Beautiful People: July Edition

Hi all!

It’s been far too long since I’ve done a Beautiful People post! Hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In, this is a monthly writer’s meme – and for July the questions are all about the author process.

For more information on how my current work in progress is going check out the Writing section of my blog 🙂

How do you decide which project to work on?

Usually I only have one main idea at a time, but that project will just take over my thoughts until I write it! I will have one or two ideas that have been properly outlined, and they’re the ones that I work on.
How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

Hahahahaha what is finishing? But seriously, I always struggle to finish projects. I often lose motivation about three quarters of the way through writing the first draft, either because I think of another idea which I need to pursue ABSOLUTELY IMMEDIATELY, or because the story has become so convoluted I don’t know how to end it!

However, I have finished a few stories in my time; the most recent took about a year to write the first draft (which I blame on college), and now I’m starting to rewrite it before moving onto the sequel.
Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

I hand-write my stories before typing them up to edit them, so I pick out my favourite notebook or the one that just feels right, find a good pen and sit down to write! I also listen to music sometimes, and if I’m writing a certain scene I’ll listen to the same song over and over again. (Is There Somewhere by Halsey was my go-to song for romantic scenes in my current WIP).

What time of day do you write best?

I really like writing in the early evening. Whether that’s my best writing or not is a different matter. I also sometimes feel inspired quite late at night, which can be annoying when I want to go to sleep!

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

I’m always worried about being too similar to any author – I blame it on all the coursework I’ve had to do recently – so I’m not too sure! I’d hope that it has elements of stories that I love – characters as original as those in The Mortal Instruments for example – but I don’t think I could say who my style most resembles.

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

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This is such a good question! I think I started writing because I loved being imaginative, and I was making up stories all the time when I was younger; I used to make all these paper dolls and come up with elaborate backstories for them! As for why I keep writing, I think that writing nowadays is an escape and a way to relax, and I guess I still have stories that I want to tell. I’ve been writing for so long now that it feels like a part of me one I would hate to lose – I always panic when my inspiration runs out!

What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?

Well aside from all of the essays I wrote for my exams this year (hahaha I’m not panicking you are), I think my hardest piece of fiction I’ve written is my current project! It turned out to be a lot more serious than I had anticipated, and this is the first WIP where I’ve properly gone back and worked on it. I have to admit, I’m not thrilled about rewriting it, but I know that there are more stories to be told in this world and the characters’ journeys have only just begun, so I guess it’s got to be done!

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

This is another great question! I think there are a few ideas germinating in the back of my head that I need to write in the future, and my current WIP is stretching me a little so I might start another one and leave it for now.

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

I didn’t actually make any writing goals for 2017, but I did want to finish typing up my current project and start editing it, which I have done! I’m about seven chapters in, so there’s a while to go, but it’s great being back with all of my characters.

Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!

This is me all day!

giphy-downsized

 

That’s it for this post! Tell me, why do you write? And how is your current work in progress going? Do you have a favourite genre to write in?

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

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#AmCurrently – Welcome Back to Me!

Once upon a time there was a little blog called Bowlerhatgirl Books. Unfortunately, the owner of said blog got caught up in life and exams.

And the little blog disappeared. For four months.

So it is definitely been a long time since I’ve updated this blog – or any of my bookish social media to be honest. In the UK May and June are the big exam months of the year, so instead of reading, writing, and blogging, I had to revise, cry about revision, and revise which was infinitely less fun.

But now I’m back! And I figured an #AmCurrently tag would tell you guys what I’ve been up to these past few months, which I’m sure you’re all dying to know! (Or, you know, mildly interested).

#AmCurrently – Reading:

I just finished The Gentleman’s Processed with VSCO with f2 presetGuide to Vice and Virtue and it was THE BEST THING. I could babble about it all day (and I soon will, as a book review is coming your way!) but basically everyone should read it right now. I’m considering rereading it when it comes out in hardcover next month!

Aside from that, I’m a quarter of the way through rereading The Diviners by Libba Bray – if you’d like to know why this is my one of my favourite series ever you can check out my post here (also the third book is coming out in October!!!! I’m not excited you are). I’ve also started The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons, and although it’s very light and innocent now, I know that it’s going to be devastatingly emotional once I properly get into it.

#AmCurrently – Listening to:

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My playlist for June has been amazing because two of my favourite artists released new music! I’ve been alternating between From the Outside by Hey Violet (Current favourites are Where Have You Been (All My Night) and Like Lovers Do) and hopeless fountain kingdom by Halsey (Alone and Walls Could Talk are so good!). It’s such a relief now that I can listen to these songs and actually enjoy them, whereas before I was listening to them whilst trying to absorb 3 textbooks, 5 novels and another language (A Levels are the actual best, guys. The. Best.) I’ve also been loving Papercut by Zedd and Troye Sivan, it’s long but gold.

#AmCurrently – Watching:

In between making my way through all of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I finally finished watching Girlboss! I actually loved it, there was something almost empowering to see Sophia being unapologetically aggressive and confident.

As well as that, I’ve just finished watching the third season of Skam and am img_0335procrastinating the fourth because I CANNOT ACCEPT IT IS OVER. NOPE NOPE NOPE. I’ve even started learning Norwegian on Duolingo because I’m desperate to visit Scandinavia after watching the show, that’s how much I love it!

Anyway, I hope that filled you guys in on what I’ve been up to in these past few months. I’m sorry for being gone for so long, but I have a lot more blog ideas now.

What have you been reading recently? Are there any books or albums I’ve missed in my hiatus? What’s your favourite song at the moment?

Thanks for reading 🙂

Writing Update! Finishing the First Draft

Hi everyone!dsc03339

So, as you can tell from the title – I HAVE FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY NOVEL.

😀 😀

That was my face when I wrote the last few words. I was ecstatic! I had actually finished
writing this story that had been in my head for months, which is something that rarely happens to me. The characters had grown and suffered and laughed, my world was all set up; this idea had turned into something tangible and real. I was thrilled, and I still am! I think as writers it’s hard to be pleased with what you’ve created because you always think that there’s a book that will be better than yours, but we should give ourselves more credit – we create worlds and people and plots just from our heads! (And the savior that is Pinterest. God bless.)

I gave it a bit more time and stepped away from my draft for a few days, and I started to think: What comes next? (And then I started singing Hamilton because I am obsessed).
But seriously, what happens after first drafts? What did I do now? No new scenes to write, no more cute character moments to think of? I had spent so much of my time in this draft, there had been so many moments when I would be having a crappy day and looking forward to writing more of my story would cheer me up, and now it’s over? After all these questions, my face turned into something like this:

D:

What happens next is editing, which is even scarier than a massive story-sized chasm in my life! This story is going to – hopefully – be the first in a five(ish) book series, so as dsc03343much as I want to dive right in and plot the second book, I need to edit this first draft before I even think about the second one. Funny thing about editing my first novel is that: a) I have never edited anything but coursework before because I am not dedicated at all, and b) I hand-wrote my first draft. It came to one and a half notebooks’ worth. Which means that I need to type up one and a half notebooks’ worth of novel before I can edit it. *cries*

Anyway, I’m about eight chapters in and there’s so much that needs rewriting, so many plot point that no longer make sense. Also literally every character sighs?? Like all the time?? Why do I do this?! But I’m enjoying it all the same; there are loads of scenes that I had completely forgotten about, so it’s nice rediscovering them!

So that’s where I am with writing at the moment! How is your work in progress doing? Do you have any editing tips? Or do you have any weird things that you wrote that doesn’t make sense (Like my perpetually sighing characters) ? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Beautiful People: August Edition

Hi all!

For the past few Beautiful People editions I’ve focused on my female main characters, but this time I’m going to show one of the men in my story! Thank you as always to the hosts, Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In !

There are two main male characters in my story (well, technically there’s three, but one isn’t as important in the first book!) and this time I’ll be looking at Henry Krendale, an exiled lord who also happens to be a psychic. As he is closely linked to Esme, I figured I’d include her in here too (also because she is my favourite character and she was the first one I created so I’m allowed to include her in everything!).


1. Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)

 Henry’s looks have changed since I started writing, mainly because of Pinterest! At first, he had dark brown hair and dark brown eyes, but then I realised that a) he would look too much like another character, and b) I had pinned Aaron Tveit and Max Irons, who don’t fit that initial description! So now he has light brown hair and green eyes, and is tall and a little gangly.

Esme for me has always been similar to Lily James looks-wise, as she has blonde hair that goes past her shoulders and brown eyes. She is quite curvy and average height.

2. Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance.

(This is when I realise I need more description!)
Henry: ‘his hair was slightly curled at the edges, and Esme noted with worry that he seemed more tired than usual, his eyes framed by glasses he usually only used to read.’
Esme: ‘touching the twist in her hair, she checked her reflection in the mirror and found it was already drooping. And she shouldn’t have worn this dress; the empire waist just drew attention to her hips.’


3. What is the first thing people might notice about them?

 The first thing people would notice about Henry would be his height, as he is tall and the fact that he’s pretty skinny emphasises this. People would probably notice Esme’s eyes first, because she nearly always maintains eye contact when holding a conversation.
 
4. What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)
 Henry has freckles when he’s been out in the sun for a while and ears that stick out a little. Esme gains a unique feature (spoilers though guys, so I’m not telling! (; ) but when the series starts out she has a birthmark on the back of her leg.
 
5. How tall are they? What is their build (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)
 Given the fact that I can’t judge any sort of measurements for some reason, I don’t have an exact height for each of them. Basically: Henry=tall and slim, Esme=average and curvy.
 
6. What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?
 Esme carries herself well, as her uncle taught her to make a strong first impression. She has a good posture which is mainly natural as she wants to always appear in control. Henry still keeps a relatively good posture from his days as a lord, but he stands quite defensively and often has his hands in his pockets or plays with the cuff of his shirt.
 
7. Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?
Esme would still wear a dress because she loves them, but it would probably be an old one that might not be in style or season. Henry would wear a plain shirt and trousers made from simple materials, forgoing a waistcoat or detailed designs.
 
8. Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark? 
Henry needs glasses to read and often wears them if his eyes are tired, and he nearly always wears waistcoats over his shirts, but this is the fashion of the world so I don’t know whether this would count as a trademark. Esme often pins her hair up but other than that she doesn’t have a lot of accessories. As for her trademark, she always wears pretty dresses so maybe that’s what she’s known for.
 
9. Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!
Henry hasn’t been bullied because of his looks because people have always considered him fairly good-looking (that fact that he used to be very very rich also helped this). Esme has lead quite a sheltered life so she has never really been bullied, although there was a time when she was younger that a group of girls picked on her because her clothes weren’t in style.
 
10. Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?
 Henry is happy with how he looks as looks aren’t the most important thing to him, but if he could change something about his appearance he would probably change his ears as he thinks they stick out. Esme isn’t as confident in her appearance and she often feels insecure, especially about her figure, so she would change that if she could. (Although she becomes more confident as the series progresses).

So that’s my Beautiful People post for the month! Let me know if you liked it, and how is your work in progress going? What are your main characters called?
Thanks for reading(:

Writerly Ramblings 3 – A Writing Playlist

Hi all!

Writing is – surprisingly – going well! I’ve passed the halfway point in the story, and it’s so rewarding to see how everything is fitting together. Plots and subplots are coming together, relationships are being made – or broken, as I am an evil writer! –  and I feel comfortable in the world finally.

One of the hardest things about creating a fictional world, I think, is making up customs and a feeling that these are a normal thing in the characters’ lives. I’ve had to sit down and focus on what different things my characters do in this world, and more importantly why; I don’t just want to have a tradition just to have a tradition if that makes sense.

Character-wise I think they’re what I intended them to be. For the first time in my writing I’m really thinking if a character would say what I want them to say, if their actions are typical for them or if they need justifying or changing. I’m writing from two different points of view – Esme’s and Marisol’s – and one thing I’m finding hard is trying to keep their voices distinct. They’re both strong independent characters but in different ways, so it’s a task to keep them in line!

I thought I would share some of the songs I listen to while writing! I have a playlist of about 30ish songs that I just put on a loop when I write, which mainly consist of Ruelle, Halsey, and Broods (Sidenote: I just discovered Broods and they are AMAZING!). Here are 10 songs that I find create an epic, let’s-go-write-a-kickass-scene atmosphere.

  1. Live Like Legends – Ruelle
  2. Bridges – Broods
  3. Is There Somewhere – Halsey
  4. Alive – Sia
  5. If You Leave Me Now – Foxes
  6. Don’t Let Me Down – The Chainsmokers
  7. Bad Dream – Ruelle
  8. Rise Up (Reprise) – Foxes
  9. Figure 8 – Ellie Goulding
  10. Conscious – Broods

All of these songs help me set the scene for a certain chapter, and most of them make my characters feel more badass. I believe that music can help you create emotions in your writing, and sometimes you’ll stumble along a song that completely fits your novel. For my story, I think either Rise Up or Conscious work well.

Let me know if you like this playlist, and I’ll make another! What are some of your favourite songs to write to? How is your writing going? I’d love to hear from fellow writers!
Thanks for reading (:

Beautiful People – July

Hi all!

It’s that time of month again – the Beautiful People linkup! Although I did answer June’s questions, I didn’t post them because they were really in depth, and I wanted to keep my characters’ backstories secret. As always, thank you Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up Further In for thinking of such great questions!


This month I’ll be answering the questions about one of my two protagonists -Marisol Celsta.

1. Do they want to get married and/or have children? Why or why not?

Marisol wants to spend her life with someone, but she isn’t fussed about getting married as she doesn’t see the need for it. She also doesn’t like being the centre of attention unless it’s for her skills as a fighter. As for children, she isn’t very maternal so having a child isn’t a priority for her, although she wouldn’t mind having one when she’s older.

2. What is their weapon of choice? (It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical weapon.)
 
It may not have to be a physical weapon, but for Marisol it definitely is! As a Warrior(in training), she has been trained how to fight ever since she was little, so she is skilled in a variety of different weapons. Her favourite remains her sword because she finds it easiest to use, and she knows she’s best at sword-fighting.
 
3. What’s the nicest thing they’ve done for someone else, and why did they do it?
 
Marisol is not the nicest of characters. As in, she’s rarely ever nice. But she can be kind when she wants to be, and when she was twelve she helped out a new person to the Training Facility where they live, and this person would go on to become her best friend! She did it because she heard him struggling with it, and wanted to distract herself from the death of her sister.
 
4. Have they ever been physically violent with someone, and what instigated it?
 
Aside from the fighting she does as part of her job, Marisol rarely is violent to people, largely because of her friend’s calming influence! But I have just written a scene where she challenges someone to a fight because he cheated on her…and you do not want to get on her bad side! It’s fun writing a character who is so feisty.
 
5. Are they a rule-follower or a rebel?
 
Generally, she is a rule-follower, although she would never admit to that. At the start of the series, she definitely follows orders, but as the story progresses she starts to make her own decisions and question what people tell her to do.
 
6. Are they organized or messy?
 
MESSY. She is definitely messy! Marisol would rather dump her stuff in a corner somewhere and go find something fun to do than tidy everything up.
 
7. What makes them feel loved, and who was the last person to make them feel that way?

This was a difficult question! I think what makes Marisol feel loved is someone who understands her and lets her be alone when she needs to be. Also someone who values her opinion. The last person to make her feel that way was probably her sister, or maybe her friend. However, as the stories progress a certain someone comes along and changes that…!
 
8. What do they eat for breakfast?
 
A LOT. She has a good appetite and isn’t a fussy eater, so she’ll eat whatever’s put in front of her, but if she gets to choose she likes bacon and fried eggs.
 
9. Have they ever lost someone close to them? What happened?
 
When she was eleven, she lost her sister. Em was nearly ten years older than Marisol, but they were very close and Marisol kind of idolised her, but one day Em was guarding a diplomat and was killed in an attack. Ever since Marisol has tried to be as good a Warrior as her sister. (Because I’m a writer so characters must have tragic backstories!)
 
10.What’s their treat of choice? (Or, if not food, how else do they reward themselves?)
 
Marisol rewards herself by going climbing and hiking on the mountains that shadow the city. At first it was a way to stay in shape, but now she enjoys the solitude and feeling of accomplishment when she reaches the summit. If she’s ever unhappy, that’s what she’ll do.
 
What do you guys think of Marisol? I have to admit, it’s fun writing a character that isn’t conventionally nice and is quite grumpy!
 
Who’s your favourite character in your work in progress?
Thanks for reading (:

Writerly Ramblings 2

Hi all!

Since my last Writerly Rambling, which you can find here, a lot has changed. First of all, I no longer have to revise so I have a lot more time to focus on reading and writing! However, I am furiously ignoring my first work in progress because I just don’t have any motivation to finish it, which is a shame as I really liked it in the beginning. I always end up doing that, and it really annoys me! Does anyone else struggle to power through to the end of a story?

BUT – I have now planned three out of five books in the series! And I have ideas for the fourth one, too.

BUT BUT – I am now at that horrible stage where I am doubting myself. The moment I’ve looked forward to in my third book now seems rushed, the plot seems too complicated to work, and I’m changing a lot of the first book – introducing a new point of view, a new sub plot, and generally changing most of the plot in the middle whilst trying to reach the same ending. Because I’ve had such a break from writing, I’m struggling to find my ‘voice’ so to speak, but I’m hoping if I keep pushing through it I’ll get back into it again.

Writing is such a relaxing hobby! (She lies…)

Somehow, I’ve actually managed to start writing, and so far I’m trying to get used to the world and the characters. There are parts that I’m not too happy with already, but I’m attempting to remember that this is just a first draft, and there are bound to be sections that aren’t that great; that’s what editing is for! I also think I need a prologue now that I’ve started writing, but that will wait until I’ve finished the story.

I’m not going to lie, the first chapter is essentially two of my characters being the sassy and sarcastic characters they are, but it was fun to write so for now it’s staying as it is.

Here is the first line of the story, which I think sums up the relationship between my protagonist and her friend very well:

Esme Arnmore pounded her fist against the door. “Jay Fredicks, if you don’t get out of this house in one second I am leaving without you!”

Let me know how your work in progress is going! Are you outlining, writing, or editing?  What’s your favourite part of your WIP so far? 

Thanks for reading(: