Know the Novel | October 2018

Even though NaNoWriMo is still a couple weeks away, by now you’ve probably witnessed any number of writers preparing (and possibly panicking?) about the upcoming writing challenge.

NaNoWriMo season is upon us.

This year, Christine is launching a new NaNo-themed linkup! Know the Novel is a three-part linkup geared towards NaNoWriMo, and this month is all about introducing our projects! You can learn more about the linkup and join the fun by checking out the introduction!

What first sparked the idea for this novel?
I first had the idea in 2013, when the main character, Aveirna, showed up. The rest was all about trying to figure out who she was and what story she had to tell.

Share a blurb!
The blurb is still a work-in-progress, but here’s a short one:

Unto Ash is a fantasy novel about an heiress seeking to reclaim her lost home and the king seeking to unite their lands as threats from the past resurface and threaten future peace.

Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?
It’s set in winter, with mountains and oceans and fire-scarred towns and so. much. snow.

In this new draft, I’m adding in some new locations and I’m looking forward to building more on the established ones, like the palace where Aveirna used to live and the kingdom where Tealdyn resides.

Tell us about your protagonist.
Aveirna is the once-heiress, born to be the vicereine of a land where the old rulers have faded to legend and myth. She’s struggling under the memory of the land she left behind and searching for her place in the world in the aftermath.

Who (or what) is the antagonist?

There are others, but the dragon is the one I’m most excited about.

What excites you the most about this novel?


Actually, I really love the character dynamics in this story and those remain a favorite aspect of the first draft. The relationships are intricate and imperfect and the characters are trying to fight toward a common goal in spite of these problems.

Is this going to be a series? Standalone? Something else?
Currently, it’s a standalone. I don’t really see a sequel in its future, though I suppose one could happen if the right story came along.

Are you plotting? Pantsing? Plansting?
This book’s process is definitely plantsing.

Since this is kind of a reboot draft, I’m trying to make better notes for the story this time, with a lot of influence from the first draft. Even though the first draft was written without an outline, I do like the structure and pacing and I hope to enhance that in the new draft. But I like having room to chase after new ideas, so I’m looking forward to that.

Name a few things that makes this story unique.

It’s one of the few projects I’ve worked on for the main NaNoWriMo that takes place in winter. Most of the time, stuff I’m writing in November tends to be set in summery or warmer settings; stuff I write in warmer months tend to take place in cold or wintery settings.

Share a fun “extra” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).
I was going for a worldbuilding theme with this collage, but it includes some character hints as well.

All photos from Unsplash.
As far as music, the song I probably listen to most when working on this project has been “Ghost of a King” by The Gray Havens. The tone fits the mood of Unto Ash perfectly.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo or Know the Novel? What’s your current writing project?


  1. LOVE the photo collage!!! Pictures truly are worth a thousand words. And EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! The Grey Havens, and that particular album, is an absolute FAVORITE of mine. Love that song!!

    Your story sound fantastic! Best wishes to you this NaNo! <3

    1. Thank you! I wasn't sure if it was too much snow but I'm glad you like it! :D

      Yessss. I love their music, and the style fits this story so well, so I've been listening to a lot of it lately!

  2. *HAPPY FLAILING* This novel looks amaziiiiing!!! I mean, DRAGON! :D

    I think it's really special you're rewriting an older novel. I have SO many I need to do that with. I admire you for tackling it!

    Also, I LOVE the aesthetics and song SO MUCH. The "feel" your're going for with the novel is my faaaave! Also also, I've heard people rave about The Gray Havens but have never tried them out myself. But after listening to that song...NOW I MUST LISTEN TO MOOOORE. That was so good! Thank you for sharing!

    And thank you for joining my linkup! I was so happy to see this and get to learn more about your delicious sounding novel. Happy writing! :D

    1. I'm super excited to dive back into this one! (I attempted it for Camp NaNo earlier this year but those plans derailed so fast!) O_O

      I'm so glad! This book has a very specific feel to it and I just hope I can translate it in writing, hehe—I'm glad the photos and music do! (And their music is SO great. I love it.)

      Thanks for putting the linkup together!

  3. I was already intrigued by this novel but then you went and mentioned a DRAGON ANTAGONIST??? And I am SO HERE for that. This sounds great, Jameson! Also, I absolutely love your aesthetic!

    I am, of course, doing NaNo but I feel like I'm so behind on prep and am slightly panicking at the moment. It's fine though. It's cool. I've got this. My project is going to be a YA urban fantasy which I've never really done before so I'm pretty excited.

    Love the sound of your project and good luck with NaNo this year!

    1. Thank you! I'm so excited to write the dragon again. So much fun!

      *sends all the inspiration and cookies* Oooh my goodness, urban fantasy sounds super fun! NaNo's such a great time to try out new genres—and you've totally got this! :D


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