Renee Conoulty: Beautiful Books #3 - a link-up for writers


Monday, 7 December 2015

Beautiful Books #3 - a link-up for writers

Hey Everyone!

I don't usually participate in memes and linkys, but I thought this one looked like fun. It's designed to chat about your NaNo project, but can work for whatever manuscript you're working on. If you want to join in, answer the following questions then link up your post at Paper Fury or Further Up Further In. This is part three. I haven't participated in part one or two, I'm playing by my own rules. 

I didn't participate in NaNo this November, but I did start a novel for Camp NaNoWriMo in July, so I'll tell you about that one.

On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), how did the book turn out? Did anything defy your expectations?
I haven't quite finished writing the first draft yet, so I'm not ready to give it a score. It has completely defied my expectations though, since I never expected to ever attempt to write a novel, but here I am, doing it.

Comparative title time: what published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men.)
I can't think of any. I guess that could be a good thing though. I have slipped a Dirty Dancing reference in, and the movie and my book both have dancing, but that's about where the similarity ends.

Do you enjoy working with deadlines and pressure (aka NaNoWriMo)? Or do you prefer to write-as-you’re-inspired?
I don't like too much pressure, but I like to set my own goals to work towards. 50,000 words in a month seemed out of my reach unless I neglected my family, so I prefer to create my own more flexible deadlines that help me keep my life balanced. I try to write something everyday, even if it's only 100 words. If I sat around waiting for inspiration, that would only ever occur at the most inconvenient times and I would never get anything done.

How do you go about editing? Give us an insight into your editing process.
I haven't started editing yet. Some people edit as they go. I'm trying to get the first draft all down before I edit, but I do go back and make notes about things I know will need changing, so that I can let those thoughts go and move forward.

What aspect of your story needs the most work?
At this point, the end, because I haven't written it yet. Then the beginning, because I started writing in third person, then decided to change to first person part way through. Then, well, everything I'm sure.

What aspect of your story did you love the most?
I love the swing dancing scenes. That's the reason I started writing it, I wanted to read a contemporary novel with swing dancing in it but couldn't find one.

Give us a brief run down on your main characters and how you think they turned out. Do you think they’ll need changes in edits?
Both my main characters need a bit more fleshing out. I took a break from writing the novel to write a short story about my female lead so I could get to know her better. That seems to have helped, but I think I might need to do the same with the male lead. I'm not sure if he'll keep his name either.

What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?
Once I finish edits, I'd like to get some feedback from my local writing group who I've only just discovered and haven't actually been to a meeting. I think they will give an unbiased opinion because we're not close friends. I would also like to get some feedback from some friends whose opinions and reading taste I trust. From there, who knows. I might try querying, but I'm not sure if it will have broad enough appeal, so I'm leaning towards self publishing. 

Share a favourite snippet! 
Matt and I spent all weekend together dancing. The horizontal tango, the horizontal lambada, the horizontal... You get the idea. Sunday afternoon came around and Matt retrieved his briefs from the floor and started pulling on his shorts for the fourth time that day. 

"What are you doing?" I pouted.

"Put your clothes back on and lets go down to the jetty."

I didn't want to go swing dancing. I didn't feel ready to face all those people who had witnessed my freak out.  I didn't want to admit that to Matt though. He would be sure to say something encouraging like no one will remember that. Yes they will. Or you gotta get back on your bike. I don't like bikes. Bikes go too fast downhill and they're really heavy to push uphill. I lived on top of a hill when I was a kid, so to go anywhere on my bike, I had to push it, so it was far easier to walk. Emily loved speeding down the hill, but I'm not an adrenaline junky like her. I like to keep my feet firmly on the ground. 

I launched Operation Avoid Swing. I scooted over to the edge of the bed and pulled out the big guns. The DD calibre Weapons of Mass Seduction. I handed Matt his t-shirt, which I'd found slung over the edge of the bed. While he was pulling it over his head, I got myself in position. I stood tall, shoulders back, chest thrust forward. I grasped my left elbow with my right hand, framing my breasts. If cleavage like this didn't stop Matt in his tracks, I didn't know what would. Matt's head popped through the folds of fabric and his eyes locked with mine. 

What are your writing goals and plans for 2016?
I'm planning to have the first draft finished this year so I can start edits in January. I would like to write a few more short stories to hone my writing skills. I have some ideas for the next book, so I'd like to write the first draft of that next year too. I'll be working more hours in my paid job next year, so I will have to set myself a schedule to fit everything in.  I might need to cut back a bit on the blogging and reading if I want to find time for the writing. Since I've already read 271 books this year, I can probably cut back a few. Less books means less reviews and less blogging, so that's probably where I should start.


  1. Hi! I found you through the BB link-up. ^ ^ I used to swing dance when I was a kid, so it's cool to see you writing a book about it. I totally agree that when you write when you're inspired you get nothing done.

    I did Beautiful People too!

    1. Hey Victoria!
      I'm glad you like my idea of writing about swing dancing. It's so much fun and a great way to blend my two passions.
      Coming to check out your blog too.