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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

Beautiful Books #1: Let’s Talk Plot

Greetings, fellow writerlings! As promised, Cait and I present to you our new surprise: a new blog meme, Beautiful Books!

Beautiful Books began because Cait and I were coming up with waaay too many book-themed questions. We wanted to do a themed version of Beautiful People for NaNoWriMo, and it quickly grew into a three month long event. Thus, Beautiful Books!

The Info

What is it? Beautiful Books is a three-month-long blog event link-up focusing on three different stages of writing: plotting, writing, and editing. It was designed with NaNoWriMo in mind. NaNoWriMo is a writing event where you write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Because a lot of writers will be writing a novel this November, we decided to make it easier by helping get your juices flowing! We'll be focusing on plotting in October, writing in November, and editing in December. We also have the possibility of doing a bonus round at the end of the other three months, but we'll keep that mostly a surprise for now!

Do I have to be doing NaNo to participate? Absolutely not! While the general format is suited well to writers doing NaNo, we want this blog link-up to be for everyone! Just pick a work-in-progress and you'll be good to go. If you don't have a novel that works for the entirety of the blog event, you can feature different ones, but we'd prefer you focus on one WIP if at all possible. The point is, you absolutely don't have to do NaNoWriMo to participate, and we really want you to join! Come one, come all!

How does it work? The format is really similar to Beautiful People. Each month, we'll be posting 15 questions, except this time for you to answer about your WIP. These questions will correspond to either plotting, writing, or editing, and are designed to help you with each of these stages. Even if you aren't to the editing stage yet, they'll be designed to get you at least thinking about what you can do to make your book the best it can be--or, you know, the most beautiful book it can be. Either one. You'll take our 15 questions and answer them on your blog, then come back and link up here! And don't forget to go around and read the posts of the other participants--it could be a great way to make friends!

What about Beautiful People? We hope to do both concurrently, since four months is a long time to take off from BP and we’d miss it! But, depending on our schedules, there could be a few breaks here and there. Thankfully, you’ll consistently have Beautiful Books around to fulfill your blog link-up needs, and there’s always the archive if you get the itch to do BP as well.

So... what do I do? Sit tight and read the questions Cait and I will post in the next three months, then use them to help you think through one of your novels! Then link back, and overall, be your awesome self! Also, if you want to share this with your friends, we aren't at all opposed! Making this one big party would be really cool.

The Questions

  1. What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
  2. Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”? 
  3. What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
  4. Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.
  5. Sum up your characters in one word each.
  6. Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them! 
  7. What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?
  8. What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way?
  9. What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey?
  10. Where is your novel set?
  11. What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
  12. What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story?
  13. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
  14. Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens? 
  15. What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself? (This is your mission statement, one you can look back on when the road gets tough.)

The Blog Buttons

When making your post, don't forget to add either one of these blog buttons so people can find the link-up! If you have trouble with the image code, linking back to us is an acceptable option, too!


The Linky

That's all, folks!

And now, even more questions!
Are you doing NaNo, and are you excited?
If not, what novel are you working on right now?


  1. I was going to comment on Cait's post but I thought yours looked lonely! I've already made my own post answering the questions but it won't be up for a few days, but I just wanted to say that's this is a great idea :) Good luck with your NaNo!

    x Ely

  2. Love, love, love these questions. Thank you so much.

  3. Ooooh my goodness. What an awesome idea! I'm so excited!!! :D Now I just need to actually do NaNo planning so I can properly answer these questions. Time is getting away from me! But this is a great push to get on it, because I really want to join in. I love this! Such a spectacular idea.

  4. I found this post on The Notebook Sisters. It's a great idea! I think it'll help with my writing so I guess I'll be back every month then. =]

  5. I am late to the link up, but thank you for doing this, it looks like so much fun! Here is my blog post entry!



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