Welp. Somehow we survived NaNo.
I am literally so proud of myself for writing 50,000+ words in 30 days. I am so happy with how well plotting worked for me and how well I was able to stay motivated, despite writing ten thousand college essays during the month as well. I stayed focused and motivated and pushed through burnout to produce an almost-completed rough draft that I am so very proud of. I love every inch of my novel.
Since I managed to survive NaNo (somehow LOL), I can now do the final part in Christine Smith’s Know the Novel linkup. I’m so excited. So let’s get into it!!
1. How did writing this novel go all around?
Honestly, way better than I was expecting. The first couple of weeks, I found my groove and I was cranking out 2500 words in an hour and a half. Unfortunately, I lost my momentum when I took a break to go on a trip with my parents and sister. I took three days off, and when I came back, I was only writing roughly 1500 words a day. And then I got sick. But I still managed to finish on November 29th.
Aside from NaNo, November was just busy in general. I had that three day trip, like I mentioned, but I was also having to deal with four college classes, Thanksgiving holidays, and various other things that were taking up my time. So props to NaNo Mia for finding time to fit it all in.
*high-fives past self*
2. Did it turn out as you expected or completely different? How do you feel about the outcome?
I plotted the whole novel a couple of years ago and I had to wait to write it while I plotted the other four novels in the series. Then I had to come back to my old plot and make sure everything made sense, because obviously my idea of the series had changed a lot in two years. Despite putting so much time in plotting, I knew there were a lot of specific details I could have added but didn’t. Actually, a lot of the plot points for the first two books are pretty vague because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to go there and I figured I could come up with something when I actually had to write it.
I regret that decision now, but y’know, it seemed smart at the time.
Some of my characters turned out a little differently than I was expecting, but they’re mostly the same. There did end up being a couple that aren’t as prominent in the story as I wanted, but they’ll pop in more in the later books, so it should be fine.
3. What aspect of the story did you love writing about the most? (Characters, plot, setting, prose, etc.)
Everything???? But especially the dialogue. I put a lot of effort into writing dialogue and I feel like it shows. Part of that comes from hyperfixating on the way I talk and the way other people talk, and the other part of it comes from reading a lot of Tumblr memes and building up an absolute unit of an internal dialogue.
I have issues, I know, thank you for telling me.
4. What was your least favorite part?
Ummm. . . . I’m not sure. The scenes with less action were harder to write. And there are certain characters that are just more difficult to write for some reason.
5. What do you feel needs the most work?
Grammar!!!! I never can get my commas right. There are also some descriptions that I’m not sure how well they’re going to come across. But that’s what Alpha and Beta readers are for.
6. How do you feel about your characters now? Who’s your favorite? Least favorite? Anyone surprise you? Give us all the details!
I still love them. I’m never gonna stop loving them. They are literally like my children. I just. I love them.
My favorite is definitely Voro, my villain. I didn’t understand anything (anything) about him before I started writing. When I reached his first scene, I just wrote with my gut and my gut decided he should be an Instagram pretty boy with an Elvish accent. But he is so sarcastic and good-natured and silly and he has an accent and he speaks my own original language— *sucks in breath* I mean, what’s not to love? Okay, he is the villain and he did try to possess my protagonist and he also hit his daughter, but otHER THAN THAT—
As for least favorite. . . . I mean, I have some boring side characters. I didn’t make them boring on purpose and they’re all distinct and special in their own way, but I just don’t always like writing them. Also Ryan. Ugh. He’s my main character’s love interest and he’s just so. . . . unrealistic. I think I’m just writing him too much like I would a girl character. So he needs some work.
OH AND MATTHEW!!! In the original Masters of Fate draft, I wanted Matthew to be serious and mysterious and dramatic and then he ended up being funny and sarcastic and not at all like I wanted. So while I was plotting, I made sure I was careful to make Matthew the serious guy. And then I wrote him. And he tried to be funny again. *sighs* They never listen, do they?
7. What’s your next plan of action with this novel?
Well, I have to finish it first. Then I’m going to edit it. Then maybe one day I can publish it. We’ll see. Right now, I just have to focus on finishing it.
8. If you could have your greatest dream realized for this novel, what would it be?
I would love for MoF to have a fandom like the PJO or KotLC fandoms. I want to see all the fanart and textposts and memes and just. . . . everything. Having a fandom would be wild. And a dream come true.
9. Share some of your favorite snippets!
*rubs hands together* I won’t hold back this time.
[WARNING: Unedited snippets ahead. Continue at your own risk.]
Eno beckoned his group further across the room, putting a good distance between his group and his brother’s group. Several training dummies were lined up in front of the wall, surrounded by weapons of varying intensity and size.
“Why are all those dummies lined up like that?” Evan asked, pointing.
“Are they about to have a race?” a short boy asked, scratching his head.
Eno closed his eyes and pinched his nose. “I see how this is going to go,” he muttered.
“HEY!” someone from Tro’s group shouted. Violet whipped around and saw Iris waving at Eno’s group. “HEY! IS THERE ANYONE OVER THERE WHO CAN GIVE ME A CRASH COURSE ON HOW TO KILL SOMEBODY WITH A TOOTHBRUSH??” There was an awkward silence before Iris said, “NOBODY? OKAY. THANKS FOR THE HELP!”
Okay, context. The powerlings were having training time with Eno and Tro, who are brothers, and they’d been split up into two teams. As for why Iris wanted to know how to kill someone with a toothbrush, your guess is as good as mine. She crazy. But we established that in the last KtN post.
“Wake up, coblari!” The deep voice tore into Violet’s strange dream. She was soaring through the bright blue sky, but it turned gray, then black, and Violet fell, farther and farther and farther until she could fall no more. “Nort veepin, eck coblari!”
Violet opened her eyes. She was groggy, but she managed to make out a tall, dark man. His hair was well-kept but his outfit was covered in dirt and twigs.
“Finally!” he cried, throwing up his arms. He started ranting in a language Violet didn’t understand as she slowly resurfaced from her dream state. She suddenly became aware of the uncomfortable chair she was trapped in. Course ropes cut into her wrists and ankles, and her hair was in her face, obscuring her left eye. As her consciousness returned fully, she whipped around, trying to escape her bonds. The room she was in was dark and claustrophobic. She could just barely make out a few human-like figures behind the man in front of her, standing against what appeared to be a door.
The ranting man stopped. He peered at Violet, and she was instantly self-conscious, wondering what he was staring at.
“Eck ne human?” he asked, taking a step closer.
“What do you want from me?” Violet asked, her voice threatening to break.
“Ah, youi, you are,” he said.
“I’m what?” Violet demanded. “Where am I? Where are my friends?”
“Friends?” The man laughed. “They are not here.”
Violet stayed quiet, knowing she would burst into tears if she made a sound.
“You can understand my accent, youi?” the man asked, looking a little frustrated.
“I can understand you just fine,” Violet mumbled. She’d thought the halting tone to his voice was just him struggling to speak English. “You have an accent?”
“You insult me,” he said, smirking a little.
“I thought you were just incompetent at the English language,” Violet said, her confidence growing a little.
The man laughed. “You think I am incompetent?”
“Seems that way.”
“I could make this accent go away,” he said in a perfect American accent. “But I prefer not to betray my people by abandoning the Elvish accent. You understand, I’m sure.”
“Elvish?” Violet asked, her confidence waning.
“They have not told you my name?” he asked, looking offended. “Min amin?”
“You’re Voro, aren’t you?” Violet said, the realization making her heart drop like a stone.
“So they did,” Voro laughed. “Perfect.”
“I—I wasn’t imagining you this way,” Violet murmured, trying to make her mental image match with the man—the elf—standing before her.
“They did not tell you I am hailum?” he said, a smirk adorning his face again.
“I don’t know what that means,” Violet said, “but I certainly wasn’t expecting an Elven pretty boy with perfect hair and a chiseled jaw.”
Voro smoothed his hair. “Ah, you think my hair is perfect?”
Violet shrugged. “Perfect is relative.”
“I do not know what that means, but I do not care,” Voro said, bringing his hands behind his back in a classic “handsome villain” pose. “I have learned to take compliments when they come.”
Check the Elvish! This is one of my favorite scenes in the whole draft. It was the first time I got to implement my original Elvish and the first time Voro entered the story. I had such a fun time writing it. I didn’t want it to end.
“I hope everyone is ready because we are going to have an intense training session today,” Eno said, breezing by them.
“Wait, Mr. Eno, sir!” Evan said, rushing after him.
Eno stopped. “What?”
“Um. . . . how old are you?” Evan asked.
Eno stared. “Why do you need to know that? Will that save you on the battlefield?”
Evan twisted his fingers. “Well, no, but I just thought—”
“Then I’m not telling you how old I am.” Eno took a step, but Iris appeared in front of him.
“We have ways of figuring you out,” she said, steepling her fingers and trying to look menacing.
“Oh yeah?” Eno crossed his arms. “And how are you planning to find out my age if I’m not going to tell you?”
“By cutting you open and counting the rings!” Evan suggested. Everyone burst out into laughter.
“Wrong living organism, dude,” Ryan laughed, clapping Evan on the shoulder.
Evan pursed his lips. “Counting the points on his antlers?”
Hehe, the dialogue in this scene came from a random conversation in Sunday school between the teacher and one of the highschool guys. I knew I would have to use it in my novel because it was just too funny to pass up.
Anddddd those are all of my favorite snippets that are spoiler-free. Maybe one day, you guys will be able to read the entire novel.
10. Did you glean any new writing and/or life lessons from writing this novel?
Time management was a huge one. Of course, that also had to do with my massive heap of college assignments, but I had to learn to fit it all in and push through the burnout to reach something I’m proud of. I’m so in love with this project. It’s amazing.
This will probably be my last time attempting NaNo for a few years, since I’m going to be at college starting next year (LOL, fingers crossed) and I know for a fact I will definitely not have time for NaNo. Between being a music major, being four hours away from home, and, of course, holidays, I know for a fact I will not have the time, patience, or energy to write 2000 words a day. But that’s okay. Maybe I can attempt it again after I graduate. Or drop out of school. At this point, it’s a toss-up LOL
I am very much proud of myself for what I was able to accomplish. I literally have no words. A’s and B’s in my dual enrollment classes, a completed NaNo novel, surviving multiple trips for the holidays and Other Important EventsTM, and just. . . . the amount of personal growth I went through outside of all the chaos. I don’t want to grow up, we established that in my last post, but I am growing up anyway. And I’m proud of myself for that.
Welp. I’ll see y’all in the next post. Not sure when that’ll be, but we’ll see.
🎵 Don’t Throw Out My Legos by AJR (I’m obsessed I can’t get this song oUT OF MY HEAD) 🎵