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In the Thick of It . . .?

Hey, all! We’re past the middle mark of November (already?!?) and Thanksgiving is less than a week away! (ALREADY!?!?!?) For the writerly types, this means we’ve passed the middle milestone of NaNo (short for NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month), in which brave and slightly mad and mildly masochistic folks attempt to draft a 50k novel over the course of November’s 30 days.

‘Tis a feat, y’all.

And in celebration of those efforts, the indominable Christine Smith has put together a WIP linkup that runs from October through December (from the revving up to the aftermath😂) of this challenge. Last month we covered introducing our projects, and if you’d like you can catch up on mine here.

This month we’re delving into the thick of things, and I gotta say: I feel a little called out on this one! Lately, November hasn’t been the greatest month for me to concentrate on writing (I’ve got some stuff to work through), but I still wanted to participate in this link-up and give y’all a general update on the general status of the Falconsbane project. So here we go!

How’s the writing going overall?

If we’re talkin’ pen-to-manuscript, it’s . . . well . . . not. To be completely honest, I haven’t touched my manuscript in a WHILE.

HOWEVER! That doesn’t mean progress isn’t being made. I’m still learning so much about the story and characters and the world itself while going through Realm Makers replays and working my way through plot/character developments. In that regard, the writing is still moving forward in good ways.

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

The most fun? My kneejerk answer would be worldbuilding, but maybe even more than that might be seeing how the problems I come across—whether it be plot related or character related—get resolved in the most non-intentional ways. I don’t know how much sense that makes, but there are times when I can’t seem to figure something out, and then inspiration strikes at the most unassuming times, almost like God is saying “Here, now that you’re not beating the matter to a pulp trying to solve it alone, let me show you what we can do.”

And just like that, things start flowing and fitting together. Those are the best moments.

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

Oh, my characters. My children! What a lot they are. Sometimes I feel good thinking they’re diverse, other times I fear they’re all to similar. But I love them all! In a word:

Era: sociopathic (almost) | Roscha: vexing | Judah: vexed | Shyloh: NO!!!!!! | Job: complicated | Unit 9: riot

Each one gives me moments of frustration and triumph, but I couldn’t say who is my favorite to write about. Except maybe Era. He’s fun. In a crooked, morally skewed kind of way.

Has your novel surprised you in any way?

Pfffft! I’ve lost count. I just hope it can translate to the reader.

Have you come across any problem areas?

Pfffft! I’ve lost count. Holes and hurdles galore, friends! But that’s what drafts 2—87,572 are for.

What’s been your biggest victory with writing this novel at this point?

Ummm . . . Not kicking it to the curb yet? I mean, the level of inadequacy I’ve felt for tackling this project has fluctuated like crazy since the onset, and the deeper I go the more brutal it becomes, but every time I think about putting it away or scrapping the idea I get a profound sense of sorrow.

So onward, friends. Onward.

Sometimes it’s just taking that next step that’s the greatest victory.

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?

First off: If I were transported into my novel, I would die. Probably. Reality aside, the most likely character I can think of that I’d be is actually Marloh. I’m finding that the primary female characters I write are who I wish I could be. In light of that, most any action I would take in her place would be the wrong one. I’d be too chicken love on the people she does and too timid to dish out the same she’s served. Openly, anyway. Passive aggression is where we really bond, her and I. She just might be more wise about it.

This could end badly. . .

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

First paragraph (of the latest volume in progress, since I’m pretty sure I’ve shared the first line/paragraph of volume one several times by now).

Sunlight prickled warm on the back of Marloh's head. Summer was finally drawing to a close, the quietest, most unsettling summer she could remember. After Salt Division left—after unit nine left—life just wasn't the same. She paused as she passed the Muddy Duck, just now getting into the swing of business as the day slipped away toward the mountains. Emyrdae evenings used to be fun. Even if she didn't go to the tavern every week to sit with Shyloh, Azel, and the twins—Roscha, too, on the rare occasion that he made it—she'd be at home knowing they were laughing and having a good time. Safe. Close by.



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!)

Ha! I’m sure at this point I’ve made ALL the typoes. I mean, Shyon’s name is the hardest to get Right in all the kingdome, and toigh as he is, the boys just wants to go hime.

And we’re not going to talk about killing off characters. Nope. Not going there. And while I can’t say how interesting it is, I’ve gone through a gamut of audio preferences as writing companions over the course of this project. Once upon a time it was epic trailer music and soundtracks. Somehow that morphed into ambient soundscapes. Don’t ask me how.

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!

A normal writing day? I want a tour of that, too!

When I do actually settle in to crack down on that manuscript, it’s usually within the viscinity of my desk. Unless it’s cold out (which it now is), so probably wherever space heaters can be found. Alone, for sure—can’t concentrate with people around. Tea absolutely. Candles, for sure. Get distracted? Always. One time I got so distracted by posting on IG and trying new recipes and getting a day job and baking for market and conjuring blog posts and homesteading and rediscovering manga and playing with my niece and catching up on Realm Makers conference videos and keeping up with investment updates that I got so completely derailed from writing that I almost forgot I was actually trying to write a book in the first place.

And that’s about where we are! Not exactly nowhere, but not where I want to be, either. It may be the heavy rush of the holiday season and end-of-year events, but I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately with all the things I want/ need to do and am fast approaching a point where real decisions need to be made. Turns out I can’t do it all at the same time, so I have to figure out what I want to do and what needs to happen in order to achieve it. Not really looking forward to that, but neither do I like the idea of crashing and going up in smoke. So.

On a lighter note: Thank you all for jumping on board and sticking with me for this crazy adventure! I pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and take some moments to consider WHO you are thankful to for all that you’re thankful for. See y’all in December!

Published inWriting Stuff


  1. Loved reading about how things are going! I think it’s great you’re taking time to work through classes and development of the story. We often get so caught up on wordcounts we forget that ALL aspects of writing are just as important! So that’s wonderful you’re investing in these things. And pressing onward, even when you’ve felt like shoving it aside, is so admirable! It sounds like SUCH a fun story and deserves to be written! <3 I do hope the rest of it goes well!

    And OOF. I feel you on that overwhelm and wanting to do All The Things but knowing that's, well, not healthy *nervous laughter* I'm definitely having to learn how to let things go and prioritize. That balance is forever a learning experience, isn't it? But I do hope you're kind to yourself and are able to hit that perfect balance.

    Thank you so much for joining part 2 and sharing this. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! <3

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