Know the Novel Part Two // In Which I Admit That I Have Not Accomplished Much

So, it’s the middle of November… and you wanna know how it’s been like?

I’ll cut straight to the chase so I don’t end up repeating myself over and over again, because I’d probably do that because we’re all brain dead here xD But anyway, this is part two of the NaNo linkup Christine is doing (and guys go check out her novel updates because it iS AMAZING).

#1. How’s the writing going overall?

*slumps down in exhaustion* Hard. Very hard. But what I HAVE accomplished, I’m glad I have, cuz it’s better than nothing! It’s a first draft guys, so the prose is allowed to be junk. I say that because my prose is always kinda awkward in the beginning of a story, and also I seem to have forgotten how to write proper descriptions since the last time I wrote a story in August. Ahaha.

Also, I’ve written very little. Very little. It’s very frustrating, but I’m thankful to have gotten stuff done nevertheless (Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate it, by the way!).

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

THE CHARACTERS.

I am having SO much fun developing each of their individual personalities and character arcs. I just haven’t been able to have enough of it all!

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

I LOVE THEM, OBVIOUSLY. It is ridiculously fun having 11 siblings + 1 stepsibling to play around with. I honestly cannot say which one is my favorite, and I’m tempted to say Evangeline because of all her interactions with them, but that’s cheating xD (It’s okay, though. I still love Evangeline.)

I can’t say I’ve fully developed each prince’s personality and/or character arc yet (so ya know, I’m totally taking suggestions at this point), but let me introduce you to a few of the ones I know best πŸ˜‰ *brace yourselves; this gon’ be long*

Alexei (band leader, 1st in line, harried heir)~ I have Jorja to thank for helping me brainstorm for the crown prince! Alexei’s pretty much what every crown prince + eldest sibling should look like–responsible, dutiful, protective of his younger brothers, et cetera, et cetera. BUT *and here’s the big secret* he’s also the family’s guardian angel. Without him, none of the boys would ever wake up in time for breakfast, get enough sleep, or survive a freaking cold. He might be busy with royal princely duties and all that, but he’s taken care to groom his bossiest siblings to take care of the youngest boys for him. When you mess up, fall off your horse, or miss dinner, come to Alexei because he’ll take care of that for you.

The only problem is that his cautiousness could be what prevents Evangeline from getting close to any of his siblings…

The Troubled Teen Team (scary smart, 4th,5th&6th in line, actually related)~ Meet Julius, the silver-tongued natural science whiz who pulls every string possible to avoid any social event; Rio, the nerdy jock whose two favorite activities are math and competitive sports; and Callan, who can argue you out of your entire perception of logic but won’t because #Don’tWasteMyTime. And yes, they’re triplets. Their three-way relationship is absolutely HILARIOUS to explore, but it also plays a super important role in the plot. Which I won’t disclose, of course, for obvious reasons.

Aaand I couldn’t decide who to share about next so I gave up xD

#4: Has your novel surprised you in any way?

Yes?

I’ll be honest; I didn’t begin with a complicated plan for more characters, since I wanted to keep the focus within the family. Of course that didn’t work out because Merie cannot write a story without a minimum of twenty named characters sO now I have characters just popping up everywhere without my permission.

Other than that, this entire project has been a giant surprise. For example, scrapping my first try and starting over with English prose. It’s also been fabulous diving into Evangeline’s head and discovering all the little things that make her tick, as well as all the little things that tie into her overall character arc and all that fun stuff.

Have I mentioned that I’ve waited three years to write Evangeline? It’s been pretty rewarding so far.

#5: Have you come across any problem areas?

Lots.

My biggest problem is that I’ve started to suck at making time for writing. I used to be good at that, but apparently I’ve lost my touch. At any rate, since I haven’t actually gotten very far in this story yet, there hasn’t been much time for problems. I think it’ll be a relatively smooth ride, in comparison to my past projects–and that’s thanks to the ending I have in mind! (Endings usually don’t come to me until way too late.)

Okay, but here’s my biggest problem in the actual story itself. I know you guys are gonna go c r a z y because I’m supposed to put this hiiiiiigh on my priorities list, but… *ahem* Don’t laugh, but I haven’t done enough outlining in the worldbuilding aspect.

So. That probably means I should set aside time to do that (because I SWEAR, all of you worldbuilding skeptics! I swear that taking the time to really write out and explore the concepts in your storyworld will make the worldbuilding much, much easier!) before I come across any really big stumbling blocks.

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

Writing it?

Yep, definitely writing it. I haven’t been consistent at ALL and if my novel were a person it would hate me at this point, but the fact is, writing it in itself has been a victory overall. I was surprised at how much I could put down when I found the time for it, and although I don’t often find time for it, it’s still very satisfying.

#7: 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?

Um… I have always been bad at imagining myself in one of my stories, lol. I might be a messy mashup of random traits of several of the princes, particularly Marcus–like, if I were a few years younger and a boy, probably. Marcus is an interesting character.

Prince aside, I’d probably do best as Iolani, my main character Evangeline’s cousin. Iolani doesn’t make too many appearances once the brothers steal the stage, but she does play quite an important role, and I feel like a lot of her reactions to certain events in the story would be awfully similar to mine.

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

I’m actually quite proud of the first sentence, if I do say so myself.

Evangeline Hu Xi-Liang was the daughter of a witch, and the daughters of witches are not supposed to lead happy lives.

I, Myself, & Me

Now, I haven’t written that much yet, so I don’t have any, erm, worthy snippets to share… You can anticipate that in my next post, I hope. xD

#9: 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!)

Can I just ramble about how much I love my ending right now? Because I love my ending, and I can’t wait to get there.

BUT. That’s not very interesting to just talk about.

An interesting tidbit about the writing process so far: two of the younger princes still don’t have names (pLEASE GIVE ME SUGGESTIONS), and I still haven’t figured out which prince gets turned into what animal (well for a few of them I have, but for others iF YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS *waves you over*).

Like, for instance, Marcus, the thirteen-year-old (?) who’s a bit too much like me, gets turned into a bear.

*moment of appreciation for this show-stopping revelation*

Okay, so that actually doesn’t have much to do with the writing process, but I was just letting y’all know. (And someone please help me decide what type of bear. Preferably one that sleeps a lot.)

#10: 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!

*shifty eyes*

So… there hasn’t been such thing as a writing day for me yet, as I’m usually only able to spend two to three hours every session. But of course I play music, especially Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (never mind that I’m writing a retelling of “The Wild Swans”–the core essence of swan is all that matters) and also Pentatonix’s That’s Christmas to Me album, which I always play this time of year.

Other than that, there’s nothing special about this writing process. I write by hand, and I always forget to light any candles because I’m a forgetful person with too many unburned candles in my possession, and lately Xiami has been really hating on me, so I’m going to blame my unproductivity on the fact that my mobile music app stopped cooperating with me FOR NO REASON AS SOON AS the writing season began.

The nerve.


So that’s my story, folks. How’s yours? Have you participated in Christine’s linkup? Is NaNo turning out well for you (or kinda crazy, in which case let’s be crazed together)? Talk to me!

Until next time,

~ Merie

39 thoughts on “Know the Novel Part Two // In Which I Admit That I Have Not Accomplished Much

  1. Is it totally biased of me to say that Alexei is my favorite? Probably, but it shall not stop me.

    That first sentence is absolutely amazing and I am now suuuuper curious about your ending, but I’m always curious about your writing (you know where to find me if you decide you want to share every detail of every one of your writing projects with someone)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. EEP! I was so excited to see this pop up!!! πŸ˜€ This was GREAT getting an closer look at this ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR, MAGICAL SOUNDING STORY!!! <33333 I'm sorry writing has been hard though! But I am of the firm opinion EVERY word should be celebrated. And some seasons are just so busy, and getting ANY words during such times should be extra celebrated!

    AND OKAY BUT YOUR CHARACTERS JUST SOUND SO DELIGHTFULLLL!!! Alexei sounds like the big brother every single person needs. <333 And the TRIPLETS. Whoo boy! I can imagine they're a riot! I love them already. XD Plus the whole family dynamics and, well, EVERYTHING seem so funnnn!

    Also. DAT OPENING LINE. *all the heart eyes of ever* If I picked up a book with that opening line I'd snatch it up so fast!

    Thank you so much for joining the linkup! (And saying such nice things about my novel! AWK. YOU PRECIOUS SOUL! <3) I do hope these last few days of November treat you wonderfully!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alexei sounds amazingggg

    Also, as someone else who’s currently having trouble getting their writing done, I can confidently say that any writing is good and valid as long as you’re getting it done. And your story sounds really cool, and I love your opening line??? Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I understand this completely! When I first started my current WIP (and still kinda of happening now), writing was so slow and got worse with me then struggling to get the time (and motivation) to do it. But you’re doing well! Writing it is all that matters!
    Haha, I can SO relate to the lack of worldbuilding! I done about… well, none of it yet.
    Nice opening! And I love the sound of the brothers so far!
    What are the names you have so far with the princes? And the animals you have chosen?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you’re right! It’s getting better the farther I get along! I hope you do well on your WIP too!

      I find this ironic because worldbuilding is sooooo important to me (talk about it all the time here lol) and yet I haven’t sat down and really worked on it for this project. Which I need to do.

      Aw, thank you so much! The names I have so far are all pretty uncommon or obscure, I think. I’ve matched the animals with their personalities, but if you have any particular animal in mind, feel free to let me know!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mine too actually! Finally, with the help of reminders and writing sprints, I have been writing a lot more! But it’s been only a recent thing!
        Ah, I see. I understand. I am on purpose not doing any worldbuilding so I can focus on the characters and plot. How that will go down, we will see.
        I have a character called Marcus (not in the current one, but in another one) too by the way!
        I can only think of a fox. I love foxes, and they are not in fiction at all that much.
        That’s cool! I love names that are unlikely to be seen another book. Common names have their place, but I just love unique names!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s awesome! I hope you’ll make more progress soon πŸ’ͺπŸ‘

        Ah, that makes sense. For me, worldbuilding has to happen so I can figure out everything else more easily 😜 I’m kinda a backwards person when it comes to worldbuilding, haha.

        Nice, I like the name Marcus! Also, I love foxes and even though none of the princes turn into foxes it holds a sort of symbol in the story 😏😏 You know what one of the few natural predators of swans are…

        Same! I’m a bit of a name nerd πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is really cool! I especially love the first line.
    I just read a 12 Dancing Princesses retelling and my goodness it was hard to keep up with all the characters. Good luck writing that!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love Alexei! He’s my favourite kind of older brother. The triplets sound fantastic and I bet they’re a handful! XD

    Hmm, if you’re still accepting name and animals suggestions, what about Rohai and he could transform into a crane or heron?

    I couldn’t find out how long they sleep, but what about a Sun Bear for Marcus?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, yay! He’s my favorite kind too 🀣 and yes, the triplets are quite a handful.

      Thank you so much! Wow, I love the name Rohai! My only concern is that there are already two princes whose names start with R, and Rollan begins with the same letters as Rohai πŸ˜… buuuuut I’ll figure out a way to make it work 😏

      That sounds like a fitting bear species. Thanks a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad I could help! ^_^ I think Rollan and Rohai are different enough that readers won’t be too confused. πŸ˜‰

        You’re welcome! I think Sun Bears are adorable! ^_^

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I think the name Lohai is awesome and will work really well! ^_^ And then you don’t have to worry about the names starting with the same letter. ;D

        Liked by 2 people

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