How’s the Writing Going? NaNo + Skyships (Beautiful Books: Nov. ’17)

It’s time once again for BEAUTIFUL BOOKS, a monthly blog-link-up for writers hosted by the lovely Sky and Cait. This month’s is focused on “How’s the Writing Going?” and looking in on the current progress of the novels we’re writing for NaNo… or writing for any other reason. πŸ˜‰ (Join up in the linky at one of the posts linked above.)

Last month, I introduced my NaNoWriMo 2017 novel, The Siren and the Skyship, my YA Fantasy-Steampunk retelling of The Little Mermaid, so here’s an update on how this story’s coming along!

1. Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

It’s going pretty well. πŸ™‚ I’m at 31,714 words for NaNo so far, so as of last night I was on track! I shall have to dash off and do today’s words hopefully after this post. πŸ˜‰

I was only behind for two days, early in the month, due to circumstances outside my control (this has been an INSANELY busy November, and I’m just like “SLOW DOWN ALREADY, IT’S NANO, HALP.”) but I’ve managed to claw my way to the on-par bar each night, somehow. I keep meaning to get ahead, but… not really happening. *grimaces* But at least I’m on track! Yay! πŸ™‚

The novel itself is only 25K so far (since I started NaNo with a 6K short story about Tare and the Chess Club), so it’s a little less far along than I’d normally be, but that’s okay — the higher number is giving me more of a sense that STUFF HAS TO BE HAPPENING instead of “oh, I’m only 25K in, I can still do beginning stuff…”

I’ve finally got the three main characters on a skyship together — hurray! And I just dropped a major plot point so yes, things are going well. πŸ˜€

As far as my mental state — AHAHAHA. Ahem. Well, it’s been going back and forth between “Ugh, this story is a MESS, what am I doing; I should drop noveling and move to a remote island in the Arctic instead” to “this is fun! I wanna write the next scene!” and basically fluctuating between panic/loathing, and enjoying it immensely. So yes, I’d say it’s a normal NaNo. XD

2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

(I’m sharing three, since I have three POV characters. ^_^ The first is the opening line of the novel; the other two are when we meet the other characters.)

Princess Tasmania Peckham-Archley stepped out of her ship’s cabin and met the dawn how she most loved to: flying through the dawn-hued clouds in her skyship.


Auren, an air spirit and the youngest son of the Cloud Siren queen, flew through the air by the Star Dreamer, moving with the wind.


Gunfire rang out, and a small explosion rocked the skyship, gunpowder smoke and steam mixing in the air to form a mist as Rook bounded along down a walkway in the depths of the ship.

3. Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

(Image found on Pinterest)


Oh, wait, you wanted more than that? Ahem.

For anyone who’s read my #WIPjoy post, you’re prooobably not surprised that my favorite character so far is Rook, the side character who wants to steal the show from Tasmania and Auren (who are the Little-Mermaid-esque romantic leads/main characters). I haven’t gotten to write with him as much as I’d like, since he doesn’t meet up with the other main characters for a little while, but so far he’s definitely my favorite. ^_^ And he’s kind of epic and just yes.

BUT I’M FOND OF THEM ALL. ❀ I just need to write more so I can get to know them all better…

4. What do you love about your novel so far?

I love my characters, and I love how it’s unlike anything I’ve ever written, and IΒ especially love getting to play around in this sky-based fantasy world with the skyships and clouds. It’s gorgeous in my head and I’m having an amazing time exploring it, and — basically somebody just make a movie of this thing already because it would look amazing. ❀

(Images found on Pinterest)

5. Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

I don’t know, really, because my backspace-key-instincts when I spot a typo are faster than the speed of thought, which means I fix them ASAP in the midst of my writing (usually; if I see it in the mad rush of writing) and so I don’t remember what they were.

I did just realize that since I accidentally wrote chapter 6 before writing chapter 5, I referenced something in chapter 5 that happened later… which was very silly. Oh well, more words. We can all fix our mistakes after November 30. πŸ˜‰

6. What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end β€” and why?

I’m going to have to say middles, because there’s a lot of pressure involved with beginnings and ends.

With beginnings, you don’t quite have a handle on the characters yet and you’re just starting out, not sure about how the story is going to go.

With endings (not that I ever reach there these days… >.> *COUGHCOUGHCOUGH*) it’s like “How am I supposed to wrap up all the things and make it awesome?”

Like I said: pressure on both counts. (Though I WILL say that starting a novel can be exhilarating — why do you think I start so may? *ahem* — and nothing beats the feel of finishing a novel… So I kind of like all three, but middles are especially fun.)

Middles mean you are just wildly running around playing around with your characters who are surprising you, and it’s just glorious fun.

7. What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!

I don’t usually eat while I’m writing because who can focus on both at once? (Spoiler: not me.) If I’m writing, I’m writing; the end.

I do listen to music, especially during NaNo, and it’s usually very fast to help with my typing speeds: either gorgeous soundtrack-type instrumentals, or Christian Rock/Pop, because FAST TYPING. Or Lindsey Stirling, if I have internet access while I’m writing (which isn’t as often as I would like, and more often than my wordcount would like).

I write best at night when there are no distractions and I can get in the zone, but these days I write a lot in the last afternoon/early evening, because that’s when I get around to it…

And I usually write in my comfy chair. Behold my NaNo life of late:

8. How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?

I’m a mix, because I’m very shy about sharing my stuff especially when I’m feeling unsure about it or stuck, BUT I do need the cheer squad to keep me motivated, otherwise I feel down. So I might mention what’s up in the novel (or share a small snippet) in an email/forum/Tweet, and I usually read my chapters aloud to my sister every so often, so she can cheer me on. (10/10 recommend getting yourself an extremely supportive sister to do NaNo with — she’s amazing and encourages me and is awesome.) And I have a couple of major NaNo-buddies who I keep up with and it’s AWESOME supporting each other. ^_^ I don’t know what I’d do without my writerly friends! Y’all are awesome! ❀

(But yes, as far as writing goes, I work alone, like Batman and my character Tare. *nodnod* *puts on shades and wears black and walks away mysteriously to novel in some back alley of my imagination*)

9. What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?

Um… the ever-demanding stats-graph on the NaNo site and the fact that I need to hit that on-par line each day. XD Falling behind is NOT something to do during NaNo, as I’ve learned from hard experience…

Other times, it’s how much I’m loving this story/characters. It flips back and forth between the two. πŸ˜‰

10. What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?

(Watch while I blissfully ignore my own advice… *cough*)

  1. Just start. Sit down and start writing, because you’re never going to feel ready.
  2. Don’t worry about perfection, just get the story down in its most basic form — and if that’s messy, go for it! First drafts are exploration missions — you’re exploring the terrain and drawing a map. The building of homes and fences and making it livable and such can come later.
  3. Use wordsprints to your advantage! Try the awesome one on the NaNo site, or just set a timer, and write until the alarm goes off. You’ll be amazed to find that at the end of every 10 minute session, you’ve written two or three hundred words… Then try it again. And again. And then you’ll be done before you know it. πŸ™‚

Here’s a look at my wordsprinting secret-weapon layout. Wordsprint timer from the site open in my browser in one window; very fast music in a playlist in another; and Scrivener, my PRECIOUSSS, where I can monitor how many words I have in my current little segment during the wordwar. It’s a stellar combination and makes me write SO FAST. ❀

I had some more NaNo writing tips here. πŸ™‚

Welp, back to the drawing writing-board! I have a busy day and need to get on writing those words to stay on track, and try to get ahead because Thanksgiving, awk; MUST GET AHEAD. So it’s off to Life/Write for me! I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving, American friends! ^_^ (And a fantastic week, anyone else. ;))

How’s your novel going, if you’re doing NaNo? If not, what are you up to? Chat in the comments below! And if I possibly can squeeze in some editing between my novel-writing, I’m hoping to see if I can share a short story on the blog next week, so stay tuned! Thanks so much for reading! ^_^ *hugs all around*


21 thoughts on “How’s the Writing Going? NaNo + Skyships (Beautiful Books: Nov. ’17)

  1. Glad NaNo’s going reasonably well. Maybe over Thanksgiving you can get yourself ahead a bit like you hoped? (Or maybe not . . . IDK how that works for you.)
    I am completely unsurprised that Rook is your favorite character. I can’t wait to meet him. πŸ˜€
    I love what you said about middles, and I completely agree- it’s nice to have low pressure and to just be able to mess around and throw your characters into trouble and get them out of it again and have them goof off with each other in lighthearted moments. πŸ˜€ Endings can be fun too, though, because you have the satisfaction of being done.
    My month is going pretty well. I’m very nearly to the end of the first rewrite. I’m hoping to be totally done by tomorrow so I can use Thanksgiving break to work on my second round of edits. The only issue is that it’s currently sitting at 28K and I’m sure I have another 2K words left at least, and I need it to be only 20K when I’m done with it. πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sarah!

      Haha, yes, I’m sooo predictable. XD I should just give up and make one of my dark guy characters the MC someday… since I know they’ll be my favorite…

      I AGREE! No pressure and more goofing off. πŸ˜‰ And yes, I love endings too, I just… can’t… seem… to get… to… them… anymore… *eye twitches*

      I’m glad your NaNo went pretty well and I can’t wait to hear how the rest of it went! πŸ™‚ Sorry it’s getting long. O_O I had that problem with mine as well the other year, and yeesh, it’s tough getting it cut down to size. :-/

      Thanks for your loverly comment! ❀ *replies to it very late*


  2. *cheers you on* AND YAY YOU USE SCRIVENER TOO!! It is literally life I find.πŸ˜‚ I have finished but my book’s a hot mess haha. Still there’s a lot I love in it and I’m excited to rewrite it next year. :’) Ohh and I can’t eat + write either. Pfft, I do not have the coordination for that.

    I LOVE your aesthetics there and Rook sounds awesome! And I also love writing middles! I always get worried my beginnings are too fast/too slow and my endings are sooo hard to write. But middles are FUN. Not everyone is dead yet so there can be lots of banter.πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANKS, CAIT. Yes, Scrivener IS life! πŸ˜€ Congrats on finishing your novel!

      Hurray! I love my Rook and aesthetics, so this pleases me. XD MIDDLES ARE FUN, YES. I agree on the banter. *laughs because of the “not everyone is dead yet” thing* Aaahh, Cait. XDDD

      Thanks for co-hosting another awesome Beautiful Books and dropping in to read mine! ❀


  3. Yayyy, you’re on track! *throws confetti* I just love reading everyone’s NaNo updates. ^_^

    Rook sounds fantastic! (Stupid autocorrect keeps wanting to change it to Took–THIS IS NOT LOTR, PHONE, GET WITH THE PROGRAM.) I did a double take when you mentioned loving him best, because I have a Rook character in The Brightest Thread, and he might be the character I HATE the most. Let’s make sure the two Rooks never meet each other. It could end badly. XD

    Comparing yourself to Tare and Batman in the same breath is hilarious and pretty accurate. XDDD (The Tare and Batman part, not necessarily the You and Batman comparison–because you’re too sweet to be Bats.)

    Hope the last week and a half go swimmingly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Tracey! I’ll have some NaNo wrapup updates soon. πŸ˜€

      Haha, that’s hilarious about your evil Rook and the Took autocorrect. XD Rook is my favorite. Let’s keep the Rooks apart, yes. πŸ˜‰

      Eh, I can see myself being kinda like Batman! I’m glad you were amused by the Tare and Batman and me comparison. XD

      Thank youuuu for your sweet encouragement! ❀


  4. lol I love how you have the book “No Plot? No Problem.” xD Also those aesthetics are pretty awesome. Someone should make a movie out of anything steampunk because steampunk is awesome. ❀ Anyways good job on Nano…I haven't been able to do it this year but hey! I can still next year and the year after πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person


    You are doing so amazingly staying on track amidst such an insane NaNo! YOU ARE AWESOME!

    *devours the snippets*
    I LOVED THESE!!! I feel like every single one of them really captures each of the characters. And of course Rook starts out with gunfire. xD Also THE VISUALS!!! All the airships flying through the clouds and just sldjflsjdjf. This book has THE. BEST. VISUALS. ❀

    Yes to EEEEVERYTHING you said on writing the beginning, middle, and end. Those are my EXACT feelings! #BrainTwins

    Huzzah for supportive little sisters! They're the actual best. ^_^

    Your advice is golden! And literally ALL things I've been trying to do this NaNo. I've…mostly gotten okay with the disastrous state my novel is turning into, though my Inner Editor does like to rear its ugly head now and again. But WORD SPRINTS. I've been setting a timer for 20 minutes on a constant basis lately and it's helping soooo much! They're life savers! I'm loving the screenshot of your secret-weapon. Too perfect!


    Liked by 1 person


      I’m gargantuanly pleased that you enjoyed the snippets and visuals and that they sound like the characters! Eheheheh, poor Rook — I ruined his entire life in that first chapter of his… *cough*

      *high five on middle/beginning/ends opinions*

      Inner Editor problems are real. *nod* HURRAY FOR WORDSPRINTS! I love them so so much. I’m glad you found them helpful!

      WE MADE IT. We made iiiit. πŸ˜€ *collapses and naps for a century*


      Liked by 1 person

    • Awk, your comment made my day, Madeline! Thank you! ^_^ The book’s not finished yet, unfortunately, so it can’t be in anyone’s hands yet, (but someday! someday!) but that is so sweet of you to sayyy! You’re always so encouraging — thank you!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

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