Friday, January 22, 2016

Beautiful People: January 2016 // Goals

Beautiful People is a monthly linkup for writers hosted by Cait at Paper Fury and Sky at Further Up and Further In. This month's questions relate to writerly resolutions for the New Year.

1. What were your writing achievements last year?
In 2015, I completed two novels and also earned an A- in AP English Language and Composition.

2. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?
My fantasy novel, which I rewrote in 2015, is in need of minor plot fixing and major character and world building. I hope to work on these issues and complete one—if not two—more drafts of this novel in the next year.
3. List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.
-I want to experiment with editing and, hopefully, find a method of editing which works well for me. 
-By the end of the year, I hope to have a better grasp on creating believable and relatable characters.
-I want to further hone my essay writing and nonfiction muscles. I am one of those strange people who loves to plan and write essays, but fine-tuning them and putting together citations makes me panic.
-Like most everyone else, I want to procrastinate less and write more.
-This isn't a writing goal, but it does pertain to the craft: I would love to read more about writing. See question #6 for the writing-related books I hope to read this year.

4. Are you participating in any writing challenges?
Oh, just a little thing called NaNoWriMo. *shrugs*
I might take part in one or both of the Camp NaNoWriMo's as well, depending on whether or not I need motivation to work on my fantasy story.
5. What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
Erm. I don't really have a critique partner or beta reader(s). Right now, my parents are the only ones that read my work before it's finished. I would love to expand my pre-readership, though. When I'm done with the next draft of my fantasy novel I will probably contact some of my friends to read it. Let me know in the comments if you are interested!
6. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research.
Here are three writing-related books that I plan on reading in the next few weeks:
-On Writing Well by William Zinsser.
-The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell.
-Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell.
7. Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?
I did some mild character-building last week and now I'm very excited to work more with my villainous character. He didn't have much motivation or personality in the first two drafts because I didn't know how to portray ruthlessness on paper. After reading several books on Russia during Stalin's reign, however, I have some ideas. Now, I need to work those ideas into draft 3. After that, I hope to know my villain better.
8. Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?
I plan to edit copiously, but don't have any plans for querying this story yet.
9. 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 have been thinking about this question for two days and I still can't think of an answer. I think that with all the different books in the world, and especially with all of the different authors that self-publishing has presented to the world, there is a book for anyone, if one looks hard enough.
I suppose the world can never have enough adventure stories, though.
10. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?
I hope to have a third—and maybe fourth—draft of my fantasy novel finished and, perhaps, a short story collection completed. I would also like this blog to be filled with well-written posts, and for my nonfiction writing skills to improve.

What are some of your goals (writing or not writing related) for 2016?


  1. Hello Abbey, it is my first time here via beautiful people. I LOVE your blog background! how creative!

    I also want to work on my characters! I feel I still don't know my female MC at all! :)

    Glad I'm not the only one that thought Q#9 was hard :)

    Good luck with your goals. I'll be visiting often

    here are my goals:

    1. Nice to meet you, Daniela!
      Good luck with your characters! I had that problem during the first two drafts of my fantasy story. It wasn't until I was nearly finished with draft two that I finally figured out who my male MC was.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Great questions. Speaking of books on writing, have you read Strunk and White's "Elements of Style?" I recently picked it up (it's super short) and planning on giving that one a go.

    As for beta reading, I sent you an email about that. Let me know if you didn't get it. Suffice it to say that I'm interested!

    Thanks for increasing the options on the comment box as well.

    1. It was one of my "textbooks" for my AP writing class, so I've read part of it. What I read was great! Enjoy it. William Zinsser (author of On Writing Well) is a huge fan of White's and quotes him quite a bit.
      I'll check my email. Thanks for letting me know. :)

  3. Those are great goals! It is good that you are setting them. I need to work on setting more goals...

    I would love to beta-read for you. Let me know when you need me.

    1. Goals are great, but I know that different people work differently. If I didn't have a physical to do list, I wouldn't get anything done. You just gotta find what works best for you!
      Thanks, TMG! I'll contact you when I'm ready. Maybe during the summer, so you don't have to worry about it during school?

  4. I think writing stuff down would be good. It would empty my brain a bit.
    Sure, if that works for you. I can't wait!

    1. Writing things down definitely helps to empty the brain and organize thoughts.