I’m back at university, friends! I had my first day of classes, which is always a bit of a shock to the system after a break, but it went well! And to really kick off the blogging in 2017, I am joining in the Beautiful Books linkup hosted by Cait and Skye.

Let’s get started, shall we?

1. What were your writing achievements last year?

To be completely honest, last year was a pretty rough year all around. I had a lot going on, and university took up a large majority of my time and energy. I was so burnt out and busy that when I did have time to write, I often didn’t, because writing took brain power that I simply didn’t have to spare. So, not much was achieved in the way of words on paper or words typed, but I did write a few short stories and work on the rough draft of a novel, and I did some editing.

2. What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?

I need to finish off several pieces for a creative writing portfolio that I have to submit in order to take a really cool creative writing seminar that I want to get into next year. The portfolio is due in February, and not much work happened on it over the Christmas break, so we’ll see how that goes. It sounds like a pretty competitive course, so I’m not sure I will get accepted, but here’s to hoping and hard work!

In terms of year-long goals, I hope to re-visit edits on the still-untitled Emily Knight novel, and finish the first draft of Sidekick/Hero.

3. Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!

This is kind of the same as my to-do list. I have several short (very short) stories to polish up, and several novels sitting waiting for me to write them. 😀

4. How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?

I always hope to become a better storyteller the more writing I do. Specifically this year, I want to improve my story structures and plots. By the end of 2017 I would like to have a draft of a novel that I feel has a great overall plot and solid structure, even if the surface is a typo-ridden waffle.

5. Describe your general editing process.

I generally edit by re-reading my whole piece of work to remind myself of what I actually wrote, and compare my mental impression and sparse notes from that re-read to what I actually intended to write.

Then I go through all the scenes I have and ask myself if they are helping the story along towards the climax, or if they need to be moved or deleted or changed, and I also ask myself if any new scenes need to be added in.

Sometimes this means that I end up starting a new word document and completely re-writing the story once I have a better idea of how I want it to flow.

I basically repeat that process until I either:

a) feel satisfied with the story

b) never want to think about that story ever again (i.e. it’s not worth the time and effort)

c) run out of time and have to return to *real* life AKA I go back to school/uni

6. On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?

Seeing as I didn’t do NaNoWriMo this November because I like to keep up my impression of a vaguely human person, it either went great or terrible! Either way, it doesn’t exist. So we’re just going to skip over the next few questions about the novel I didn’t write and jump straight to…

10. What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?

My top advice for those writing a first draft is: don’t be afraid to make mistakes! The first draft is never perfect, and that is ok. The most important thing for first drafts is to get all your ideas and words out onto the paper. Then you can start to work with them to make your rough draft into a smooth draft.

 

Do you have a writing goal or a goal for one of your other hobbies/passions for 2017? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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