Hello there pals, I hope you all remember me after my somewhat accidental three-week hiatus!!
I’ve been MIA partly because of technical computer problems, and partly because I’m currently working two internships in addition to planning my senior thesis. Going a couple weeks without posting every once in a while doesn’t bother me—I decided back when I started this blog that having a weekly schedule is something that will definitely never work for me—but I do feel bad that I’ve missed so many of your wonderful posts while I’ve been gone!!
I’m also honored to have been nominated by one of my favorite bloggers to do the Rising Author Tag! May is a wonderful writer and human, and I absolutely ADORE her posts. ❤ For this tag, I’ll be talking about one of the things I have (sort of) managed to make time for in the last couple weeks—my current writing project! I’ve written two novels previously, and I recently started my third! Some of you have already heard about this one, but I’m excited to share more details and progress updates.
Rules of the tag:
- Tag four people
- Thank the person who tagged you
- Come up with 10 new questions
1. What is your current WIP about, and what’s its status? (ie. plotting, writing, editing, etc.)
In case you haven’t guessed yet from the title of this post….my current WIP is a sapphic Macbeth retelling!
Macbeth has been my favorite Shakespearean play since I first read it about five years ago, and I’ve been wanting to write a retelling for almost as long. There’s something about this play that feels different from his other works—it’s dark and brutal and compelling, with fascinatingly twisted characters and hints of strange, ominous magic. There’s so much great material in there, and I’m VERY excited to be working on a retelling! Naturally, it’s also going to be queer, because writing about allocishets bores me.
It’s in third person with mixed POVs, but the main story is centered around the Lady-Macbeth-inspired character, Lina. She’s twenty years old, recently married to the lord of a fantasy realm, and frustrated by her husband’s lack of ambition. When an opportunity presents itself in the form of a disturbing prophecy, Lina seizes the chance to advance her station. Murder, political intrigue, and sapphic romance ensue.
I’ve only written three full chapters so far, but I have a LOT of planning and outlining done!
2. Do you plot things out and/or outline, or just figure it out as you write?
Usually, I do a combination of both! I generally have a loose outline of the next couple chapters at any given time, and sometimes an idea of a few major plot points throughout the novel. Since my current WIP is a retelling, I’m also rereading the play and planning out how I want to adapt certain characters and plotlines. Soooo this book will probably end up being the most meticulously-planned one I’ve written so far.
3. What are some book ideas you want to write in the future?
I always have a handful of ideas in various stages of development. I keep them all collected in this very messy document on my computer, and kind of juggle them around to figure out what I’m gonna write next. (I almost never write short stories, so I pretty much exclusively work on novel-length ideas.) I’ve been working on and off on the beginnings of a mermaid story for a few years now, and that’s definitely something I would love to really work on in the future. I’d also like to write something that’s more urban fantasy (or maybe suburban or rural fantasy? idk what you call it when it’s not in a city??)—it’s a genre I love reading and want to try out for myself.
4. Out of the characters you’ve written so far, who are your favorites?
Lina is definitely my favorite! As previously mentioned, I ! LOVE !! Lady Macbeth !!! and I’m having so much fun coming up with a character based on her! She’s VERY morally gray, and such a complex and powerful character. Sort of like Alex Craft from The Female of the Species—if she were a vengeful fantasy heroine in love with a witch. Speaking of which….she’s bisexual!! And here for n o n e of your heteronormative bullshit!!
Her love interest (the witch who delivers the prophecy that sets everything in motion) has been a little harder to develop—I don’t even have a name for her yet. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ She’s loosely based on the three witches who appear periodically throughout the play, but I’m basically starting from scratch to build her character. I DO have a little sketch of her, though! It’s very basic
and I’m an awful photographer but this is how I imagine her:
I’m having fun developing the side characters, too! I’m picking out which ones from the play I want to include in my retelling, and digging deeper into their characters to (hopefully) give them all more fleshed-out personalities and backstories.
5. What’s your writing routine, if any? (ie. snacks, music, time of day, location, etc.)
Hahahahahaha. Haha. Ha. *awkward silence* I do not have the slightest semblance of a writing routine. I’ll work on this literally anytime I can squeeze in a free moment/break from working on my internships and academic research………which generally means on the train, during lunch breaks, and late at night. Occasionally I listen to music, but more often than not it’s too distracting.
6. Show your WIP’s aesthetic in images or words (or both)!
I don’t EVER make any sort of edits, but luckily for all of you I got bored last month and finally made this:
The quote in the middle is one of my favorite lines from the play, and I feel like it really sets the mood for what I’m trying to accomplish in this novel.
These are a few more of my favorite quotes:
“False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”
“Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor Heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry “Hold, hold!”
“The love that follows us sometime is our trouble, which still we thank as love.”
7. What (or who) motivates you to write?
My excitement about an idea! Starting projects is never a problem because I have a kind of endless motivation to get started on shiny new ideas. It’s a little harder to hold onto that drive once I’m further into the book and starting to fall into that paralyzing black hole caused by the painful awareness of how shitty my writing is………..BUT I’ve found that it is possible to recapture that motivation!! I always keep a notes/ideas/planning document open beside my WIPs, and when I’m seriously considering giving up, I go back through those to remind myself of what excites me about that particular story. This time around, I’m also relying on the source material as a continued source of motivation. I genuinely love this play, and I want to write the sapphic retelling it deserves!!
8. What do you find is the easiest part about writing? The hardest?
Like I said in the last question, the easiest part for me is always writing the beginning of a story. Actually finishing projects is,,, much more challenging. It takes a massive amount of time and commitment to finish a novel, and then even more to edit and revise one!!
Speaking of which, don’t even ask me about my last novel rn hahaha
9. What genre will you never try, and why?
Hmmm…….maybe sci-fi? I’m not very good at science-based worldbuilding, hence my reliance on using magic in ALL of my writing projects. I also haven’t written anything purely contemporary since I was about 12, but I would like to some day! I don’t know if I can completely keep magic out of the mix, though, so that might end up morphing into urban fantasy.
10. Share a tiny (or large) snippet/excerpt of your writing, if you’re comfortable!
I don’t have a ton of material so far to pick from, so I’m going with a little excerpt from the prologue! (It’s from Lina’s POV.)
I hope you found me rambling about my vague novel plans and writing tips interesting! I can’t wait to see more posts about what everyone’s been writing. ❤
Who am I tagging?
This might be cheating a little because some of these people were tagged in May’s post but uhhh I can never be sure who’s actually writing something at any given time sooo… *shrugs*
- Emma (you go to writing school, you must be working on something right??)
- literally anyone else who is reading this and Doing A Thing!! (I believe in you and wish you the best of luck and the least amount of plot holes possible ❤ )
- Introduce your current WIP, and tell us how you got the idea for it!
- Are any parts of your WIP based on your own life experiences?
- What are some themes/tropes/situations that tend to show up a lot in your writing?
- Pick a song to represent each of your main characters!
- What perspective do you usually write from, and why? (1st, 3rd, etc.)
- How many people do you share your writing with?
- Do you prefer handwriting or typing?
- How long does it take you to name your characters?
- Show us your WIP’s aesthetic! (written or visual)
- #ExplainYourWIPPlotBadly. (Like so.)
Why yes, I did steal a few of these questions because they are Great. Also!! In addition to the ten questions feel free to include snippets or an excerpt! I want to know all about all my pals’ writing. 💗💗💗