NaNoWriMo is over for another year – and that means that it’s time for us to celebrate!! No matter how much you wrote (or revised, in my case) and whether or not you hit your goal (which um I didn’t 😅), we all deserve to throw around some confetti and feast on coffee and chocolate croissants.
Last year, I did a celebratory post where I talked about my NaNoWriMo novel. (It’s pretty amazing, if I do say so myself, so make sure to check it out! 😉) I shared collages, talked about my characters and the story, shared snippets, and parts of conversations between my writing buddy and myself. Not necessarily in that order. But still! It was awesome.
This year, as you probably know, I decided to revise that novel (again) instead of writing a new one. So, my post will be slightly different this time. I still wanted to chat a little bit about the story, since 1) I love it so much so I like talking about it, and 2) it’s just really fun to be able to talk with everyone about our writing projects after we’ve worked so hard on them. So, I invite you to come chat with me at the end of this post in the comments below! I’d love to hear about your current WIP, whether that’s something you wrote for NaNoWriMo or not – or even are writing right now. All ideas in all stages of development are welcome! 😜
As for the rest of this post, I’m mainly going to spend it looking back and reflecting, and also looking forward towards what will come next! I hope you enjoy getting a small sneak peek at everything going on behind the scenes 😉
The first thing I’d like to say is… last year I mentioned a scene I’d be dedicating to my writing buddy. And uh I may have taken that scene out in this draft?? 😅😂
I already told her about that, and we agreed I probably should if it’s for the greater good of the book. But, just so you know, the scene I mentioned in my celebration post last year will not be around any longer. 😂
All right! Using that to kick us off, let’s keep talking bout my amazing writing buddy! Because I don’t talk about her nearly enough. 😆 We basically try to write either on Sunday or Thursday of each week, but I constantly am late because I’m either helping my family with something, or else taking a nap. I’m tired on the days I’m off of work, okay? Also cause I’ve been sick with a cold recently, bUT IT’S FINE. EVERYTHING IS FINE.
Going back to my totally-amazing-writing-buddy, though: she’s the one that get’s to see snippets from my scenes more than anyone, and I am excited to finish this draft and give it to her to read. I trust her to be brutally honest, but also cheer over the parts that I did good, so I’m sure that the manuscript will definitely benefit from that. (Side note, I did once write a whole post on why you should have a writing buddy. 😛 Just thought I’d throw that out there. 😆)
Obviously, everyone will get to someday read this book when I publish it, but for for my revision process, my writing buddy is the one who will get to see it. This is good and bad, because it will help me make it better, but also means that I have to show it to someone before it’s in its most perfect state. Which is something I actually dislike doing. 😂 I like putting my best foot forward, and if not every single line is that, then I shrink from the idea of sharing it. I don’t know if anyone else does that; maybe I’m just weird.
But my weird brain aside, pro tip! Ignore your weird brain if you’re the same as me, and get someone else to read it! 😆 And do it before you get into your line edits. That way, they’ll be able to tell you about any problems with the character arcs or plot line that you’re obvious to, due to knowing them inside and out.
I have found revising a novel to be so hard. I don’t say that to scare anyone; it’s just my own personal way of approaching it that has really thrown me off. Writing a novel is so difficult, and I love seeing how edits make a story better – but going in and revising key pieces of scenes and leaving the chunky, not-nicely-flowing lines because that’s not what I’m fixing now, and having to insert or take out just one detail that changes the whole way the scenes flows is so intimidating sometimes. More than once over NaNoWriMo, I showed you that there were days I literally just ran away screaming in terror.
That’s not my usual policy for writing, so I think that says something. I just like making lots of problems for myself I guess that I don’t always know how to fix. The irony of the situation, of course, is that after sitting down and actually trying my best to fix something, I usually ended up pretty happy with how it came out. 😂 Again, I love seeing how things improve through editing.
And, because this needs to be publicly said: writing buddy, you are amazing, and I can’t wait to get a signed copy of your bestselling novels someday whilst they’re being made into movies. 😉
Now, now, you knew you couldn’t escape a celebration post about a novel I really love without seeing:
Last year, I made a couple that I’m really proud of for this manuscript. I feel they encompass the feeling of my book quite well. Besides the cat in one of them. That cat is now gone from the story. 😂
*cough cough* ANYWAYS.
As I mentioned last year, all these images come from Pinterest, and I made the collages using Powerpoint. 😉
There is a lot of water involved in this book. The world is sometimes cold, but there is still warmth and joy to be found.
Light can be found in what can sometimes feel like some of the most hidden of places.
Or within some of the most interesting of people. :3 😉
I don’t want to reveal too much about the story, of course… but just know that there’s a LOT of coffee involved. Because that’s obviously the most important point here. 😝☕️
I didn’t know what I was going to do with this story when I first started working on it last year; I had the inception idea literally out of the blue at the exact right moment. I struggled a lot last year with trying to figure out what to write; I’d decided at the beginning of the year that what I was doing wasn’t something I could continue anymore. I set aside The Storm Inside, a book project I’d been working on literally since I started this blog. After that, I struggled with finding a story idea I really wanted to write – and even could write.
Fast forward to the end of July, and I was walking into the kitchen when the image of a scene suddenly popped into my head. One moment nothing was there, and the next, I saw it playing out. It was really interesting, and had absolutely no context.
But I finished going through the kitchen, downstairs, to my room, and sat down and wrote it out. And then started working on it.
That’s not usually what my workflow looks like, let me tell you. But I quickly found myself falling more and more in love with the idea. I spent a few weeks in August researching medical stuff just for it – which drove me insane 😂 – and then holed up in my room during the last 2 weeks of summer vacation with my sister. We literally were like hermits, spending hours on end just sitting in there, music playing, planning out books.
And, somehow, I managed to pull my outline together in time for NaNoWriMo. I bought Scrivener just for this project, and even started a few days early.
Between doing grade 12 level homework, drivers ed, and wearing Invisalign, I worked on it. I literally got up at 5 in the morning to write it, prepping breakfasts in advance and throwing on sweaters in the morning to stay warm. I hit my 50k for November, and then had to slow down a little in December, what with preparation for my finals coming up. (If you live in Alberta, you get mocks – which are the final, but graded slightly different – and then diploma exams. Due to covid, I didn’t end up taking the diplomas, but I spent December preparing to 🤣)
Christmas break was pretty much my best friend; I wrote 29k during it alone. Just over 23k of that was from the final 3 days alone. 😂 I finished the 1st Draft on January 3rd of this year. After that, I spent some time away from it, researching how to revise properly. I tried to work on a new story idea I’d had, but it just wasn’t working. I ended up picking up the book again after only around 2 months, because that was as long as I could stay away from it. I finished that right before July, and left it again. I attempted to work on the other project again – The Starlight Book – intending it to be my NaNoWriMo novel. But, once again, I failed. 😂 I just wanted to write The Coffee Shop Book instead.
So, I chose to revise it again for this NaNoWriMo.
I haven’t finished the 3rd Draft, but all these small changes are starting to make a difference, I feel. This story really does hold a special place in my heart, and I hope to continue even further with it in the coming year. It has taken me into untraveled territory (for me, at least) already, in forcing me to figure out how I wanted to revise, and will continue throwing new challenges at me until I feel it is done.
But it’s worth it. 😊
And, to wrap up this post… snippets!!
I showed a bunch of new lines from revisions these past few weeks, but here’s a couple that I haven’t yet. 😉
I am powerful. I am unstoppable. I am immovable.
I am also very hungry.
But I’ve already come this far. I can’t back down now that I’ve committed. Even if my ship is about to sink, I’m going down with it.
“Here you are!” Grandmother says, interrupting my plans for murder by placing down my drink on the counter in front of me.
“Good thing, too!” Sonder agrees, his cheerfulness unflappable. “I saved you one.”
“How dare you-” I stop short, my anger dissipating in a single second. “Wait, did you just say that you saved me one?”
I know that sort of reply; it’s something I might use as a deflection – well, his is a little less brusque than mine would be, but still.
And there’s only one reason I use deflections.
See? Light, dark, interesting people, and coffee. 😜
I hope you enjoyed this post; it was a little different from what I would normally post, haha. Make sure to tell me about your own writing ideas/projects, and share any Pinterest boards you have for them! 😉 I’d definitely love to see them!
Also, since the next time I post, it will be after Christmas… Merry Christmas! 🤶 (Actually, that’s really crazy; I didn’t realize it was quite THAT soon. 😂)
How was your own November writing – even if you didn’t do NaNoWriMo?
What do you think about The Coffee Shop Book?
And my new collages? 😛