Monday, October 2, 2017

7 Tips For Choosing Your Next Novel To Write



Which also means it’s officially…


(Are you freaking out? Because I’m totally freaking out.) (Also, I warned you NaNoWriMo will be like my only posting subject for a while. #Sorrynotsorry)

SO. Last week I basically took a whole post to yell at you all to just write the story you want to write and not let fear stop you! Buuuut some of you may be thinking, “That was all well and good, Christine, but I still don’t know what story I want to write for NaNoWriMo.” I mean, out of the 2938398434 plot bunnies that have been vying for your attention, IT CAN BE HARD TO CHOOSE. There are so many variables.

Such as…

  • What are you in the mood to write? (Fantasy? Rom-com? That weird steampunk story with ninja sorcerers and zombie pirates that’s been sitting in the back of your mind for years?)
  • Do you want to try writing out of your usual genre or stick with the familiar?
  • Should you write something with a small cast to make things simple? Or a large cast to help add to that word count?
  • Are you wanting to write a story that will actually be publishable or just do something fun and crazy for yourself?
  • What story are you even willing to stick with for 30 long crazy days???

THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS TO CONSIDER. Deciding on what book to pour your HEART AND SOUL AND SWEAT AND TEARS into can be…daunting. Terrifying. Overwhelming. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s a complete nightmare. Remember last week when I said I lost sleep trying to decide on what my NaNo novel would be? Yeeeah.


Because I love you all, I’ve compiled a list of some tips and questions to ask yourself to help you wrangle that unruly indecision into submission! (This is more a less a part two or continuation of last week's post. Sort of… Let’s just pretend!) These are all things I’ve done over the years (and not only with NaNo, with ALL my novels) that have helped a lot, so maybe, hopefully, perhaps they’ll aid you as well!




This one is probably obvious but it’s very, very, very, very IMPORTANT. Spending hours inside one single novel can be…tedious. To say the least. Especially during NaNo when you’re forcing yourself to write day after day after day. You do NOT want to be bored with your story.

If you have a story idea that just doesn’t fuel your soul then…maybe find something else that does? That’s ultimately how I settled on what I’m writing for NaNo. I had multiple ideas, but one in particular made me literally do a little jig I was so excited to write it. (I’M AN OVER EXCITABLE PERSON, OKAY??) It was at that moment I knew that was the story I wanted to write this November.

So whether you’re doing NaNoWriMo or just looking for that next book to pen, make sure it’s one that makes your heart dance at the thought of forming it into being.

AND don’t just write the story idea you love, also write scenes you love. See, back in the olden days, with Baby Christine’s novels, I’d often just write whatever next scene came to mind. I’d settle for my first ideas, even if they were mediocre. As a result, I ended up writing a lot of boring scenes. Which meant I was bored. Which also means my readers would be bored. WHICH IS A BIG NO NO. I did quite a bit of this in my NaNo 2012 novel. I had so many scenes I forced myself to write that I just…didn’t want to. Needless to say, that wasn’t my favorite NaNo.

Thus, once NaNo 2013 rolled around, I made one simple goal: Make the story AWESOME. No more mediocre scenes! No more boredom! Which included making every single scene something I’d enjoy writing. I do extensive plotting with NaNo novels, so as I plotted, when I thought up a scene that bored me, I’d ditch it and replot the scene into something I knew I’d have a blast writing.

NaNo 2013 was one of my most favorite NaNos. (And one of my most feelsy novels to write because emotional scenes are my faaaave. Those poor, poor characters… Bwahahahaha…haha…ha. Ahem.)

Since that experience, I’ve learned—plotting or pantsing—if I’m about to write/plot a scene that bores me, I need to STOP and rework it into something fun to write. Which, in turn, will hopefully be something fun to read.

Moral of the story: Write a whole book that is chock full of stuff you enjoy writing about. Don’t just “settle”. Write something you LOVE.



Okay, so this is very much a suggestion, and may be personal taste. But after 7 years of NaNo, it’s something I’ve discovered is helpful for myself.

(Disclaimer: Yes, I did write each book of the same series for all seven of my NaNos, so I don’t exactly have the expertise of someone who wrote completely different novels every NaNo. But each book in my series followed different characters and, though set in the same world, had very different plotlines, so each one still felt new and fresh. Thus I still learned what I liked to write and what I didn’t along the way despite it being 7 years of one series.)

Sometimes I get bored writing the same ol’, same ol’. I have to shake things up and try new things to stay interested in my novels. But, at the same time, there are some things I know I’d never want to write. (Like historical fiction, for example.) I like to stay in my comfortable realm of speculative fiction, while still adding some new, interesting plot devices I’ve never tried before. That way, I’m not too overwhelmed writing something I have no clue how to write, but at the same time know I have some fun, unexpected things to try my hand at.

For example, I wrote a 7-book medieval fantasy series for the last 7 NaNos. Medieval fantasy is my genre, it’s the one I feel the most comfortable with. The one I started out writing, and will probably always come back to. Buuuut after 7 years of writing in the same medieval world, I kind of wanted to shake things up. Where the first few books stuck to a very classic medieval fantasy world where the most interesting thing that happened was swordfights (so many swordfights Z_Z), as I got older and more experienced in writing, I shook things up in the series. Such as stars being people, and a dragon the size of a city, and EXPLOSIONS. Explosions everywhere! (Not even kidding.) I also raised the stakes, added torture scenes (that was a new one for me), threw in a very interesting character, etc., etc. Suddenly, that simple medieval fantasy series I was kind of getting bored with by the time I got to the third book became WAY more fun to write. And I happily wrote 4 more books and finished it. All because I chose to try new things, even though I was writing my “comfort zone genre”.

Yes, it is good to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. Buuuut, ya know, sometimes we have comfort zones for a reason. I think I’d be a terrible historical fiction novelist. That is not my comfort zone, and it’d be silly to attempt it just for the sake of “getting out of my comfort zone”. We have the genres we love and don’t love. It’s as simple as that. So why not just expand our comfort zones? Why not stay inside them, but spice them up with some new, shiny things? Like unicorns and explosions. (You can never go wrong with either of those things. #Fact)

Believe me, spicing up a genre you love is a blast. These days, what makes me want to write the most is adding new, crazy twists to genres I already love to write. Familiar and new—best of both worlds!



This is an important question, especially for NaNo novels. Because once November 1st hits, none of us are going to want to cut into our writing time by spending hours on Google researching…only to realize those hours of work was spent just so you can write one paragraph of something accurately. Now, a lot of people while first drafting just make notes at parts that need to be researched, and then do the proper researching during the second draft. That’s good. I totally do this myself. (Well, sometimes I fail at the whole physical note taking, but I make notes in my brain. That counts…right? Imakesomanymistakes.)

BUT. Let’s pretend I did lose my mind and decide to write historical fiction. Maybe I spontaneously feel like writing a 1800s novel set on the sea. WELL GUESS WHAT. I’m kind of the worst at history and am super bad about knowing the terms of things as simple as clothing items, and I know nooooothing about ships. If I didn’t research I couldn’t write anything. Instead of just a note here and there reminding myself to research a sword fighting technique or what mushrooms are poisonous and then moving on with the story, the WHOLE novel would just be one note that said “DO YOUR RESEARCH YOU UNEDUCATED LUG NUT”. And that’s only 7 words, so it wouldn’t exactly be a successful NaNo. But, if I had the mind to, I could spend the entirety of October pouring myself into 1800s facts and learning the inner workings of ships and be ready to write those 50k words instead of…7.

SO. It’s just a matter of how much you want to research or not. Being fully prepared once you’re ready to begin that story will save a lot of stress, believe me!


(Aha, I mentioned this one at the beginning of the post. Continuation!)

This is actually something I very much took into account myself for this NaNo. See, for the last two NaNos, I was writing the big two-part finale for my medieval fantasy series. Which meant every. single. character. that was featured in the previous books were now ALL together in these finales (with the exception of the ones that died eheheheh…heh). I was juggling about 20 main characters at once. (I really wish that was an exaggeration…) Needless to say, I got a leetle overwhelmed. And by that I mean I was banging my head on my desk wondering, “Whyyyy did I make so many characters???” (I may have to cut some come revising time. *cough*)

After two years of that and finally being done with the series, I decided something for this NaNo: It’s going to be a small cast. No matter what novel I wrote, the cast was going to be SMALL.

But that’s just me. There are many pros and cons to small vs. large casts, particularly for NaNo novels.

Such as…

-Small casts are easier to manage, but they don’t always aid in the large wordcount department.

-Large casts will get you a lot of words (my series finale ended at 147k words because I had roughly 94958 loose ends and sideplots to tie up, yeeeah), but it can be overwhelming. I mean, I can’t even remember my own name. How am I going to remember 12 character names??? And manage it in only 30 days?!

But this is of course a personal thing. Some people always want to write large casts, some people prefer just having a small group to keep up with. These are simply thoughts to consider before you embark on this 30 day writing journey! Or…any writing journey!


#5: PRAY

‘Cause writing 50k words in 30 days requires a lot of prayer!

Okay, but seriously now. This is something I’ve been working on for the past couple of years, and it has made a huge difference. For some reason, I used to not think of praying for my writing???? Which was crazy, because my writing is basically my life. And I firmly believe God gave me this passion for it, so why would I not include Him in the whole process?

I believe last week I mentioned how a couple of years back I had made the decision that the next novel I wrote I’d write with purpose. As in, I wouldn’t just write yet another first draft and then move on to the next shiny thing. I’d actually stick with this book and pursue publishing with it and get serious about becoming an author. But that brought on the question of: WHAT ON EARTH DID I WANT TO WRITE??? This was a big deal. That next novel may become my debut novel and launch my writing career. But what did I want to start with?

Then it occurred to me. I should pray.

And I did. A lot.

Right around that time, the results for the 2nd annual Rooglewood Press contest were about to be announced. The goal of the contest was to write a Beauty and the Beast retelling novella, and I had entered an entry. Well, the morning the results were going to be released, I snagged up my phone the moment I woke up and looked to see who the winners were. My name wasn’t on the list.

But you know what? Instead of the bitter disappointment I expected to feel, I felt…peace. I pondered it as I showered that morning, and the answer to why I felt at peace and what I had been praying for hit me: That novella I had entered would be much better as a novel. In fact, Beauty and the Beast is a very special story to me, and my love of fairytales has been around since I was a toddler. Wouldn’t it be special to have my debut novel a Beauty and the Beast retelling?

And that’s how my novel, Burning Thorns, came to be. If I had won a spot in the contest, I wouldn’t have been allowed to turn Burning Thorns into the novel it is today. I don’t think I was ready to be done with it. Of course, it’s got a long road yet. I don’t know if it’ll be published or not, or what God has planned. But I do know He gave me that peace and has helped guide me on my writing journey.

Because God cares. He cares so much about your passions. He gave you that passion for words after all!

And that’s why I shared this (overly rambly) story with you. To show you that praying for your writing is important. If you’re feeling lost, ask God to guide you to that next story. You never know what amazing journey He’ll take you on!



“Oh come on, Christine!” you’re all no doubt moaning. “You literally wrote a humongous post last week about not being afraid!” I know, right??? And, fun fact, that post from last week sort of started out as this post. But my point about not letting fear hold you back from writing your story got so long, I just made it its own post and decided to write this one for later. (Which is why I keep mentioning last week’s post in this one, since they were originally going to be one in the same.) What can I say? I HAVE A LOT OF THINGS TO SAY.

But yes, I’m putting this point here anyway because IT’S SUPER IMPORTANT. And I have one more thing to add that I didn’t mention last week.

Sometimes it is tempting to not write that SUPER AWESOME EPIC AMAZING story idea you have for NaNo because we are writing at breakneck speed and making a mess of things. The idea of totally creating a disaster out of that story idea you love so much is scary.

And I’m going to be real with you, NaNo novels are messy! THEY ARE. You’re writing thousands of words in just 30 day. SO MANY TYPOS. SO MANY PLOT HOLES. HOW DID THAT CHARACTER’S NAME GET CHANGED THREE TIMES? I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING. (<--- My actual NaNo experiences.)

But you know what? Honestly, sometimes I wonder if my NaNo stories come out better. Yes, they're littered with typos and dreadful writing and even plot holes, but the HEART is there, possibly more than with other stories. Because I'm living my novel. Non-NaNo novels I write are usually written more slowly in between life. But with NaNo novels, they are my life. For 30 days I’m living and breathing that novel and, no joke, I get a little disorientated when I look up from writing and focus back on real life, because I’m so utterly and completely honed in on that novel for so many days in a row. I get so wrapped up in the world and characters and emotions, I think they come out with more HEART and LIFE than my other novels. Typos and plot inconsistencies can be fixed during the editing phase. But it’s during that first draft phase that you’re putting the HEART of the novel together. And that’s what really makes a good story into a great story.

So even though I did a whole post on it last week, I’m saying it again: Don’t be afraid of getting your novel “just right”. Just WRITE it. (SeewhatIdidthere?)



You know what? Forget all my tips and ignore my advice and listen to Loki instead:

This is your novel. Your time you’ll be using to write it. JUST WRITE WHAT YOU WANT. Don’t be afraid (<— okay, that’s the one tip you shouldn’t ignore), don’t let anything hold you back. If you want to write about leprechauns who live on the moon and battle space werewolves with cheese graters, DO IT.

Stay in your comfort zone. Don’t stay in your comfort zone. Plot all month. Forget plotting and pants the whole thing. Write the largest cast ever. Or make a story that literally only has one person. It doesn’t matter!


You’re going to have an absolutely amazing time!


Now my favorite bit, talking to YOU. Do you have any tips or tricks you use to figure out what novel to write next? Do you have a specific type of novel you like to write for NaNoWriMo? AND WHO’S DOING NANOWRIMO????? (I’m excited, if it’s not noticeable.) Alsoooo if you’re new to the whole NaNo thing or just interested in it but have some questions DON’T HESITATE TO ASK ME. NaNo is my favorite subject and this’ll be my 8th time to participate so…hopefully I know my way around enough to answer any questions. *grins*


  1. TT_TT *laughs and cries and sobs hysterically* WAAAAAAHHHH... Lauri!! HALP. A few days ago now, I found my fingers literally typing in info and signing up for NaNo... I'm excited, yes! BUUUUUUUT... I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING. This post is PERFECT. Thanks so much for sharing! But I need your advice - ALL OF IT. Please? *^ - ^* How does one plan/plot for NaNo? And do you make a goal of how many words you need to write each day? What if I can't make it to 50k? I'd feel like such a failure! GAH. Here I am listening to the FEAR, when you specifically told us not to. lkdfadisinndldslij Okay, okay *deep breaths* I suppose I can say, yes. I'm freaking out!!! HALP MEH :P

    1. :O

      *tries to calm down to form coherent words*

      SO. I...have a lot of thoughts on all the questions you've asked me. XD Would you be interested in a NaNo survival guide post or something like that? Because I was already throwing around the idea of doing something like that, and now you've inspired me to do it even more! I may very well do that for next Monday! So if you have any more specific questions/things/whatever you want me to talk about in my post, feel free to ask! And if, for some reason, I can't do a post I'll totally shoot you an email with some NaNo tips if you want. ^_^

      BUT IT'S GONNA BE AMAZING, SARAH. The NaNo experience is unlike any other. You're gonna love it!

      I'M EXCITED!!!!

    2. I'm actually thinking of maybe doing a NaNo tip post next Monday too... maybe... *ever brain twins* Unless something else comes up. XD

    3. YES YES YES - Please!! A survival guide sounds absolutely PERFECT. And I'll definitely pop over to see yours (Deborah) also!! Anything helps at this point... heheh :D

      If I think of any more questions (as I'm sure I'll have some), I'll certainly send them your way. That is, if you don't mind and are too consumed in your own prepping and noveling... *^ - ^*

      Thanks so much, ladies!!!

    4. @Celti - :O YOU SHOOOOULD!!! It'd be so fun for us each to have one. And knowing us they'll have tons of similarities. XD Our braintwinsiness is the BESSST!

      @Sarah - Consider a NaNo tip post coming your way Monday! ^_^ And NEVER hesitate to shoot me a line with any questions. NaNo is like my favorite subject (which is probably pretty obvious XD) and I love helping out my fellow writers. I don't mind one little bit!


  2. That gif sums up my life right now. I am not doing Nano or starting a new novel, but I wish I was. This post is so motivating! You are going to rock Nano. Also your fantasy series sounds amazing if you ever need a beta, I'm your girl.

    Also, DO YOUR RESEARCH YOU UNEDUCATED LUG NUT! Is hilarious and so true.

    1. Oh dear! But I relate. It kind of sums up my life ALWAYS. Eheh.

      Awww, you're not doing NaNo? Sadness! But I do understand if life doesn't allow it. It can be quite a commitment!

      Thank you so much for showing interest in my fantasy series. That's so encouraging! Right now they're disasters beyond comprehension. XDDD I don't know WHEN I'll revise them, but when I do I'd be totally honored for you to beta them! It may just be...years down the road. *sheepish grin* BUT STILL. THANK YOU! <333

      I yell these things to myself quite often. Yelling and insulting myself is always very motivating. XDD

  3. AHHHH how is it almost NaNo?! I'm probably going to do a bunch of editing this November. For my Rooglewood project (which I'm currently getting betas for and AHHHH) and probably Watched too, as well as plotting for the next couple of pet projects I have sitting on my desk. *rubs hands together gleefully* Good luck to you, for sure!


      Ooooh, I love how you're taking this time to edit and plot and just do ALL the writerly things. That's awesome! I should probably do that because I reeeally should be editing and not starting ANOTHER novel buuuut I'm not very responsible, so. XD

      Thanks so much, Faith! Good luck to you tooooo! We're gonna have an awesome writerly time, I know we are! :D

  4. "If you want to write about leprechauns who live on the moon and battle space werewolves with cheese graters, DO IT."- that actually sounds kind of fun. I want to give that one a try!

    1. OH MY GOODNESS. YOU TOTALLY SHOULD! :D That'd be amazing! I just came up with it on the fly, it's not a plot bunny I've been holding onto or anything. Lol!

  5. Yaaaas I'm doing NaNo. At this stage I THINK I'm doing a superhero story (YEET SUPERHEROES) though I still have...about .0004% of a plot. XD IT'LL COME THOUGH.

    All these tips are SO HANDY, honestly. Particularly the reminder for prayer because NO WAY can I write 50k by myself, I need God to be helping me along. XP

    1. I'M SO EXCITED YOU'RE DOING NANO!!! :D And writing a superhero book? :O FUNNNNNN. Boy do I understand not having much of a plot though. Like...I have a semblance of a plot but...not really. I'm just pretending I do to make myself feel better. Eheheheheh...heh...heh. *sobs*

      D'awww! I'm so glad! And yes, we definitely need God to help us through the insanity that is NaNo. o.o But really, I find I ALWAYS have better writing sessions if I pray before I start writing. God is so good like that! ^_^

  6. THANK YOU FOR THIS. I've been struggling, trying to figure out which of my 454984 ideas to get started on this NaNo. But I agree, praying is such a powerful tool, not just in our regular lives, but also in our writing lives! He will be with us and guide us through the throes and insanity of NaNo. :D Wonderful post, Christine!! ^_^


      I'm discovering prayer is the most amazing writing tool out there. I've been trying to make it a habit to pray before each writing session and it helps SO much. My writing always ends up going smoother when I remember to pray first. Isn't it the most beautiful thing how God cares so deeply about every single detail of our lives? He is SO good!

      I do so hope you'll be able to decide on which idea to write. Whatever it is, I know it's gonna be AWESOME!

      Thanks so much, girl! <3

  7. Your last point is something I noticed too, with my one NaNo novel. And even though it's in the middle of being completely re-written, and actually on hold because of school (though last night I opened the document and re-read some bits, which was good, though I didn't actually do anything), I think it has the best heart of my novels so far. And considering that I've thought that even in the "this is a horrible story and I'll never get it right" stage, it might even be true.

    But I'm not doing NaNo this year, again because of school, so I'll watch from the sidelines and dream of the day when I'm no longer a penniless student working two jobs.

    1. REALLY??? That's awesome! It just proves that my theory is true! NaNo novels tend to have more heart than others. I'm sure there are exceptions, but still! I bet it is an amazing novel! ^_^ I think we often look too much at the typos and plot holes, and forget to dig into the HEART of the story. Every story has hidden gems and can be revised into the story it's MEANT to be, no matter how messy that first draft comes out.

      Awwww! That's so sad you won't be doing NaNo. :( But, goodness, with school and work, I can imagine NaNo isn't exactly on your priorities list! You work so hard towards your dreams. Keep pushing on. You've got this!

  8. I love that I unconsciously followed most of these tips without having read the post. XD
    1. Excited? Check. SO BIG OF A CHECK. It's the only one I'd been thinking about other than my started stories lately, pretty much. XD
    2. New but familiar? Check. Writing fantasy, but with steampunk/skyship elements. :D
    3. Research... eh, half-check on this. It's in a fantasy world so I can make up stuff, buuuut I should probably research a few things... meep.
    4. Small cast or large--I'M DOING BOTH! :D I have three main characters and oooodles of awesome side characters. It's gonna be great. I'm so going to fail. XD Imakesomanymistakestoo.
    5. Yepper. So important. "Because God cares. He cares so much about your passions. He gave you that passion for words after all!" <--- ^_^
    6. Not being afraid of the messy. Um. Working on it. XD But the fact I decided to do it at all means that I must be okay with doing a NaNo version, so yes. If I could just FINISH a NaNo story... >.> *coughcough* *has done SEVEN NaNos and only finished one*
    7. Do what you want. Check. XD Aaall the Loki-ness here. :P I'm going to write what I feel like writing and it's going to be amazing! ^_^ (Hopefully. ;))

    "the WHOLE novel would just be one note that said “DO YOUR RESEARCH YOU UNEDUCATED LUG NUT”" <--------- XDDDDDDDDDDDDDD I'M DYING.

    Also, interesting thought about making scenes you want to write. o.o *must contemplate this more*

    Unicorns and explosions. XD

    Drat, now I want to read about leprechauns who live on the moon and battle space werewolves with cheese graters. OH WELL.

    ANYWAY I loved this post and thank you for shariiiing! ^_^

    1. That is just the greatest thing! Your writer brain had everything under control. It's good about doing things subconsciously for us. Lol!

      I'M SO HAPPY YOU'RE EXCITED FOR YOUR STORY!!! I'M EXCITED FOR IT TOOOO. And I think it's the best thing we're both writing steampunk-fantasy this year. My novel will have quite a few new and different elements too and it's gonna be so funnnn! (You know, I hope. XD)

      The research one is where I fail so hard... So far I haven't thought of anything that will need researching for my story. But WHO KNOWS. Random things do like to pop up!

      That is the COOLEST you're doing a small AND large cast. BEST OF BOTH WORLDS! :D AND YOU ARE NOT GOING TO FAIL. It's gonna be amaziiiiing! So far my novel has...two main characters, a villain (well, technically villainess), a side characters and...that's it. It'll probably be my smallest cast yet! And it's kind of a relief. XD Then again, characters loooove to pop out of nowhere, so who knows how many there will be by the end. >.>


      Tehehehe. I tend to be most motivated when I insult myself and call myself names. XD I...don't even know.

      Attempting to make every scene something you WANT to write is the besssst. I'm trying to keep that in mind right now as I start plotting my own novel. We'll see if I can follow my own advice. XD (UsuallyIfailatthat)

      ALL THE UNICORNS AND EXPLOSIONS. (Just maybe not exploding unicorns...? o.O)

      ME TOO. Someone needs to write that novel. XDD

      I'm so glad you did! THANK YOU! <333

  9. I need to come back and read this more closely... but I have to say, I can't right now because I'm laughing at your "DO YOUR RESEARCH" line and how that would only be seven words and ohhhh now I have a stitch in my side!!!! Bwahahahahaha!

    1. *giggles uncontrollably* Thanks, Jenelle! I apparently enjoy insulting and yelling at myself. It's very motivational. XD


    I tried Nano Last year, and only got to about 10,000 words, hehehe. I'm going to try it again this year (the key word being try) but instead of coming up with a whole new story (I have what, eight already in progress?) I'm going to work on my main story, hopefully this will help me finish it. Again, the key word being hopefully :P

    1. Aaaahhhhh! THANK YOU!

      10k words is still a LOT! That's the lovely thing about NaNo, it helps us get writing done, whether it's 50k or not. It's just about WRITING. That's so wonderful you're going to join in again this year. And you're very responsible to work on one of your current WIPs. I...probably should do that, but new, shiny stories are just so enticing. XD

      I hope you have the BEST NaNo!

  11. Hey! Sorry I'm late. :-Z
    Loved this post! There were some awesome tips in here. ;-D (Loved the Loki gif; that was perfect. XD)
    I did Camp Nanowrimo in July but I can't do it this November because I'm too busy with school and a play I'm in. :-( I am definitely going to try and do it next year though. XD
    OOOH I want to hear more about your books. They sound awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD
    Well, I never really have a problem with novel ideas because they sort of pop into my head and I'm like "How did you get here?" ;-D If I ever did though; I would probably look on Pinterest. It's super helpful with inspiration. ;-D
    Thanks for the post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD

    1. You're not late at all! And it makes me happy you enjoyed my post! ^_^ (And the Loki gif. XD Loki gifs are necessary to life. *nods*)

      Awwww! That's sad you can't do NaNo, but it definitely sounds like you've got a lot on your plate! Silly life does like to get in the way. But how fun you're in a play! :D

      D'awwwww! THANKS! That fantasy series is a...disaster. Haha. But one day I hope to rewrite the books and make them something actually readable! XD

      I RELATE. I'm usually overwhelmed with how many ideas I have, and they just keep coming. I don't think I'm gonna live long enough to write all the story ideas I have! XD Those plot bunnies are relentless...

      PINTEREST. I'm OBSESSED. And I already got enough story ideas without Pinterest. But now I get like...5 ideas every time I'm on there. It's bad. XD

      It was my pleasure! Thank YOU for your comment. It made me smile. ^_^

  12. These are good tips! When I'm choosing my next NaNo novel I usually just trust my gut. XD Like this year it just all of a sudden dawned on me that now was the write time to write a novel I've had in mind for four years. XD

    1. Thanks! I'm happy to hear it! ^_^

      That's basically what I did this year! I had lots of ideas, but the one I chose just felt...right. I like how you put it, "trusting your gut". I think our subconscious always knows best. *nods*

      But how fun you're writing something that's been waiting for four years! It's one of the most exciting things seeing books that have been in our heads for years and years finally turn into actual words. I just know your story is going to be EPIC! :D



    So basically... I am going through THIS right now. Like I JUST finished the book that I have been writing FOREVER and my life is just a gaping void and I don't know what to do with myself now???


    (Also the gif at the top. Is. Me.)

    SADLY... I am not doing NaNo this year. *all the tears* I did it last year and BOTH Camp NaNos but this is my senior year of high school and I just really think I should take school seriously and NOT take a whole month off (which is what I ended up doing last year in order to win...)??? BUT I'M SO SAD because even after only ONE NaNO... fall/November reminds me of writing now??? It's like it's totally hijacked me. THE NANO IS EVIL. So I WANT to write (and I WILL write!!) but I KNOW I can't do a whole 50K. Not this time. DEFINITELY NEXT YEAR THOUGH!!!

    So anyway!! Back to your post!!!

    Writing something fun and exciting is something I'm learning to do more of. I've settled on my next project and it is going to be more lighthearted than my last book and have lots of food and sass and relationships and friends and teenagers and it make me happy to write it. I AM HAVING WAY TOO MUCH FUN WITH THIS SOMEONE ARREST ME.

    Another thing that's different about this project is the HUUUUUUUUUGE cast!!! I think part of the reason that I write such tiny leetle baby books is that I tend to have super COMPACT casts??? Like, two or three main characters??? It's weird. SO. In this book, I have six or seven MAIN characters and several others as supporting, so it should be a lot bigger??? Hopefully????

    Ew. I am so bad at research, Christine, help me. I mean, I love research because it's fun... but when it's for a book, I'm just crippled by the fear that I will never get it right, so I tend to avoid research at all costs. ;)))

    Ooooh!! Yes!! Thank you for explaining the "new but not too new" thing so perfectly!!! I love writing fantasy... I tried to go "out of my comfort zone" (because that's GOOD FOR YOU, right????) and it did not work. AT ALL. Ugh. So... I can write fantasy that's dark and fantasy that's light and fantasy set in different places and whatever but leaving fantasy... NEVER DOIN THAT AGAIN!!!


    1. First of all, YOU FINISHED YOUR NOVEL. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU CONGRATULATIONS! *throws all the confetti and makes cookies* THAT IS SO AWESOME! :D :D :D

      Secondly, MEEP. I'm so happy this post was helpful! But I'm really sad you won't be doing NaNo! D': I very much admire your for dedicating yourself to your school work though. I didn't even start NaNo until I had graduated, so I totally understand! School and NaNo do not always coincide. Eheh. But YES. Fall = Writing season. Totally! I felt the same way after my first NaNo. It just sealed November being a month of writing for me. NaNo takes over our miiiiinds.

      Sass and food and relationships and friends are the best things! :D Your novel already sounds epic. I'M SO HAPPY YOU'RE HAVING FUN WITH IT. THAT IS THE BESSSST!

      That makes absolute sense about the cast thing! I usually write absurdly big casts, so my stories end up being absurdly huge. Because there are SO many people to juggle and all their side plots and backstories to work on and just YES. LOTS OF WORDS. I suspect this new book of yours will be much bigger, yes!

      I avoid research tooooo! D': It's bad. So bad. But but's HARD and hurts my brain and yeah what if I don't get it right and just lsdjflksj;ldkjfsd. Will someone else please research for me? *puppy dog eyes*

      So someone understands! YES. Sometimes going way out of your comfort zone is NOT a good idea. We should just dip our toe out now and again, not our whole bodies. :P But really, we all have our specific genres! There are some genres I just will NEVER write. AND I'M WITH YOU ON FANTASY. Although I did write a dystopian one time... o.o Which was fun. But overall FANTASY. It is my genre and I'm stickin' with it! *nods firmly*

      *flails like a happy octopus* I'M SO GLAD IT WAS HELPFUL TO YOU!!!

    2. Christine, you are the nicest human bean. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING EXCITED WITH ME THAT MEANS THE WORLD YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!!

      I know... I'm going to miss all the crazy butterflies in my stomach, I think. ;))) But BEST OF LUCK to all of you. I will be cheering lustily from the sidelines and can't wait to plunge back in next year (when I will be at college. *shivers*)

      I am really excited and hoping it will be fun and funny and make me laugh. :)

      YAY I SINCERELY HOPE SO!!!! That may have contributed to the bleaker feel of The Songless, too... such a small cast. This one will be much cheerier!!! *murders five characters mentally*

      Exactly. There is a lot of pressure to get it right. *wails*

      I'M WITH YOU. Because if we go too far we just freeze and can't even write. It's weird. Send help. I do feel like some of my plotbunnies are a little dystopian-ish??? I'd rather NOT write a hardcore dystopian but... ehh, I'll give it a shot, I suppose. As long as it can still have fantasy elements!! (I will NOT give up my dragons!!!)

    3. OF COURSE I AM EXCITED. You finished a NOVEL!!!! That is a HUGE accomplishment in life and one of the besssst feelings in the world. I'm so, so, SO excited for you! :D

      Yeppp. You're missing ALL the fun. The stomach butterflies, the stress, the no sleep, the crushing weight of having so much to do and not enough time to do it. Poor you, missing out on all that. *shakes head* Tut tut. (But seriously, I can't wait for you to do NaNo with us again!)

      I bet it'll be awesome! You always make ME laugh, so I have no doubt you'll write all sorts of hilarious stuff in your novel. :D

      No murdering characters, missy! Be nice to the poor babies. :P *says the writer who spends her days thinking of ways to make her characters more miserable*

      UGH. I KNOW. Research... *mooooans*

      I NEVER thought I'd write a dystopian. I mean, I rather like reading that genre, it just wasn't something I ever, ever, EVER saw myself writing. But an idea smacked me in the face and I really had no choice but to write it... But I understand not giving up dragons! I wrote a steampunk story once, with no intentions of having dragons. Dragons didn't really even fit the world. But...then there was a dragon. >.> I'm incapable of not having dragons. (Not that I'm complaining. *grins*)

  14. You are a brilliant human bean! So much great advice packed into one post! They're the kind of tips that we "know" but tend to forget that we know. Like writing scenes we love! Duh, why would I spend time dragging out scenes I find boring?! And yet I do sometimes! *shakes head*

    Oh, oh, #2 is making me want to write ALL THE THINGS. :D I love new twists on familiar genres and tropes!!!

    Such a good reminder about prayer. It's weird--I *know* God designed a desire to write into me, and I know He has a purpose for it, but I soooo easily forget He actually wants to be involved in the day to day process! I want to become more consistent when it comes to soaking my writing times in prayer. ^_^ (And can I just say I still love the story behind Burning Thorns??)

    Not being afraid...doing what you want...ugh, this whole post makes me want to WRITE SO BADLY. Which is a good thing. ;) It's just the fuel I need to keep writing Snow White this week!

    P.S. This post also makes me even more excited to hear about your Nano project!!!!!!!

    1. *blushes* Awwww! You are a PRECIOUS human bean! <333 It makes me really happy this post was helpful to you! ^_^

      I'm the same about writing boring scenes! I'm trying to do better, but I still sometimes slip into it and then wonder whyyyy am I doing that? We writers. XD

      ME TOOOOO! I'm learning more and more that's my favorite thing to write. My NaNo novel is going to be a fantasy novel, but SO different from anything I've ever written, with all sorts of weird twists and just all around different territory for me AND I'M ECSTATIC. Like I said in the post, what drives me to write these days is adding fresh things to my beloved genres. It's so fun!

      You put it into words! That's exactly how I am about prayer. I'm always grateful for the passion of writing God gave me, but, like you said, I totally forget to involve Him in the day to day work of it. I don't know why! But then when I DO remember He wants to be part of every minute detail of my life, it just fills me up and puts me in awe. ^_^ (Oh goodness, thank you! I've told that story so many times I'm scared people are going to think I'm a broken record. XD)

      EEEEEEE!!!! It makes me feel so honored something I said inspired you to write! I so hope your Snow White story is going well and you find time to write. I've been thinking about you and praying for you and mentally cheering you on these past few days! *waves pompoms* You've got this!

      Eep! I'm excited you're excited. I can't wait to share it with everyone! I know it's taking me forever to get to it. I just wanted it mostly plotted so I could talk intelligently about it. XD But I WILL be babbling allll about it at the end of this month! :D


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