The Rising Author Tag

I wasn’t actually tagged for this, but I saw The Rising Author Tag over at Beth @Reading Every Night and thought it would be really fun to take part. There are some definite rules to this, which I am not sure I will 100% comply to, but I still want to try my best.

RULES

  • No tagging back
  • Tag four people
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Come up with 10 new questions

QUESTIONS FROM BETH’S TAG

What is your current WIP about, and what’s its status? (ie. plotting, writing, editing, etc.)

This is already starting out more difficult than I thought, because I am working on several WIPs at the same time. Well, I guess I have neglected Arcadia a bit these past couple of months, but you all already know quite a lot about it anyway. So for the sake of making this post easier (and also to talk about something new), I am going to stick to the infamous #witchyWIP for this one.
It’s in the very early stages of writing, somewhere in the middle of chapter 12 to be exact, and about a family of witches who take in a girl who’s coven was eradicated for yet unknown reasons. The girl’s family was very powerful, so they are all cautious and scared about what she might be capable of and things get even trickier when she and the youngest son of the family perform a (forbidden) binding spell that ties them together forever. It starts from her childhood on and is told from other people’s POV but is meant to ultimately turn into her own POV as soon as she’s an adult. (I am working on a pitch that will make it sound more interesting – promise!)

Do you plot things out and/or outline, or just figure it out as you write?

I am someone who very much enjoys figuring out things as I go along, but for this one I have to plan ahead a little bit, because I am terrible with timelines and WILL mess them up if given the chance (Arcadia is living testimony of that).

What are some book ideas you want to write in the future?

FUTURE!? I have three unfinished WIPs and one finished one that needs desperate editing. I am going to try my best to stick to the current things before getting new ideas. However … one day I would like to write a contemporary YA book about a girl from Europe who goes on an exchange semester in the US (write about what you know and whatnot).

Out of the characters you’ve written so far, who are your favourites?

This is like asking a parent to pick a favourite child – HOW DARE YOU! But … if I must … I love my little confused but rational wolf girl aka Kasia from Arcadia.

What’s your writing routine, if any? (ie. snacks, music, time of day, location, etc.)

No real routine comes to mind when I think about me writing. I do prefer to have music on, sometimes even putting certain songs on repeat for certain chapters, but I have also had days where I needed complete silence. I’d say it all depends

Show your WIP’s aesthetic in images or words (or both)!

I think this might just be the project I have the least visual idea of, but here you go:

Bonus aesthetics for the other WIPs:

Arcadia
Dreamer
Break Up Buddy

What (or who) motivates you to write?

Honestly, it’s just everyone who ever read a snippet (or more) of my work and told me they liked it. Every single person who got invested in the fate of my characters. By now, that group of people I trust to share my projects with has grown far bigger than I initially thought possible and I hope you all know who you are because you are the best!!!

What do you find is the easiest part about writing? The hardest?

Easiest – having that scene in your head that needs to get written down no matter what. It’s okay if it doesn’t turn out right, but you just need to let the words out. I adore those moments because I have such a clear mental image of what I want to say.

Hardest – just generally sticking with a project, seeing it through when the going gets tough and you might get stuck at certain parts of the story.

What genre will you never try, and why?

It’s very unlikely that I will ever write historical fiction, because I hate research and doing those kind of stories without research is just … strange.

Share a tiny (or large) snippet/excerpt of your writing, if you’re comfortable!

This is the entire opening chapter if you like a real glimpse:

And here are two very random bits:

I hope you enjoyed those snippets! Definitely let me know what you think!

MY QUESTIONS

So, I am not sure I got this right, but I am also supposed to create 10 questions? Am I supposed to answer them myself as well? Does the next person only answer mine? Since I am confusion and I really like the questions I found on Beth’s tag, I am going to pass those on to the people I’ll tag.

I TAG THEE

Marie | Caro | The Orang-utan Librarian | Rami | WHOEVER WANTS TO DO THIS TAG

What are your thoughts on this? Did you enjoy another sneak peek into my writing life? Let’s chat about it in the comments!

Writing Life: Sharing Your Work in Progress

I’ve hinted at maybe doing a post about the ups and downs of sharing your work in progress in my NaNoWriMo update from last week, so I hope you are up for some insights on this topic! First off, I want to start by pointing out that I don’t mean to say that everyone should share their WIPs, whether it be in public or in private. I understand that not every writer feels comfortable, ready or willing to share their story in the early stages and that is perfectly alright! You do you and always follow your gut! This is just my personal experience.

              

Writing was always a lonely task to me. Of course, I got to meet all these wonderful characters for the first time and they miraculously somehow came from my brain, which was always incredibly hard to believe. I feel pure excitement whenever I dive into a new story, but at the same time I just want to share that with SOMEONE out there. Every time, I kept a story to myself, I started to procrastinate hard at some point until I was lacking motivation to continue at all. This is clearly an issue concerning lack of discipline on my part, but I found a way to counteract that by sharing my work as I go along with friends, family and sometimes even strangers. And when I say I share my work, I am not talking official beta readers or critique partners, but just people who may or may not comment on what they just read. Obviously, as I mentioned in my opening statement, this is not for everyone so here are a couple pros and cons of the experience:

THE PROS

  • The absolute best motivation I have ever found to continue writing is the constant encouragement of strangers as well as friends who have read and loved my words. They want to know how the story continues, so I want to keep providing them with entertainment and answers to questions as well as new mysteries as I go along. I truly adore everyone who has ever taken the time to read what I have written. It’s not perfect and I appreciate that they stuck with me nonetheless.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to stay objective as a writer. I encourage all my readers to give me suggestions if they notice something that isn’t quite right and I have realised that my first instinct is to get defensive (but that’s the beauty of being online, you don’t have to respond asap and that feeling can go away), but then I can see the value in having a fresh set of eyes on my writing. You don’t HAVE to take all their suggestions into account, that’s not the point of it all, but it’s good to hear different opinions.

THE CONS

  • Sharing your work publicly involves a lot of trust, so you have to find a way that makes you feel safe in the process. There are various platforms that allow you to share your stories to a broader audience, like wattpad, where I uploaded all my current chapters for Arcadia and Dreamer (click on the titles to read the stories). There are guidelines among the community members that forbid copying content, but obviously nothing is ever foolproof. My current #witchyWIP isn’t on there, not because I have made bad experiences, but simply because I didn’t want to share it with all the world for now, but rather an exclusive circle of friends. I chose Google Docs for that, as it still allows people to comment and has great options for security purposes. It’s just a matter of finding the right platform that works for YOU!
  • Waiting for someone to read your work and actually react to it can be torture! People have lives and they don’t just wait in front of a screen to read my very random story updates. However, the longer the wait to hear from just about anyone is, the more the questions start to plague my mind – What if no one likes it? What if they don’t feel like they can tell me if they don’t like it? What if I shouldn’t have written that part? What if … None of that necessarily has to reflect on your story though. Sometimes it’s just a matter of lack of time and it’s also difficult to hold a reader’s interest if you don’t continue the story regularly. Like, I completely understand that some people might not want to wait a month for a new chapter.

In the end it all comes down to what feels right for you as a writer. Maybe you don’t want share your work until you’ve reached draft 15, but maybe you need that encouragement and interest from the outside to get through writing draft 1. Whichever type you are, I just know that I personally love nothing more than getting reactions be it in comments, people screaming at me in my DMs (always welcome by the way) or just sending me gifs and aesthetics for chapters. It’s what keeps me going and that’s why I am so grateful for all the people who take the time to read my work!


This is it from my little writing insight this time! Do you sometimes share your unfinished work? How are you all doing on your WIPs? Who is still going strong on their NaNo project? Let’s chat!

Writing Life: Switching Between Ideas

It has literally been over a year since I’ve last used this feature or the previous version that was Writing Insights on the blog. While I have created a couple of write tags, I’ve given very little insight into my writing process and struggles I am facing lately. So, I am here today to talk about how I cope with several story ideas swarming my head, even when I want to focus on one of them alone. I feel like this topic isn’t just applicable for writers though, but also for bloggers who have a gazillion post ideas.

SHOULD YOU SWITCH BETWEEN IDEAS?

I don’t think there is any one way to answer this question. Some people need structure and focus to work on a single project, others need the rush of multitasking to get things done. Everyone is different and that’s a good thing. However, I can’t help but feel a little guilty for choosing to work on newer and shinier projects once the going gets hard on old favourites. Is it my fault for being so easily distracted or is it healthy to get things out of the way that seem to cloud your judgment and motivation for what you’ve been working on thus far?

Let me give you an example! As many of you know, I have been working on my story Arcadia (details about it here) for several years now. I may not be the fastest writer, I may not even do the best job I could with this first draft, but I am being the most dedicated I could be. At least that’s what I thought. As of late, my thoughts have become increasingly occupied by what I skillfully dubbed the #witchyWIP for now. I didn’t have a plot idea, I barely even had names for the characters, but these random scenes just kept invading my mind over and over until I wrote them down.

Here’s the first chapter/prologue that came as a result from that:

And after that, I just couldn’t really stop? I didn’t have answers to the questions I was asking myself with this story, but I sure as heck wanted to find out where it was all going. While I am usually very much a pantser for all my projects, I found myself outlining what could be (even though I am sure it’s not nearly as detailed or coordinated as other people do their outlines) and making notes in all my notebooks and on my phone whenever inspiration struck. So, while I still love Arcadia, Kasia and Dyson and everyone in the story very much, I just can’t seem to focus on that particular story right now. Does that mean I am going to abandon it altogether? Of course not! It’s a story I very much intend to finish and since I was going at snail-speed anyway, it doesn’t seem like it would make too much of a difference if I jotted down a couple scenes for something new in the meantime. Still, the guilt remains

For now, I have decided to just go with the flow and continue to write for whatever story idea I feel most inspired to work on. With everything that is going on outside of blogging, we will see how much time and energy I will have in the weeks to come anyway. But I would like to hear from you fellow bloggers and writers:

Do you get distracted by newer and shinier ideas as well sometimes? How do you balance wanting to explore something fresh, while continuing to work on your old projects at the same time? Do you get things done or gradually forget about what you previously worked on once a new idea comes to mind? I would love to discuss this topic with you in the comments below! 

The Life Choices Write Tag

I said I would do a new Write Tag this month and for once I am really keeping my promise! If you have missed previous installments of this very irregular feature, you can check out the posts for the Winter Is Here, Valentine’s Day and Milestones Write Tag by clicking on their titles. You are also more than welcome to join in if you haven’t yet! I have once again tried to steer clear of seasonal tags, because I want people to be able and do them whenever they feel like and am therefore happy to present the Life Choices Write Tag! It’s all about those little moments in life that define us and in this case hopefully our characters. Let’s get to know them better!

Once again, I will be doing this tag myself by answering the questions with my WIP (Work in Progress) ArcadiaWhile I have made some important decisions (like it is definitely going to be a duology and not a stand-alone), there’s still loads of work to do. The heat has made it a little tough to think straight, so I haven’t really been working on it. I am hoping this tag will motivate me again.

RULES

  • Thank the person who tagged you but also link back to the original post(I want to see all your lovely answers, people!)
  • Provide a short description of your WIP/story!
    Kasia and Dyson have known each other their entire lives, their paths intertwining at every crossroad. So forgetting he ever existed doesn’t make any sense to Kasia and neither does finding out about the magical beings that took him away from her. Now, with the help of some allies with motives of their own, she will do everything she can to get him back, not knowing if either one of them will ever be the same after all is said and done.
    You can check out this post to find out more about Arcadia!
  • This is pretty focused on main characters but don’t hesitate to use several characters for the answers if you want to! (We want to get to know as many of your characters as possible)

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Where does your main character (MC) live? Were they born there or did they move to that place?

Kasia and Dyson moved to Vancouver together after they both finished university. Their families live in Ontario, but it’s not really an issue for them. First it’s not an insurmountable distance if you want to see them for holidays and second, they felt it was more important to start someplace new get trapped in their old routines after graduation.

Does your MC have a dream career? What (if anything) stops them from pursuing it?

Dyson’s greatest dream was to become a sort of mix between Indiana Jones and Noah Flynn from the Librarian movies. His knack for studying, but also outdoor adventure ultimately did lead to him becoming an archaeologist. The actual excavation sites are not nearly as exciting as the movies made them look, but he soon found himself gravitating towards teaching and jobs at museums anyway. (So, in short, he pursued his dream career and ended up loving it!)

Did any of your characters ever go against their parents/family’s wishes? How did that change their relationship?

Well, Dyson did when he didn’t find a “reasonable” job in his family’s eyes. They came around eventually and never truly held it against him, especially since Kasia went the more sensible route and became an accountant. That way not both of them had precarious jobs, but it still elicits the occasional eye roll at family gatherings.

If faced with their greatest fear – would your MC try to overcome it or run the other way?

Kasia’s greatest fear (aside from loosing Dyson) are heights, which I can very much relate to. As long as someone (again, preferable Dyson) is there to hold her hand though, she’ll at least always try.

Did any character have to cut a person out of their life? Why?

If I may refer everyone to chapter 9 of Arcadia … I don’t even feel like I should talk about this again. I’ve made a lot of people sad with that one. (Click here to read Arcadia if you haven’t yet, but want to.)

What is your main character’s biggest regret?

I shared an aesthetic the last time, of a little road trip (that probably won’t make it into the book) and I think there is a certain kind of regret involved with not actually going through with it, especially since it’s so uncertain if they will be able to now.

Which character is most likely going to help a stranger, even if they got nothing out of it in return?

This is someone a lot of you don’t know at all or at least not very well yet, but Casper would be my answer. I wanted to say Findlay at first, but I want to give some recognition to Casper too. He has a hard shell but a soft inside. He would never get a “most friendly” award, but if someone actually needed help, I don’t doubt that he would show up.

If your character got good/bad news, who would be the person they first tell?

Kasia and Dyson would call each other and after that Robyn. Georgie would call Fin, although I am not 100% sure he would call her first in return. I am really looking forward to figuring out who Leo would call. Haven’t found an answer yet though.

BONUS: Make an aesthetic for your MCs life if there had been no obstacles (money, geographical, etc.) and they had everything they wanted. (It is up to you if you want to explain it or not!)

I am going to leave this open for interpretation for now, but give me your best guess in the comments!

I TAG THEE

I hope you liked the tag and if you did, please don’t hesitate to spread the word!!! People have so many stories in them and I hope this helps them get to know their characters.

Valentine’s Day Write Tag!

It’s time for another tag for writers! Since the Winter Is Here one worked quite well, I thought I’d do one for the upcoming Valentine’s Day as well. As per usual, I will be answering my own questions with the characters from Arcadia (more about that here) and hope you’ll enjoy!

RULES

  • Thank the person who tagged you but also link back to the original post(I want to see all your lovely answers, people!)
  • Provide a short description of your WIP/story!
    Kasia and Dyson have known each other their entire lives, their paths intertwining at every crossroad. So forgetting he ever existed doesn’t make any sense to Kasia and neither does finding out about the magical beings that took him away from her. Now, with the help of some allies with motives of their own, she will do everything she can to get him back, not knowing if either one of them will ever be the same after all is said and done.
    You can check out this post to find out more about Arcadia!
  • Don’t use just one character for all answers if possible!

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

If there is a couple in your WIP, what are their plans for Valentine’s Day? And if there is no couple in your WIP, is there someone your main character would like to spend Valentine’s Day with?

Dyson and Kasia are a couple and whenever they spent Valentine’s Day together, they’d have breakfast in bed with fresh strawberries and chocolate banana pancakes (which Dyson cooked). There were no special plans during the day, but they always made sure to get each other a ridiculously non-romantic Valentine’s Day card and have a quiet dinner together as well.

Who has no shame about going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day alone?

I think Findlay couldn’t care less about what other people think. I doubt he’d actually get a table at a restaurant, but he isn’t too aware of other people’s pitiful stares and such.

One of your characters requests a song on the radio for their crush! Which song and for which character would they pick it?

This is cheesiness only Dyson could plan for Kasia.

Is there a character who would organise an Anti-Valentine’s Day party?

Georgie would happily organise a party like that, because she don’t need no man/woman/society-forcing-a-construct-on-her-for-what-to-do-with-her-life. Galentine’s Day is her jam instead.

What romantic gesture would swoon your main character?

Hands down, Dyson had the best of best gifts for Kasia when he gave her a personalised leather-bound notebook. He wrote a heartfelt inscription for her on the first page and had her name and a favourite quote engraved on the outside. He is such a good boyfriend, I swear I would steal him away from her if I could.

Which character would buy a bunch of red roses and hand them out to strangers on the street, just to make their day?

This is something Leo, my precious darling, would definitely do. He has the best of hearts and even if he doesn’t have a sweetheart himself, it wouldn’t stop him from spreading the love with others. Also, who could say no to this cutie?

What are your main character’s favourite Valentine’s movies? (Note: Valentine’s movies don’t have to be romantic!)

Those are Kasia’s picks, but Dyson likes them too and if he says otherwise he is lying, because he is a big mushy softie inside.

Who is ready for the February 15th, just to get all the chocolate on sale?

Kasia, because chocolate.

Is there a character who never spends Valentine’s Day alone aka always has some sort of date?

From the top of my head, I can’t really think of anyone, but maybe Robyn. She strikes me as the kind of person who doesn’t like to be by herself a lot. Which is fine, you know, but some things you have to do yourself. Thankfully, Valentine’s Day is not one of those things.

Bonus: Create a Valentine’s Day aesthetic for one or several of your characters!

Even though Georgie may not celebrate Valentine’s Day with someone, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t treat herself!

I TAG THEE

I hope you liked the tag and if you did, please, spread the word!!! I know I cut it close to Valentine’s Day, but maybe there’s still some people out there who’d like to do the tag.

Winter Is Here Write Tag!

Guys, I am nervous! This is the first time I am making my own tag and I really just hope you will enjoy it. First things first, how did I get the idea to make this Winter Is Here Write Tag? Well, well, back in October I got tagged for the All Hallows Write Tag and I had so much fun with it. I don’t remember ever getting the chance to answer a tag with my own characters before, so I figured we needed more of that in the blogosphere. Let’s dive into what I cooked up!

RULES

  • Thank the person who tagged you but also link back to the original post(I want to see all your beautiful answers, people!)
  • Provide a short description of your WIP/story!
    (Just copying that from the other tag because I am terrible at pitching my own story …) It’s about a couple having to find their way back to each other after some magical beings messed with their lives (aka kidnapped the boyfriend into another world). Getting tangled up in an ancient struggle for power, they have to be careful to not get sucked in too deep before it is too late.
    I am working on that pitch. It’s not at all where I want it to be yet. You can check out the first 10+ chapters here if you are interested. They are a much better representation of the story.
  • Don’t use the same character for more than 3 answers!

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Which protagonist is most likely to break into Christmas song first? Bonus: What song?

Georgie always feels like a showgirl to me and I can definitely just see her singing randomly during the day, not even noticing that she switched from regular songs to Christmas ones.

It’s the first snow of the season, who would immediately book a ticket to a hot beach location?

Again, Georgie would probably prefer not having to deal with the cold in the city and rather spend it at some luxurious beach resort. Since she doesn’t have the actual money though, it’s not like she’s really going to go anywhere.

Which character believed in Santa (or a mystical equivalent) for the longest time?

Just thinking about how easily Kasia trusted in Georgie and Findlay, how easily she could accept the whole magic-is-real-and-you-have-been-cursed-situation, I just feel like she had that innocent belief in herself the longest.

Who is most likely to build a blanket fort and go into hibernation with books, Netflix and tea/hot cocoa/coffee?

This basically screams Kasia! Our girl would never pass up on tea to begin with and the coziness is like her essence of her being.

Image source: Clover Kate

Who would be the first to start a snowball fight and then get really competitive about it?

Alaya, while she can be soft when she wants to be, is more of a confrontational and competitive type in her “work life”. So, I could see her build an entire snow fortress and be all strategic about something as essentially non-important as a snowball fight.

Who buys their Christmas presents super last minute?

This gentleman right here may have something sweet planned for his one true love, but Dyson would definitely wing the presents for most people in his life.

There’s a local snowman competition, who would be the best sculptor? What would they build?

In my head Findlay has an artistic gene but since he doesn’t do anything just for fun, he would want to wow the judges with whatever he created. Since he’s not always as up to date as he likes to think, I can imagine him attempting an Olaf look-alike (from Frozen).

Image result for olaf snowman real

If someone were to organize a Secret Santa event, who would it be?

My dear Kasia hates responsibility, but she’d rather do something herself than see someone else do it “the wrong way”. She might snap at someone at some point and get super stressed and worried about people not having gifts for their assigned partners, but she will organize it (even if it will be the death of her).

Someone refuses to leave the house unless strictly necessary because of the cold. Who is it?

Arcadia, at least the part she lives in, is mostly warm all year round. I have the inkling of a feeling that Alaya wouldn’t appreciate the cold.

Who puts style before comfort and would rather freeze in fashionable clothes than be warm but not on trend? Bonus: Add a winter aesthetic for the character!

Georgie is my Queen of Style. Her – 100% her!

I TAG THEE

I hope you liked this tag and will spread the word! I would really love to read what other people have to say about their characters!

The Writer’s Tag

I saw this over on Michelle @The Writing Hufflepuff’s blog and it just looked like so much fun that I totally stole the Writer’s Tag and did it myself. I hope you guys enjoy!

What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

I feel like most writers get the advice to write about the things they know and I constantly disregard that. I just write about whatever comes to me and I can’t really say I’ve found myself in many of these situations. In terms of genre I dabble in contemporary, fantasy and even a little bit of sci-fi (considering the last 3 projects I started). Magical realism and fantasy in general is my one true love though.

How long have you been writing?

Ever since I learned how to write? In grade school I had to read my stories out loud in front of the class and my teachers always told me that I was so creative. I never really wrote with any sort of regularity, but I did always come back to making up stories and showing them to my friends. Most of them were rubbish in hindsight, but I was proud of them back then and my friends seemed to like them, so I think that encouraged me.

Why do you write?

I loved Michelle’s answers for this question! I agree with all her reasons, but I think for me it is mostly because I HAVE to. There are these stories in my head and my thoughts just keep coming back to it on and on and on. If I don’t write them down, they’ll most likely haunt me forever.

When is the best time to write?

Whenever I am not exhausted and feel inspired/motivated. As soon as my brain feels tired or foggy, there is just no can do. If I am awake and ready, the time of the day doesn’t matter.

What parts of writing do you love and hate?

LOVE

  • The feeling when you can let your characters say all the things you can never get out in real life.
  • When the characters start to develop their own life and choices and even as the author, you have no way of changing their decisions now.
  • Days when the words just keep spilling out and it feels like the most effortless and beautiful thing to do.

HATE

  • When you discover a massive plot hole that you don’t know how to fix, now or ever.
  • General staring at the page for hours, because words refuse to come to you.
  • That dilemma when you want something to happen, but it doesn’t serve the story/character but you still have to write the alternative.
  • The worst for me are the days where I know exactly what I want to happen in the scene/chapter but my brain does not compute and I can’t think about anything else, but unfortunately words still don’t transfer from my head to my laptop.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

Believe me, if I knew, my projects would be done way sooner. I just don’t write until I write again.

Are you working on something at the moment?

ARCADIA! My passion project, my baby, my super annoying non-obedient brainchild! I wish I could eloquently explain what it is about, but for some reason, I am really bad at doing that. So, bear with me!

It’s about a girl who’s boyfriend got kidnapped by magical creatures and now they have to find their way back to each other. That’s it … in short. Please, just read it by clicking here! There is nothing I love more than reading reactions/comments on the story. It makes my day all the time and quite honestly is the best way to keep me motivated to write more.

What are your writing goals this year?

Finish Arcadia and preferably also start editing it. I love this story, but I just feel like it needs to get done this year. I’ve been carrying it with me for a little bit too long now.

I TAG THEE

Whoever of my lovely writing friends wants to do this!