Know the Novel | November 2019

November has been kind of a wild month. I knew it was going to be busy, and it certainly has, and it’s thrown a few twists into the mix too. NaNo is going as well as I can hope at the moment, even if I’m not quite where I want to be in this novel, but onward we write!
Know the Novel is a blog party taking place in October, November, and December, where writers can share about their NaNoWriMo projects (or any writing project)! You can find out more and join the fun by checking out Christine’s blog!
How’s the writing going overall?
Not as expected. It went well for the first six days, and I stayed on track, but an unexpected computer crash the first week of November threw me off course. I used to be able to clock in 2,000 words (or more!) in a day of notebook writing, but I’ve lost that speed because of lack of practice, so that also took a toll on the word count.

I’m back to typing now though and have been able to get a few really good writing days in to make up some of the difference. I’m at 36K as of writing this blog post, and I really want to be back on track by the middle of this week. 

Hangin’ in there, guys.

What’s been the most fun aspect about writing this novel so far?
Figuring out the dynamics between the characters. Felix is really quiet and more on the shy side, where so many people around him are not, and since I’m only looking at them from his point-of-view, it’s been a challenge to capture how he fits into that circle of family and friends, and how he got there to begin with.

What do you think of your characters at this point? Who’s your favorite to write about?
I love them.

Felix is rather like me, in more ways than I expected, and that’s been something of a challenge in itself. But any scene where he’s with Alejo and Doralee is pretty much guaranteed to be a great time, because they really breathe life into scenes. So those three are, so far, my favorites to write about.

Has your novel surprised you in any way?
Um...not really at this point? Things are going fairly according to the story points I expected, and the characters haven’t thrown me too many surprises to speak of.

Have you come across any problem areas?
I already have worries about how slow the beginning feels, because it took me a little while to really get into Felix’s head and figure out how to convey how he thinks and sees the world. His voice still feels a little off to me, but I think I’ll have a much better feel for it by the time this draft is done, which will make going back to the beginning easier.

What’s been your biggest victory with writing this novel at this point?
Probably just trying to stick with it despite November’s unexpected events. It’s been a very busy month, and between a laptop crash and the meltdowns that prompted, and getting sick, it’s been a challenge to motivate myself to do more than curl up with a book or a movie on a lot of days. But I do enjoy this project, and I want to finish it, and so I’m sticking with it.

If you were transported into your novel and became any one of the characters, which one do you think you’d be? Would you take any different actions than they have?
I would probably be Felix, just because of our existing similarities. I get why he does what he does and how his thought processes work, so it would be easiest to slip into his role, I think.

Give us the first sentence or paragraph then 2 (or 3!) more favorite snippets!
First Line:
     He’d made the mistake of forgetting his phone charger, which was the first mistake of the day.

Some favorites:
    “You’re many things, McKay, but a good liar isn’t one of them.”
    “You could come with us, Pops.” Alejo was near the back of the room, cleaning tables.
    “And get eaten by one of those things? No gracias.”
    “The mockery I put up with.” Alejo moved one table closer to the bar. “Besides, I don’t think they eat people.”
    “So what does a bigfoot eat?” Felix tapped his pencil against the table’s edge. “We haven’t put that on the list and it’s probably smart to know.”
    “They’re omnivorous in this region, aren’t they?”
    Carlos waved a hand toward Doralee. “See—then they can eat people.”
    Alejo swatted an array of crumbs onto the floor. “Who’s the expert here?”
    “We’re all amateurs,” Felix offered.
    A damp rag sailed past his head. “Go bus a table or something, hermano.”
    Outside the window, the world passed by in an evergreen blur.

Share an interesting tidbit about the writing process so far! (For example: Have you made any hilarious typos? Derailed from your outline? Killed off a character? Changed projects entirely? Anything you want to share!)
Let me see...

I meant to type “sensory overload” but typed “sensory overloard” and it sounded rather villainous.

I also keep mispelling Doralee’s name as “Dorelee”.

Take us on a tour of what a normal writing day for this novel looks like. Where do you write? What time of day? Alone or with others? Is a lot of coffee (or some other drink) consumed? Do you light candles? Play music? Get distracted by social media (*cough, cough*)? Tell all!
I’ve been trying to write in the mornings and evenings. If I’m up early enough, I can usually get a few hundred words in before starting on the day’s tasks. I’m writing usually at my desk or in the living room, and I’ve been carrying a notebook with me to write on the go.

On the writerly beverage front, I have, suprisingly, only consumed one pumpkin spice latte and a giant mug of hot chocolate, but no tea (yet). I’ve already bought my celebratory bottle of sparkling grape juice for when this novel is completed though!

I don’t have any candles burning, but when I’m at my desk I turn on my pink and white lights and a little fairy light lantern my grandparents gave me. As far as music, I’ve been listening to an expanded version of the Felix McKay playlist, or the Christmas playlists on Spotify.
How’s NaNo going for you? Have you made it to 50K yet? How are you feeling about your novel?


  1. I was so excited to see you joined the linkup!!! :D

    Oh man, that is awful about the computer crash! D: I'm so sorry! But ALL the points to you for continuing on despite it. I am in awe! You are amazing, Jameson!

    That's fantastic you're loving the characters. They sound like SUCH a fun crew. I adooored those snippets! That opening line is THE BEST. It totally sets the mood for the story!

    I do hope these last few days of NaNo go well for you! You've totally got this, girl!!! *sends all the motivational cookies*


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