How's My Writing Going? - Know the Novel #2

by - 3:37 PM

Hello yes my name is Ellie and I am, indeed, alive.

I wanted to get this post up so much earlier! But November was its typical insanely busy self, and it will continue to be so: this week is tech week for my school's winter play, and I'm stage manager. So I wanted to finally post this before all that goes down and join in this awesome link-up before it's too late.

For anyone who doesn't know: Know the Novel is a NaNo linkup cooked up by the amazing Christine @ Musings of an Elf. (You don't have to be doing NaNo to participate, of course!) For anyone who missed my Know the Novel post from last month, here are some quick lil facts about the book I'm working on:

  • It's a novella called That Once Was Mine
  • It's a weird mix of Victorian fantasy/cop comedy with lots of morally grey characters.
  • The head of the city police used to be a street rat/kind of involved with gangs, and his past is catching up with him. Also, there's a mysterious new mobster coming to town and disrupting the fragile balance of power. Also, there's a serial killer running rampant through the city. So your boy's gotta pick sides (when none of his options are good) and find a serial murderer (who's left zero clues). He's not having any fun, but I am.
1. How's the writing going? WELL. The answer to this question is kind of the reason I never officially do NaNoWriMo; November tends to be one of my busiest months with school, and it's even worse this time around due to college applications. So I'll answer this question with one of my own: what writing?

basically I've been writing a few hundred words a week and that is i t.

2. What's been the most fun aspect of writing this novel so far? I know for a fact I'd never publish this (or even share it with that many people) because it's part of a series that's super rough. So I'm just completely letting loose and not stressing about it being good, now or in the future. It's really enjoyable.

3. Has your novel surprised you in any way? Not really?? I kind of knew pretty firmly what and whom it was going to be about when I started, and I've been following my outlines really closely. It's nice, actually. I haven't spent any weeks banging my head against the wall in agony over plot holes -- yet.

4. What do you think of your characters at this point? Who's your favorite to write about? Ah! here's a fun fact about this story. Remember that super rough series I said it's a part of? Well, that series spawned a bunch of awesome characters, but I knew it itself was never publishable. So I took those characters, changed them around a little, and plopped them in a bunch of my other stories. In writing this, I'm returning to the source material for a lot of my favoritest characters: Xavius, the undercover assassin; Cyrus, the shy and bookish police officer who should really be a librarian; and others. So what I think of my characters is already pretty cemented; and I like all of them, or I wouldn't have included them in this installment. (And my favorite is, and always will be, Xavius.)

5. If you were transported into your novel and became any one of your characters, which one do you think you'd be? Would you take any different actions than they have? Oh, I'm SUCH a Cyrus. I'd probably act similarly to him in most situations, always taking the logical and most careful approach. But I'd have a lot less of an emotional attachment to Horatio, the protagonist.

6. Give us the first sentence or paragraph and then 2 (or 3!) more favorite snippets! I'm hesitant because this story definitely doesn't feature my best writing; as I stated earlier, I'm not trying or stressing too much, and that's been really nice. But here are some acceptable snippets, I suppose:

7. Have you come across any problem areas? Again, not really. I made sure to outline/plot thoroughly before I began; so although I had some problems while plotting, I've gotten over all those.

8. What's been your biggest victory with writing this novel so far? Idk, man. I don't think I'm far enough in to have any major victories under my belt yet. But you could argue that writing this book in of itself is a victory; I've always wanted to return to these cop stories, but I never got around to it. Now, I finally am!

9. Be honest, have you killed off any characters yet? Oh yeah. One named character and, uh . . . a ton of unnamed characters. One of the major plot lines is about a serial killer, after all.

10. Take us on a tour of what a normal writing day for this particular novel has looked like. Let's be real. First, I think about writing. Then, half the time, I don't actually write. If I do, I'll pound out several pages and feel incredibly proud of myself. Then I won't write again for another week.

Thanks again to Christine for creating + hosting such a fun link-up! Talk to me, y'all: If you're doing NaNo, how is it going? If you're not, what are you writing right now? Comment below, and have a lovely day. <3

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  1. To be honest, I actually like the way you're telling the story. The style is casual and different. I liked the snippets very much. :)

    And I totally feel you on the 'few hundred words a week and that's it'. SAME.

  2. I went from laughing about "You think my parents, demons from the deepest pits of Hell, decided to name their daughter Susan?" to going "aww, poor Pratt" because no one remembers his birthday. What a sad little puppy dog. I want to feed him cookies.

    Ooh, I feel you with the college application stuff. It is a process that is not quick nor easy. Because I decided to take a gap year, I only now sent in all of my applications, but luckily I had a lot of work done already, so I got them in before NaNo started. But now the fun of applying for scholarships starts. xD

    I'm actually super pleased with my progress, so far! I decided to be an ML for my area, so I got to choose when to set up all of the write-ins, which has really helped my productivity. I don't really know where my "best" writing happens, but the majority of my word count comes from when I'm at a coffee shop. Something about the change of scenery helps me clear my head.

    1. Thanks!

      Good luck with scholarships!! And a gap year sounds so nice. Do you know what you're going to do with it?

      Coffee shops help me a lot, too. When I'm at home, I'm distracted by all of my stuff. But at a shop, the white noise helps me concentrate more than total silence or isolated noise would. Congrats on all your progress!!

    2. A variety of things! I've been in multiple theatrical productions and plan to do many more, I'm going to intern with one of my local community theatre programs, I'm working, applying for scholarships (endlessly applying for scholarships . . .), went to Broadway to see a couple shows, planning a trip to Europe with my family next spring, and a lot of other things I've forgotten at the moment. xD

    3. OHHH THAT ALL SOUNDS SO FUN. I love theatre, too, though I mainly do tech stuff. I've been stage manager + assistant director for the past three shows at my school, and I'm doing one last one in the spring before I graduate. And I'm also going to Europe next spring!! We're going to Italy, and I couldn't be more pumped :D :D :D where are you going?

    4. Tech people are the best! So patient and helpful when we actors stress ourselves out to no end. :) That's super exciting about Italy! We haven't totally decided where we're going, but Italy is on the table. We know we want to visit England, France, and Portugal (my mom is Portuguese, so she's super excited about that one).

  3. Oh, wow, this story sounds GREAT!!!! Your characters are really unique!

  4. a little writing is better than none at all! you're doing great.
    it's the best feeling to just be writing for youself and let yourself just be looooose and not worry about other people reading it.
    your enthusiasm in q. 4 is so sweet. characters are such a blast!!!

    sophy of

  5. Ack this looks like such an interesting story!! I love those characters who take on a life of their own and DEMAND to be paid attention and loved and written about even when the story they originally hail from is destined for a quiet life in the writer's back drawer. And you know what? I think there is a special place in creation for unpublished stories, too. :)

    "Horatio is in the mood to murder someone. Perhaps anyone. Perhaps everyone. He really isn't feeling picky at the moment." This was mildly hilarious. All these characters sound QUITE quite fun. :)

    Happy noveling!

    1. Thank you! I agree, honestly. I don't have any particular desire to be published, unlike nearly all my writing counterparts. I like the quiet feeling of success you get from just writing and writing and not having any external pressures of any sort.

  6. I absolutely love your pictures! Your story sounds so fun. With such a busy November, I feel even more honored that you took the time to read my blog! Way to keep putting those words on the page every week! That's really the key. For me, it's the summer months that are so busy that I barely get anything written. I hope you get accepted to your top pick for college!

    1. Thanks! Of course, I really liked it! Summer is actually when I get my most writing done (mainly in August as I'm pushing myself to finish before school begins :) ).

  7. Your brief description of Cyrus has already endeared me to him.
    I really like the premise of your story! The quote about the "technical difficulty" is my favorite. Sometimes the extent to which I enjoy murder/death related humor is slightly disconcerting.
    I am not working on anything particular at the moment, alas, because school has destroyed my brain.
    Great post!

    1. Aww, thanks! RIP IKR SCHOOL IS EATING ME. And then on breaks, I'm often too drained to do anything requiring my mind; I just sort of laze around and eat.

  8. Those snippets! I love the tone, and those last two especially. The characters sound amazing and super fun to write. Happy writing!

  9. The snippets were amazing! I seriously loved them! I love your writing style and am glad that your writing process was not so difficult. Happy New Year!


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