Tag Archives: first draft

The NaNoWriMo 20 Questions Tag!

I saw this awesome tag over on Sophie’s blog, and since we’re almost into NaNo season I thought it would be a super fun tag to do! Thanks for putting this together, Sophie. 🙂


  1. Thank the awesome blogger who tagged you!
  2. Link back to the creator of this tag, Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner. (I want to hear about your NaNo novels!!)
  3. Feel free to use the NaNoWriMo 20 Questions Tag graphics!
  4. Answer the questions.
  5. Tag some friends who are also doing NaNo this year.
  6. And have fun!!!

Tell me about your NaNoWriMo project this year! Give me a blurb!

I’m mostly a discovery writer, which means writing a blurb is nigh on impossible since I don’t know most details of the story until I get to them, but I’ll give the briefest of hooks:

A girl takes her father’s place in an alien abduction gone awry, only to find that her surly extraterrestrial captor may not be the villain he at first appears.

What’s the genre?

Sci-fi fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast!

Describe your MC in three words.

Intelligent, brave, beautiful (I mean, this is Beauty and the Beast lol)

Without spoilers, describe your villain in three words.

Manipulative, tenacious, handsome (can you all guess who I’m talking about? :P)

What is your goal? (the traditional 50K? 20K? 5K? or……. 100K?)

I think I’m going for 21k, which is 700 words/day. I’m a slow writer, for better or for worse. :/

Is this your first draft? Second? Third?

First draft! Ugh, drafting is the worst.

Are you starting a new project (or draft), or continuing an existing one?

I’m continuing an existing draft, which is about 14,000 words long at the moment.

What is your favourite time to write in the day?

Any time I can write with friends, whether that’s after work or in the morning. Having friends with me for “butt in chair” time makes it sooooo much easier to make progress.

Where are you going to write?

At home, at work, at NaNo meetups… Anywhere I can!

Computer or paper?

Computer, using the writing service Dabble. Oh my God, I could never draft on paper. I revise my sentences so much that the paper would be all scratched out scribbles.

NaNoWriMo is a huge commitment!! How are you going to make time to write?

I’m fortunate enough to have some downtime at work right now, so I’m able to write during the day. Also, I’ve actually taken a few days off of work in November to focus on NaNo!

Are you going to participate in local or online NaNoWriMo events? (e.g. kick-off parties in your city, write-ins, virtual writing sprints…)

Yes, absolutely! NaNo events are how I met most of my writer friends. This will be my fourth anniversary for some of my NaNo friendships! ❤

Do you write from beginning to end or skip around?

Beginning to end. I’m a super linear writer, mostly because I’m by-and-large a pantser.

Planner or pantser? (or plantser?)

Plantser, with an emphasis on the pants. I do my best to plan, but things always go awry, and I find my most creative ideas are spur-of-the-moment inventions!

What will be your go-to NaNoWriMo snack?

Hrmm, I mostly write in coffee shops where there are abundant, tempting baked goods. That is not what I need to be eating right now, so… string cheese? Haha, that’s my go-to if I’m at a Starbucks.

Choice of caffeine? (or no caffeine?)

Teaaaaaaaa. Doesn’t matter if there’s caffeine in it or not, just give me an infinite supply, preferably hot and loose-leaf.

Any rewards for milestone achievements? For finishing NaNoWriMo?

Maybe I’ll buy myself a nice pair of shoes; that’s what I did as a reward for finishing my first book. 🙂

Share a tip for other NaNo-ers!

Go to the events! The camaraderie makes it way easier to get words on the page.

Also, try to end each day in the middle of a scene, or even in the middle of a sentence. It makes it easier to start writing again the next day.

How are you feeling about NaNoWriMo? (Excited?! Nervous!? Terrified?!)

Excited and scared, since this book is much more vague in my mind than previous projects. I need to do whatever planning I can prior to November 1st!

Share an aesthetic for your NaNoWriMo novel!

Since I’m not sure who’s doing NaNo, I tag everybody!! 😀 Thanks again to Sophie for creating the tag!

Leave a line down below if you’re doing NaNo this year! What’s your project about?

Chapter Nineteen of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

Illustration courtesy of Ally Grosvenor.

The nineteenth chapter of The Gold in the Dark is out! New chapters, complete with brilliant chapter illustrations courtesy of Ally Grosvenor, release every other Sunday at 11 AM EST! You can get started on the series with Chapter One right here or now also on Wattpad!

Not much to report for these past two weeks; I’ve been drafting, which for me is always a painful process. I won’t lie, things are slow-going at this point—I’m still working on getting into the groove of this story, establishing characters and back story. I’m by-and-large a pantser (as opposed to someone who plots out their books), which can cause the process to be slow but also allow for creative spontaneity. So hello to the insight that aliens really like hot sauce—but heaven forbid you look at my pathetic writing speed. Oh well, it’s just the way I work. :/

This may sound funny, but I’ve also spent the last few weeks paying close attention to bookstagram. There’s kind of a long-winded explanation to this… As an indie author, I do all my marketing and social media, and there’s not enough time in the day to be on all platforms, so I have to pick wisely about where I want to be posting. It might be surprising to some people, but common wisdom in the indie community is that building up your personal newsletter is key to success. The reasoning behind this is that you don’t have to rely on algorithms for your posts to reach your audience; even if you’re following someone on Facebook, for example, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see their posts. (As an aside, I don’t think that newsletters make you immune to an algorithm effectively gatekeeping you from your audience, given that it’s really easy for Gmail to drop your carefully constructed newsletter into the dumpster that is the promos tab.)

All this said, I have a strong suspicion that newsletters are not the best way to keep a YA-reading audience updated on new releases and updates, since the demographic skews younger. (And yes, I obviously understand that older people read YA too. I am one of them.) Which leads me to Instagram/bookstagram; if I had to guess, bookstagram is the current best way for YA indie authors to connect with new readers. That means that I need to be more participatory on Instagram in a way that best connects with readers… which is a roundabout way of saying that I’m going to be going for a more “bookstagram” feel on my Instagram account, so I’ve been hard at work on that. Maybe it takes some of the magic out of all those beautiful pictures to think about things through this marketing slant, but that’s where my head’s at right now.

Anyway, drop a line down below if you actually read any of the newsletters that you’re subscribed to! Do they even arrive in your main inbox or do you subscribe and then get them relegated to a spam/promo folder? I am mega-curious about this. Myself, I have been a major slacker at newsletters; I don’t think I’ve sent one out since March. Gotta be better at that.

That’s all for now, folks! Have a great rest of your weekend, and enjoy Chapter Nineteen.