Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Beautiful Books #2: Notebook Spawn

So… I’ve seen these linkups before. Thought I might give one a try. If you’ve ever seen Cait from Notebook Sisters or Sky from Further Up and Further In, then you know what they’re up to. I’m new at this. So bear with me.

For the purposes of this particular Beautiful Books bit, I shall be covering my 100-for-100 WIP, which I have called “Notebook Spawn” since its conception, though it doesn’t have much to do with that anymore.

1. Be honest: how is your writing going?

It’s okay. Some days I plug out a thousand words and other days I can barely make it to 100. I’ve never done less than 100, so I’ve been able to stick with it, but this is actually a third draft I’m working on and as far as I’m getting through it, sometimes I have to stop and ask—isn’t it supposed to look good by now?

2. What’s your first sentence/paragraph?

Let’s talk about chimeras.

There’s not many left of them. Seriously, the amount I hear about them you’d think they’re vermin, but no—every year we hear of another one that’s bitten the dust, and my grandmother clucks her tongue and Grandpa sighs and shakes his head. They’re uber-poweroso, too, and have life and death in their hands and all that. The oldest ones began with time itself, and the youngest ones may live to see the end of it. They’re guardians, they’re companions, they’re the heart of all that is holy.

And they have tongues like fiberglass.

3. Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?

Nope. I have neither the artistic skill nor the time. Blah.

4. Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.)

I don’t get pictures of my characters. I never could. I would feel like I was stealing somebody’s face and that bothers me more than anything in this day and age of technology. (Like that Alex who works at Target guy.)

Therefore, my characters, as told by Lindsay:

Lindsay—okay, it’s not my fault. It’s not my fault that everyone at that party got sick, it’s not my fault I got born into this stupid family, it’s not my fault that I forgot to do my chores, and it’s not my fault that I got fat. Grandma bought those chips, guys, not me. So sure, life is in the cycle of suck right now. If there’s like, a prince or somebody who does freelance rescues? Call me. Please. 
Caitlyn—she used to be my best friend. Then she got super sick and almost died and her whole family blamed me, and so now she’s like this complete jerk and I promise, I will punch that knobby nose of hers if it gets in my proximity any time soon. If you were curious, though I don’t know why you would be, since she sucks, she likes vanilla ice cream and finds the best views in Vermont.

Quinn—so he used to be cute before he ended up in the hospital with Caitlyn. Then he was more off limits and pretty in the way that a time bomb is shiny. He’s smart. Nice set of glasses on that guy. But he’s also kind of stubborn in the way that can put centuries of secrecy at risk because of his conceptual belief in freedom and his lack of respect for stuff that isn’t exactly scientific.

Fish Guts—did you read that Corduroy book when you were little? Fish Guts is like that, but gray, and gimpy. Sweetest of the hearts you’ll meet on this planet, but also the one with the most blood on his… well, never mind.

Trilobite—if you like Chinese dragons, you would think Trilobite is super cool, except he’s silver and white, with the littlest bit of blue in those scales. He’s also the one who can talk, so keep an eye out.

Trog—she can’t say her full name, which is Troglobyte, but she’s the only girl so I keep her close. Imported from Egypt. Cat. Overweight. And she has an insatiable crush on Christian Bale. I don’t even know. 
Shard Born—he doesn’t bathe. We think he’s supposed to be an aye-aye from Madagascar or someplace. And… he doesn’t bathe.

(Side Note: Trilobite, Trog, Shard Born, and Fish Guts are chimeras. It’s basically the same kind of concept as gargoyles, but they don’t look like they’re blowing chunks when it rains.)

-End Lindsay-

5. What scene are you most excited to write?

There’s a scene at the end where Lindsay’s uncle chews her out, and it’s the first time Lindsay realizes that her family has been lying to her the last few months about the reality of her social life. It’s the first time she owns up to her responsibility, and it’s fun to write about angry people.

6. Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing.

Bavmorda and Mordred, because how many other people with maws do I know, completely ignore me and sniff around the room. Mordred grumbles to himself.
“Oath breakers! Murderers! Spawn!” he curses. “How dare they come here!” 
Bavmorda looks more bothered than I’ve ever seen her. “We will avenge our brothers and tear them to shreds!” 
“No!” Mordred growls. “We must wait for Ken. He will make a complaint.” 
“I do not want to complain!” Bavmorda curls her lip. “I want to tear their flesh as they have torn ours from us!” 
This, coming from the lioness/babysitter/voice of reason I thought I knew and loved, disturbed me.

“What’s going on?” I ask. I can’t help it, my voice is shaking.

“Oh, Lindsay, you’re bleeding.” Bavmorda paws to my side and licks at the gouges with her thick tongue. I should warn you, if you’re ever bleeding in the Serengeti and a lion comes up to you, she is probably not coming to heal you. Chimeras have great little antibodies and platelets in their saliva, which makes them good for healing wounds. Real lions probably just want to eat you. 
“Bavmorda, what happened?” 
Mordred spoke for her. “Our enemies. They have come.” 
“What enemies?” I demand. “We don’t have enemies. What is this, the middle ages? Where’s Fish Guts?” 
“Lindsay, you must listen to me,” Bavmorda says. “There are cruel men, traitors to everything we know and love. They have attacked. They took your mind—rather than tend your wounds or chase after them, you were trapped in contentedness. And they have stolen Fish Guts.”

(By the way, I stole Bavmorda’s name from a George Lucas film so I’m praying that isn’t illegal. I am too poor to get sued.)

7. Now that you're writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?

I’m in the third draft now, so the plot isn’t surprising anymore. I guess I just thought it would be better now. Not that I don’t think my writing has improved, but it seems like after all this work there should be a measurable indicator of growth. There isn’t.

8. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that's difficult to write?

Probably Lindsay and her best friend, Caitlyn. They get in a fight. I don’t recall having a fight with my best friend. In fact, I don’t recall ever depending on a friendship the way Lindsay does. I have no idea how emotions work—so curse my ISTJness, but I have to come up with something.

9. What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?

I love getting to add weird or bizarre things into the story, just for the heck of it. Maybe they’ll have to be edited out later, but this setting has given me no end to the characters I can generate.

But, for the record, I think my favorite character is Lindsay, because she’s the one with the attitude.

10. Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and your characters?

Ultimately this is a book about how I don’t want to go to college. But in the end Lindsay has to face her destiny and middle class people have to go to college because of social construct and the need for young people to be enslaved to poverty…

So I’ll probably be over that by the time the whole thing is 100% done. Ha.

11. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?

Not really—I just play Pandora while I write. Right now it’s playing the overture and “Brigadoon” from the musical of the same name, and before that it did “Settle Down” by Cartel, and “If I Loved You” from Carousel.

12. Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?

I would probably hang out with Mordred the lion, because he wouldn’t talk to me and I wouldn’t talk to him and that would be our relationship.

13. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)

I like watching numbers get bigger. And I like going on Facebook and Pinterest and all the wonderful blogs out there. It really helps.

14. What your favorite writing quote or piece of writing advice?

15. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?

Mostly I’m smiling—despite my complaints I’m having a great time with this story.

And there you go.

Will you join the Beautiful Books linkup? Have you already? Be sure to let me know so I can check out yours, if I haven’t already!


  1. As a fan of this book (who really wants an update as soon as possible) I thoroughly enjoyed this post and might steal the questions. (Because I can't think of blogging ideas on my own. :P)

    1. Join the linkup! Let me see it! Because I wanna see! Also, check out other blogger's parties because they are fun to read. :D

      Also, updates are for Saturdays, lady. It's not like you can call up Fox and ask to have an episode of their shows before everyone else. :P Not that there's really an everyone else in this book...

  2. Everyone is starting to linkup and I'm just here reading them ;)

  3. HAHAHA I love your "inspirational quote"! Now that would definitely get me writing. ;) I also really like the beginning of your book, and the fact that we both have characters named Lindse/ay :) good luck!

    1. Tom Hiddleston's a babe alright! And thanks! Lindse/ay must be a popular name this year. Thanks for reading. :)

  4. I will have to disagree with Inge. Tom Hiddleston waiting for me anywhere doesn't motivate me at all. Unless he's holding a big fat check for me.

  5. You're an ISTJ? I'm an INTJ! I guess we're both confused when it comes to other people's emotions. ;)
    Also, hearing the description for Trilobite makes me wish your book was a movie so I could see the silvery blue scales. It sounds so beautiful!

    1. *high fives* Woohoo! Good to know we're not alone spinning out there in the universe...

      But yeah, I imagine him as a really pretty dragon. But who knows, maybe someday I'll be great friends with an artist and he or she can make my dreams come to life on paper.

      Such are my dreams... Thanks for reading!

  6. AHAHA THAT WRITING ADVICE! I love it. That's going to be my motivation from now on. XD I love the sound of your book! :D good job, and good luck with the 100/100! :D It's such a fun event. ^.^

    1. I know right?! And yes ma'am—this story is super fun, and I'm definitely enjoying myself. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. First of all, I think that is the best writing quote ever! I'm going to believe that forever even when I inevitably get disappointed because he's not there!

    Anyway, I really love the sound of your book. I totally get what you mean about getting to a third draft and feeling like it should be better, with my first novel I had to take a break because it was annoying and frustrated me because it wasn't getting better. I did find though that taking a break has helped to see the things what I need to do to fix that one.

    Good luck with your writing!

    1. XD I know, it is seriously one of the best writing pictures I've ever found. Ever. But the thing about when dreams don't come true is that you can keep pursuing them... Doesn't sound bad to me. ;)

      Wow, I'm glad you shared that, because sometimes it's lonely with a tough manuscript. I see other writers completely enamored with whatever stage of writing they're in, and I'm just like -.- "Gah." But maybe I should try that, as soon as the 100-for-100's over, and get a new perspective on the story.

      Good luck to you as well! :)

  8. I know what you mean about being frustrated by the seeming lack of progress. Some days I feel like that when I'm working on my fantasy novel. It's in its fifth draft by now, and often I think 'well, I've put so much work into it. Isn't the writing supposed to be looking better?' I think that we're often too close to the story to see how much it really has improved though. Keep going though. This is one amazing sounding story. If you even need a reader, I would sign up in a heart beat!

    1. *nods* It's hard to know where you're at! And you're right, it's almost impossible for us to be objective with our own writing. But thanks for the encouragement, and be careful—I might take you up on that in December. ;)

  9. I love love love Lindsay's voice. The college theme sounds fascinating.

    1. I'm glad! I've struggled with her voice a lot, so hopefully it continues to get better.

      (And sorry this didn't show up before. For some reason it was put in the spam folder...)

  10. I'm rewriting one of my books for the fifth time and I finally think it's getting close to being finished. It's a long process especially when it's a book one started early on in one's writer journey, but it's worth it. Keep at it! :) I love chimeras. It's cool that you're writing a book about them. Your take seems interesting. ^ ^ Good luck and God bless with this!

    Stori Tori's Blog

    1. That's great! Hopefully I'll be standing up on my own fifth draft someday. :) And I hope my take is interesting, on account of there is no historical research that went into the story... Hopefully that works out. Good luck to you too! :D


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