NaNoWriMo 2020 Celebration!

After that crazy month of writing, it’s time to celebrate! Whether you only wrote 50 words or you hit that elusive 50,000, it’s time to bask in your own amazingness and celebrate what you wrote! πŸ₯³

Today, I’m sharing information about my own National Novel Writing Month novel! πŸ˜ƒ I don’t usually talk that much about my own novels anymore on the blog (buuuuuut you can find more info on them by subscribing to my email list πŸ˜‰) so today is a very special day! *rubs hands together gleefully*


About the Novel

I originally was going to give you a title and a blurb. But, come on, this is me we’re talking about. I’m super secretive. 😝

However, I’m giving you the next best thing: a look at someone’s first reaction to the entire (yes, entire) storyline.

Please welcome my writing buddy to the stage! She’s been mentioned in posts before (namely the post where I harp on how great writing buddies are πŸ˜†) and, for privacy reasons, I’m still not sharing her name. Instead, we’re going to be calling her NAME. But, with her permission, I now am going to show you some snippets of us talking for an hour about my book after she first read my monstrosity of an outline (Translation: it was just over 22k words. It was nuts. Thanks again for reading that, NAME!)


NAME:

         Thanks!! ☺️ Yeah! UM I MADE IT TO THE END LAST NIGHT! πŸ˜ƒI kinda skipped over some of the cancer descriptions because I’m sure you did your research and they’re all accurate XD But the STORY! Ahhh! πŸ˜πŸ™ŒπŸ½

Julia:

         Yeah no I don’t blame you XD They’re a little boring lol

         YOU DIIIIIIID??

         Like the end-end-resolution-end kind of end?

NAME:

         YES 

Julia:

         πŸ˜±

         WOW

         Okaaaaaaayyyyyy

NAME:

         I was SHOOOOK

Julia:

         I’m so excited that someone has seen the full storyline of a book of mine for the first time in

         Idk how long actually

         πŸ˜‚

         I’m very secretive lol

         WHAT DID YOU THINK

         WHAT DID YOU LIKE

         AND THE CHARACTERS

         DID YOU LIKE LEV

         I THOUGHT YOU WOULD LIKE HIM

NAME:

         First off, you are an AMAZING plotter 

Julia:

         Sorry that I’m yelling I’m just

         EEEEEEE SUPER EXCITED

         YAY!!

         Thank you!!

         πŸ˜ƒ

NAME:

         LOL πŸ˜‚same though!

         I LOVE LEVEN

Aaaaaand me now skipping over because of spoilers… 🀣

Julia:

         I wanted Aurelia to have more scenes than Lev, but with him having 2 different timelines, I had to try and keep the total scene number down for them combined

         Tho yes

         i totally would love to have more of his present time POV

         I feel like he’s going to be awesome to write

NAME:

         But Juliaaaa he’s my favorite character πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Julia:

         πŸ˜‚

Me at one point:

Julia:

         *proceeds to sob in a corner because I’m such an evil author*

And then us talking about me not knowing certain legal things:

NAME:

         Haha yeah I loved how you wondered if that was illegal in your notes πŸ˜›

The epic-ness of having a writing buddy making an appearance:

Julia:

         Okay literally I feel like I’ve been bludgeoned over the head with a super great idea bECAUSE NAME THAT’S A FANTASTIC IDEA

         πŸ˜±

And then talking about an optional scene idea I put into my outline:

Julia:

         OH

         XD

         I made it optional

         Cause it just was a random idea

         But seemed like something Lev would do

         πŸ˜‚

         And aurelia

         Or me honestly

(And yes, I ended up agreeing to put it just for her. I’m dedicating that scene to her, so when you read my book in the future and love that scene, you can thank her. 😝)

There were so many nuggets in this chat, and I wish I could share all of them. But this post is getting long now, and I still have more stuff to get through! πŸ˜‰ Just let it be known that there was talking about trying to decide which scene was our favourite, an old English teacher we both once had, and the wish to enter the world I created so we could both go to Happy Accidents. And no, I’m not telling you what that is. 😈

Also, I couldn’t resist adding this nugget from a more recent chat about my book:

Julia Herkel:

NO WAY

And yES tacos are the best

πŸ˜‹

I originally put meatloaf

But then was like

OPPORTUNITY IS KNOCKING

Or more like hurling itself through the door because it came totally uninvited

But still

πŸ˜›


And now, for some awesome collages! I made these using images from Pinterest. If you’ve been around since before NaNoWriMo this year, then you probably remember me talking about how great Pinterest is for writing purposes. This is another example of how much we writers totally need to be using it. *nods wisely* I used Powerpoint to actually make the collages themselves, so just know that I’m actually not as great of a graphic designer as I appear to be. πŸ˜›

This image pretty much sums up the whole book: light and dark. Coffee and cats. Reaching for the light and trying to make every breath count. Running headlong, but also taking baby steps. 😊

Welcome to the world of Rivercrest, in which hope is still a thing and people who don’t have it seem to find it everywhere they look.

Our main character, Aurelia Weening, is a young woman with a burried past, love for caramel, and the ability to be bluntly sassy. Which I didn’t realize was even a thing until I stared writing her. πŸ˜†

And, Leven Coffey, the cheerful barista she meets there, is one of the most hopeful people you could ever meet – besides in his past, of course, which continues to pop up throughout the story.

Cue shenanigans, embarrassment, and coffee galore.


I honestly had no idea where I was going with this book when I had the inception idea for it, but despite having next to nothing to work with, I ran with it.

And heck, it’s taken me places already in the past 4 months.

That extra 20k you’re noticing from October? Yeah, that was my outline. πŸ˜‚

Writing these characters has already been quite the journey for me. I’m only halfway through the story, but they seriously take on a life and voice of their own sometimes. And then I’m just left starting at the mess they make because what are you guys doing?? πŸ˜‚

Source

I’m excited to see where the rest of this book takes me, and what my characters decide to do. I also am super excited to write the ending of this book, because it’s just going to be so incredibly satisfying to watch everything come together. :3


And now, for something you should have known you wouldn’t escape here without seeing: snippets! 🀩 πŸ₯³

I threw 30 different ones at you on the blog this past month, and on my email list, there were an extra 12. But today, here are some more for you, curated to try and give you a good feel for the book, instead of just what I’d written that day.

WARNING. There are a couple of spoilers going on below!! If you don’t like those, don’t read these snippets!

*cue snippet montage*

I manage to force out some sort of facial expression that resembles a polite smile. In my head, though, I take his suggestion and chuck it out a window.

“Chocolate?”

β€œWho doesn’t like chocolate?” She sniffs, somehow making what should have been a kind of joking sentence into a haughty observation.

Before I can spend an appropriate amount of time internally cringing at the reminder of what I said earlier, Siri chirps once again from my purse, β€œPlaying!” And Beethoven begins again.

Leven and I stare at my purse.

And then, together, we burst out laughing. It hurts my lungs, but in a good way.

She stares at me for a moment, then smacks me on the arm. β€œWhy would you tell me about that now?!” She cries out. β€œNow I have to wait all week for them!”

“It’s… a garden,” I blink.

“Yep.”

My heart lurches in my chest, and I almost scream, suddenly noticing that Lev is standing just off to the side of me. “Lev! Don’t! Scare! Me! Like! That!” I hiss, clutching at my chest.

“Sorry,” he chuckles, not seeming the least bit sorry. “What are you doing back here?”

“Looking for you! And this is how you repay me!”

“I’m sorry,” he says, sounding a little more contrite this time.

I sniff, trying to regain my composure. “Fine. I’ll forgive you. This time.”

β€œThank you, my lady,” he says, giving a sweeping bow. β€œBeing in your good graces is what keeps me going me throughout all these long days and nights.”

β€œOh, shut up,” I roll my eyes, finally leaving the doorway and closing the door behind me.

Lev just chuckles.

Like I’ve mentioned numerous times: two chaotic idiots, coffee, and a bunch of shenanigans. πŸ˜›


I hope you enjoyed this celebration with me. I haven’t talked about my own books on the blog in a while, so this was kind of refreshing! πŸ˜ƒ Make sure to head down to the comments section below to tell me aaaaaaaalllllllll about your own book! (Add in any links you have to Pinterest boards you curated for inspiration! πŸ˜‰ I’d love to see them!)

How did your own NaNoWriMo go, if you did it?

What do you think about my current WIP?

Also, isn’t Pinterest super great?! 😜

-Julia

24 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo 2020 Celebration!

  1. I loved, loved, LOVED reading this post, Juliaaa!!!! Your conversation with your writing buddy was great! I also loved the snippets and learning about your characters and I asjdklg;hda!!! I just loved it ALL! ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yaaaaaaay!! πŸ˜„ I’m glad you liked it! Haha, thanks! We went on for like an HOUR straight. πŸ˜‚ When we *cough* should have *cough cough* been doing school *cOuGh* I haven’t shared that much information about a book at once in quite a while, so that was really cool to do again. I used to give updates on my own writing at the end of every post, but eventually moved to keeping any story updates I gave on my email list alone. But I’m really glad that you liked my characters! πŸ˜„ Maybe someday I’ll actually publish the book, and you’ll be able to see everything that happens in it. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol, my avoiding school was just staring out the window and daydreaming. XD I did that so much Mom made me switch desks with my sister. (I could still see the window though. XD) I love reading your updates, email or blog! πŸ˜€ I hope you can publish it! I’d definitely buy it! ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

        1. *conspiratorial whisper* Mine was reading. The only time my mom voluntarily let me continue reading during school time was when I was reading through the Harry Potter series for the first time. She let me finish a chapter, cause I was at a good part πŸ˜† Yay! I’m glad you like them!! πŸ˜„ That’s so nice of you! I’ve definitely been considering (read: daydreaming) doing it. If I did, it would be quite a while from now, though. *pouts* Why does writing take so long? πŸ˜‚

          Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re WIP sounds really great! Yeah, I don’t really have Pinterest….or like any other kind of social media outside of my blog. Yep, there you go. My book’s just your typical contemporary retelling of Aladdin. Yeah, it’s kind of weird and just…okay in my mind, but I enjoy writing it, so I guess that’s all that matters. I actually did a post on it with some aesthetic graphics I made for it, if you wanna read it. https://www.teenwritersnook.com/2020/12/05/know-the-novel-it-is-finished-hosted-by-blogger-christine-smith/
    Great post! Enjoyed reading it. Keep up the AWESOME work!!!!!!!! <333

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! πŸ˜„ No, totally understandable; I mostly stay away from social media, because it’s kind of a time-sucking-vampire. πŸ˜› Typical? I love fairy tale retellings, so I’d doubt that it’s typical. πŸ˜‰ Oooooh, cool! The graphics look great! (Though I’m slightly concerned for the safety of Krew, since his graphic said “To the end.” *side-eyes you suspiciously* I have a feeling you’re planning on killing him. πŸ€¨πŸ˜†)
      Thank you! I’m glad you liked it! πŸ˜„ And you too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, I wasn’t planning on killing him…until you said something. Now, I’m thinking about it. If that does end up happening, my readers are just gonna have to blame you. XD πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your snippet is great!! I wish you the best of luck finishing it up! I loved reading your notes with your writing buddy πŸ₯°

    I’ve got a couple projects I’m working on that I can’t choose between right now–one is a modern-day Tam Lin retelling, one is a fantasy (I think sword-and-sorcery but I’m confused about fantasy subgenres??) about a surprisingly nice necromancer and their adventures with a morally grey found family. And then I have a bunch of other storylines buzzing around in my head that I may or may not end up devoting hours too. My pinterest board for my other story is on private i think but my Tam Lin one isn’t: https://www.pinterest.com/kkicons/tam-lin/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! πŸ˜„ Haha, yeah, that conversation was so much fun; I think we might have been talking for an hour? πŸ˜…

      That’s so cool! Okay, in all honesty, I had to go and look up Tam Lin because I’ve never heard of the story before – which is scandalous for me, because I love hearing about those original fairy-tale-story-things and stuff. I know that Wikipedia said it was a ballad, but yeah. πŸ˜‚ I’m not that great with subgeneres either, so I couldn’t tell you; but that sounds pretty specific, so I believe you. πŸ˜„πŸ˜† Oooooh, found families are SO much fun!! Haha, I know, right? The struggle is real. Yeah, I have a bunch of story boards for books that are all private on Pinterest. And WOW the aesthetic of your board is SO GOOD. I love it. 😍 Thank you for sharing it with me! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello! I’m definitely going to keep up with this site and wanted to say hi. I hope you have a great time with your writing! I’m always super curious about what other writers are doing. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey! *waves wildly from across the internet* That’s awesome! I’m glad you like it πŸ˜ƒ Thank you; and you as well! Yes, same. It’s always interesting to see what other people are up to 😁 I haven’t done a post like this in a while, so it was kind of nice to share that much about one of my WIPs all at once, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

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