Monday, November 14, 2016

Beautiful Books – Novel Update {NaNoWriMo 2016}


What is this glorious thing I see before me? I think it’s a…HALFWAY MARKER.

That’s right, Week Two of NaNoWriMo is nearing a close, and come tomorrow we’ll be halfway finished!!! HALFWAY, PEOPLE. Can you believe it? How are you surviving? Week two tends to be the hardest of NaNo as the excitement of week one fades into weariness, a dozen empty coffee cups, and the knowledge that the end is still far, far away. But once we get over that halfway hump, the rest of NaNo just zooms by. So if you’re feeling discouraged, DON’T GIVE UP. You guys are doing AWESOME. We’re going to survive this NaNo, I promise!

My week two went along quite well! Perhaps not the complete euphoria of the first week, because things started to pile up and I was gone some of the days, and probably didn’t sleep nearly as much as I should (but, like, who sleeps during NaNo????). BUT I did have some verrrrry exciting things to happen during this week’s writing sessions.

Such as on Wednesday…

Erm, so yes. I hit 50k words in 9 days. O_O (I did mention I don’t sleep during NaNo, yes? Yes.)

My ecstatic screams and flails of celebration were halted when it occurred to me I’m not even halfway through my story yet. And I want to finish it before Christmas, sooner if at all possible. Except I may die before then from being crushed under the enormous amount of words. Or my characters might just kill me because they’re sick of me destroying their lives. Being a writer is hazardous, okay??

But still. 50K WORDS!!!!! I AM HAPPY. And I’m still totally loving my novel so maaaybe I won’t die before it’s finished. Maybe.

But how is the actual writing going? WELL. Our illustrious Sky and Cait have compiled a new list of questions for this month’s Beautiful Books to help me answer that very thing. And aren’t you glad? (Because we all know I can’t construct an organized post in any form or fashion during NaNo judging by last week’s post or…any NaNo post of mine, ever.)


Visit Sky @ Further Up and Further In or Cait @ Paperfury
to snag the questions and linkup yourself!


1.) Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

Mental state?

I’m fine. Juuust fiiiine!

Okay, okay. Honestly, I’m doing pretty good mentally thus far. The words have been coming fast and easy, I’m absolutely 100% loving my book, and life has allowed for writing time so the stress that usually comes has been (mostly) low. The biggest thing causing stress if just realizing how BIG this book will be. But then I tell myself it’s okay. I’ll just keep plugging away at it until it’s done. It’s not the end of the world. Besides, it’s FUN to write in.

So yes, I’d say I’m great! I mean…as far as stress-wise and things. But if we’re talking how sane am I still? Pft. I threw my smidgeon of sanity out the window the second November 1st hit.

And my novel is going AWESOMELY. But I shall answer that more specifically in the other questions…


2.) What’s your first sentence?

Iavin fidgeted as he listened to the status report of the end of the world.

I…may be kind of totally in love with my first sentence. *cough*


3.) Who’s your current favorite character in your novel?

Well, this is a loaded question!

Remember how I had mentioned in the last Beautiful Books post how I have 15 main characters or so? And I loveth all meh babies. And…like…I HAVE SO MANY HALP.

Okay, okay. I do have specific favorites even though I do love each and every one of them in a special way (and technically you’re not supposed to have favorites amidst your children. I never claimed to be a nice author, now did I??).

I think we’re all quite aware of my favoritism toward my antihero/villain/who-even-knows-what-he-is character Cael. WHY? Because he’s a polite villain. And charismatic and hurts my poor brain which I love because GIMME ALL THE COMPLEX CHARACTERS. He’s also just absolutely hilarious and I honestly never know what will come out of his mouth next.


Cael sighed. “I get it, I know. With war comes messes. I guess we'll just have to buy some dragon-sized brooms when this is over and done. So I believe we were discussing Ilvra Evien?”

Azrot blinked. Even after months, the man hadn't gotten used to to Cael's ways. Iavin rubbed a hand through his mussed hair. It did take some accustoming to.

BUT. As much as I love Cael, my favorite character to actually write the point-of-view in is, without a doubt, Iavin. Not just from this series but out of ALL the stories I’ve ever written. I don’t know what it is about being in this awkward child’s head that delights me, but I love every second of it! Whenever I switch POV’s my first thought is, “Oh yay, now I get to be in this character’s head for a while, I’ve missed them!” but then immediately after I’m thinking, “This is great buuuut…I miss Iavin.” IT’S A PROBLEM. His constant pessimistic, doom and gloom attitude amuses me endlessly.


Sayleth’s face softened into a smile. “I've missed you, Iavin.”

This time his heart didn't miss a beat, but somersaulted into an erratic, dizzying flip. “I...” ...thought about you every day. ...wished I had gone with you. ...feared for your safety every single waking second. ...don't ever want to leave your side again. ...don't deserve you as my dragon rider partner. ...should probably just jump off this dragon right now before I say something really, really stupid. “...missed you, too.” There. That wasn't so hard. And yet... It didn't feel right. It wasn't enough. He spoke up before he could talk himself out of it. “A lot. I mean, I was scared something had happened to you. I didn't know... I'm just glad you're here. Safe, that is. Well, here and safe.” He groaned internally. He should have stopped while he had the chance.

And I actually think I like Cael best through Iavin’s POV. I know, it’s weird. But their friendship is my FAAAVE. And by their “friendship” I mean their attempt to be best friends while one is destroying the world and the other is trying to save it. But hey, all friendships have their ups and downs now and again!

Though I do have another favorite POV which I shamefully FORGOT was one of my faves until I was writing his first scene in this book! Darven. Somehow my complete and utter love of being inside this guy’s head slipped my mind. Then I wrote his first POV in this book and all the memories of my happy times with this dude came rushing back. What’s funny is Darven is as opposite from Iavin as a character can get. In fact, Iavin is totally intimidated Darven. He’s large, he’s quiet, and he’s not exactly one for smiling. So yeah, he can be intimidating. But he’s also the protector. He’ll take charge and risk his life to protect everyone around him, without a second thought. There’s something comforting about being in his head. And that probably sounds so weird, I don’t even know…

Darven just shrugged. “I'm fine.”

Leiden rolled his eyes. “Says the man with bags as big as Barveris's scales under his eyes. Get some sleep, Darven. I insist. Besides,” his bright green eyes gleamed with mischief, “I'm an elf. I don't need nearly as much sleep as you silly humans.”

Rem pressed a hand against his chest. “I'm hurt.”

“And technically I'm part dwarf,” Darven pointed out.

Leiden shuddered. “Even worse.”

Rem and Leiden burst into laughter, and even the dragons rumbled in amusement. The corner of Darven's lip tilted up, but he just shook his head and settled against Barveris. “Fine. This silly human tainted with dwarven blood will get some sleep. See if I care when the enemy comes and gets you both.”

This only brought more laughter. He draped an arm over his eyes, acting as if he was entirely done with all of them. He would never admit how much he valued the companionship of each and every one of them.

Sometimes Darven is the stereotypical broody hero, but I still love my Sir Broods-a-lot. (Yes, I tease him endlessly and it drives him crazy. What do you mean he’s not real? I don’t know what you’re talking about.)

Annnd then there’s Airen…

Unable to hold back his smile, Airen pulled her close. “So I said the right thing?”

Eryth’s cheek pressed against his chest vibrated all the way down to his heart as she giggled. “You always do.”

“Well, I do have a way with words.”

What can I say? Just…Airen.

(Gracious alive these things need to stop asking about my characters because I will babble to the end of time.)

4.) What do you love about your novel so far?


You’re gasping in shock. I know, I know. I am the most unpredictable human alive, you have to admit it.

But seriously now, THESE PEOPLE. Not only is it a delight spending time with them again, but this go round I get to see them ALLLL interact! So. Many. Reunions. In the other books, they were all paired off into twos. But now everyone is running into everyone else and battling together and being awesome and just…ALL THE TEARS AND HUGS AND HAPPINESS. Technically there were supposed to be a lot of reunions in the last book, but that didn’t happen much. Like, can you guys stop going to COMPLETE OPPOSITE sides of the continent, hmmm?

After having most of my characters separated for 6 books it’s the most exciting thing in the world to see them get back together in this 7th one. One reunion actually brought tears to me eyes, and another involves my favorite ship I’ve ever created *cough*ErythandAiren*cough* and just SDLKJF:LKSDJF.

I also just love the fact this this is the FINALE and THIIIINGS are happening! Things I have imagined writing since I started the first book! (Because apparently you start dreaming of writing the finale of a series before you’ve even finished book one…?) These scenes that have only been daydreams in my head for yeeeears are actually being WRITTEN, and it just feels so surreal.

I’m basically loving everything about this story.

5.) Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

Probably half a billion! (Except I only have 62k words right now so you can figure that math out.) Okay, I do actually go back and fix typos while writing. I know, I know, it’s NaNo. I should just write and not worry about these things, but I can’t stand having those evil red squiggly lines plaguing my document. >.> BUT. I’m notorious for my typos (you’ve probably already spotted half a dozen in this post knowing me), so I am 100% sure there are a TON of them I haven’t caught in my novel.

I did glance up at one sentence while I was happily typing away and paused in confusion for a second as I read “your hear”. Because…I meant “you’re here”. *pats brain* You tried, you tried.

6.) What is your favorite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?

I could write a post about my thoughts on this! Oh wait, I did. But long story short, endings are DEFINITELY my favorite. I live for writing climaxes. It’s the biggest thing that keeps me writing, knowing that if I keep at it I will eventually make it to that exciting climax.

Beginnings are my least favorite. It’s a lot of work for me to get settled into the feel of a book and into the habit of writing in it. I usually don’t start having fun until I’m past the first few chapters. Though this book is the exception to that because, well, I’ve written 6 books before it in the same world and same characters, so I’m quiiite familiar with the feel of it. XD

And, I feel like I’m in the minority here, but I do actually enjoy middles! I mean, that’s where basically everything happens. It can be daunting though, I totally get that.

7.) 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!

My writing habits during NaNo? Um…I just write every single free, waking second I have, and then continue during the seconds I shouldn’t be awake.

Okay, I usually don’t really get started until after lunch, but once I’m going, I pretty much just spend the whole day writing as long as I’m home. I make a rule where, once I start writing, I have to keep at it until I get that first 2k in. Then I’m allowed to update my wordcount on the NaNo site and take a little break (usually for food, I don’t really eat while writing). Then, from there, I update my wordcount every 1k words, and maaay take little breaks in between. I don’t actually allow myself to write any past midnight. Not because I’m a responsible person and go to bed. What a silly thought. It’s actually because I’m OCD about these things and it bothers me that if you update your wordcount after midnight, it’ll show it as words for the next day. Perfectly legit reason. Once I’ve finished writing, usually sometime right before midnight, I then proceed to check twitter and see how everyone is doing and update on there my own progress for the day. Of course, I’m checking twitter all throughout the day, too… *cough*

I definitely listen to music. During ALL of my writing. But I think you all already knew that being as how I was flailing for half of last week’s post over the Skyrim soundtrack and things. *grins*

I tend to write best at night, when it’s dark and everything is quiet. But I actually get the majority of my writing done during the afternoon.

During NaNo, since I’m writing so. very. much. I try to switch positions pretty often. I have multiple writing perches.

First, my main place, is my chair in my room:


I spend most of my computer time there, to be honest. I love opening my window on these nice November days, my bed is right there for a footstool, and I totally think having books above my head provides inspiration. *nods* AND it gives me a perfect view of my other two bookshelves on the opposite side of the room. Staring at pretty books all day is very motivational. (Or distracting.) Occasionally I’ll use my actual desk, but it’s my least likely place to write. #Logic At night, I like to lounge in my bed. So basically you might find me all around my room. I’ve even sat on the floor before.

I also like to go out on the deck a lot. Sometimes I’ll sit at the table, but more often than not I’ll just use the porch swing we have out there.


But then once the sun goes down (which it does way too fast now *glares at time change*) and the giant creepy flying things decide to whack into my computer screen or my face and give me a mini heart attack, I’ll move to the other swing inside the protected screen porch, should I still want to be outside.

Yes, we do have a fake tree with stringed lights on it, and it’s the best, happiest thing ever. This may be my favorite writing space this year. I’m loving bundling up and getting all comfy on the swing and just writing away. I think my best writing memories of this month thus far have happened on that swing during the late evenings.

8.) 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)?

Well, being as how I just basically wrote a novel-length post about my novel here, how private do you think I am??

Okay, actually I’m funny about this. When it comes to blogging and emailing and things, I can babble about my stories until the end of time. But if you ask me about it face to face, I totally clamp up and get all nervous and self-conscious. My family has to drag information about my writing out of me, and I’m just like, “Go read my blog posts!” whilst wanting to hide under the covers.

Hey, I’m a writer. I’m comfortable using the written word, but when it comes to verbal usage…I’m an awkward potato. Which I hate. Because I want to talk about my writing, I just get…nervous and fear no one cares and that I sound dumb. I don’t even know. It’s silly.

But cheer squads are amazing! I thrive off cheer squads. My love language is actually words of affirmation, so, like, even one sentence of encouragement can make me flail happily for daaaays. And I have the BEST writing buddies whose encouragement and support keep me going. Seriously, FIND WRITING FRIENDS. I couldn’t do this thing without them!

9.) What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?

Oh look, I already answered that question. But I shall say it again: MY WRITING FRIENDS. Without them keeping me accountable and constantly building me up, writing this insanely long series would probably have killed me years ago.

Also, GOALS. NaNoWriMo is perfect because I thrive off goals. I’d never write a single word if I didn’t make goals for myself, or have something like NaNo to do it for me.

Lastly, the motivation to be DONE does wonders. I love writing, but I love even more finishing. But, of course, I will never finish a book if I don’t keep writing in it. Thus I write.

10.) What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?

Write to the end. I used to never finish my stories, and that got me nowhere. Actually, I think I only ever finished one book before my first NaNo, and I had been writing for 9 years before then! But then I did NaNo, and it taught me I can write and finish a book in a decent amount of time, and that’s when my writing hobby blossomed into a full-on pursuit of a writing career. So keep writing and finish that book! I promise it is absolutely worth the time. And with that said…

Write now, edit later. I know how tempting it is to slow down, to rewrite that first page for, oh, the 5th or 6th time because it’s still not…quite…right… But STAHP. Actually don’t stop. Keep writing! As Shannon Hale said: “I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” You can’t make a castle until you have the sand. You can’t perfect anything until it’s written. Because you won’t know what needs editing, what bits need foreshadowing, who needs broader character arcs, etc., etc. until you have the whole story in place. First drafts are meant for exploration. Explore, blow something up, throw in a rampaging Chihuahua named Herbert. It doesn’t matter. Just WRITE.

Write what you LOVE and do it BRAVELY. I actually wrote a whole post on this one, but the main point is, you should have FUN with your story, and not let doubt hold you back. If you have a crazy idea, don’t “play it safe”. Go for it! Write that crazy idea! And write the things you love. Make a list of your favorite types of story elements and incorporate them in your novel. Let loose. Try new things. This is your story. Have fun with it!

WHEW. We made it to the end. You may all breathe in relief now! (Seriously, if I added my blog posts to my NaNo wordcount it’d practically double…)

We’re nearly halfway done with this crazy NaNo thing, guys! Can you believe it??? Did you survive the Week Two slumps? How is YOUR mental state? *passes around motivational cookies* Tell me all about your November thus far!


  1. 50k in nine days? I just finished 17k in five days and I'm worn out (but not too worn out to attack three other projects with imminent deadlines). How do your hands and muscles in general keep up with this?

    I like reading long posts about your NaNo, though I'm not sure where you get the time to write them. . .

    1. Eheheheh. Yeeeeah. I may get a tad obsessive when it comes to NaNo... *cough, cough, cough* But SOPHIA. 17k in five days is AWESOME. I never write that much when I'm not doing NaNo. You're so good to push yourself and get things done!

      It's funny, because I see people complaining about their sore wrists during NaNo all the time, but my wrists and hands never hurt. Maybe it's the type of keyboard I have? I don't know. But my other muscles, especially my back, DO get sore, which is why I try to switch positions often.

      Well, that just makes me so happy! Because I always fear I'm just gonna make everyone sick of NaNo with all my talk of it. XD And I maaay or may not have stayed up until 1:30 in the morning last night writing this post. I did the same for last week's post... Finding time to blog during NaNo IS really hard. :-/

  2. Hi, Christine!

    Ohmygoodness, I was so proud and happy for you when I saw you were done (yes, I watch my buddies' progress VERY closely... I don't know why??? Perhaps competitiveness and shame motivates me to write more???)!!!!!


    But, wait! You are not done????? You are going to keep going??? How are you so strong and brave, woman???? I have not your courage... *distant wailing*

    Week 1 was great and I thought this NaNo thing was so easy, right???? Why was everyone acting like it's such a big deal???

    Week 2 showed me the error of mine ways...

    Buuuut! I got some help from some AWESOME AND VERY PATIENT friends and pushed through!

    I'm at 42k now and hope to be DONE (eeeep just the word is exciting!!!!) by the 16th. *crosses fingers nervously*

    So while I am depressed not to be a speedy bean like you and Cait (from Paper Fury - why did I even add her to my Buddy list???? SHE FINISHED IN THREE DAYS!!!!! *Kate dies*) and Mary Horton... I am surprised and pleased to find that a) NaNo was fun, b) I wrote a book, man!!!! and c) it only took me half a month instead of a whole one.

    So basically I am just like shocked. I DID IT!!!! Or, you AM GOING to do it. There's like no way I can lose at this point, so.

    Also I loved your snippets!!!!

    Also how do you have the willpower yto keep going???? When I hit 50k I am going to hide from my book for FIVE YEARS AT LEAST!!!!! And so I ETERNALLY GRATEFUL that NY book is actually feeling very complete!!!! #sooooorelieved

    How many more words do you think you'll write???? Like how long is it going to be when you're done????

    Also (one last thing I promise) I know I am going out on a limb here so feel free to say no, but would you be interested in being writing buddies??? I have a couple, but I'd love to have a really diverse group of people around me and don't know how else to accomplish that without just waltzing around asking people point-blank???? I'm awkward like that...

    1. KAYLA. *tackles* Your whole comment just made my day, you have no idea! THANK YOU SO MUCH.

      I totally watch all my buddies, too. I actually end each NaNo day with going through my entire buddy list seeing how everyone is doing. XD I like to mentally cheer people on. Lolzy.

      Haha! Yeeeah, I shall keep going. Through, like, December it's looking like... :-/ Though I pretty much always do a double NaNo and write 100k instead of 50k because I apparently don't value my sanity at all, so pushing on isn't anything new to me. Heh. I am NOT strong and brave. I'm just cRaZy! >:D

      Week 2 can be really tough, but I am ecstatic you had support and pushed on! And KAYLA. YOU ARE AT 42K WORDS! You're going to be finished halfway through NaNo. YOU ARE ROCKING THIS THING!!!! I KNOW you can do it. You are so very close. EEEEEE!!! I am thrilled for you!

      Oh gracious, Cait. o.o She is amazing. My highest wordcount to write in a day is 9k, and she just throws out 20k like it's nothing. Like HOWWW??? But anyways! YOU, Kayla Marie, are doing AH-MAY-ZING. I can't tell you how happy I am to hear you're loving NaNo. YES. You wrote a BOOK. And not only that, but in half a month! Not many people in this world can say that!

      AWK. I'm glad you enjoyed my snippets! They're not quality. Icky first draft NaNo writing, you know? Eheh. But still, thank you!

      LOL. I don't knooow. It's hard and tiring, but my determination to finish a book pushes me on. And with this one I won't only be finishing a book but a SERIES, sooo that's a pretty strong motivator. XD But trust me, once it's done I shall be hiding from it for probably a decade or two. Z_Z

      Oh man... It's gonna be so long I fear. If I'm being honest with myself, I'm guessing it'll be around 150k...? And I want to get it done by Christmas. Sooo yeah. I may die.

      Aw, girl! You're already my writing buddy! I have the BEST time chatting with you here! I've been actually trying to not be on the computer QUITE as much so I'm not really doing a whole lot of emailing and have stopped beta-reading for a while. Which is sad, because I love hanging out with writers, but my computer time has just got to be too much and stressful. But I LOVE chatting with people on my blog and theirs and twitter! ^_^ Speaking of which, do you still have a blog? When I tried to go to it via Google+ it said it wasn't there. :(

    2. Why do people say "oh these snippets are awful because they woke up looking that way" and then they turn out to be AMAZING????? My mind is boggled.

      My favorites are Cael and Iavin!!!! And one is the bad guy and the other is the good guy and they are friends and one's trying to save the world and the other is trying to destroy it?????? *fangirls wildly and collapses in admiration*

      Totally fine! You're a busy woman! ;)

      Ohmygoodness! Two months of NaNo???? As much as I would like for my book to be 100k OR LONGER (!!!!!!) I am so exhausted that as soon as tomorrow is done I am going to bury that manuscript so deeply in the earth that it will take ten years just to dig it back out...! Like just the idea of writing in the near future or editing SCARES ME TO DEATH!!!!!

      That said, I wish my book was longer... I feel like a failing bean for writing such a short little book...

      Yes, I still have a blog... It's weird - blogger seems to rely on Google I guess??? So I have an account and whenever I comment on a blogger blog it automatically uses my Google account???? But my blog is on WordPress now... So anyway, if your blog was WordPress maybe you could have found me, but through Google I guess you can't????

    3. LOL! Well, the problem with this book is I'm really not trying very hard. Most of my first drafts I'm just throwing together with plans to make them pretty during revision, so. XD BUT I AM HAPPY YOU LIKE MY SNIPPETS.

      MEEP. It makes me so happy when others like my characters! It's like you're showing love to my own children. Lol. And Iavin and Cael are my favorites tooo! Which...I guess is obvious. Eheh. But YES. Their friendship is...something. Cael is sorta kinda my main villain (it depends on the day...) and Iavin is one of the heroes, so... #awkward

      I think by January I'll just be a puddle of tears on the floor. XD I'm gonna TRY to keep writing until this thing is finished, but, yeah, it's daunting. o.o

      What? NOOOO. 50k words is a perfectly fine length for a novel! After all, that's why NaNo chose that number. It's a good novel length! You are in NO. WAY. a failure. ABSOLUTELY NOT. I mean, you're about to finish an entire BOOK in half a MONTH. YOU ARE DOING AMAZING AND SHOULD BE SO PROUD!!!

      Oooh, you're on WordPress! Okay. I typed in your blog address with instead of and got it. And now I am properly following you! :D I am the WORST about forgetting to simply click that follow button on blogs I totally mean to follow. Ugh. The blondeness that is me... *shakes head* Anyways, it is all resolved and I can now read all your lovely posts! ^_^

    4. But, but... I feel like with a book with so much sheer STUFF in it, it should be like a thousand pages??? #goalsmon I did the math and 50k is only 180 pages??? WHUT EVEN. That's shorter than most little kids' books!

      Aw, thank you! I still feel like a little baby blogger, so it means a lot when people choose to follow anyway. ;)

      Also I love your hair! #sadbrunettehere

    5. You can totally have a bazillion epic stuff in a 50k book! That just means you're skilled at managing your words and packing in a lot of AWESOMENESS into fewer words. I WISH I HAD THAT SKILL. I envy that skill!!! I mean, I'm finishing up a 7-book enormous series and many words. AGH. I really, really want to learn to shorten my stories because they're soooo long and wordy. *collapses* I'd honestly be ecstatic if I could make a 50k story. My stories turn into monsters and it's annoying. >.>

      I think you blog is fantastic and am so happy to be following!

      Oh goodness, thank you!!! But excuse me, brunettes are awesome! I actually tend to write a bunch of brunette-haired characters because I think it's so pretty. ^_^

    6. ALSO I JUST SAW YOU HIT 50K!!!!! *shoots fireworks and throws confetti and makes a cake* YOU DID SO AWESOME!!!!!

    7. Wow! You can shoot off fireworks and confetti and bake cake all at the same time? #multitasking

      Thanks, Christine! You're sweet.

      Now I feel oddly guilty about quitting... Almost like I should keep going??? But as I'm fresh out of book (seriously, though, I was fresh out of book by the end of week one!) I have no clue what I'd write...

      Ha! I guess the grass is always greener on the other side - with hair and writing. ;) I have zero brunettes in my book, though! They all have veeery exotic hair colors! ;)

      Ohmygoodness, though! I don't even know how writers of series do it, mon! I could never!

    8. Also aaallllll the credit goes to you because you talked me into it! :)

    9. Your amazingness and my excitement for you gave me magical multitasking abilities!

      Wait, wait, wait. What do you mean...quitting? didn't quit. I'm honestly confused here. You didn't quit..? You WON. That was the goal, to get to 50k as fast as possible and write a book. AND YOU DID BOTH THOSE THINGS. You actually won with super de duper flying colors because you made it to the finish line in HALF the time!!! THERE IS NO QUITTING HERE. YOU WROTE A WHOLE BOOK AND MADE IT TO 50K. YOU DID AMAZING!!!!!!!!

      D'awww! I am ecstatic I managed to talk someone into joining the crazy. I mean... *cough, cough* Doing NaNo. *grins*

      I have some seriously exotic hair colors in some of my stories, too. It's just too hard to resist. XD

    10. But all of you guys are continuing and I'm not...

      I mean, it's just peer pressure? But that can be a good thing - it's what made me do NaNo in the first place... what made me push so hard to finish early... what made me finish at all!

    11. That's only because we haven't finished our stories yet like you awesome person! Last year I stopped NaNo on the 23rd day because that's the day I finished my story. And let's remember Cait and her 3 DAY NANO. So...yes. I don't think it's about writing for the whole month, just writing until your book is done. AND YOU DID IT. AND YOU ARE AWESOME!!!

      I totally get the peer pressure thing! Yes, peer pressure can actually be a good thing sometimes. I don't think I'd EVER have this whole series almost done if not for the peer pressure. I just love NaNo! ^_^

    12. I feel better now! Thanks, Christine! You da best. :)

      Agh, yes. CAIT. She is my hero.

      NaNo got me so pumped about my novel I can't seem to leave it Aline now. Which is strange since I thought I'd hate the sight of it. I've spent the last couple if days making a word aesthetic and patching up the sad little outline I tore to shreds in Week Two of NaNo... So at least I'm doing writerly things???

      Also the NaNo site is mean! Even though I'm done, its still tracking my stats? So its like "you have written zero words today" and I'm like, "HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME FEEL GUILTY FOR THAT!!!"

    13. Urg. I don't know who Aline is! I meant ALONE. :)

    14. I'm so glad!!! Because you should feel AMAZING for your accomplishments!

      Cait just...yeah. She's fantastic.

      That is awesome! Once I'm done with my NaNo books I just bury them for like a thousand years. XD I love how you're still loving on yours. ^_^

      Lol. Yeeeah. But tomorrow you get to officially validate your novel and get the winner's badge! :D

      Maybe Aline is a character who wants to be in your next story. ;D You know how characters like to pop out of nowhere...

    15. Eheh. Yeah, I'm not gonna be validating my novel??? I wrote the whole thing by hand, so typing it up would be like doing NaNo all over again, so... NOT WORTH IT.

      Ha! It is kind of a cute name, isn't it?


      HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS???? This makes your accomplishment like 298349834x even MORE amazing!!!! I mean...BY HAND? I would give up after like, the first two chapters if I was writing by hand. AND YOU WROTE A WHOLE 50K BOOK. I...I have no words. I'm just going to go in the corner there and sit in awe because WHAAAAT? YOU BLOW MY MIND.

    17. Partly necessity, partly love I guess??? I don't have access to a PC all that often, so NaNo would have been impossible if I were not willing to write the bulk of my story by hand. Also I am waaaaaay faster at handwriting than typing, so. To be honest, though, I've come to LOVE writing by hand! Give it a try some time! You won't regret (also when you're famous, you can publish all thed handwritten drafts and make a million dollars)!

    18. Handwriting is...not my favorite thing. When I was younger I used to write my novels in notebooks but now I kinda hate it. Oops? I'm rather obsessed with typing, it's funny. So I just SO admire those who can hand write entire books!

  3. 50K in nine days...*squeak!* C...congra...congratulations!

    "First drafts are meant for exploration. Explore, blow something up, throw in a rampaging Chihuahua named Herbert. It doesn’t matter. Just WRITE." Good words. I usually do end up exploding something. I haven't tried the rampaging chihuahua name Herbert, though- I should!

    (I love that old typewriter on your dresser, by the way!)

    1. Thank you, Blue!!! <3 I'm excited!

      Aw, thanks! I totally blow things up all the time, too. XD It's pretty bad. And I haven't had a Chihuahua named Herbert either, buuut it could happen someday. With my novels you just never know...

      Oh, thank you! I love it too. We found it at a thrift shop one day and I HAD to bring it home. ^_^


    Also. I have a question. It probably sounds weird but...can I please please beta read your book when it gets to that stage??? Because those snippeeeetsss. They're killing me with awesomeness. I have so much love for those characters even though I have no clue who they really are.

    I also wanted to say a big THANK YOU. I know you probably didn't realise it, but having you as my NaNo buddy was super encouraging and really fun. Being on the other side of the world makes me feel slightly out of things like this sometimes, but this month I have just been totally swamped with awesomeness of people. So thanks for being a part of that, even though you didn't do much, it still made a big difference to this Aussie girl's first NaNo experience. *hugs*

    1. MEEP. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! <333

      Oh my goodness gracious. That doesn't sound weird, it's so NICE. Like...I AM SO HONORED. Especially because those snippets are actually pretty awful... My NaNo novels are not known for being well written. Such messes. XD So THANK YOU for your interest! I'd looove to have you on my beta team except...I have no clue when I'm gonna revise this series. Once I finish this book it'll probably sit for a few years while I work on other things. :-/ So yeah. It won't be ready for mortal eyes for...a long, long time. But your interest just makes me so happy! Thank you!

      *clutches heart* JANE! I...I don't even know what to SAY. I am so honored I was an encouragement to you! I've actually been watching your progress (because I totally stalk my buddies' wordcounts *cough*) and mentally cheering you on as you rapidly approached 50k. You did SO. AWESOME. Congratulations for hitting 50k!!!!

      You are seriously the sweetest! I love doing this NaNo thing with all you amazing people! *HUGGLES*

    2. But your characters sound so epic!!! Oh well, next book you need beta-ing, I'm here jumping up and down waving my arms and screaming for a copy. :P

      *hugs you back* Thank you so much. You were totally the best. *tries to think of words to describe what my heart is feeling* *fails* *hugs you again*

    3. AGH, GIRL. That makes me so happy, you just have no idea!
      As far as beta-ing, I may call for another round of beta-readers for a Beauty of the Beast retelling of mine, Burning Thorns. I'll be doing the second round of edits for it next year and need all the feedback I can get. So if you're interested, let me know. But NO pressure whatsoever! Only if you want to! (And it may be later in the year before it's ready for beta-readers, I'm not sure yet.)

      *hugs you back* I honestly can't stop smiling! <3

    4. OOh YES PLEASE!!! I'd LOVE to read it whenever it's ready. <3

    5. AWK. THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY! I've written your name down on my beta list so I won't forget. Eeeee! YOU'RE JUST THE SWEETEST. <333


    And also Iavin and Cael. Ohmygoodness. What beans.

    Congrats on your 62k! And AHHH YOUR WRITING. I LOVE IT EVERY TIME.

    Best of luck with the remainder of your novel!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality


      Such beans. XD I can't with them.

      *flails* THANK YOU, ELLIE. That means so much to me! Especially because I really wasn't sure I should even share these snippets because my quality of writing during NaNo is...poor. I'm just writing to get the story finished, not writing to make it pretty. Eheh. But your encouragement just makes me so happy!

      Thanks so much! <3

    2. AWK. Thank you Ellie, you sweet thing! <3

  6. Wow! I can't believe you're already over 5OK! I'm at 25K as of writing this comment. I'm so glad this book is going well for you. I have yet to write the last book of a series, but I'm excited to! :D Happy writing!

    1. I'm pretty excited! Except it just proves I really need a life. XD

      YOU ARE HALFWAY THERE!!! You're doing wonderfully! Keep it up, because the world NEEDS your epic book!

      This is my first time to write a series finale. Really, this is my only series I've continued with. All my other series or trilogies or whatever I only ever write the first book for, then seem to abandon... Such a problem. *shakes head*

      Thank you so much! I hope your second half of NaNo is amazing. :D

  7. You go Christine! Your word count has me stunned, and the fact that you are still in love with your characters and story after that is brilliant! YOUR CHARACTERS!!!
    I don't know what it is about them, but I always seem to fall in love with them. All of them!

    1. THANK YOU, SKYE! Seriously, this whole comment just has me smiling so big! It makes me indescribably happy when people love my characters as much as I do. MEEP. Thank you so much! <3

  8. CHRISTINE. Oh my goodness. You... you are a superhero. o.o

    IT MUST FEEL SO, SO GOOD TO FINISH THIS SERIES! And I'm super happy for you that you're still 100% in love with your story. :D (I am for the most part faring quite the opposite. *ahem*)

    I adore your first sentence. Wow.

    You are amazing and so superhuman! GREAT JOB. :D

    1. *FLAILS* MEEP. THANK YOU, EMILY!!! I am definitely not a superhero though! More like a supervillain like...the Joker. Causing chaos and pain for all mine characters while cackling madly. XD

      IT REALLY DOES. If I make it to the end of this book that is... It's so looong. *collapses* BUT I'M GONNA KEEP PUSHING ON.
      Awww, you're not enjoying your book? I'm so sorry! I hope it gets better for you. *hugs*

      Lolzy. Thank you! That's what pops out of my brain at midnight when I'm exhausted. XD

      Thank you for everything, Emily. You're such the encourager! *huggles*

    2. Oh, I'm pretty sure you are. ;)

      Oh no, I definitely am enjoying my book immensely. It feels great to be completely expanding from my full outline. But I've been struggling a lot with feelings of "this is worthless", "it's so cliche and shallow on paper but so deep and beautiful in my head" and things like that. So. xP But I really am enjoying it, I'm just not "in love" with it every time during the day. ;)


    3. Oooh, I see! But, Emily, noooo!!! DO NOT FEEL THAT WAY. This is the first draft! It's perfect for just existing. And I ALWAYS feel like my first drafts are complete junk, but oftentimes when I read back through them I'm surprised that they're not QUITE as bad as I thought, and there are many little gems woven throughout them.

      Just keep writing! NOTHING you write can be worthless. Every single word we write helps us grow. I know NaNo can be so daunting, but keep pushing forward. You're doing so awesome!!!

  9. CONGRATULATIONS ON ALL THOSE FABULOUS WORDS! Just—whoa. Do you have an estimate for what your final word count will be?

    Isn't it great when you have that one character whose POV is just the best? It makes things so much easier! And oh my goodness Darven sounds so wonderful. I love broody characters.

    "Your hear"—it sounds close, right? ;)

    Your room is adorable! It looks so cozy and peaceful, like a perfect writing space. AND YOU HAVE A TYPEWRITER! And writing outside is lovely. The weather here hasn't exactly been conducive for me to do so, but I was able to a lot last month which was nice. Something about the sunshine and the birdsong is really inspiring.

    NaNo is going much better than I thought it would. My novel isn't turning out quite like I imagined it would, but it's moving pretty quickly. I'm hoping to stay ahead of the word count and (maybe? possibly?) finish this draft early. I'm not committing to that entirely, but it's one of those things that I would like to do.

    Also, I did put the caffeine quote above my desk. :)

      Well...I'm kinda guessing the total novel will be around 150k words. O_O I haven't written a book that long in long, long time. I've gotten spoiled to my books being shorter. Heh. But I guess finales just have to be long sometimes. Sooo yeah. I'm pretty positive I'll continue writing through December. It'll be miraculous if I finish it during NaNo.

      YES. I love it so very much! And hear, hear to broody characters! Some cliches are popular for a reason. XD

      Totally close. XD I'm the worst about things like that. I've found myself typing "won" for "one" or similar stuff so many times through the years. I don't even know what my brain does...

      Awww, thank you! To be honest, I kind of adore my room. It's my happy place. ^_^ I probably spend waaay too much time in it though... YES, I love my typewriter! I don't actually...use it, but it's so pwetty.
      I always get so much more inspired outside! I totally agree that the birdsong is the best. I'm sorry your weather hasn't allowed for much outside writing. :(

      I'm so happy to hear it! You are FLYING through those words. I have no doubt you can finish early. You are doing AWESOME!!! Keep at it! :D

      Oh my goodness gracious, I AM SO HONORED. *flails*

  10. GIRL, YOU ARE PAST 65K. YOU ARE LEGEND. I know the book seems huge and daunting at times, but YOU'VE GOT THIS. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Write a scene, then the next scene, then the next...and pretty soon you'll be typing "The End." (Gosh, that sounds so final. So bittersweet. *sniffles*)

    LSDKFJASLASFJ Your first sentence! XD Oh, Iavin. I honestly can't wait to read the parts from his POV--the way you talk about him has me in love already. And Cael, Darven, Airen...JUST EVERYBODY. I WANT TO SMUSH THEM ALL IN A GROUP HUG.

    Ugh, I'm the same way about beginnings! Unless it's for a dare or flash fiction piece, because than I can just go wild and not have to fix whatever mess I make--I can just end on a cliffhanger and be done with it. XD But when it's a full story, something I really care about and want to do right, that's when beginnings can be so hard. Finding your hook, setting the right pace, trying to find your stride, setting everything up, getting into character... Thank God for revisions!

    Ha, if I was doing NaNo, I would be the same about not writing past midnight simply to keep each day's wordcount nice and tidy. XD

    I love all the pictures of your writing spots! They're so cozy and bright and cheerful. The colors of your room remind me a tiny bit of Mary Margaret's apartment in OUAT, actually, but maybe with a smidgen more pink. :D

    (Also, do I spy the print you won in Deborah's giveaway??)

    Haha, when people ask me in person about writing, I tend to be a little less detailed too--unless it's my immediate family or a close friend or a fellow writer, because those people understand. It's worse, though, when someone asks you what your book is about. O.O

    I. Love. Those writing tips. Seriously. Especially the last two about writing now and editing later (I am constantly reminding myself of that these days), and writing what you love. How have I not thought to make a list of things I love and just write about them?! You're so right, we need to loosen up and write bravely! It's our stories, after all. Shouldn't they come from the heart? Shouldn't they be what we're absolutely, head-over-heels in love with?

    I love this post! It's so great to get these weekly updates on your NaNo project. Just keep swimming--er, I mean writing! *hugs* >o (That little thingy is supposed to be a fish. A fish that is supposed to be Dory. Don't mind my random attempt at a new emoji. XD)

    1. *FLAILS OVER ALL THE NICENESS AND YOUR WHOLE COMMENT* THANK YOU, TRACEY!!! <333 And thank you SO much for that reminder. It is really, really daunting, and I think this novel is gonna be HUGE. But you're right. I just need to write one scene at a time, and it'll be over before I know it. Thank you, I needed to hear that!

      MEEP. Thank you! I honestly can't wait for people to officially "meet" Iavin as well. He's my precious, awkward baby. <3

      You too? Yes! Beginnings can be so overwhelming. You're absolutely right about flash fiction pieces though. It's great to sometimes just write something without worrying about making it perfect. XD But YES, how would we survive without revisions? They take the pressure off first draft writing, that's for sure!

      I'm glad someone understands! XD Most people are writing through late in the night, and I'm just like, "But the wordcount bar will be incorrect! D:" Problems of a perfectionist. >.>

      D'awww, thanks! I do love my writing spaces. ^_^ Oh my goodness, that is the BEST compliment. I guess it sorta kinda does have that same flavor...? I ADORE Mary Margaret's apartment. It's like a fairytale cottage, but modernified. The set designers of that show are BRILLIANT. Well, EVERYONE who does that show is brilliant.
      "A smidgen more pink." LOLZY. That describes everything about me. XD

      Yes, that is Celti's art print! Isn't is gorgeous???

      Oh man, I've had mini panic attacks when I've been specifically asked what my books are about. o.o I just...I can't! I mean, *I* usually don't even know what my stories are about, how can I explain it to someone else??? XD I've learned writing retellings is perfect though! Because for a while all I've had to say is I'm working on a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and that seems to satisfy everyone. No more jumbled mess of trying to explain all my weird books! :D

      AWK. THANK YOU!!! They're things I'm reminding myself basically every time I sit down to write. It IS so important to write the things we're passionate about. I spent years "playing it safe" and not really allowing myself to let loose with my stories. But once I did, my plots became vastly better and writing all the more fun!

      And I love your comment! It has me smiling so much. It makes me very happy to hear I'm not running everyone off with my blabbering mess of NaNo updates. XD

      OHMYGOODNESS. The fish emoji! I LOVE IT. These needs to be a thing, it's perfect!

      Thanks for everything, Tracey! *hugs back*

    2. *showers you in hearts and confetti*

      Precious and awkward seem to describe Iavin perfectly!

      Yes, that's exactly what her apartment is like! A modernized fairy tale cottage. Love it. ^_^ The whole show is definitely brilliant.
      "That describes everything about me." IT DOES, THOUGHHHHH. XDDDD

      I know, right? I'M just trying to figure out the plot and stuff, so how am I supposed to present a coherent synopsis? That's what the back cover of a book is for--so wait till it's published, people! Well, actually, it's nice that some people are interested enough to ask, I guess. And I suppose I'll have to get better at describing my books if I hope to pitch to an agent one day... XD
      That's a convenient thing about retellings--everyone knows the general plot. *nods*

      I just get so excited hearing about your writing journey and how you've grown and learned to be bold! <3

      Oh no, you're not running anyone off at all! Or at least not me. :)


      *more hugs*

  11. Wow, you already reached 50,000?! *gives you candy and throws confetti* Congrats! Good luck on the rest!

    And YES, write now and edit later. I wish I knew that when I was a younger writer. I. Was. So. Slow.

    1. I think I need a life. XD Haha. BUT THANK YOU!!! *noms candy*

      I was super slow too but...not because I edited, ever. Just because I hardly ever actually sat down and WROTE. But isn't it nice when we see ourselves growing in our writing. ^_^

  12. WHOA! Good for you! 9 days is incredibly fast! Way to go! And wow, being able to write such a long post after that? I generally can't think to blog for several weeks after finishing NaNo. :) Very impressive!

    1. Thanks, girl!!! You're so sweet. ^_^

      Well, it's anything but a COHERENT post. XD I'm pretty much just spouting off nonsense with these blog posts and probably SHOULD take a blogging break to spare you guys from my insanity. Heh. But thank you!


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