More Resolutions-y Stuff!

I’m too lazy to write a real blog post, so I’m going to do the latest Beautiful People post, which is about resolutions and stuff! Yay!  I did technically already do a resolutions post, but I like some of the questions in this.

These questions are from Beautiful People.

What were your writing achievements last year?

I made it through draft two of Oracular.  That was about it.  But that was a lot, so hey.

Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?

Finish Sleeping in Cyberspace.  Make it through draft three of Oracular and hope that the story when I’m done with that pass-through will actually be coherent.  And…write some novellas.  Okay, that’s actually three, so if you want a one-project answer, then I’d say finish draft three of Oracular.

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

  1. Less procrastination.  I think this basically explains itself.  I spend a lot of time doing things like “oooh, Pinterest” and stuff, but there are also countless hours I spend doing basically nothing because I just don’t want to write (or anything else).  If I just cut some of those down, I think it would be so much more.
  2. World-building.  I did already post about this a little, but I really want to work on my world-building and…really figure out how in the world people world-build all the way to the end without getting sick of the world.
  3. I want to write something funny for once in my life.  My writing style tends to be very serious, and while I normally don’t have a problem with it, for once I’d like to write something humorous.
  4. Read more…I don’t feel that I really read enough last year.  Eheh, guilty.  I’d like to change that this year—and keeping track of what I read would be great, too.
  5. Find more confidence in myself (and get better so that confidence is well-founded). Confidence is probably one of the biggest things holding me back, so I would like to change that.  But, of course, I would like to actually be good and be confident in it—not just think I’m good when in reality I’m terrible or something.

Are you participating in any writing challenges?

I don’t know yet?  I may or may not do NaNoWriMo this year.  It’s too early to tell, really.  It’s possible I will try again to write the sequel (all the way through, this time, instead of just pieces) for Oracular for NaNo this year, although maybe I’ll have another project  by that point.  (You can always count on the plot bunnies to find you, that’s for sure.)  Maybe Sleeping in Cyberspace will have a sequel.  (I think it has potential for a sequel because of the way I’m setting up the world.  I just don’t know if my characters will allow me to write a sequel.)

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

As of about a week ago, I found two possible CPs for Oracular and we traded the beginnings of our novels.  We’re still in the “trial run” stage, so I don’t know if it’ll actually turn out, but I’m hoping!

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

Yup.  I got three writing-related books for Christmas, actually.  I can’t remember their titles off the top of my head, but I would like to read them.  (One is basically a “here’s info about guns for writers” (this is for my sci-fi WIP), and the other two are on character traits.)

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

One?  Just one?  Um.

Um.  After going back and forth a little, I decided on Iaelie Crestal.  She was one of the first characters I “got to know” while planning Oracular, but while writing the second draft, I started to realize that I didn’t actually know her as well as I thought I did, and I think I might be misrepresenting her somewhat.  (Weird, I know.  I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen with a character.)  So before I start truly editing draft 3, I want to get to really get to know her, and do her character justice.

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

That may or may not be how I’m approaching editing.

Actually, that’s not totally true.  I don’t have a fully-formed plan, but I have some vague ideas, and I’ll be fleshing it out better once I’m closer to editing.  Right now, I shan’t worry about it.  (I’ve always wanted to use the word “shan’t” in a sentence.  I think I just fulfilled something on my bucket list, teehee.)

 

As for querying?  No.  I don’t think I will be at a stage to even think about querying until next year at the earliest (and probably not even quite then, depending on how well draft three fixes up the plot).

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’m actually writing about the relationships between teen/young adult siblings at the moment, and I can’t say I see a whole lot of that in fiction.  Or at least YA.  Not that there aren’t siblings, I just don’t see a lot of stories where the relationship between siblings is all that relevant to the story.  Seeing more of that would be nice.  Especially good relationships.  Of all of the sibling-relationships I can think of, most of them seem to be “my brother turned evil and now we’re mortal enemies” or something.

Good, strong, healthy relationships between siblings.  Or just familial relationships as a whole.  (Turns out, it’s hard to have a character have a good relationship with their parents when the parents are dead.  And…a lot of parents end up dead in YA fantasy.)

(I think it would be nice to see more ordinary, platonic friendships, as well, but I like the idea of familial relationships right now.)

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

…a lot.  ‘Nuff said.

Mostly, I want Oracular to be readably coherent and have a world to stand on.  I also would like Cyberspace to have a finished first draft, and plans for edits, and I also would like to have some more short stories written (see bar on the right), but the main project is Oracular.

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Beautiful People: “A Circle is Round, It Has No End…”

If you have that song stuck in your head now… I profusely apologize.  That song drove me nuts.  Ugh.

So this month for Beautiful People, we have a friendship theme.  (Now do you have the song stuck in your head?)  I’m going to pick out three of my characters that are supposedly good friends with each other.  So…introducing Ereinne, Iaelie, and Datael.

Ahem.  Sit down, all three of you, and—are you arguing?  Stop arguing, this is supposed to be about friendship.  Really?  You’re going to glare at me?

Just sit down already and let me ask the questions.

Ahem.  How long have you known each other, and how close are you?

Iaelie: *mutters* As if you don’t already know this.  *sighs*  I met Datael when we were trying to get through Initiation, and we both met Ereinne about a year later when I was assigned to her.

Ereinne: I think we’re pretty close.  Just…not as close as we used to be.

Datael: To be completely honest, I don’t think we’re really that close anymore.  There’s sort of just this…echo of friendship, and a want to have it back.

Ereinne: And that’s because Iaelie’s pushed us both away. *looks pointedly at Iaelie*

Iaelie: *ignores*

What’s your earliest memory of being best friends?

Ereinne: I think…well, as soon as Iaelie was assigned to me, I met Datael, because those two were practically sewn together at the hip.  But as far back as I can remember, when we were all friends together… maybe that time Iaelie and Datael and I were making up crazy stories to make each other laugh.

Datael: Initiation, definitely.  There was this maze that we were all supposed to get through, and most of the other initiates were trying to do it by themselves, but Iaelie and I decided to work together.  At one point, we were both laughing, and I don’t even remember why we were laughing, but even though we’d only known each other…what, a day?…I really felt like we were friends.

Iaelie: Yeah.

Do you fight? (I don’t even know why I’m asking this question.) How long do you typically fight for?

Ereinne: Iaelie fights with everybody.

Iaelie: I do not!

Ereinne: Yeah you do. I’ll bet you even fight with yourself.

Iaelie: *glares and doesn’t really deny it*

Datael: Lately, we fight every time we see each other. Iaelie and I, I mean.  I say something that’s too nice or something to her, and she gets mad at me for saying something untrue.

Iaelie: That’s an exaggeration, Datael.  I don’t—

Datael: *sigh* You do.

Ereinne: I think Iaelie’s been really grumpy for some reason lately.  She’s been…weird.  We argue a lot lately, too, and sometimes it’s about menial things, and sometimes it’d just me being…too naïve.

Datael: I don’t think Ereinne and I fight much, though.

Ereinne: Not really.

Are your personalities similar or do you complement each other?

Iaelie: We’re pretty different.

Ereinne: Yeah.  I’m fun, and Iaelie’s grumpy, and Datael is—

Iaelie: *elbows her in the ribs*

Ereinne: What? You know you are!

Datael: What am I?

Ereinne: You are very… what’s the word.  You laugh a lot.  Something Iaelie needs to pick up on.

Datael: Yes, that she does…

Iaelie: I laugh plenty.

Datael: No you don’t.  The last time I remember you laughing was… Ereinne, when was the last time she laughed?

Ereinne: I can’t really remember.

Datael: Exactly.  Me neither.  Do you remember the last time you laughed, Iaelie?

Iaelie: *glares*

Who is the leader of your friendship (if anyone)?

Ereinne: Nobody?

Do you have any secrets from each other?

Datael: Not really.  There are things we don’t talk about— *gives Iaelie a pointed look* —but I don’t have any secrets.

Iaelie: Yes.  I can’t tell Ereinne about Guardian things.  Whether I want to or not.

Datael: Yeah, there’s the normal Guardian things, too, I suppose.  But Iaelie knows as much about those as I do, and I guess I’m not that close to Ereinne that they really feel like big secrets.

Ereinne: I—I have my secrets, too.

Iaelie: You’re not allowed to have secrets, Ereinne.  I’m your Guardian.

Ereinne: Oh, don’t pull that on me again—

Datael: Girls, please, let’s put off the arguing until after the interview, okay?

How well do they know each other’s quirks and habits?

Ereinne: Considering Iaelie and I see each other literally every day, I’d say we know the quirks and habits pretty well.

Datael: I used to know Iaelie’s pretty well.  She always pulls her right boot on her feet before she puts the left one on. Always.  I don’t know why.

Iaelie: I do?

Datael: You’ve done that for years.

Ereinne: You know what, now that you mention it, I’m pretty sure you do, Iaelie.

Datael: Yeah.  That said, I don’t know that I know her quirks that well anymore, though I’d like to get to know them.

What kind of things do you like to do together?

Ereinne: You mean, what kinds of things did we used to do together?  *gives Iaelie a look*

Iaelie: Why is everything all of a sudden my fault?  I’m not the only reason that we don’t do any of that stuff anymore!

Ereinne: Then what other reasons are there?

Iaelie: I—

Datael: I hate to say it, Iaelie, but every time we try to make plans, whether it’s all three of us, or just you and me, you always cancel or find a way out of it.  We never do anything anymore.

Iaelie: When it’s you and me, Datael, that’s—that’s different.

Datael: *sighs wistfully*  Yeah, I know, you’ve said that before.

Ereinne: Aaanyway, what we used to do together… well, I’m restricted to the castle, so it’d be pretty boring things.  When we were littler, we’d sometimes tell stories or play make believe or something, but as we grew up, we’d still tell stories, or we’d go hang out in the courtyards in the shade, and stuff like that.

Datael: And when Iaelie actually let me take her out of the castle, and to one of the cities, we’d pretend we were tourists and go do the most fun things we could think of.  One time, we went to the greenhouses and were goggling over this really funny looking horned plant, and I tripped and my face sort of landed on the thorny plant… *coughs* And another time, she decided she wanted to buy herself a dress, and so we spent like two of the longest hours of my entire life trying to find her a dress, and she finally settled on one, and then promptly fell into the river, and…

Iaelie: And I liked that dress.

Datael: Why is it they all ended in disaster?

Describe your fashion style. How are your styles different/similar?

Ereinne: Iaelie and Datael wear the same things—the Guardians’ uniform, of sorts—but Datael makes it look comfortable, and Iaelie makes it look formal.  I just wear dresses.

Datael: Yeah, if you’re a Guardian, there really isn’t much option of fashion.  You wear the uniform if you’re on-duty, and if you’re off-duty…well, unless you leave the castle, you still really just wear the uniform anyway.

Ereinne: I like the dresses that have really big, impractical skirts that look as if you could never fit through a doorway because there’s so many layers and layers and layers of skirt.  I’ve never actually worn one of those dresses, but I’d love it if I could.  Usually what I wear is just a dress with only one or two layers, maybe three, and I love to wear blue or green.  Or yellow.  Or orange.  Or pink.  Actually, pretty much any color.

Iaelie: What Datael said.  The only way you can vary it up is what you do with your hair, basically.  I used to braid my hair on either side of my head, and sometimes I’d put flowers in my hair.

Datael: You looked nice with the flowers.

Iaelie: Datael—

Datael: What?  It’s true.

How would your lives be different without each other?

Ereinne: Well, I’d have a different Guardian, and probably one I would like less and trust less.  I wouldn’t want to imagine a world where Iaelie wasn’t my Guardian—even if she is a huge pain.

Iaelie: …

Datael: Well, mine would be a lot more lonely.  And quiet.  And…maybe less happy.

Ereinne: You mean Iaelie actually still makes you happy with all of her grumpiness?

Iaelie: *glares* I’m not always grumpy.

Datael: *looks at her fondly* Yeah, she does still make me happy.  When she’s not yelling at me.  Also, my nose might not be so crooked if I hadn’t known Iaelie.

Ereinne: Why’s that?

Iaelie: *looks away, blushing*  I broke his nose.

Datael: *grinning* I was flirting with her, and she got fed up with it, so she punched me in the face and broke my nose.

Iaelie: I didn’t really mean to break your nose!  I just wanted you to stop!

Datael: It did get me to stop.

Ereinne: *gasps* Iaelie was the one who broke your nose?  I thought it was from some Guardian training accident or something!

Iaelie: *changes the subject*  If I didn’t have Ereinne and Datael in my life, I’d probably be a lot more peaceful, a lot less grumpy, and also a lot less happy.  *glares at them*  And don’t any of you say I’m not happy, because I can be happy.  I’m just…going through hard times right now, okay?

Datael: That’s okay with me, so long as you eventually get past those hard times.  Also, it would also be nice if you let either of us help you.  We’re here for you, you know, Iaelie.

Iaelie: *sigh*

That was…really long.  Whoa, these ones like to talk, heheh.  But it was fun.  At least for me, anyway.

A Character Interview (Beautiful People)

I love character interactions. Seeing the way this character reacts to this other character—it’s so much fun.  I also love character interviews. It’s fun to ask the characters questions and try to make them give honest answers.

What’s especially fun is character interviews with multiple characters, because I get to ask questions and watch the characters react to each other’s answers.

So this month, I decided to participate in Beautiful People with…five of my characters from my current novel, Oracular.

”PAPERFURY”

This months theme is on parents. So, I introduce Ereinne (air-EEN), Iaelie (eye-AY-lee), Tiri (TEAR-ee), Kalvias (KAL-vee-ahs), and Cimizelle (sim-ih-zel).

(Fun fact: Ereinne shouldn’t be part of this interview, because she doesn’t have any parents, but she somehow snuck herself in anyway. Characters.)

So.  Without further ado…

Do you know both your biological parents? Why/why not?

Tiri: Father, yes. My mother died when I was young.

Ereinne: No, because my parents have been dead for centuries, but I have Iaelie and Ennalie. They are my Guardians after all. Even if they’re younger than me.

Iaelie: I’m not your parental guardian, Ereinne.

Ereinne: But you’re still my Guardian!

Iaelie: …I’m basically your bodyguard. You realize that, right?

Ereinne: Whatever. Are you going to answer the question?

Iaelie: Yes, I know my parents.

Kalvias: Yes.

Cimizelle: Uh-huh.

Have you inherited any physical resemblances from your parents?

Ereinne: Considering I’m not related to Iaelie and Ennalie, no. In fact, we probably look as different as we could possibly look.  You know, what with my dark curly hair and Iaelie’s long, straight, blonde hair, and—

Iaelie: *clears throat* I have my father’s height, and some of his face, but my mother’s hair.

Tiri: Some of my father’s figure. I definitely have his hands. I don’t really know what my mother looked like, though.

Cimizelle: Ha, no! Okay, maybe I have my mom’s hair, but I’m so tiny and my blue eyes… they make it hard to see the resemblance.

Kalvias: I see the resemblance, Cim.

Cimizelle: Really?

Kalvias: Absolutely. I’ve never really paid a lot of attention to how much I look like my parents, but I have been told it’s obvious who’s kid I am.  So I guess I do look like them.

What’s your parental figure(s) dress style? Add pictures if you like!

Ereinne: Iaelie doesn’t have much of a choice in clothing, but I doubt she’d dress interestingly if she did. So she just wears what all the Guardians wear.

Iaelie: I haven’t seen my parents in years. I’ve no idea.  I never paid attention to that as a child.

Tiri: Something practical and comfortable. And it was almost always a little bit dusty.

Cimizelle: If it’s fancy and of the latest fashion, they wear it.

Kalvias: Same with my parents.

Do you share any personality traits with your parental figures? And which do you take after most?

Ereinne: Nope! I would know if I was as stiff and boring as Iaelie.

Iaelie: *glares*

Ereinne: What? You know you’re boring. Actually, I think I might have some things in common with Ennalie. She’s definitely not as bouncy as me, but she can be excitable.

Iaelie: I hope I haven’t picked up on any of the family traits. *shudders*

Cimizelle: I hardly know my parents, so I’ve no idea.

Kalvias: I’m pretty sure you get your glare from your mother, Cim.

Cimizelle: *frowns*

Kalvias: I can’t deny I don’t have some of my parents’ knack for being sneaky.

Tiri: I’m a lot like my father. I spent more time around him than around anyone else, though, so it’s not a surprise.

Do you get on with their parental figure(s) or do you clash?

Ereinne: Um. I suppose we mostly get along, but I can’t deny that Iaelie gets on my nerves sometimes.

Iaelie: Same to you, Ereinne. As for my parents… we didn’t get along, but it was usually distanced so there were no clashes, per se. I usually tried to hide into the background.

Tiri: I loved my father. We had our fights, but we got along.

Kalvias: Honestly, I don’t see my parents much. There’s never really an opportunity to fight.

Cimizelle: Hey, you see your parents more than I see mine. Mine come to visit me one every other day or so, and usually not for long.

Kalvias: Cim, usually I only see my parents at dinner, and that’s across the table where I can’t even talk to them. They’re too busy talking political stuff with your parents.

Cimizelle: But that’s every day.

If you had to describe your parental figure(s) in one word, what would it be?

Ereinne: Iaelie, I’d say stiff. Ennalie, I think I’d say young? She’s sweet and everything, but definitely young.

Iaelie: Distant.

Tiri: *eyes pool up with tears* Dead.

Ereinne: *hugs Tiri*

Tiri: *takes really deep breath*  Loving.

Kalvias: Um.

Cimizelle: Royalty.

Kalvias: I don’t think that really answers the question, Cim.

Cimizelle: Sure it does. They are royalty, and it explains why they have no time for me.

Kalvias: I suppose so.  Mine are… busy, I guess?  That really doesn’t explain them, either, but that’s all I really know about them.

How has your parental figure(s) helped you most in their life?

Ereinne: Iaelie and Ennalie protect my life. I’m not sure what from, since I can’t leave the castle, but their job is to look after me.

Iaelie: …they gave birth to me.

Ereinne: They also raised you.

Iaelie: That wasn’t how they helped me.

Tiri: He was there for me, always. And he loved me.

Cimizelle: I fail to see how to answer this question, seeing as how they locked me in a tower!

Kalvias: They gave me an education and then didn’t pay enough attention to me and let me do my own things.

Cimizelle: How is that helping you?

Kalvias: *grins mischievously* I almost never got in trouble.

Cimizelle: *frowns* So no wonder you’re such a huge pain.

Kalvias: *glares* Hey, if they had kept a closer eye on me, you and I would never have met.

Cimizelle: True.

What was your biggest fight with your parental figure(s)?

Ereinne: That would be when I told Iaelie that she needed to work things out with her almost-boyfriend because it’s obvious the two really like each other, but every time he tries to make something happen, she pushes him away!

Iaelie: He’s not—! Ereinne!

Ereinne: He’s not your boyfriend? I know, that’s the point!

Iaelie: *glares*

Tiri: I don’t really remember.

Kalvias: Me neither, honestly.

Cimizelle: One of the times my parents came up to check that nobody was in my tower with me. I know they have reason to suspect someone was visiting me who shouldn’t have been, because Kalvias was sneaking up here, but it’s still annoying.

Iaelie: Biggest fight. I don’t know. I had bigger fights with my older siblings.

Tracing back the family tree, what nationalities are in your ancestry?

Ereinne: Considering I’m an Oracle, I both have no idea, and I’m not sure it really matters…? I mean, especially since, I was born before the war and the Transition and all that.

Iaelie: Keilorian, mostly.

Kalvias: There may have been a tad bit of Akelyan wwwaaaayyyyyy back, but that was before the war.

Cimizelle: I’ve no idea. I’m not sure I even know my grandparents’ names.

Kalvias: That would be Queen Maelira and King Relmir I.

Cimizelle: Right.  Hey, don’t look at me like that.  It’s not my fault my parents wouldn’t even get me a tutor!  *huffs*  Teaching yourself to read is a lot harder than it sounds.

Tiri: Mostly Keilorian, but there’s a little Inizaelan, too.

What’s your favourite memory with your parental figure(s)?

Tiri: *takes a deep breath*  The first time he showed me how to shape clay. I still have that…blob. I’m not even sure what it’s supposed to be anymore, but it’s definitely not functional.

Ereinne: Um, let me think. *feigns deep thought*

Iaelie: *glares at Ereinne* The time my mother brought me to buy a new dress for me to wear to Initiation. I still wish I hadn’t worn a dress to that, but the afternoon we bought it was fun, and I enjoyed the time with my mother where there were no other siblings around.

Cimizelle: One of my birthdays. My eleventh? My parents got me a dozen books, which is more than they’d ever gotten me, and I was so happy.

Kalvias: Nothing comes to mind, honestly. Maybe right after my baby sister was born, and we were all together as a happy family.

Cimizelle: You had a baby sister?

Kalvias: Yeah. She died before she was a year old, though.

Cimizelle: Awww, Kalvias… why did you never tell me that?

Kalvias: It’s a painful memory.

Ereinne: Aha! I got it! So, about six months after Iaelie was assigned to me. She was eleven years old, and so she looked the same age as me, even if I was actually six hundred seven. Anyway, Iaelie invited her best friend Datael over to my room, and the three of us played make-believe. Of course, we were breaking the rules, because as Guardians, both Iaelie and Datael weren’t supposed to play silly games like that with their Oracles, but we had so much fun and Iaelie was so happy.

Iaelie: I kind of remember that… we were in trouble for the next month after that.

That was fun, and way more civilized than I expected.  I actually learned a few things, too, that I didn’t know.  Kalvias, I’m pretty sure I have a right to know that you had a baby sister.