Beautiful Books - 2017 Writing Goals

January 7, 2017

   It's almost a week into 2017 (what even) - and that means it's time for the new Beautiful Books linkup. This one was pretty fun to write, and I'm excited to share it with you! (and also the post decided to be full of collages from my stories - you've been warned xD)

   So - Killing Snow is what I'm currently working on (well, currently thinking about working on. I'm deciding whether I should have a break from it or not, because the story is being kind of obnoxious) so I chose to do this post for Killing Snow, and not The Dreamer's Game like I probably should xD. 

   Anyways. Onto the questions.

1. What were your writing achievements last year?  

   I can't even remember xD. I wrote a ton of Killing Snow drafts, and worked on it's prequel and sequel. Wrote some of The Dreamer's Game for NaNoWriMo - which was my first time doing NaNoWriMo. Joined a Hangout full of awesome writers. Messed around with a bit of a steampunk Rapunzel retelling. Had some friends beta my work. Alea Harper created a gorgeous cover of Killing Snow for me. I shared some of my writing publicly (10 'Till Midnight). Ended a serial series (that I had posted on my private blog, once upon a time) that had been my pet project for ages. Got a huge amount of half-thought-out plot bunnies for various retellings.

isn't it gorgeous? Alea did an amazing job

   *blinks* Okay, I know I'm missing stuff - but just that up there looks like a lot xD. I suppose 2016 was a really good year for me, writing-wise, anyways.

2. What's on your writerly "to-do list" for 2017

   Oh gracious - we're going with five things here, because I'll ramble for 1.78 years unless someone stops me:

   a) write the first draft of the novel Killing Snow  (even if that is a pretty lofty goal)
   b) start on a brand new story (because why not?)
   c) bring one of my dead stories into existence again (resurrecting the poor dead things that I've shoved WAY onto the back burner)

this is one of them *pats the poor, mostly-dead story idea*

   d) participate in all three NaNoWriMo events (hey, no one ever said I was sane)
   e) enter some writing competitions (if I can find some good ones) 

3. How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017? 

   Well, realistically I see myself curled up in a dark corner, hiding from my characters and editing that needs to happen (and the wreck that will be my story). Optimistically, I'll be casually devouring ice cream with at least three new drafts all completely typed up. Very optimistically. But a girl can dream xD. 

   And I hope to improve my main characters (somehow my main characters are always the dullest characters in my story?) and world building. World building is HARD for me - I'm slightly jealous of all my writerly friends who can throw a whole new world together faster than you can say 'Tolkien' xD.   

4. Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year! 

   Write the first draft of novel Killing Snow. But that story is being really obnoxious right now - so I might put it in time out and start a brand new draft of something else instead. We'll see what happens *nodnod*.
   BUT I have a bunch of plot bunnies for re-tellings bouncing around in my head - so there's a pretty good chance that one of those will happen this year *pets the plot bunnies*.
like this one xD

5. Describe your general editing process 

   It starts with lots of procrastinating. Always.

   Honestly though, the editing depends on what the story needs. And the way I edit is fairly complicated xD. But anyways, since you asked, this is how I edited/am editing Killing Snow (though I have the memory of a goldfish, so I could be missing steps)

   a) take the zero draft that I've written (assuming that I've written a zero draft xD) and string it together into something that resembles a first draft
   b) go through the first draft and address any major issues
   c) go through the second draft and address any minor issues
   d) send that second draft to my alpha reader (Rach Steele alpah-ed Killing Snow and did an ah-mazing job)
   e) take the second draft (now alpha-ed) and make the changes suggested
   f) send that now-third-draft book to beta readers (shout out to Soleil, Emily Drown, Katie Grace, Hanna, Ellen, Micaiah Saldana, Emily, Jane Maree, and my sisters, Ariel, and Skylar for the wonderful work they did!)
   g) sort all of the info given to me by betas and try to wrap my mind around it xD
   h) go through the document and address the minor issues that betas pointed out
   i) stare at the now-fourth-draft and realize that the story wants to be a novel (the pesky thing) 
   j) write an in-depth outline of how I'm going to turn the novella into a novel
   k) start writing snippets of things that will happen in the novel, so that I have some stuff to work with

   *awards you with cookies if you actually read all of that* xD

   Well, that's as far as I've got with Killing Snow and WOW the process was a lot longer than I thought. And it's only a quarter of the way finished! It's a good thing I'm excited to get it done - even if it is being obnoxious xD.

6. On a scale of 1-10, how would you say this draft turned out? 

   Well ... I recently finished the fourth draft of Killing Snow, and I don't think it was that bad? Myself, I'd probably rate it a 7. Not sure what my betas would rate it though xD.

7. What aspect of your draft needs the most work? 

   I personally think that the main character is a little dull (and it's a fine balance here because Raven, the MC, is kind of a realist and has a bit of dry humor to her - but it's hard to not make her too dry when that's sorta her personality?). And the worldbuilding needs a ton of work - plus, there were plot holes. All the plot holes. But I'm hoping to fix some of that stuff when I turn it into a novel ;).

8. What do you like the most about your draft?

   (well I would say my character Cerulean Kane, but he's being extremely annoying right now, so ... no) That's kinda hard to say when my story and I aren't on the same page right now. I'm having a really hard time feeling in tune with it anymore - but I'm still trying xD. Anyways, I would probably say my characters. Even though they need work, they're still fun and I love them.

9. 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? 

   Hiding it in a dark hole forever *buries the story*

   Okay, yes, I'm kidding (though I would almost consider it right now - but I think my betas would kill me for it xD). There will definitely be more edits (LOTS OF EDITS), but after that, who knows? The final goal is to have Killing Snow traditionally published, but there is a ton of stuff that will need to be done before I can consider that very much.

10. What's your top piece of advice for those who have just finished writing a first draft?

   If you're still crazy excited about your story after writing it - then keep rolling with it. But if you ever get burned out, take a break. Seriously, take a break.
   I've kinda realized (after forever and ever xD) that working on my story when I don't really want to will end badly. I won't write well, and I'll normally be trudging through the story instead of flying. And a break can work miracles - so that would be my top piece of advice.
   If you feel burned out after writing that first draft, take a break.        

   AND thus ends the update on the writerly portion of my life - 2017 can't seem to make up it's mind on whether it wants to be a good writing year or not. So I suppose I better give 2017 a talking to, because I intend to conquer writing this year. How about you?

~ Savannah Grace

   What's your top-priority writing project this year? What do you like the most about your draft?


  1. Eeep Killing Snow looks so amazing! And Alea did such a good job. *gazes admiringly at cover*

    1. Thank you, Sarah! And YES, she did such an incredible job. I don't know how she's so good at making covers, but she is ;).

  2. This is awesome, and I loved your pictures!
    You accomplished so much writing last year, and I can't wait to see what happens this year (will I get to see some of The Dreamer's Game? *looks at story pleadingly*)
    What retellings do you have ideas for?

    1. Thank you, Soleil! It looks like a lot, doesn't it? xD And MAYBE you'll get to see some of The Dreamer's Game - depends on whether I get brave enough to look at it again *cringes at all the NaNo-written words* xD

      Little Red Riding Hood, The Little Mermaid, Snow White (another one, not Killing Snow) and Rapunzel. I think. I might have a lost a couple ideas in the midst of all those :D.

    2. Those sound great. I love retellings, and am trying to incorporate them more in my writing

  3. Ahhhhhhh, the collages! I was so excited when you warned us about them! ;-)
    A girl can DEFINITELY dream! Never stop, crazy author girl, never stop.

    And YES, your betas will kill you if you hide Killing Snow--and then we will find it, and make the world read it. Right, guys?
    I'm so happy I was able to be one of your beta readers! (I clicked on the link to my blog, just because it made me happy. ;-) ) When you first started talking about them, I remember being more interested in Jason Tomb (if that's still it's name, I think it was subject to change) than Killing Snow. But as time went on I started really wanting to hear more about this Cerulean character, and then I actually read the story, and now I'm not so sure. Jason Tomb will be hard put to it to compete with Killing Snow! (But you should definitely still write it. ;-) )
    And your new Killing Snow collage is so perfect!! You get that Cerulean into shape, and finish your story! *arms crossed*

    Your recommendation of taking a break is very interesting. . . I'm going to have to think about that. Lately, I've only been writing with the clock ticking and my blog readers breathing down my neck, so I'm wondering if I should slow down. Giving myself so little time to write Cat's Forest (I started it sometime this summer) was NOT a good idea, though I did manage it.

    Love hearing about your writer-ly life, my friend!

    1. I LOVE making story collages - it's fun to use them as visual inspiration. So glad that you liked them! *promises to never stop dreaming* ;)

      OKAY, OKAY - I won't hide Killing Snow. Better to work on it than hide it and have you guys show it to the world before it's ready xD. And I'm so glad you had the time to beta! You were super helpful and encouraging :).

      Jason Tomb (which is still the 'oh look, let's name it after the main character until I find something more official' title) will definitively be written at some point - I just don't know if it will be NOW xD. And I'm so glad you like Killing Snow!
      I WILL TRY TO FINISH THE STORY *glances hesitantly at Cerulean at starts to write more*

      'the clock ticking and my blog readers breathing down my neck' WELL WE WERE EXCITED xD. But seriously, Cat's Forest was great, I loved it <3. Can't wait to read your next story!

    2. I know you were excited, and it was encouraging. You all pestering me was the only thing that brought The Sacrifice and Cat's Forest through the first draft.

    3. OOH, GREAT - well then, I'll make a point to pester you during your next story xD.

    4. Haha, great! If we're playing that game, why don't you go finish Cerulean's story and give it to me. . . ?? :D

  4. Ahhhh all your collages are so prettyyyy *swoons* Is the first one for your steampunk Rapunzel retelling? ALSO I JUST GOTTA SAY THAT SOUNDS LIKE THE MOST EPIC THING EVER. I got an idea for a big mashup fairy tale steampunk story and I was like WHY DO MORE PEOPLE NOT WRITE STEAMPUNK FAIRYTALE RETELLINGS CAUSE LIKE THIS IS THE COOLEST EVER AND YOU CAN DO SO MUCH WITH IT. Ehem. #rantover

    I'm so excited for you!! And dude, for your next round of betas ... *winks and wiggles eyebrows*

    I'm trying to finish draft 2 of The Thief's Conspiracy in time for Camp Nano so that I can edit The Dream Walkers then. *sigh* I don't know what the rest of the year will look like but WE'LL SEE, EH? Maybe betas this year?? THAT'S MY ULTIMATE HOPE.

    1. EEP so glad you like them! *pets the collages* And YES, the first collage is for the steampunk Rapunzel retelling! I'm pretty excited about it ;). And OH GRACIOUS do I agree with your rant - people should write steampunk fairytales MORE OFTEN. IT WOULD BE EPIC *will amend this problem someday* xD.

      *still is excited about the fact that people want to read MY WRITING* I'll remember that when it's time for more betas! :D

      OOH, DO IT. I want to read The Dream Walkers SO BAD - it totally sounds like my kind of story *nodnod*. And OH MY GOODNESS, BETAS. *raises hand to be one* xD

  5. Ahh...yes: when a novel gets a mind of its own (sometimes I think it's plot bunnies working in disguise. Just saying) XD

    Awesome goals and awesome advice (especially talking a break from the novel that's now engraved in your mind). Rewrites can be tough, and I wish you all luck and fun! I've found that going with some totally new ideas make them more exciting, as I've done several so far.


    audrey caylin

    1. Plot bunnies in disguise, that's terrifying xD. We writers need to come up with some kind of plot bunny repellent ...

      Thank you, Audrey! *wishes you all the luck and fun, too* :D I'm going to try my best to get all my ducks in a row before April (because of Camp NaNo, and all that *nodnod*).

  6. srsly tho? I was blown away by the first chapter of Killing Snow. I JUST WANT MORE PLLLZZZ CAN I BETA READ?!?!??! *gets on hands and knees and begs* *tempts you with ice cream*

    THOSE COLLAGES THO excuse me while I sob

    1. ACK, JU - *flails* you totally just made MY ENTIRE DAY, I can't even! *scribbles your name onto the list of people who will be out to get me if I don't let them beta* xD

      *gives you tissues* xD Glad you like them!

  7. First of all, BEAUTIFUL COLLAGES. And GOOD GLORY, you have quite the To-Do list for 2017. Because of you, I decided I'm going to do all three NaNo thingies, too. Though that'll be a little crazy, BUT I CAN DO IT. :)

    1. *drowns in my to-do list* WELL, at least I can try xD. And OH GRACIOUS yay for you for doing all three NaNos! I can't wait to do them with you ;). WE'VE GOT THIS *fistbump*.

  8. Killing Snow sounds amazing and the cover for it is awesome!

    -Cerra Cat-

    1. Thank you, Cerra! I MAY have stared at the cover for a little (*cough*long*cough*) while after I posted this xD.

  9. WHOA. Look at all you accomplished in 2016! You did awesome, girl!!!

    And you have some awesome goals for this year as well! You want to do ALL 3 NaNo events? GIRL. I ADMIRE YOU SO MUCH. Usually just one is plenty for me. XD But but but you're gonna do so many cool writerly things this year! *flails* It's gonna be great, I just know it!

    I'm sorry Killing Snow is being so stubborn. But your own advice is absolutely right. A break is a magical thing. I'm sure you'll get your drive for it again. Just allow yourself some time. *nods*

    And can we talk about those collages???? Because AAAHHHHH. SO MUCH GORGEOUS. I want to devour these stories just from their collages. I LOVE YOUR COLLAGES SO MUCH.

    I hope you have an absolutely amazing writerly year! <3

    1. Ack, thank you, Lauri! <3 If I suddenly disappeared during April, July, or November, YOU'LL KNOW WHAT MONSTER ATE ME xD. *runs from the NaNoWriMo Beast*

      Taking a break helps me SO MUCH - which is why I've now decided to put Killing Snow to the side for a time and work on a different retelling ;). It's going to be so FUN, I'm definitely ready for a change in story scenery :D.

      EEP, THANK YOU! I love making (and looking at!) collages SO MUCH - it makes me that much more excited about the story xD.

      Same to you, Christine! <3


  11. *steals you cover* I WANT IT PLZZZZ *sighs* finnee *gives it back*

    *eats cookies bc i read it all*

    *steals your plot bunnies* *runs away*

    1. *snatches cover back* MINE xD *pets it*

      *gives you more cookies because WOW was that long*

      *lets you take all the rabid ones* I don't need them, YOU CAN HAVE THEM, thanks xD

  12. *flails over the beautiful collages and general awesomeness* YOU GOT SO MUCH DONE! *gives you gold medal for awesomeness in writing*

    ALL THREE NANOS??? That is... Daunting. I think I'll do two at the most. I think.

    Overall, THIS WAS AWESOME.

    1. *hangs the gold medal on my wall* xD Thank you so much, Micaiah! :D

      YES ALL THREE *worries about my own sanity* I can't wait to do (AT LEAST) one NaNo with you this year!

      THANK YOU - I'm excited to see what writerly things get done this year!

    2. You're welcome! =D

      Me too! I'm already stocking up on hot chocolate and brainstroming novel ideas....

  13. Well done on having such a good writing year and good luck for 2017! Your story collages look pretty cool. :)


    1. Thank you, Astrid! I'm hoping this year will be as good as (or better than!) the last ;).

  14. Dude... you have so much on your writing to-do list. I think I'm in awe and wondering if I should hide your computer so you don't wear yourself out. xD

    EEK GOOD LUCK ON THE NEXT SET OF BETAS! They'll love it. <3

    I'll be doing all the NaNos with you! I'm still deciding which NaNos I should actually write in... It looks like I might be editing for the April and July one, which wouldn't be the best. Oh well. :P

    YOU GOT THIS. <3

    katie grace
    a writer's faith

    1. I KNOW. *blinks at the list, which somehow exploded* And YES hide the computer. I shall certainly lose my sanity if you don't xD. (but ... then I won't get to beta TSDS when it's time so ACTUALLY DON'T *smuggles the computer away*)

      THANK YOU! I MAY be more than a little excited for that ...

      OH GOOD - then I won't be the only one who loses all form of coherent words during April/July/November xD. And OH GRACIOUS, editing for both Camps? I think I might be editing for one, but I definitely couldn't handle both! *is in awe* *gives you all the cookies and motivational things, because you need it*

      THANK YOU! <3

  15. Wait...a steampunk Rapunzel retelling?! THAT SOUNDS AMAZING.

    Ugh, I totally feel you with main characters. Mine always just seem to be the most boring too. :P I tend to like my side characters more, which is probably not good. XD

    That's quite an editing process! I agree, everything seems to take much longer than it seems! It feels like it'll never be finished sometimes... :P

    And yes, breaks are SO, SO helpful. Even it's just a little one. :)

    1. YES a steampunk Rapunzel retelling - I'm pretty excited to bring it away from the back burner ;).

      I'm ... also quite guilty of liking my secondary characters best *cringes*. Something about them just seems more interesting, for some reason xD.

      I used to never take breaks - if my story was feeling too hard to write, I'd assume that I was just bad at writing it. But now I've learned that I'm normally more burned out than actually bad at it xD.

  16. Your cover and collages are sooo intriguing.
    And I totally get you about main characters, mine always tend to annoy me. XD
    Overall really enjoyed this post. *nods*

    1. Thank you, Hannah! Collages are some of my favorite (visual) story-things xD.
      *whaps my main character* I'll have to keep working on her ;). Glad you enjoyed the post, Hannah! 2017 WILL BE EPIC.


    I'm working on a steampunk/fairyland mashup called Karissa Goldlock's Guide to (Almost) Utterly Everything, and my favorite thing would have to be the snark. Karissa's a pretty snarky character, but almost all the others are as well.

    Best of luck on your projects!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. Alea's the best at covers *nodnod*. And OH MY do I hope you get to read it someday! Maybe I'll write it for April's Camp NaNo ...

      Oh my goodness, the genre+title immediately made me want to read your book and then you said SNARKY CHARACTERS. *grabby hands* I want that thing so bad xD.

      Thank you, Ellie! Same to you ;).

  18. Oh my word, those aesthetics are BEYOND GORGEOUS!!! I am the jealous! ;)

    Seriously, though, Savannah, fantastic job on all of this writerly goodness!!!

    1. THANK YOU, Kayla! I had fun with the collages and the post - I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)


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