Hello, everyone! Welcome to December. 2022’s last hurrah. THE CHRISTMAS SEASON. If that’s not your style . . . sorry . . .? I just appreciate that the onset of severe cold and my intensified struggle with Raynaud’s is softened by garlands and lights and happy music as we gear up to celebrate Christs’ birth. The One who gives me hope of a future body that doesn’t hurt in temps below 70.
It also means that the crazy rush of the market season is winding down—only one more to go next weekend and we’re done! I love doing farmer’s markets, but juggling all the things all season is exhausting and I’m looking forward to intentionally paring/winding down this month to be present in this advent season, enjoy it, and set some goals and boundaries for the coming year.
It ALSO means that NaNo is over and the final installment of the Know the Novel linkup by Christine Smith! Someday I would love to participate in this with a fresh project, but for now we’re still hip deep in Falconsbane, so let’s take a look at how things are going!
How did writing this novel go all around?
Well, if we want to be specific about this and focus on volume 3, which I am currently working on, the . . . I’m only about 1/3 through it. I mean, most of it is technically already written from past attempts, but this was the round I was really digging in to the plot and characters after some major developments. So in that regard: I’m far from finished, but while the actual writing has been achingly slow, I’m not disappointed with how the story is progressing.
Did it turn out as you expected or completely different? How do you feel about the outcome?
So far things have turned out vastly different than I originally expected. It’s better. Everything is making it better.
What aspect of the story did you love writing about the most? (Characters, plot, setting, prose, etc.)
I love the setting, and I really do enjoy the dialogue segments. I’m not very good at conversation in real life, but I love writing the bits of character interaction. Sometimes it’s really hard, especially when there is heavy stuff that needs conveying, but overall I enjoy that aspect the most.
What was your least favorite part?
Juggling all the plot strings! Hands down. It’s a puzzle, and while I may know what the big picture is supposed to look like, fitting all those tiny, awkward pieces in the right pattern and order is a challenge for my brain.
What do you feel needs the most work?
Roscha’s character development, for sure. He’s always been my problem child and we’ve spent years trying to get to the bottom of his emotional and psychological issues. We are making progress, but sorting that out and then portraying and resolving it has been the most confounding and frustrating and messy part of this entire project.
Kids these days🙄
How do you feel about your characters now? Who’s your favorite? Least favorite? Anyone surprise you? Give us all the details!
When I first began this project I was deeply concerned with how detached I felt from the characters. I’d spend 5+ years in the world of my previous project and was thoroughly acquainted with that cast, so starting from scratch was disorienting and even felt contrived.
This is no longer the case. Turns out, the best way to get to know a person is to spend time with them (pssst: even when they’re fictional). I’m still getting to know them, learning more with every question I ask about who they are and why they think, act, speak, feel this or that way about everything. I don’t have a favorite (although Judah’s cantankerous attitude is fun to write). If I’m honest, Roscha might be my least favorite—he takes a lot of work! But if anyone has really surprised me, it’d be Azel, who went from anonymity to becoming a pretty rounded and motivated guy as he’s become a larger player than I originally anticipated.
Keep going, buddy. You’re doing great.
What’s your next plan of action with this novel?
That is actually an excellent question and I’d love to get back to you!😂 I went into this project fully intending to do this whole publishing thing ‘right’, but the more I learn about other people’s processes, the more I realize how many options are out there and how little I actually know what I’m doing! Once the editing is done and the story is cohesive & coherent, I don’t know if I should look for beta readers before looking for a professional edit, if I need/want a coach first, when or where I should start planning release things . . .
With everything that’s on the table, I start freezing up when I think about it. So for the time being I just want to focus on making the story as good as I can where I’m at, then go from there. I guess?
If you could have your greatest dream realized for this novel, what would it be?
Greatest dream realized? Let’s see . . . For this novel: having the story well-liked enough to make it to volume 3 would be AMAZING, but in general, for the story as a whole . . . I like to imagine gorgeous collector’s edition boxed sets of hardbacks.
But most of all, to be honest, I just want an art print of Unit 9 by Laura Hollingsworth (check out her gorgeous art!). If that could become a reality, I feel my life would be complete and every struggle through this story would be worth it.
That may sound trite, but that’s what I dream about. Often.
Share some of your favorite snippets!
Did you glean any new writing and/or life lessons from writing this novel?
Are you kidding? This entire project has been a writing and life lesson.
That, friends, is where we’ve come to stand so far! This project has become so much more than the inkling of an idea all those years ago. Looking at it so closely it’s sometimes hard to notice how much it’s grown, but looking back to where we were five-ish years ago when it all started, I’m gobsmacked and hobnobbled at how big and how deep it has gotten! I get more and more excited about this story all the time and I am beyond grateful for your patience and shared excitement along this journey—it’s a real treasure to have readers like you🧡
What projects are you working on, or have you finished one recently? How did it turn out? Was it anything like you expected? Did you learn anything while working on it?
So glad you joined in the final part! I’ve so enjoyed reading more about your novel. And sometimes it is a GOOD thing to take it slow and get the story how you want instead of just pouring out a bunch of words you’re not happy with…of which I’m guilty quite often. So I’m really glad to hear you’re happy with how the story is progressing! And isn’t it the coolest thing how our stories teach us so many things? Writing is the weirdest, most magical thing! You gotta love it.
I do hope this story continues to go well! Thank you for sharing all this goodness with us. Have a blessed December!
Thank you so much! It’s true—writing really is a weird and magical thing—and I’m so grateful for every moment of it! Thank you so much for this link-up blog series, it’s so much fun to reflect on our stories like this. Merry Christmas!!