Know the Novel | December 2018

It’s time for the last part of this year’s Know the Novel linkup! I’ve really enjoyed this linkup, and am so glad Christine created it!
Know the Novel is a three-part linkup focused on NaNoWriMo novels and other works-in-progress. To find out more, check out Musings of an Elf!
Firstly, how did writing this novel go all around?
Better than expected! It’s still ongoing, but I’m having fun with it and really enjoying being back in this storyworld with these characters for this draft. I was hoping to have it completed by now, but some life things have changed and the holidays made for lots of holiday to-dos and traditions and I loved getting caught up in that too.

This was also the first year I managed to get the “update word count everyday” badge on the NaNoWriMo site, my fifth consecutive NaNo win, and my seventh win overall! So that was super exciting!

Did it turn out like you expected or completely different? And how do you feel about the outcome?
Some things are turning out like I thought they would, but there are others that have surprised me. Overall, I like the way it’s turned out, though I do have some changes in mind for the next draft.

What aspect of the story did you love writing about the most? (Characters, plot, setting, prose, etc.)
Characters, definitely. The cast of Unto Ash is older than some of the other story casts I’ve written, and closer to my current age, so approaching problems from that point-of-view has been interesting and challenging to be in their different mindsets and relearning how they react in certain situations.

The plot and setting have changed some in this draft, so I’ve been relearning the world and figuring out new subplots along the way. 

How about your least favorite part?
Mild spoiler ahead: A CHARACTER DEATH.

If you ever want to see me procrastinate writing something, a character death scene would be one such thing. This death wasn’t new or a surprise; it was in the first draft and was difficult to write then as well.

But as much as I tried, it was a necessary thing that had to happen and so, it had to be written. I made it a much longer process than it needed to be, but after  tiptoeing around the scene and putting it off for close to a week, I buckled down and wrote the thing again.

It was no easier the second time around, I assure you.
Anytime I have to write character deaths.
What do you feel like needs the most work?

Some of the subplots are still…messy. I need to clean those up.

The beginning of the story doesn’t feel quite right either, and I think the next draft will end up being closer to the first draft in those scenes. There’s more spark and energy in those, while this draft’s opening sequences felt a bit dry.

How do you feel about your characters now that the novel is done? Who’s your favorite? Least favorite? Anyone surprise you? Give us all the details!

*cries* I LOVE THEM.

They are full of mistakes and bad decisions and regret and flaws, but they are also full of hope and love and a determination to see their worlds set right. It’s difficult to choose a favorite or least favorite, though.

So far, they haven’t thrown too many surprises my way (but the draft isn’t done yet, so it could still happen!).

What’s your next plan of action with this novel?
Once this draft is completed, I plan to set it aside and resume working on TAD2. (Which I will have some updates coming to the blog about that in January, I hope.) I’d like to do another batch of revisions for Unto Ash before doing anything else with it, but eventually I would like to send it out for feedback.

If you could have your greatest dream realized for this novel, what would it be?

For people to enjoy the story and connect with the characters.

On the more daydreamish side of things: a bestseller list, and a movie or miniseries that follows the book with a perfect cast bringing the characters and the world to life. ;D

Share a snippet of one of your most favorite scenes!

  “At least stay a few more days. Long enough to—”
  “To what? To see more people get hurt? To see more people die?” The words were too much. Too harsh. Too loud. “I’m sorry.”
  “Don’t be. You were only speaking your mind.” He got to his feet and moved across the room until he was standing beside her. A moment passed before he looked away from the fire and at her. “I wish to do the same, if you’ll allow it.”
Did you glean any new writing and/or life lessons from writing this novel?

How to procrastinate writing character deaths in really productive ways, like: housecleaning, watching movies and TV shows, reading, working, and complaining to my family about not wanting to write the death scene.

Updating my mom about writing progress is always fun. ^_^
 As far as serious writing lessons...I don’t know that I learned anything new with this draft? It was a good refresher course in weaving new subplots in with existing ones and using little details to build a big world.
Have you finished your NaNoWriMo novel? Still working on it? Tell me all about them in the comments!


  1. Lol just trying to be encouraging dear ;) and why has that Rick gif not been a part of my life yet?

    1. Hey, it gave me something to laugh at through those writing tears, hehe!

  2. You did the linkup! YAY!!!

    I loooved hearing about your NaNo! I'm so glad it's been fun to write. It sounds it! That's the best you love your characters so much. It's truly what makes writing fun! But ACK. You killed someone? NOW I AM WORRIED. Those character death scenes are so painful. *sniffles* I've literally chickened out of them before and chose to keep characters alive because I'm weeeeak! D:

    The snippet was awesome, but now I want moooore! And oh my word, your texts with your mom. That is pure gold. XD

    This was all great. Thank you for joining in! And I hope finishing up this draft will go wonderfully. ^_^

    1. Know the Novel has been so much fun!

      *nervous chuckle* Yeah... I tried to avoid it, the character tried to avoid it... THAT SCENE WAS TOUGH. But it's always interesting to try to find ways around character deaths and seeing how successful those attempts are. I'd much rather not have to write their deaths, but...sometimes the story calls for it anyway. O_O

      Thank you!


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