NaNoWriMo 2019 // Know the Novel pt. 3!

December 08, 2019

Happy Sunday!

So, NaNoWriMo has ended, and every single participant has entered Recovery Mode. XD To everyone who participated, both winners and losers: congratulations, you wrote something!

My NaNo experience this year was very, very different than my experience from last year and even from the year before. And what better way to discuss this than by participating in Christine's lovely Know the Novel linkup!

Come, let us travel back in time, to a month full of insanity . . .

1. Firstly, how did writing this novel go all around?
Um. Heh heh heh.

During the first half of November, writing was going well. I was about a thousand or so words behind the daily goals, but I wasn't too stressed about it. The story was progressing well, and I was actually writing description, something I never do! *mind explodes*

Then . . . well, I stopped writing completely and didn't open the document for weeks. XD Part of that was because my stress levels rocketed sky-high, and I had so many other things to do. (Who knew that school and work should actually be priorities???? ;) )

The other part of it was that I realized that this WIP (which isn't one I've ever discussed before, but I'll gradually explain it throughout the post) isn't one that can be rushed. It's going to take a longer drafting process - more research is required, and there's a larger cast of characters than what I'm used to. It also didn't help that I literally started plotting the story FIVE DAYS BEFORE NANOWRIMO. *facepalm*
2. Did it turn out like you expected or completely different? And how do you feel about the outcome?
Based on the parts I've written, it's turning out like I expected it to, which is nice. I don't think it's a very messy first draft (at least, compared to other first drafts I've written . . . *cough cough* the Inhumans *cough*).

I got a grand total of 18k words written of this WIP in November, which was more than I had expected, so I'm pretty happy with what I have so far. :)

3. What aspect of the story did you love writing the most? (Characters, plot, setting, prose, etc.)
THE CHARACTERS. I LOVE THE CHARACTERS. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I love my main character. Usually I have to tolerate my MCs, but not this one. Oh, no.

Here's a quick introduction to my MC, Alison Maher:
  • Flautist (aka flute player)
  • Irish
  • Soul-searcher (a special ability where she knows people's deepest desires and fears through seeing their most deeply rooted memories)
    • So she's obviously more than a little traumatized from all she's seen BWAHAHAHAHA
  • Earbuds perpetually in her ears
  • A hard worker
  • Is literally my obsession with TwoSetViolin written on paper (she even has a GO PRACTICE t-shirt XD)
 4. How about your least favorite part?

*hides from Merie's glare*

This WIP is set in an alternate Earth, where everyone has a superpower or special ability. The majority of the story is set in Switzerland, where there's this school for teens whose powers are dangerous or out-of-control. (Guess where Alison's going??? XD)

Except . . . I neglected to research Switzerland's geography and culture before writing, so I hit like fifty roadblocks in the worldbuilding department. Go me.

5. What do you feel needs the most work?
See answer to #4. XD

6. How do you feel about your characters now that the novel is done? Who's your favorite? Least favorite? Anyone surprise you? Give us all the details!
As I mentioned earlier, I LOVE ALL MY CHARACTERS. There are five major side characters and I adore them ALL. (And Alison, of course, because she's amazing.)

I don't want to overwhelm you with characters that you probably won't remember in thirty seconds, so I'll just mention my two favorites.

THIS BOY IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. I can't tell you much about him, because he doesn't know much himself. (and if THAT doesn't tell you about what torture I'm planning for him, nothing does XD) Suffice it to say that he's one of those sweet, conflicted, quiet characters that I love writing about, and I want to hug him very badly. he'll need it

While Jay leans more on the pessimistic side of the spectrum, this girl here is 120% a bright ray of sunshine and bubbly to an extreme degree. But don't let that fool you. She's got pretty dark fears that I will take pleasure in feel bad for giving her.

7. What's your next plan of action with this novel?
Wait a little while before continuing with this first draft. I might continue it over the summer, but I'm honestly not sure. It all depends on when I finish getting feedback from my alpha reader and when I want to start editing the Silver Sword (my NaNo '18 novel).

8. If you could have your greatest dream realized for this novel, what would it be?
*shrugs* I don't know. I guess it would be amazing for someone to read it and love it, but that's my dream with any novel. Maybe I'll turn it into a serial, I'm not sure.

Share some of your favorite snippets!
*gulps* Welcome to the segment of Let's Call Out All of Nicole's Self-Inserts! Keep score as we go, and at the end I'll tell you the grand total. XD
But hard work doesn't always mean I'll get into the orchestra. It also takes a fair amount of courage and a certain bit of luck. And I'm anything but lucky these days.
I am not going to throw away this second chance. (bonus points if you know what I'm referencing XD)
Someone runs into me, and a jolt of energy - probably adrenaline - shoots through me. "Sorry," I say on instinct as I hit the ground hard.
Nothing's seriously hurt, although my right foot might be bruised for a little while. But at least I'm not starting school with a broken bone.
I look up to see the person I crashed into. He's sprawled on the ground, but as I watch, he lifts his face up and stares directly at me.
I almost flinch away, but something in his dark eyes - fear? - keeps me riveted.
(this is my favorite scene I've written, but I can't tell you why because #spoilers)
"Don't worry, Gabby - we are going to crush the other Squad!" Jasmine tells her with all the confidence in the world. "We're going to crush them so hard that there will be nothing left of them when we're done."
"That's the spirit," Gabby says, sounding disinterested.

I counted four self-inserts. I'll leave you to figure out which snippets those are. XD

10. Did you glean any new writing and/or life lessons from writing this novel?
- Don't be afraid to leave a WIP aside if it's not the right time for that project.
- PRIORITIZE YOUR LIFE. Seriously. Larger obligations are more important than NaNoWriMo (sadly).


Well, there we have it - that was my NaNoWriMo in a nutshell! It was kind of an epic fail, word-count-wise, but it was the best I could do, and I'm proud that.

To all other NaNo participants - I hope your experience was good and that you got lots of writing done!

-Nicole <3

Did you participate in NaNo this year? Did you win? What was your WIP about? Let's talk!

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  1. EEEEEEEE! YOU DID THE LINKUP. I absolutely loved reading about all of this!!!! And GIRL. 18k is a ton of words amidst school and work! I am in awe at your ability to continue to write during such a crazy time! I didn't even consider doing NaNo until I graduated. XD But you're getting words down like a ninja writer and it's so admirable! And GOOD words too. My draft is suuuuch a mess, it's just embarrassing. But YOURS. I mean, THOSE SNIPPETS. *drooools* I LOVE!

    AND YOUR CHARACTERS. I adore that a flautist is the main character in a non-contemporary story. That's so unique! And she sounds like THE most relatable person of ever. Also, that soul-searching ability??? O_O THAT IS SO EPIC. EEEEEE!!! Everything about this story sounds SO COOL.

    This is so incoherent, but the more excited I get, the more incoherent I become and AKJ:SLJ:JKJDLFJ. I LOVE THIS!!!

    Thank you so much for joining the linkup and sharing! And congrats on 18k amidst such a crazy month! You are awesome, Nicole! <3

    1. YESSSS I DID! Thank you! (Haha, I still don't understand how I got 18k, so you're not alone.) ACK, THANK YOUUUUUUU <3 <3

      I AM FREAKING OUT FROM YOUR COMMENTS! *rubs hands together* The soul-searching power has been fun so far . . . bwahahaha.

      Don't worry, I think my comment has been just as incoherent. XD AND YOUR INCOHERENTNESS MAKES ME MORE EXCITED AAAAAHHHHH!

      Thank YOU for hosting this super-awesome linkup! And thank youuu (and congratulations on winning NaNo!). <3

  2. I LOVE your snippets. When this book comes out PLEASE TELL ME so I can buy it. I didn't participate in NaNo this year because I was pretty busy (taekwondo, Christmas show rehearsals, school etc.) And I felt like I was writing at a pretty good pace but I love hearing how other writers NaNo projects went.

    1. Oh my goodness, THANK YOU SO MUCH, McKayla! Haha, yeah, NaNo is always at a super busy time of year, so opting out probably saved you a lot of stress. It's awesome that you still wrote during November!

    2. No problem! Yeah, I was pretty busy with taekwando and theater.
      Thanks! I actually like it so far. It needs a LOT of editing though....

    3. Ooo, what were you doing in theater?
      Ah, yes, it's awesome to like the WIP you're writing! Sometimes you can just get SO SICK of it, so that is great!

    4. Working on a Christmas play. We're actually doing it this weekend. I'm so excited.
      Yes! I mean, I like it now but I don't exactly have a great track record of finishing projects....

    5. Since I’m so late at responding to this comment, I hope the play went well! I have full confidence that it was fine. :)
      Haha, same - the amount of unfinished projects I have are insane XD


    And, haaaa, so THAT'S what you meant by worldbuilding trouble... :DDD Don't worry, I was only glaring until the point where you said you were hiding from my glare. :)

    BUT SO THIS IS THE ONE SET IN SWITZERLAND. Well done, my apprentice. *pats you on shoulder*

    THESE CHARACTERS SOUND SO AWESOME. Your MC is Irish!! And your descriptions of the other charries are SO COOL. And I have a secret soft spot for superpower storyworlds (shhhh).

    AND YEEEEESSS, I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO DECIDED TO ABANDON NANO!!! *high-fives* (I dropped my own project the first week in because it just didn't feel right for this time :) ) *applauds you*

    1. <333333 THANK YOU, MERIE.

      Heh heh heh, yeah . . . :D *sighs in relief* the glare is gone, phew. XD

      YES, IT IS, AND IT IS AWESOME. Thank you, Jedi Master. *bows*

      THANK YOU! Yes, she is, and it's great! (Superpower storyworlds are the BEST and I 110% agree with you.)

      WOO-HOO, ABANDONING NANO FOR THE WIN!!!! *high-fives back* Ahhh, yeah, I totally get that. NaNo isn't always the greatest time to first-draft. *applauds you, too*

  4. Love the snippets and the character aesthetics!
    Sounds like a cool story.

  5. I didn't officially do Nano this year because word-goals make me freeze up mentally *sigh* but I almost completed my novel in November -- SO CLOSE.

    1. Haha, yeah, word-count goals terrify me, too - I have to stop myself from obsessively checking every two seconds. But CONGRATULATIONS ON ALMOST GETTING THERE - YOU CAN DO THIS AND FINISH IT. :D

  6. I'm struggling with my story, so I've been taking a bit of a break. NaNo just wouldn't have worked out for me. I really want to do it next year!
    Sounds like you got a cool story going. Hope you can get back to it when your less busy. :)

    1. *nods* Yeah, a break should definitely come before NaNo - but yessss, if you can you definitely should participate next year! And thank you - I hope so too! :)

  7. GIRRRLLLLLLL those snippets. These characters. EVERYTHING. *flails forever* I LOVE ITTTTTTTT

    1. *screams at your comment forever* THANK YOU SO MUCH FAITH AAAAAHHHHH

  8. I feel like I'm Jasmine. Your aesthetic of her sounds a lot like me.

    Also, ACK is hilarious! Love it!!

    1. Okay, that's officially awesome. (Could this be the start of a conspiracy theory that I'm actually writing you into the story???? XD)

      Ack, thank you! (yes, that pun was horrible, just roll with it)

  9. This sounds SO COOL. And yeah, I didn't write a lot during Nano, for the same reasons as you. Sometimes you've got to give it a break.

    Your characters sound AWESOME. And TwoSetViolin! I love them too!

    1. Thank you, Becky! :D Haha, yeah, breaks are super important!

      TWOSETVIOLIN!!!!! *fangirls* Do you have a favorite video of theirs?

  10. Those snippets are the greatest. XD Your style is so fun and I want moreeeeee!!

    1. *hugs* Thank you so much, Lila - that means so much coming from a WRITING QUEEN. :)

  11. 18k is awesome, as are your snippets. :D This looks like a SUPER fun (but also heartbreaking) story--best of luck with it!!

    1. Thank you so much, Megan! I'm looking forward to writing more of it! (and yes, I am planning on BRINGING ON the heartbreak 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