Shared WIP Tag, Part One

Hello everyone!!  It's back!!!  Welcome to the first round of the Shared Wip Tag, the WIP Special, Julian's Tag Thingy...this poor thing gets lots of names and no one can really decide what to call it, myself included.

But this round is super extra special because it's NaNoWriMo themed!!!

Okay, not necessarily themed, but it's about our NaNo novels, and it's also going on during NaNo, so we can post while we're racing for that 50K and not have to sweat much about creating posts.
 Introduce the story
Betrayal and Bravery: Words of Song

Marywyn the villager has received an honorable title – Protector of the Princess.  The only problem is, the Princess has just disappeared.  Eager to prove that her friends have not judged poorly in voting to promote her, Marywyn leaves Raybir on a quest to rescue Connaven, but only runs headlong into more danger and betrayal.  And this time there are no mistakes.  The enemy is on the hunt, and they know exactly who they are looking for: a red-haired girl with a powerful singing voice.

As the danger only grows, Marywyn begins to doubt: was she the right person to do all this?  Surely there are many others who can be the hero, others who are more brave.  Can Marywyn rescue her friends and save Raybir, or will she leave at the first opportunity to return to the safety of her garden and flowers?
Where did you get the idea for your story? What came to you first: your theme, character, premise, setting, etc?
Well, the original idea for the Betrayal and Bravery Trilogy came to me sometime in 2014. I was reading up on new plotting techniques and wanted a new story to write while trying them out. I read some old fairy tales, thinking I might do a re-telling, and one caught my eye. I took that idea, shoved in a few old RPG characters, added some ideas from a few dreams I’d written down, and started plotting.

I started out with three books in mind and planned them all out, but while writing the first one, I realized there was so much more to the story. So what originally was the second and third book is now combined to make Words of Song, and the third book, Words of Peace continues the story on even further.
Basically I guess the premise kind of came first? It was supposed to be about being brave, like the fairy tale, though it’s greatly changed since then, and there’s really nothing else from the tale now.
What have you done to get experience for your story? What did you put into the book because it’s something you know about?

A particular scene in this book is taken straight from one of my own experiences – when Marywyn has to ride a highly energetic horse.  Many of Marywyn’s reactions are copied from my own when I had to ride a particularly hyper horse on our farm. And so is the way we both brew braver as we realized we could do this.
Other parts of my life have slipped into the pages, though mostly in the third book. I expect more will happen to Song, but since it’s been a few years since I’ve touched it, it still has a lot of my early writing mistakes in it.
What made you decide to write this particular book for NaNoWriMo?
I actually thought I was going to opt out of NaNo this year. I currently am completely focused on my trilogy, and all three books are already written. I really didn’t feel like putting my editing aside to write something new. But then, during September, as I was starting the edits of Song, I realized that it was a hopeless cause and needed to be completely rewritten. So I decided what better time than to do so for NaNo?
Do you research before, after, or during your first draft writing process? Have you done any research for this particular book? How do you usually research?
Honestly, I do very little research before I start drafting. Because I do minimal prep, I usually don’t know where the story will take me. If I feel the need to look something up during drafting, I’ll do it, but otherwise I wait until the draft is finished. For Song, I think the only thing (recently) I’ve done is made a Pinterest board for some reference pictures. Since I’ve been in this storyworld for years, I kinda know most things about it by now.
Do you plot or plan your book in any way before you start writing? What methods do you usually use and what did you do this time?
I kind of already explained how Song came to be. For this time around, not only have I written the book before this one, but I’ve already done one draft of Song and also written this book after it. So I know where the story is and where it needs to go. All I’ve done is filled in the gap in between.
I usually prep a first draft with just a synopsis. Basically a running commentary of what everyone does just to keep me on track, though I pretty much know exactly where it’s all going to go.
Do you hand write or type your first draft?

Type, for sure. You think I’m gonna write 100,00 words by hand? No way. My carpel tunnel would render me useless for the next three years.  Listen. If I have to alternate hands multiple times while taking notes during a 40 minute sermon, I ain’t gonna make it through a month.
Do you have a brainstorming buddy and if you do, who was it this time and how did they help?

Normally Sarah Rodecker and Evan Diasimah are my brainstorming buddies. Sarah, however, hasn’t read Song or Peace, and is currently focused on helping me with Gold at the moment. Evan knows a little more about the entire trilogy, but usually just because our conversations go like this:

Me: “...and so that’s why I’m not sure if Marywyn should go back to Ristor. What do you say?”
 Evan: *looks up from drawing, mutters something, adjusts the volume of earphones*
 Me: “Thanks! I guess she should go. I’m glad you’re here to help!"

How did you come up with your characters’ names?
So I work as an office manger. And I’m frequently working with people in other countries (Australia, Finland, Germany, you name it). When I come across interesting names, I save them in a note. When I character comes without a name, I just go through the list.
But sometimes characters just come straight in with their names. Wisdom, Connaven, and Duren, for example. I don’t know why, but sometimes they just show up with a nametag.
Do you know what your story's theme is? If you do, how did you find it, and if you don't, how do you plan to find it?

The theme for the entire trilogy is essentially being brave and trusting in God when things seem dangerous and dark. Bravery in the face of betrayal.

Don't forget to check out everyone else's posts!!!  I'll link to them as they're available.



  1. Your books sound really cool! I like the cover! :) Thanks for hosting this Shared WIP Tag!!!

    1. It's so much fun to see everyone's answers! Thanks for joining!

  2. Love your title! looks like a fun story, too :)

    1. It used to be called Words of Paper. Then the plot changed A LOT

  3. This trilogy is so cool! Good luck with the rewrites!

    And thanks for hosting the Shared WIP Tag! (Haha, I feel you on the name. WHAT IS IT CALLED???? XD)

    1. Some people: Names have power!
      Me: haha no call it whatever and its still epic

  4. I'm super excited to be doing this year's shared WIP tag! Thank you Julian for thinking of the idea. =D
    My post is up!

  5. Ooh, the concept of your story is quite intriguing! I totally relate in that I've been writing and rewriting and rerewriting in this one storyworld for years now. I think I finally -- finally! -- have the plot down. Best of luck with your writing!

    (Also, this tag looks awesome. I won't be able to participate in NaNo this year, but I'll definitely be jumping around to read everyone else's posts!)

    Eleanor | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. Thanks for joining the party, Elanor! I love reading all the posts and learning about all this epic stories in the making.

      Sometimes I get tired of working on the same three books, but I must say, after a few years, you really get to know the characters and the world, and I'm sure you'd agree!

  6. I'm excited to hear more about this story!! I love how you used your own experiences in the story. :)

    1. I thought I was doing a great job at making the MC not based after me. Then a failed. Just a little. :)

  7. I didn't know Betrayal and Bravery was originally a fairytale!

    And minimal prep, little research, NaNo rebel... for some reason I thought our writing styles were more different?? (I suppose they are, usually... it sounds like you plot fairly thoroughly?)

    I do have two questions:
    - are you ambidextrous??
    - and (if you don't mind) what kind of office are you manager of, if you're working with people overseas? (I saw 'Australia' and my Nosy Parker mode switched on. xP)
    - Jem Jones

    1. Well, it's kinda from a fairytale, kinda not. It just started the thought process, really. I could make it more like the fairy tale if I wanted too, though.

      Well, I've been doing this trilogy since '15, so at this point I can't quite remember what all I do. I just kind of live and breath the world and the characters and the plot now.

      Yes, I am ambidextrous. :) Generally it's kind of cool and fun, but then there are times, like when I play Ping-Pong or tennis, and I honestly have no idea which hand to use. Like, with tennis, if I'm on one side of the court, I use one hand, and switch when I go to the other side...

      I work for a repair facility. Kinda fun!

  8. Glad to see this special back! I love reading about other's stories!

    Ugh, I hate it when a story has to be re-written....but at least you get to stay in your story universe!! Good luck with NaNo!


    1. Thanks!! I'm looking forward to the changes...they need to happen!