how is your writing going?

Me when I first started NaNoWriMo:

Me a few days in when I realized I had no more ideas:

Me now:

So... I wrote a lot in the first week, and now I'm having major writer's block, so I've started writing a WHOLE NEW STORY. I'm the worst. But also, I'm happy I'm still writing something.

2. What’s your first sentence/paragraph?
First page of original WIP (Alien MG):

Let’s get a few things straight right off the bat: I’m not green, I don’t eat people, and I didn’t burst out of someone’s chest when I was born. Ew, seriously, humans can be really gross sometimes.

I am an alien.

I’m actually made of pure energy. You know, that stuff that powers your precious cars and computers. So, really, you should have welcomed my people with open arms.

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m trying my hand at what you humans call “journaling.”

No, that word sounds too casual for this. Let’s call this a guide. A guide for how to invade Earth in five easy...wait, eight easy...

Hold on--one, two, five, no that’s not a full step--okay, seven.

How to invade Earth in seven easy steps.

First page of new WIP (YA Superhero): 

1: Vigilante

I’ve returned, back to the city of my birth and my death.

It’s everything I imagined and nothing like I’d dreamed at the same time.

The tall spires of the soaring skyscrapers stand majestically against the fog-filled night sky. The outlines of buildings are highlighted as lightning from an electrical storm lights the sky. Weather that fits my dark mood as I leap from roof-top to roof-top. I adjust my weight to compensate for the heavy winds from the southeast as I survey the crumbling brick facades of the slums of Aurum City.

This is where I came from, yet I don’t recognize any of the streets—not one loose brick, not one rusty fire escape, not one sagging laundry line.

I may have been born of Aurum City, but I haven’t stepped foot in it since I was an infant. Since I died.

Yet still, I came back to save it.

To avenge it.

And God help any who get in my way.

3. Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?
Not yet for the Alien MG WIP.

For the YA Superhero, I have a pinterest that has one picture in it:

4. Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.)
Okay, I'm going to do this for just the Alien MG WIP since that is my main book:

Lex - his alien body is pure energy, so he describes it as a swarm of fireflies. His human body is a twelve-year-old Korean boy. He's slightly shorter than average, with black hair and brown eyes.

Toby - he's also 12. He has brown hair that is always standing on end because he's always running nervous hands through it. He is Lex's height.

Divya - she is also 12, she's taller than both Lex and Toby with black hair and tan/brown skin.

5. What scene are you most excited to write?
An escape scene, this is actually all I have for ideas for this scene so far. But I know when I figure it out, it'll be epic.

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

Alien MG:

I awoke in my new human body on a Tuesday.

Based on my observations, I have determined that Tuesdays are probably the worst days of the Earth week (contrary to the popular belief that Mondays are the worst).

The reason I say that Tuesday is the worst day of the week is because it is not the beginning of the week nor the end, it is not even the popularly termed “hump day” that marks the middle. The only reason that Tuesday beats Thursday as the worst is that Thursday signals that the next day is Friday, an observed favorite based on the many coffee mugs and restaurants thanking God that it is Friday.

Anyway, almost nothing ever happens on a Tuesday. So, when a twelve-year-old comatose boy suddenly woke up, all humans in the general vicinity became very interested in the event.

The first time I awoke, the loud beep of machines alerted many humans in pastel clothing who came running into the room.

“I have come as a representative of the Alacran fleet. You may present me with your gifts,” I said.

Or, at least, I tried to say that. It came out more as, “Arggggghwaaah.”

Superhero YA:

The sun dips lower in the sky, bleeding in the dark waters. The sea churns, turning inky black, absorbing the rays of the sun. Stealing the heat from the air. I almost expect the sun to become stained black from it. Like if I could somehow lift the red orb from the horizon it would come away dripping in black. Forever stained. Or maybe I think that because this is what has happened with my soul. At some point it was dipped in a darkness that has forever permeated it, turning it black, and nothing can scrub it clean.


As I think this I see disappointed eyes flash through my head. They are not the eyes of my father, not the eyes that I am so used to looking for when I need guidance. They are her eyes. Eyes that seem bright despite their inky color. Could it be possible? That something so dark could be so vivid? Could it be that there is hope yet for my stained soul?

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?
I kind of realized that some of the details I wanted to include will just confuse the story, I need to keep it a little simpler than I had originally planned in order to keep the voice and the characters at the forefront.

8. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that's difficult to write?
Lex is both fun and super difficult to write. Sometimes I have his voice down exactly and others I have no idea how he would describe something. So frustrating!

9. What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?
Favorite aspect is that I can point out how ridiculous people can be because Lex doesn't understand human behavior. Therefore Lex is my favorite character.

10. Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and your characters?
of course, I have ridiculous friends and family.

11. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?
Soundtracks, currently listening to How To Train Your Dragon. I think one of my CPs suggested it...

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?
My main characters: Lex, Toby, and Divya. I wrote them based on some of my own friends from elementary and middle school.

13. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)
Good ol' fashioned guilt for not meeting word count. And the drive to finish and hopefully get published :)

14. What inspiring quote keeps you writing?
Anything said by Chuck Wendig

15. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?
I have to be honest, I am super frustrated right now. I can't figure out how to get past this midpoint I'm at. Whyyyyy?!

However, with my new WIP, I'm pretty inspired, haha. So I love writing my new MS, but I hate that I'm not finishing the first one...

And if you're in the mood to hear about my "new" book. I've re-answered the questions from the first linky of Beautiful Books with that new novel in mind:

1. What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Character, I thought of the main male protagonist first. I'm a pantser, but for this book I had to become a plotter since there is a very complicated backstory and a conspiracy that gets uncovered as the book goes on.

2. Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”? 
No title, but a little bit of a back-cover-blurb/query:

He died once to protect the city with a lie, now he has returned to avenge the city with the truth. However, the mysterious vigilante who haunts the streets doesn’t know what hits him when he runs into Addy Jang.

A practical girl with no time for games and nonsense, Addy Jang does not believe in superheroes. She is too busy following her ten-year plan to become the city’s top defense lawyer. She plans on making a difference like her politician father.

After landing a high school internship at a non-profit legal center, Addy’s first big case is a high profile class action lawsuit against the biggest corporation in the city, the ARC Group. As she digs deeper into the dirty past of the organization, she keeps coming face to face with the masked boy who roams the city. Addy does not approve of any one person taking the law into their own hands. However, as she slowly unveils a conspiracy that involves ARC, the governor’s office, and even her own father, the vigilante might be the only one who can help her uncover the truth. Now Addy is determined to figure out who this masked avenger is, and she starts to realize that his mild alter ego might be someone she already knows.

3. What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
It's a YA novel (don't know exact genre yet, maybe light sci-fi?) so it'll be around 70,000 words.

4. Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.
Comic from Lois Lane POV.

Revenge for sins of the past.

What do you call justice when you take it into your own hands?

5. Sum up your characters in one word each.
Vigilante - haunted

Addy - driven

Charlie - Charming

Remy - OCD

Wade - slacker

Victor Axtell - Powerful

Harvey Bonham - Trustworthy

6. Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them! 
Probably Addy and the Vigilante (the chapters when you don't know his secret identity yet)

7. What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?
Victor Axtell is the big villian, he is the CEO of the ARC Group and it's parent company Axtell Incorporated. He thinks he's above the law because he is so rich and powerful.

8. What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way?
The Vigilante wants to get justice for something that happened to his family years ago.

Addy wants to do good for the city and become a lawyer so she can make a difference.

9. What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey?
The vigilante comes to town and Addy gets her first big case as an intern at a law firm that takes on a case against ARC.

10. Where is your novel set?
Aurum City (probably in America, but it's not specified exactly where it is).

11. What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
Addy gets to work on the case against ARC and meets the vigilante.

Addy gets attacked on the street by someone working for ARC.

Addy eventually finds out what the vigilante's identity is.

12. What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story?
Probably the relationship between Addy and the vigilante before she knows who he really is.

13. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
She realizes that not everything/everyone is completely good or bad. There is a lot of grey area, but doing good is still important.

14. Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens? 
Yes, I have an ending in mind and I've mapped it out with an outline.

15. What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?
I hope I can keep the vigilante's identity a secret through most of the novel while still giving little clues. It's like a mystery novel, but it has a superhero in it.


  1. YOUR ALIEN BOOK SOUNDS AMAZING THOUGH. The voice! The humour! The spark! Seriously, I absolutely love it. And both those scenes....perfection. ^-^ I really hope it goes well for you!!
    Thanks for linking up with us!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I do love my Alien MG WIP and I love the characters in it. I think that might be why I'm a little stuck. I want to make sure I write them well. But I love that NaNoWriMo encourages us to just write, hopefully that'll help me push through my writer's block on this story :)

  2. Seriously I would probably buy the alien book right now just because I love that beginning. I mean, an alien journaling... Does it get any better than that? I sincerely hope you finish, because it sounds awesome. Don't give up!

    1. Awww, thanks so much for the encouragement. I am trying to power through! I will hopefully have good news by the next Beautiful Books linky post :)

    2. Then I look forward to hearing it! :)

  3. Oh maaaan! XD Writing a different story when I got stuck was exactly what I used to do! Now though, I'm making myself tunnel through. I have to!!!!

    See, booth stories sounded very interesting. The alien one had the advantage of being such an unusual concept that you could draw the reader into a world of energy, maybe lights and sounds or something. The disadvantage: it might be tough to explain in a way the reader can visualise. The second one had me excited because I love superheros, but it wasn't as unique. It's a storyline I've heard before, but what would decide it's uniqueness would be WHY Aurum City needs to be avenged. I'm interested to find out, so keep writing!! =D So are you pressing forward with just the second one?

    "What do you call justice when you take it into your own hands?"
    ... 'revenge', or possibly 'issues' (lol).

    1. Man the alien one really had me going! HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO MEY >.<

    2. Haha, thanks! I am getting a little bit more inspiration after just writing anything this past weekend.

  4. OMGOODNESS YOUR BOOK SOUNDS SO COOL AZBAZABAZA!! And I love that one picture, with the hooded guy on the roof. It looks like something out of Assassin's Creed *stifles inner gamer* lol good luck with Nano!

    1. Thanks, I am actually having a great time writing again. I love that Nano has inspired me to get past any writer's block I had. Thanks for stopping by :)