WIP Spotlight: Project Chaos! + What My Characters Did in Quarantine

August 09, 2020

Happy Sunday!

In my July Happenings post, I mentioned that I finished the first draft of Project Chaos during the last week of July!

*screams forever*

In the 100 days I allotted to write this draft, I ended up with 67,000 words, at least six late nights, one attempted cup of coffee, and my first experience with crying over something I've written. So on the whole, I'd say the endeavor was pretty successful. XD

Since I haven't really talked about what Project Chaos is, I figured I'd do - you guessed it - another dying tag. I've been wondering what these characters would do in quarantine, so let's find out . . .


Fifteen years ago, a mysterious force known as the Corruption invaded the country of Levende, destroying villages and technology, along with wiping out thousands of people. But for Karina, it's a bit more personal. The Corruption took her gift - a special ability - making her the only giftless person in Levende.

When a risky trip into a restricted Corrupted area is discovered, Karina and her worrywart brother Morten are sentenced to two years in Exile, a juvenile reformation center. But barely three days into her stay at Exile, it burns down. And the survivors are blamed for it.

Karina is forced to team up with the fire's few survivors in order to clear their names and track down the true culprits. But everyone has their secrets, and can they truly trust each other?

And what happens when the answers they seek are darker than they were expecting?

yeah, it's not the best summary ever, but it was pretty spur-of-the-moment. basically, fugitives are forced to clear their names while having trust issues

And faeries. We can't forget them.

Now, I present to you what my characters did in quarantine!


the main character

exploration // outer strength // pranks // Strong Independent Woman // hide the pain // pink everblooming flowers // You Don't Know Me // considerable trust issues // giftless but has Personality

Karina got cabin fever on day 1 of quarantine. She FaceTimes at least three people a day, for hours at a time. And when she's not FaceTiming, she's intruding on her brother Morten's privacy. (But hey, that's what happens when he locks himself in his room for hours on end.)

However, does she do online schooling? . . . Of course not. Ever since her school announced that the last semester would not affect her overall GPA, she hasn't even looked at the coursework, much less thought about it. Instead, she spends her days yearning to go outside and talk with people.

And yeah, sometimes she sneaks out of the house - with a mask - and explores the woods outside of her house. But to be fair, they're not that crowded (at least, not anymore).


Karina's brother, the nerd, and the morally upright

books are better than people // constantly worried // brother or babysitter? // why did Karina drag me into this // safety // too smart for his own good // illusion-creating gift

Morten isn't having a horrible time with quarantine. He's found that he prefers online schooling to in-person schooling, although he's been struggling with the technology piece. Why can't teachers mail him the necessary materials instead of using the Internet? He much prefers using his textbook, rather than Zoom lectures.

But he's been studying and learning more than ever before! Since fishing isn't really an option right now, reading has taken priority. He read thirty nonfiction books last week alone. And he's also been taking handwritten notes (his favorite) for a research project he's working on. No, the research project isn't required for school. It's just for fun.

All his friends think that Morten has dropped off the face of the earth because he hasn't contacted them at all since quarantine started. He's just fine with that.

And by the way, don't mention the word "coronavirus" near him, because he's legitimately terrified of it. It's the other reason why he won't leave his room.


the mom friend

charism // honesty always // rebel // popular yet alone // Daddy Issues 1.0 // soldier // almost isn't good enough // lie detecting gift

The minute online schooling was announced, Lysander went immediately to his Passion Planner and planned out the next three months of life, along with setting up a new daily routine. Unlike a bunch of his fellow classmates whose lives become disorganized and chaotic, HIS life is scheduled out to the minute. From waking up at 4:30 AM and doing a rigorous exercise routine, to getting homework done the day it's assigned (getting straight As in the process), Lysander has Got It Together.

But Karina's FaceTimes keep throwing off this schedule, and it annoys him to no end. Even though he loves talking with her, he urges her to FaceTime at 5 PM precisely, rather than picking random times throughout the day. She doesn't listen.

On the other hand, Lysander wishes that his father didn't have to work at home, because now he's stuck with Towering Expectations constantly. Despite his busy schedule, his father still thinks he can do more and insists that he do all the chores of the house. All of them.

Lysander didn't plan for this.


the cynic

bitter // sarcastic beyond belief // super-powerful and deserves it // outspoken // analytical // never gives up // competitive // ice gift

Sylve believes that the virus is completely political, and so she's taken to Twitter to scream at people constantly. She got 2k followers on her first day, but also a lot of hate comments. She takes great pride in being salty in replies to said hate comments, claiming that she's "outspoken."

In between her Twitter usage, she spends her days watching a ton of YouTube videos and starting all the TV shows she meant to watch, but never did. She only does the bare minimum for her classes because there are more important social issues to attend to!

She also got a kitten that she loves with all her heart. Its name is Misty.


the ray of sunshine + cinnamon roll #1

family life // glass half-full // blood-stained hands // regeneration gift // a smile with secrets attached

Iris's mental health has really gone off the deep end. Her typically happy-go-lucky attitude is replaced with tears and gloom when she's alone. So she makes sure that she's almost never alone. She spends a lot of time with her siblings, of which there are many, helping them with schoolwork as best she can. She attends all her Zoom classes - not because she cares about the class, but because she needs that human interaction.

But when she can't talk with anybody, she plays some happy pop music and practices sewing and handlettering! She's been meaning to try them for forever, but she's never gotten the chance.

She's not particularly afraid of the virus: she's never once gotten sick, due to her amazing immune system. The only reason she stays indoors is because no one else will go out with her. And Karina doesn't go walking in the woods as much anymore.


#authorfavorite + the quiet one + cinnamon roll #2

innocent yet guilty // tree hugger // silent even when spoken to // scars // pain? all too familiar // fiercely loyal // staring at the stars

Aspen has basically quarantined his entire life, so he makes no adjustment in his schedule. In fact, he's so comfortable with quarantine that Lysander feels compelled to FaceTime him every day to make sure that Aspen hasn't become one with his bedroom.

He spends most of the day tending to the myriad of plants he grows in his bedroom. He has names for them all, but he doesn't tell them to anyone - names are personal things, after all! Otherwise, he takes naps and does a lot of thinking. He only does schoolwork when he's bored.

Two months in, his siblings force him to get a job at a grocery store to help pay the bills, and he's absolutely miserable. He doesn't mind wearing masks, as it gives him a sense of anonymity, but the small talk he has to take part in absolutely kills him.

Aspen has no idea what's happening in the rest of the world. He stopped looking at the news three years ago and never looked back.


the angsty one

wanderer // what is a normal life? I want one // can beat you up without a gift // singing away sadness // could honestly be a faerie, considering how much he knows about them // Brooding Bad Boy with a Mysterious Past

Kai decided to start a one-man band featuring himself. He started learning electric guitar and bought a drum kit off of Amazon. Lately, he's been writing super-emo songs with titles such as "Bleeding For You" and "Darkness of the Sword." He thinks he's being poetic. No one has the heart to tell him that his sounds sound like trash.

He tried to FaceTime Karina at 1 AM a few times, but she's since blocked him.

Kai doesn't think the virus is that big of a deal. He's been advocating for places to reopen since day one. And he thinks he's being edgy by not wearing a mask. But all he does is get strange looks from Wal-Mart employees because his dark hair is curling past his shoulders and he doesn't ever put it in a ponytail.
*deep breath*

If you made it through all of that, THANK YOU. That was a lot of characters, but I genuinely enjoyed spending 67k words with them. except not Kai. I don't like Kai. we have a very love-hate relationship

I don't really know what I'm going to do next in my writing life. I have some ideas, but nothing certain yet. One thing's for sure, though: Project Chaos is going on the back burner for the next few months.

Now excuse me while I proceed to collapse from sleep deprivation.

-Nicole <3

What would your characters do in quarantine? How's your writing going? Let's talk all things writing!!

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  1. Oh, I did this tag too! It is still pretty accurate since major changes except for one detail and character, but I am still figuring him out so... I can't update that just yet.
    I love your blurb and your characters! <3 <3 They all sound amazing, and I hope I get to read more about them in the future. <3
    Ummm, you mention August instead of July again?

    1. Aaayyy, that's awesome! Haha, figuring out characters is always interesting - good luck!!
      Aw, thank you so much! And hopefully, you will get to. ;)
      *MASSIVE FACEPALMS* apparently I am just in denial that August is still happening. XD THANK YOU again for catching that! <3

  2. Okay, this was hysterical! Also: I feel very called out by the number of books Morten reads. XD
    I had a good Camp NaNo, although I handwrote, oh, all of 25,000 words, which I now need to figure out how to get onto the computer before I forget how to read my own handwriting (no one else can). #sendhelp

    1. XD XD I mean . . . yay?? XD
      YOU HANDWROTE ALL OF THAT???? *mind-blown* My goodness, Samatha, that is amazing! (although good luck with the handwriting issue #sendinghelp)


  4. OKAY I LOVED THIS SO MUCH. For one, me and Morten are the same person. Because yes, locking myself in my room with books sounds much better than human interaction. And also Aspen. I, too, identify with the struggle of becoming one with my bedroom. XD And hiding behind a mask. And small talk. *shudders*

    I'm so happy for you for finishing this draft! *high fives* And also really impressed that you only counted six late nights. xD Camp NaNo has been over for over a week and I'm somehow still sleep-deprived.


    1. THANK YOU EMILY! Haha, yessss, Morten may be my role model in that regard. XD BUT ASPEN YES. MY HEART.

      *high-fives back* Thank you!! And same - I'm surprised I didn't have more. Sending caffeine and better sleep your way! ;)

  5. Love this! I'm somewhere between Aspen and Morten XD

  6. I love this!! I love the idea of them having different gifts! Like, that's so awesome!

    And how they'd react to quarantine is amazing!!

    Congrats again on finishing the first draft of Project Chaos!

    1. Aw, thank you so much!!!! Your support has literally meant SO MUCH to me. <3 <3

  7. That was great!! Don't thank me for reading it, thank you for sharing! I always feel like your posts make more sense than mine because you come up with a systematic way to share the information you're trying to give out. I don't do that...

    But seriously, I love your characters!!

    1. Aw, THANK YOU! And that is so not true - we just have different styles of blogging! I've always understood your posts perfectly fine <3 <3

      And I'll make sure to tell them that - Iris in particular might need that pick-me-up ;)

  8. OH MY GRACIOUS YOU FINISHED YOUR DRAFT AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS! *explodes the world in confetti* I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU! That is truly the best feeling in the world. And, um, excuse me but your premise sounds absolutely epic??? POWERS. POST-APOCALYPTIC THINGS? FAERIES??? Those are like some of my favorite things EVER. IT SOUNDS AMAZING.

    And THIS POST. Oh man. This was GOLD. These characters have already hooked me! Wow, they sound like SUCH a fun squad to write. I can imagine they keep you on your toes. XD But, like, seriously I'm already in love with them ALL. THEY SOUND AMAZING.

    Congrats again on finishing!!! Now go eat some cookies and take a nap, girl. You've earned it!

    1. AAAAAHHHH THANK YOU CHRISTINE!!!!!!! *TACKLE-HUGS* Oh my goodness, your enthusiasm about this makes me so happy! :D

      Ack, THANK YOU!! Haha, yeah, they're . . . quite the bunch. XD

      *nods* I will go and take that advice!! *grabs alllll the Oreos XD*

  9. OH. MY. W O R D.

    Your characters *dies laughing* I LOVE THEM SO MUCH ALREADY. I love how distinct and individual each of them are!! And of course (once again) congratulations on completing your first draft, woohoo!

    The story itself sounds pretty amazing to me ;) I'm so excited to know more about it AND the characters! (The fact that Karina is the sole giftless member of a gifted community is not only just, you know, a really cool idea to explore, but reminds me of the MC in my own current WIP! Yay for ungifted MCs! xD)

    1. Ack, THANK YOU MERIE!!! *words failing*

      (whoa, your MC is ungifted too??? That's AWESOME!! :D it's always fun to play with that!)

  10. Can we take a moment to talk about your A+ naming skills??? Like all the character's names....SO COOL!!

    1. Thank you!!! I'm usually a horrible namer, so that means a lot to me :D

  11. AHHHH I'M SO EXCITED TO FINALLY HEAR ABOUT THIS STORY! I love the sounds of all the different Gifts! And all the characters sound great, but Sylve and Lysander sound especially amazing. Congratulations on finishing!!!

    1. AHH THANK YOU ELEANOR!! Haha, I'm glad you like them - they're a few of my personal favorites. ;)

  12. All these characters sound so cool! Love the name of you story!


  13. I love this! First of all, the book sounds so awesome and second of all, I love all your characters! This was so fun to read and again, I love Project Chaos. That title is the best haha



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