shanti · writing

Beautiful People, Author Edition

Hi Virtually Readers! I’m a writer as well as a reader, and at the moment I’m busy writing the first draft of my novel lighter places. I’m 40k words in (!) and feeling good about it (like good in the sense that the plot totally sucks and I need to change everything) Anyway, Beautiful People is a linkup for writers, hosted by Cait @Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. This month, the questions are not about our books but about ourselves as writers. SCARY.


How do you decide which project to work on?

I mean, so far with novel-sized projects I’ve only had time in the summers, so just whatever then. But in the next six-eight months, I have more time, so I have to make some calls. Anyway, in general I try to shift between chasing those plot bunnies and editing what I have already.

How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

I mean, so far I haven’t got any novel to the point where I could say that it’s finished. But I like the idea of Nano style drafting (what I’m doing at the moment, actually, with some of my own adjustments) and…I haven’t really figured out editing yet. With short stories, it depends (for example if it’s for a class project it’ll be faster), but working sporadically, short stories which I do for fun amidst other commitments take about three months (and lots of feedback from others) until I’m happy.

Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

Apart from opening my laptop, not really. I guess I like to put on some nice music, like a musical soundtrack, quiet acoustic based songs, or instrumental covers of pop music, and read enough twitter/news that I don’t mind writing for a few hours haha.

What time of day do you write best?

I like to write in the mornings, I think, because the creative stuff takes more focused, and then I sort of have it out of the way and can feel productive for the rest of the day. But I *can* write anytime depending on my schedule.

Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?

Hmm, my natural style is first-person present tense. I remember thinking that I was sort of similar to Rachel Hartman when I read Seraphina and Shadow Scale last year, but I can’t remember why…. I don’t really know who else I’m similar too, because when I read finished books, they’re WAY more polished than what I write.

Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?

I guess I started writing because I wanted to create stories like the ones I loved. Most of these involved cliched generic fantasy plots that were never finished haha. I keep writing, because there are stories that don’t exist yet, stories which I think are important, and that I’m qualified to tell them (for whatever reason)

What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?

There was this short story called Draconian which I finished this year, which was really hard to do well, and as it is, I still think I want to create a fourth draft so I can feel happier about it. I’ve also been trying to write this short play, tentatively titled Coming Into Money, because I think plays are really fun to write (I had to do one for Creative Writing class), but every single character believes something different about the other characters, so I haven’t figured out the details yet, so I”m only a few thousand words in.

Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?

Yes. It’s about loss. And that’s all I want to say about it for now.

What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?

I just went and looked at them, and the goals were ‘write short stories’ (done), ‘and poetry’ (yes), ‘work on Lighter Places and Entreaty’ (yes to the former, no to the latter), ‘write essays’ (not yet…that is I started one, but I haven’t quite found the perfect lense yet. I have read some books of essays though! I also wrote some essays I’m really proud of for school), and ‘keep thinking’ (I certainly have.) The goals were intentionally vague, but anyway, these are my writing plans for the rest of the year: July: finish first draft of Lighter Places. August: work on short pieces. September: Outline the fantasy trilogy that I had the idea for while on holiday (that is, it’s an idea based on a previous idea, but you know). November: NaNoWriMo the first book of said trilogy. *At some point*: edit Entreaty. I want to get it into a state where I”m comfortable with others reading it, which will require some research and a lot of plot restructure, which I sort of know the gist of. I initially thought that this would be a light edit, but there are SO MANY issues which I didn’t really fix in the second draft, so yeah, I just have to suck it up and do that. If I don’t have time, the light edit will happen, but it’s hard to see the point when the plot sucks so absolutely. Anyway, hopefully by the end of the year I can find some critique partners (several of my family members have volunteered already) and do that. And I’ll keep writing poetry as well.

Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!

I can’t be bothered to find a gif, so: Write, then worry. (the worrying usually leads to ideas which help me fix it. At least, that’s the idea)

Sorry this post is so long, lol, I clearly love to talk about myself. So, do you write? What’s something you’re proud of writing? (blog posts or essays for school or even tweets totally count)

17 thoughts on “Beautiful People, Author Edition

  1. Congrats on how well you’re doing with your writing goals! I love writing as well, but it’s been pretty dismal for me lately. I also really enjoy writing in the mornings, and they’ve been taken over by my commute times 😦 have to get up at 5:30 and I really can’t wake up any earlier than that, even to write T-T Fortunately, I’ve been reworking the plot of an old WiP that seems like the first actually reasonable novel I’ve written, and it’s been a lot of fun. This article was pretty inspiring actually πŸ˜€ planning time this weekend to get back to it. (And I love that you write in so many different formats. Have been meaning to try out poetry, and I’ve been learning to enjoy short stories).


    1. Thank you, Eli! I’m sorry about your comute times–I often wake up at 5:30, but it would be pretty horrible to have to get up earlier than that. It’s always nice to find something good in an old thing you’ve written–I hope your re-plotting goes well! I enjoy writing so much, it’s all worth it. Short stories and poetry are just so much fun!


  2. It sounds like you’ve been busy! I think writing in the style of Seraphina would be cool. And it’s also impressive when you consider you’re tackling a play. I don’t know where I’d begin with one of those. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have, I’m kind of exhausted (but in a good way). I am so close to finishing my draft of Lighter Places. It’s just a short play and I’m the most confused character of all (which is saying something, because one of them is delusional) I remember thinking I write like Seraphina, but I don’t remember why, lol.


  3. The length of this post was grand, it wasn’t too long.

    I think it’s great that you’ve written 40k words! It makes me want to write more often.


    1. I’m glad that it suited you, Grace, haha. It’s such a luxury to be able to have the time to write–I hope you find some time for it. (psst, there’s this great site called ‘’ for teen writers if you want to seek feedback and have prompts to write to)


  4. I love your answer for #6. It is so true that there are a lot of stories that still need to be written! We always need more books!!!!! (Wait, did I just say that? It’s not like there are already ten million hours worth of reading material to fit into the space of every five minutes for the rest of our lives…) But I still think there are stories bursting out of everywhere that NEED to be written and if we can’t find time to read them we will suffer but that is our problem. Good luck on your novel!


    1. Books are totally vital. If my library borrowing history is anything to go by, I have the same problem as you. I love your phrase ‘stories bursting out of everywhere’; that’s a great way to think about it. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. OH I love this post so much, it was nice to get to know the writer a bit! I’m terrified of editing as well ahah I am so dreading this part ahah πŸ™‚ Best of luck for your story πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I definitely don’t have a set time for writing either! I just do it when I stop procrastinating haha. Sometimes I put on instrumental music??? And sometimes I don’t. I end up tuning out music when I write so I’m like what’s the point??? πŸ˜‚


    1. That’s the best time to write for sure. Procrastination is the writers biggest enemy. I tune out anything with words, so sadly if I put on a musical or rap I’ll just ignore it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh I love your answer to #4! Mostly everyone says “night owl” and I’m like WRITE AT ALL THE HOURS! I feel most fresh/full of ideas in the morning too. :’) (Also Rachel Hartman is AWESOME, so you have a good role model there.) Also “Write, then worry” seems like a great idea. πŸ˜‚

    I’m so glad you joined in the linkup!! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰


    1. I just love writing in the mornings. Rachel Hartman is amazing, if I can be a little like her, I’ll be happy. I do like the ‘write, then worry’ line myself. Thanks for hosting the linkup!


  8. I’ve read “Seraphina”! I haven’t touched the book for ages, but I still remember the part at the beginning that goes something like, “There was no light, but there was music.”

    I finished a flash CNF piece for homework for my English class today. It was surrounding a loss, so I can completely relate to your response about not being ready to write about yours yet. I am very proud of the piece, but I know I don’t want it published because it’s so personal.

    Good luck with your works-in-progress! Keep going πŸ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should reread Seraphina, it’s an excellent book. Ooh, your flash piece sounds interesting. I don’t feel like I deserve to write the loss piece yet. Have a great writing august, Tiegan!


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