Know the Novel | October 2021

So actually I was going to do this post yesterday instead of snippets, but life has been busy and I didn’t have time to draft and schedule either, so here we are! As always, Know the Novel is one of my favorite NaNoWriMo-related events, and Christine always does a fabulous job of putting this linkup together!



Know the Novel is a three-part writing linkup created and hosted by Christine Smith. While intended for NaNoWriMo, any writer can join with any work-in-progress, regardless of whether they’re a NaNo participant. To find out more and to join the fun, check out Christine’s website!

I’ve been undecided about just how much I want to share about this year’s NaNo project, since it kind of feels like one of those stories that is to be kept close for the first little while. Still, I wanted to join Know the Novel and share a little bit about what I’ll be working on, because these questions always lead me to think of new ideas for my NaNo projects! So if the answers below are vague, it’s partially because I want to keep some things more secretive for now, or because I haven’t quite figured everything out yet. For now, we’ll call it The Always Book!

What first sparked the idea for this novel?

I’m not sure, really. Some time earlier this year I saw a scene in my head of two people walking down a shop-lined street and it kind of grew from there.

Share a blurb (or just an overall summary)!

I don’t really have one, but I can tell you it’s contemporary, romantic, and will probably have some fluff somewhere.

Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?

In a fictional town that isn’t a huge city but also isn’t so small that everyone knows everybody else. I’m still deciding on a name from my brainstorm list… A few of my favorite settings within that will probably be the pumpkin patch and the sweets shop where one of the characters works!

Tell us about your protagonist(s).

E, the female lead: Introverted, organized, thoughtful, homebody.
L, the male lead: A little more on the extrovert side, outgoing, considerate, creative.

Who (or what) is the antagonist?

Good ol’ character flaws and insecurities!

What excites you the most about this novel?

It’s contemporary, and I haven’t written a full novel-length contemporary project before. (I have a couple novellas, but nothing longer than 40Kish.)

No magic, no scifi. Just… “real world” type stuff.

I’m more open to writing contemporary than I was early in my writing journey, but it’s still a challenging genre for me, so I’m excited to see how this project goes.

Is this going to be a series? standalone? something else?

As far as I can tell, this one is a standalone.

Are you plotting? pantsing? plansting?

Plantsing! I have my usual Novel Plot Week notes, and a fairly good idea of what’s going to happen in the story. I’m not really sticking to any “official” structure method, but I have written down major points for the story so I have a sense of what needs to happen when.

Name a few unique elements about this story.

I really like the idea of incorporating some epistolary elements—that would be kind of new to me! I’m not 100% sure they’ll be in the book, but the idea of letters and notes came early in the initial brainstorming and I would like to try to keep it somehow, if I can.

Share some fun “extras” 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’m still working on Pinterest boards and playlists, but here’s a brief aesthetic in words:

autumn | pumpkins | nighttime walks | conversations over game night dinners | matchmaker friends and families | shelves of candy jars | christmas | photography | falling in love | comfy sweaters and warm jackets | possibility waiting around the corner | bonfires | warm drinks | potluck meals | fall festivals | new year’s eve | crunchy leaves | window seats | rainy days | baking days | acoustic music | missed chances | daydreams | sleepy late-night talks with friends | thoughts about maybes 


Are you participating in NaNoWrimo? Let’s be buddies!


  1. Awwww, girl! I'm so glad you always enjoy Know the Novel. It's such a joy to do, and I LOVE reading your answers every year! <3

    This sounds like suuuuch a precious, cozy book to disappear into for November! The aesthetics alone are giving me ALL the heart-eyes. But I don't blame you one bit for wanting to keep it a little secret. I've more and more been realizing that it's sometimes really nice and special to write things for myself first, without sharing and having all these reader expectations. There's something so freeing about it. So I think it's great you've made that decision.

    I do hope all the writing goes wonderfully! <3

    1. Thank you! I'm really hoping it captures that cozy feel! It's been a little weird to step back and not share so much—it's been a while since I've done that! But I am looking forward to sharing a bit more as NaNo progresses. :)

  2. This sounds so lovely and aesthetic! It has all the lovely autumnish vibes and I am here for this! And I get the wanting to keep it close for a while. I was like that a lot for my main WIP before I finished the first draft. Sometimes you have to "keep it secret, keep it safe" to quote Gandalf.

    Best of luck on your WIP! Hope it's a wonderful Novemeber for you.

    -Julia Garcia /Arysta Henry

    1. I am totally going to think of "keep it secret, keep it safe" with this WIP now! Hehehe.


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