Lessons From My Works-In-Progress #3: Beneath A Summer Sky

Each month, I’ll be featuring a different WIP. All projects featured have at least one completed draft and are of novella or novel length.

This month, I’m featuring my 2010 NaNoWriMo project, Beneath A Summer Sky.


  • Beneath A Summer Sky

What it’s about:
Five years after the events of Under the November Moon, the kingdom of Bravelle  and the fortress at Cavet must become allies against a new threat.

First draft complete at 51,121 words.
15 chapters + prologue and epilogue

For my second NaNo, I decided to write the sequel to Under the November Moon. When I first wrote UTNM, I didn’t know it would be a series. I don’t remember exactly when I had the idea of a sequel, but I remember thinking about it throughout 2010. I outlined it October, using the same method and structure as I did for UTNM. As with UTNM, I wrote first in notebooks, then transcribed those scenes later on my laptop.

The three notebooks on the right contain the
first draft of Beneath A Summer Sky.

What I learned: 

  • How to plot and write a sequel. It was a new challenge to look at consistency across books, and to make the characters true to who they were in the first book, but also to show how they’d grown and changed because of what happened in UTNM, and in the time between the events in both books.
  • To expand my writing style. With UTNM, I’d limited my use of contractions and did the same with BASS. I also worked harder on the dialogue of BASS than with any project before it.
  • To weave multiple subplots alongside a main plot thread.
  • The cast of this series has it rough, I'll be honest, and this book really pushed them all to a breaking point. It took some dark turns, but it was an interesting challenge.

Meet the Characters:
There are so many characters I love in these books. This month, I’m featuring Travon and Rold.


  • Younger brother of Tormin.
  • Enjoys making people laugh.
  • Enjoys competition.
  • Cares deeply about people, especially his family and friends.


  • Considered an “adopted uncle” of Tormin and Travon.
  • Councilmember and ranger of Cavet.
  • Enjoys traveling.
  • Often suspicious.
What are some of your favorite lessons from your works-in-progress? What would you like to see in future Lessons installments?


  1. I LOVE these posts. So I was sitting here thinking and I actually think I've only ever written one sequel...? Which just seems crazy! I guess a lot of my stuff is kind of stand alone and the ones that aren't...I've never felt like I edited and perfected the firsts enough to start on seconds??? And I've recently gotten to where I've decided when writing a series, I outline the whole series before writing book 1 because I've found it helps me see what needs to happen in book one and what threads to leave open and everything. So I've at least started planning for series? Haha

    I have to commend you on writing whole books by hand!! I could NEVER do that. And if I did it would be terrible because I have the WORST handwriting ever...

    Your poor characters, did you torture them a bit in this one?? Also, I totally relate to Rold and his "Often suspicious", that's totally me. XD

    Lovely post!

    1. Yay! I'm glad you enjoy them! :)

      Most of the time I'm only focused on writing standalones, and it's usually after the first draft is done that I think about possibilities of a sequel/series. (The exception are my Assassin books—halfway through TAD it became a two-book idea, then a three-book idea). It's weird how sequels kind of take over though, isn't it? That's a cool process for planning them! I...am not that organized, hehe.

      I don't write that way as often now (there are a few projects I'm finishing out in notebooks because that's how they started). I like writing by hand for short stories, or when I'm stuck and need to try starting scenes in a few different ways. Sometimes I focus better that way too. As for the handwriting, it starts out neat but certainly doesn't end that way, hehe!

      Looking back over these books made me realize how dark they really are! There's a ton of humor and sarcasm and really happy stuff, but thematically they were kind of dark?

      Rold was actually a side character who kind of redefined himself from what I'd initially planned. He is possibly the one to blame for Tormin and Travon being so sarcastic...

      Thanks for stopping by!


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