Fiction and Writing

Beautiful Books 2016 – Novel Update.



This is a fantastically fun link-up run by Cait at Paperfury and Sky at Further Up And Further In.

Beautiful books is where Cait posts 10 questions for authors to answer about their current wip. Feel free to dive in and check out other bloggers on the linky (click the image to find the linky).

I’ll be looking at Seers Stone as that’s my primary NaNo novel.


  • Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

My mental state is surprisingly good! I’m happy to finally be diving into Seers Stone, it’s so very different to Stolen Ink and Familiars. The novel’s going well! I’m writing it at a reasonable pace and enjoying exploring Kaitlyn and the world around her.

  • What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

I should have listened to my instincts. Something felt off when I added the ground celestial feather to the phoenix ash. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was, but there was a distinct sense of wrongness. Fortunately I did listen to my instincts when the mixture began to fizz. I dove under the workbench and was quickly accompanied by Wispy, just in the nick of time too. The mixture exploded with a rather impressive array of colour, and the explosion itself was almost musical in the way it began with a deep thrumming boom and ended in a high-pitched shriek. Unfortunately the mess it made of my lab was equally as impressive, and difficult to clean up. The knocking on the floor from the apartment below wrapped up the entire experience. “Yes Mrs. Frank I know, stop making things explode.” I muttered to myself as I crawled out from my safe space under the desk.

  • Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

It has to be Kaitlyn, she’s the protagonist and narrator. Liam, a secondary character is quite a bit of fun too. Kaitlyn has a big personality and a strong desire for adventure that colours her world.

  • What do you love about your novel so far?

The sense of adventure and wonder! There’s no fear, no darkness, no hiding, it’s all about the exploration and excitement.

  • Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

I’ve made quite a few silly typos where I was trying to type while really tired, but unfortunately nothing hilarious. 😦

  • What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?

Definitely the beginning. It has the excitement that I love. The middle is really hard, and the ending is thrilling but I’m usually tired and ready to move on by then. The beginning has all of the promises.

  • What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!

I write best when it’s dark out, or at least in the afternoon and evening. I don’t tend to snack while I’m writing, I had M&Ms to help me finish Stolen Ink. Yes, I absolutely have music. I can’t write without music! I have a collection of playlists on Spotify that I rotate through depending on mood.

  • How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?

I’m an extrovert so I definitely need a cheer squad. I’m usually pretty chatty about it over on Twitter and I share snippets and talk to friends about it. I also celebrate the milestones with my dear husband. I’m a storyteller, I write for readers.

  • What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?

Sheer pig-headed stubbornness. I have goals in mind and I am going to reach them come hell or high water.

  • What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?

Experiment. If you always write the same thing you reduce your opportunities for progress, learning, and nuance. Dive into different genres, screw around with new tropes, throw different writing styles in there. Play. Try everything you can, the scarier the better.

Read and write voraciously. Do not limit yourself to one genre or one format. I learnt a huge amount from copywriting, poetry, essays, and articles. Each format taught me something as a reader and a writer. Each genre has something to teach you if you’re willing to learn, never stop learning.

Devour every form of story you can. Open your mind and allow yourself to learn and become inspired from every story out there. Don’t look down your nose at tv shows and movies – you can learn so, so, much from them. They will teach you about pacing, action scenes, dialogue, and much more. Every story is an opportunity. Every snippet of dialogue a goldmine. Don’t close your mind to any possibility.


Don’t forget to join in and check out other blogs on the linky!




12 thoughts on “Beautiful Books 2016 – Novel Update.

  1. Love your answers here, Holly!
    I especially believe that your three points of advice are spot on! My recent experiment with Eléonore was such a liberating one!
    This story sounds like it’s coming along well and everytime I hear more about it, I want to read it that much sooner 🙂
    Best of luck with the rest of NaNo!

    Liked by 1 person

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