Know the Novel | November 2021

How’s your November going so far? Did you have any fun Thanksgiving plans? Are you ready for Christmas? Are you prepared for the end of NaNoWriMo?

With holiday prep and gatherings, I haven’t written as much this week, but I’ve been enjoying the festivities and the writing!


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!

How’s the writing going overall?

Really well! I hit 50K on Sunday, and am getting really close to the final few scenes of this draft.

What’s been the most fun aspect about writing this novel so far?

Probably the scenes with my main character and her best guy friend. Their dialogue is so much fun to write!

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

I’m already pretty aware of ways in which my characters feel kind of flat and one-dimensional sometimes, and they’ve kind of turned out a bit different than I had planned for them to be. On the other hand, it’s been fun to get to know them and figure out who they really are or who they could become, and to be surprised by them!

My favorite to write about has been Eloise, the main character.

Has your novel surprised you in any way?

I thought the love story plot would be the main thing, and it still is…but there are a lot of other aspects that took over the story’s focus more than that, like Eloise’s friendships and her job.

Have you come across any problem areas?

Yes. The characters and the pacing will need a bit of work, but I’m not in a hurry to try to think through the how of that yet.

What’s been your biggest victory with writing this novel at this point?
Probably making it to 50,000 words early! I’ve never written a novel-length contemporary WIP before (my longest contemporary draft was something like 40K, I think?), so I expected to struggle with keeping on track. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by staying pretty on track with my goals.

I’m also writing in only one character’s POV, which is often a struggle for me because I really like getting inside other’s characters’ heads and seeing how they view things and feel about different situations.

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’d probably be Eloise? Though her best friend, Birdy, would also be a fun character to be…

I feel like in the everyday things, I’d probably take the same course of action as Eloise. In the plot point stuff…probably not? I’d spend way too much time debating things with myself, hehe.

Give us the first sentence or paragraph then 2 (or 3!) more favorite snippets!

First Line:
    I made a mistake—that’s the first thing I should tell you, even though you already know and are just too nice a person to say it to my face. 

Snippet #1:
    “Hey.” Sean snapped his fingers in front of her face. “Focus.”
    “Should I have brought a notebook?”
    “No—I’ve already given you my best advice. Short, sweet, and impossible to get much closer to the point.” He tapped out another rhythm on the counter’s sleek surface. “And if it goes disastrously, you can let me know and I’ll show up at your door with cheesecake cookies and hot chocolate.”
    “Maybe I should’ve kept you for myself.”
    “But we would have ended disastrously and would have had to make the difficult call to not remain friends.” He placed a hand over his heart. “So you’ll have to settle for having me as second bestie.”
    “Second bestie?”
    “As in, ‘You’ve had one, yes, but what about second bestie’?”

Snippet #2:
    That was the problem with having best friends— they had the audacity to “look out for your wellbeing” and “offer accountability” when you began the year at a comfortable New Year’s Eve game night and ended up being swept away by the thrill of making new goals and dreaming of adventures, and hadn’t made any move toward them nine months later.
    It was easier to dream of adventures when she was wearing her comfiest sweater and watching sappy movies with her best friends and laughing about some UNO mishap, and pretending she wasn’t nervous about the year ending and a new one starting.

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!)

Apparently, this NaNo has been a challenge regarding the word enthusiastic. I usually don’t have trouble with this word, but my attempts to type it in this WIP have resulted in the following “variations”:


…There are probably more that I haven’t found yet though. 😅

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 mostly been writing at my desk. I try to get my writing time in as one of my first tasks of the day. I start an ambience video on YouTube, turn on my fairy lights and the battery-operated tealight candles around my room, and then write in sprints of five or ten minutes. In the evenings, if I have time to write or really want to finish a scene before the day ends I usually curl on my bed with my laptop, and watch baking shows while I write.


  1. A HUGE congrats on making it to 50k and early at that!!! Aaaahhhhh you did so amazing this NaNo! And this sounds like such a fun and cozy story. THOSE SNIPPETS. That is a FANTABULOUS first line. I'm hooked already! And the “As in, ‘You’ve had one, yes, but what about second bestie’?” line had me dyyying. These sound like delightfully dynamic characters! The main character's voice in the narrative is *chef's kiss* so full of life and distinctive!

    I feel you on for some reason constantly mistyping a word. It was "ceiling" for me. Whyyy I could not type that word correctly for the entirety of the month I DO NOT KNOW. I think I threw my brain away on November 1st and am just now getting it back. XD

    Congrats again on your epic NaNo win! I do hope you have the BEST December!


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