Beautiful Books #2 // NaNo 2015

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Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
 I’m…not sure. It’s taking so long to move between major scenes. It’s 90% arguing between two characters, 8% flashbacks, and 2% explanation over what is actually happening to them.
What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
I left off mid-chapter last year and had to pick up right in the middle of things, so this might not make much sense:
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
I always think I’m a plotter before I start (see this post!), but then I quickly find out how vague my plots are once I start. I set up points A, B, and C, but I don’t explain how they get from point A to point B and so forth. Most of NaNo is just them trying to get to one point to the other, with lots of arguments, flashbacks, and unexpected problems around along the way that I think up on the spot. So I guess I’m both a plotter and  a pantser! (And it’s turning out pretty well.)
What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
Lately, I’ve been rewarding myself with reading! For some reason, my reading slump decided to end when November hit. OF COURSE. So I’ve been sneaking in a few chapters of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell once I’ve hit my writing goal for the day.
What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
For this WIP, all of my names come from cities/towns in Missouri! It has nothing to do with the plot, but I’ve lived in Missouri my entire life so it’s a way for me to celebrate the place that I’m from. It also really speeds up the naming process, which is great for a NaNo project. Even my locations and vegetation are named after cities in Missouri. 
And it works out, because since it’s an alternate universe and primitive setting, I don’t want to give my characters common names like Jessica, but I don’t want it to be something crazy like Lokothivaitan. So something like Rolla or Festus or Center really works well.
What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
Definitely not middle! This whole portion that I’m writing for this month is the middle, and it is dragging. Ugh! I might like to write endings, but it seems that I never actually get that far. I love writing the very beginning, and then rising action. I think conflict and the beginning of the rising action is my favorite.
 Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
I miss Rolla, my leopard. She hasn’t been in any of my scenes yet this year! I was looking forward to writing Elayer, but he’s really starting to get on my nerves (I am finding out more about his backstory, though, which makes me like him just a tiny bit more). I think Festus might be my current favorite, because I feel sorry for him. I like Ava, but I’m still trying to figure her out. She’s my most dynamic and elusive character. E doesn’t have a lot of personality, even though it’s from her perspective.
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?!)
I’ve been trying to hammer out this rough draft, which means little attention paid to portraying facts correctly and writing everything perfectly. 
A few things I’ve looked up: list of cities in Missouri, the definition of “bray”
Some things I’ll have to look up eventually:  the effects and development of acid rain, converting the imperial system to metric system (my characters live on a fictional universe and even though I use the imperial system, I think it’s weird that they use it. I’ll probably convert everything to metric later on, then hopefully develop a unique system for their world…eventually), the proper techniques of throwing a spear
Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?
I write better alone, but I also like having writing buddies. My writing buddies are all online, though, so it works out. I snoop at their word counts every few hours and it helps motivate me to catch up. =)
What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? 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 don’t eat anything specific, but I like to have some chocolate nearby. And caffiene! I make a NaNo playlist every year, but I end up just listening to Taylor Swift albums (or just “Out of the Woods” on repeat). They don’t really set the right mood for the story, but for some reason they help me get a lot of words down. Maybe it’s the upbeat tempo? I try to write throughout the day, but usually I can’t get into a good stride until after 10 PM. All of my ideas crawl out of their slumber then. 

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