Know the Novel | December 2021

And yet another NaNoWriMo has passed! Today, I’m joining the final part of this year’s Know the Novel linkup to talk a little more about my NaNo project.


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 did writing this novel go all around?
Surprisingly well! Progress on writing the last scenes was slower since life things have been busy, but I’m pleased with the way the writing has gone. I was able to reach 50,000 words earlier than planned, and finished the draft by my goal date of December 4th!

Some stats:
24 + some letter “excerpts” in a few places
Lowest word count day:
November 26th (30 words)
Highest word count day:
November 21st (5,119 words)
Final word count: 56, 852

Did it turn out like you expected or completely different? And how do you feel about the outcome?
It’s sort of 50/50? There are some scenes that turned out almost exactly like I thought they would, and others took a different turn completely, or just didn’t come into the story at all. And I think my themes changed from what I thought they would be too.

What aspect of the story did you love writing about the most? (Characters, plot, setting, prose, etc.)
The characters and the setting, definitely. I always enjoy writing characters, but I also really enjoyed the setting this time around. It was super cozy and I liked bringing it to life.

How about your least favorite part?
The pacing is a bit off, and there’s a lot of filler stuff at the beginning which was helpful in diving into the story and getting it going and figuring out the characters and stuff, but it’s definitely not the strongest part of the story either.

What do you feel like needs the most work?
A little bit of everything, honestly. *nervous laugh*
How do you feel about your characters now? Who’s your favorite? Least favorite? Anyone surprise you? Give us all the details!
Sean (one of the main character’s best friends) was so much fun! I really enjoyed pretty much any scene he was in; he’s very energetic and silly and warm and just wants to make everyone feel like they’re part of whatever is going on, and I really liked that.

I didn’t really have a least favorite character...

What’s your next plan of action with this novel?
I’m setting it aside and planning to take a writing break in December.

(Honestly, even though I have plans to take a writing break I’ll probably end up scribbling something anyway... 😂) Where The Always Book is concerned though, I have no immediate plans to revise it since I have other projects that need that focus first. But I do want to revise it!

If you could have your greatest dream realized for this novel, what would it be?
I’m not really sure what my greatest dream for this book is. Really, I’ve just enjoyed the experiencing of writing something outside of my comfort zone and just enjoying the process of drafting without thinking too much about what’s not working.
Share some of your favorite snippets!
    Eloise had never been very good at beginnings.
* * *
    “You’ll give me a fair assessment of my first impression skills, if I asked for it, right?”
    Sean shrugged as he continued organizing the countertop. “I’ve had worst first impressions of people.”
* * *
    Eloise frowned at him. “In what world do you think I would say yes to that?”
    “In the world where I follow you around all night going ‘please please please’?”
    “Birdy, do something with your boyfriend.”
    “I already told him what you’d say,” Birdy replied, shrugging her dainty shoulders.
    “I do like to think my girl has my back sometimes, you know. It’s very encouraging.” Sean clasped his hands together and went for an expression that was probably supposed to be categorized as pitiful.
    “Oh, he’s bringing out the puppy dog eyes thing, El.”
    “I’m a cat person.”

Did you glean any new writing and/or life lessons from writing this novel?
I’m not sure I’d call it new, but it was a good refresher course on writing for fun and not thinking too much about the end result. This whole NaNo was just a time to let the first draft be messy and try something new!


  1. I'm so happy to hear writing went well all month! And EEP. A major congrats on finishing the whole draft!!! That's so exciting!

    I think it's wonderful the focus of this NaNo was to just to have fun. I've been more and more trying to do that with my writing as well. I think we get so caught up in the work of it, we forget writing can be downright FUN if we let it. So just doing a fun-for-your story for NaNo sounds like the best. <3

    And my goodness, does it sound like it was a delight! Those snippets are GREAT. I can see why Sean is a favorite. He sounds like a riot. XD Also that “I’m a cat person.” line KILLED ME. What a way to respond to puppy dog eyes. Bwahahaha! GOLD.

    Congrats again on a great NaNo! And thank you so much for joining the linkup. It's been so fun following along with your NaNo. I do hope you have a most amazing December! <333

    1. Thank you!

      It was sooo nice! I mean, I have fun with all my writing, but it was very refreshing to write without putting any expectations on the story or getting caught up in the "IT MUST BE PERFECT" spiral. And it really was a fun story to just spend time in and write fluffy things! XD


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