The Shared WIP Tag: Week One

November 02, 2018

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo!

(For those of you unaware, this is a month-long challenge designed to make writers go insane and lose lots of sleep while trying to cram out 50,000 words in one month. Why everyone loves it, I have no idea. XD)

During NaNo, Julian over at Saver of Memories is once again hosting her 5-Part Shared WIP Tag! This week’s topic is “General Questions.”

Introduce the story: blurb, maybe a cover or anything else!

Okay, here’s my attempt at a blurb:

Faye Grenswick has a secret: She belongs to the diminishing race of Xi, known for their mental powers. Unfortunately, they are also highly persecuted. If she told anyone of her ancestry, she would lose everything in her life, including her job at the magical Xylem Garden. However, when she accidentally releases a dangerous criminal from his binds, she has no choice but to leave her life and maybe, just maybe, trust the criminal.
Prince Rowan also has a secret: He doesn’t want to be matched. But he has no choice in the matter - all kings must have a queen. His potential wife, Erin, will do almost anything to become queen. The situation gets even more complicated when a figure from Rowan’s past arrives at the castle, threatening the truth of everything he thought he knew.
Faye and Rowan don’t know each other, but they have a common purpose - keep the throne of Kianda safe. But this might just prove harder than either of them thought.

For now, my working title for this story is "The Silver Sword," because SPOILERS. :)

Where did you get the idea for your story?  What came to you first: your theme, character, premise, setting, etc?

This is rather interesting. Usually, when I get ideas, it’s nicely hand-wrapped, with a conflict, characters, and a villain all rolled into one. This time was different.

The idea for Faye to release a criminal came from a Band trip to Nashville, TN my freshman year. We were touring some weird hotel that had a lot of plant life in it, and we were all kind of bored. At one point, I noticed that in the middle of the greenery, there was a creepy door than led down into darkness. I wondered why it would be there, in the middle of a garden, and Faye and the criminal (who’s name is Whit) were born.

Rowan and Erin's story used to be about a girl who was matched to a prince, but fell in love with the prince’s brother instead.

Yeah, it’s changed a lot from where it used to be.

I knew that both stories were set in the same world, but each tale was missing something, and I wasn’t sure what it was.

So one day I decided to combine them together. And voila.

(As a side note, I don’t really regret combining the stories, but Rowan and Erin's story had a rather unique aspect to it that I had to cut in the Silver Sword outlining process.

What have you done to get experience for your story (like watching knitting YouTube videos)?  What did you put into the book because it’s something you know about (like if you’re a martial artist, and put that in)?

Um . . . I walked around a Nashville hotel.

That’s about it, come to think of it. Most of the “research” I’ve done involves Google and my imagination (like, for instance, what a spear wound would be like).

I’m not an adventurous person, okay???

What made you decide to write this particular book for NaNoWriMo?

I’ve been thinking about this story a lot recently, and ever since combining the two storylines I’ve really wanted to write it.

I also didn’t have any better idea for what to write, so I just picked it and went with it.

Do you research before, after, or during your first draft writing process? Have you done any research for this particular book? How do you usually research?

Usually during, but I may just make stuff up just to hit my first-draft word-count. I’m not really sure how I’m going to handle the research portion yet. I’ll figure it out. ;)

Haven’t done any research, but it usually consists of me Googling stuff.

Do you plot or plan your book in any way before you start writing? What methods do you usually use and what did you do this time?

So, I have a different way of “plotting.” I figure out the major points of the story, but don’t plan any more than that. It usually turns into one big mess.

I’ll probably write a post on this one day, but my basic plotting process is this:
1. Get a story idea
2. Wait two or three days to make sure this is a good idea
3. Go outside and play around with a basketball while I figure out scenes. (Sometimes moving around helps me think.)
4. On nights when I can’t sleep, role-play certain scenes that are emotionally charged (because if they’re physically charged, I just wake up more)
5. Repeat steps three and four until I know most of the book by heart.
6. I don’t write it down for some weird reason.
7. Six months later, I regret not writing the story idea details down.
8. Repeat for the next idea.

Do you hand write or type your first draft?

Definitely type. I edit things too much while I’m writing to hand-write the draft. (And I usually wear out my pencil erasers.) I’m pretty sure my Spanish teacher is sick of seeing 5000 scribbles on my homework assignments. XD

Do you have a brainstorming buddy and if you do, who was it this time and how did they help?

Unfortunately, no. But that’s a good idea!

How did you come up with your characters’ names?

I honestly don’t know. “Faye” just came to me; it seemed like a good healer name.

“Whit” is actually a play on words, because - get this - Whit has a sense of humor. Get it? He’s witty?

(Just pretend that my sense of humor is funny and move along...)

“Erin” is an Irish word for “peace,” since at one point I was trying to base Kianda on Ireland. So is “Rowan,” which means “red-haired.”

Do you know what your story's theme is? If you do, how did you find it, and if you don't, how do you plan to find it?

One theme that will come up in the duology (oh, did I forget to mention that this is going to be a duology?) is forgiveness, like in the Inhumans. But others are self-acceptance, teamwork and relying on others, giving second changes, and that good will always win out.

As for how I find themes, I’m honestly not quite sure. They’re usually just there and come with the characters. *shrug*


Well, there’s the first part in the Shared WIP Tag! Here are the others who are doing the tag:

Jules @ Saver of Memories
Ceci @ Ceci Creates
Lisa @ Inkwell
Gray @ Writing is Life
Julia @ Lit Aflame
Jem @ Jem Jones, Writer
Melissa @ Quill Pen Writer
Brooklyne @ Showers of Blessings
Ariel @ Scribes and Archers
Keturah @ Keturah’s Korner
Sarah @ Pen of a Ready Writer

Definitely go check out their awesome stories, and don’t forget to check back with all of us next week, because the next segment is about MAIN CHARACTERS.


What’s your NaNoWriMo novel about? How do you guys get story ideas? How do you come up with character names? Let’s talk! 

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  1. Sounds like a good story! I like your inspiration :)

    1. Aw, thanks Keturah! And thank you for stopping by!

  2. Ooh--your story sounds amazing--I hope you have fun writing it! And I really like your characters' names.

    Normally when I'm trying to name a character, it involves scouring baby name books, and making Pinterest boards full of names that have cool meanings. Because I'm rather excessive like that. :P

    Good luck with NaNo! <3

    1. Thanks, Kara! :)

      Haha, YES, baby name books are AMAZING! I haven’t tried making Pinterest boards (....well, I don’t have Pinterest, actually, so that would be difficult....) but that sounds like a great way too!

      Thank you again!

  3. I love the sound of this story! <3 <3

  4. My mum is still bemused as to why everyone loves NaNo... I'm not sure quite what to say to her, because I have no idea why either. Or why I do it. xD

    Nicole, that is unacceptable: why did you not stab someone with a spear yourself?? do you not value research?? you can't rely on Google for things like that yOU NEED TO CONFIRM THE DATA.
    - Jem Jones

    1. I’m not quite sure what my mom thinks of it either - I’ve been ranting about it for the past three days and she probably shares the same feelings. XD

      *shakes head sadly* I tried to find a spear, but it is SO HARD to pick one up in your local retail store.....maybe I should just use a pole or something. But you’re right, Google is SO UNTRUSTWORTHY and I MUST HAVE FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE. ;)

    2. Perhaps a pencil as a miniature version? The data still wouldn't be entirely accurate, but it could be close. Can you get huge pencils??

    3. OH MY GOODNESS, I OWN A HUGE PENCIL FROM A MUSEUM. if I’m in the news tomorrow for a murder by pencil, now you know why.

    4. .........yeah, sure. *nervous laughter* Definitely for research. :P

      (In reading the comment thread as a whole, I’m noticing that my brain automatically made the jump from "Let’s find a makeshift spear for book research!" to "Let’s see if someone would die from a pencil wound!" 😐)

  5. love this story idea, Nicole! good luck for NaNo! <3 <3 I randomly find / hear names I like, in movies / tv shows / conversations, and keep them in a note on my phone. same for when I get random story ideas ;).

    <3 <3

    1. Thanks, Allison! And yess, movies and tv shows are such a good source of inspiration! (The only problem is when I forget to save the note, and my phone deletes it. -_-)

      <3 <3 <3

  6. Ohmigosh, Nicole! I do the same exact thing: role-play emotionally charged scenes when I can't sleep! Oh, isn't that the best? I love it!

    For names, I either look in the Greek section of baby name books (cause somehow Greek names always seem closest to fantasy) or I just chop up words and try different combinations. OOOOOOOOH I JUST HAD THE GREATEST IDEA!!! You could write words on pieces of paper, cut them up, shuffle them, then draw as many out as you want and put them together! OHMIGOSH ANOTHER GREAT IDEA. If you want a super unreal name, you could put together chemical symbols from the table of elements! Oh boy, guess what I'm gonna be trying here soon!!! xD

    1. Aaaahhh, yes, the emotional scenes before bed are always excellent! (I just have to make sure I don’t RP a death, or I start crying. XD

      OH MY GOSH, those ideas are incredible! I can’t wait to see what happens when you do it!

  7. Good luck with Nano! Write on!

    1. Thanks, Brooklyne! Good luck to you as well!

  8. I think it's really cool that you used something from real life AND an old story idea to create this little beauty!

    Oh my gosh, I plot in a similar fashion....though I tend to write at least the scene and plot ideas before they escape too far into oblivion.

    Cool post, Nicole!

    1. Thanks, Catherine! It was definitely a unique experience! :)

      *gasps* YES, someone else who plots like I do! And that’s probably a wise idea - I don’t know how many scenes I’ve forgotten because I haven’t written them down.....

      Thanks, Catherine!

  9. I personally think Whit already sounds cool, cause characters with humor are fun, right?? But this story?? REALLY COOL!!!!!

    I used to love the name Faye/Fay. Used it in a story once or twice, but not any of the current ones.

    The creepy door in the garden probably led to the managers office or the supply closest with gardening tools. Lol. Nothing really exciting.

    OR MAYBE it was a portal to another dimension.

    One or the other.

    1. Oh my gosh, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I was worried that it would sound really confusing, but I’m glad it appeals to you!

      That’s so cool that you like the name Faye! I’m kind of curious about what characters you named that.... *shrugs*

      Haha, yeah, it was probably super boring. OR ELSE it was my chance to go to Narnia and I missed it. But I guess I’ll never know now. XD

    2. Hehe...Fay was the name of a teenage guy who was very quiet, enjoyed mechanics, and trained mustangs. From a short-lived horse/contemporary series I had.

      And then I think I had Faye as the middle name for a fantasy character but I cannot for the life of me think of who it was...possibly from the Firesword Saga (also short lived). Now it's driving my crazy that I can't remember...

    3. Those characters sound awesome, Julian! (The first Fay sounds like a character I would really love... XD)


Welcome to the comment section! I love hearing what you guys think and seeing you guys talk. Just remember to keep it clean, and as always, check back for my replies! <3