Shared WIP Tag, Part Five

It's the last day of our special AND the last day of NaNoWriMo.  And to crown it all, we've got a bonus party!  I don't have much prepared, just a few snippets and aesthetics, but enjoy them!

Disclaimer: I normally don't do aesthetics, so be glad with what you got here.  The pictures were all snatched from the internet (except one, try to guess which one exactly) and crammed together in an attempt to express a little bit about the characters.  I'm not gonna make any money off these or claim them as mine, save for the one aforementioned picture.

First off, we've got my MC, Marywyn the Villager.  She's red-headed, just like her brother (poor Dominin didn't get an aesthetic).  Her horse, Horizon, was given to her by some friends, and she's been learning to ride him (as well as learning how to read, write, and use a sword).  She may look like a simple villager on the outside, but she's got some red-headed spunk!

Then comes Wisdom Ravencroft.  She has a deep love for the Scriptures, and is always sharing verses and thoughts with people - friends and strangers alike!  If there is a social gathering of sorts, she's very likely there.  Despite her short stature, she rides a tall war horse, and despite her clumsiness with a blade, she has earned her place in the West Band.

The Princess Connaven begins to open up her shell in this second book.  Where she used to be shy and constantly avoiding responsibilities and important decisions, now she steps forward and tries to take her place among the nobility and the band warriors.  And turns out she even has a sense of humor when she finally breaks out of her awkward and selfish shell!

And the third side character I've talked about is Captain Duren Blackburn, the man who never speaks.  He's actually fairly friendly, though communicating with gestures and expressions can be hard, so sometimes he prefers to just stand back and watch, though not necessarily out of shyness.  He enjoys working with the men and women in the West Band, training them, and watching them become proud warriors.


Queen Moreno particularly hates Duren - his father had accused her of some stuff, and on her own wedding day, and she's continued that grudge over the years.  Then this red-headed girl begins to hang around with the West Band warriors, and Moreno begins to worry...if they begin investigating, her plans  could be she begins to take steps to stop them from learning anything important.

When a group of Raybir travel to the neighboring kingdom, a young Captain of the Guard sort of adopts them and shows them around the harbors and beaches.  Mithrin wishes he could do some daring feats, worthy of being remembered, but his position requires him to stay at the city.  Entertaining foreigners might be the closest he'll ever get to feats of valor.  Maybe.

Mask isn't his real name, but Marywyn first calls him that, and everyone picks it up, and he kind of likes it better than his actual name.  He spends a fair bit of time slogging through the mud fighting tigers, wading in the ocean fighting sea snakes, and pretending he isn't friendly and awkward.  Beneath his hard exterior is a warrior wanting to put down his well-used sword and take up something less dangerous, like maybe...well...he can't think of anything else to do.

Once, she was a hardened thief of the streets, taking pride in her ability to steal and never get caught.  Then she met a woman who shared the Gospel with her, and now Lavern works in a cupcake shop, making children smile.  Spending time with Wisdom has made her a softer person, though sometimes her rough edge can show through and surprise someone who otherwise wouldn't have known she could climb a building and be halfway across the city in the blink of an eye.


I hope everyone has enjoyed this round of the Shared WIP Tag, NaNoWriMo edition!!  I'll be contemplating what kind of twist to put on this next year, and a post may go up in a few months, if you want to join us next time!
Everyone's Ending Posts:

Shared WIP Tag, Part Four

Finishing up, not long now, everyone!!  We got this!!!
List your SC’s, state one of their main hobbies, and tell us how they influence your MC in the story.
Now, I have tons of side characters.  This is a fantasy trilogy, so what did you expect?  To keep things simple (for myself, anyway), I picked three of the mainest side characters to talk about for the tag.
Wisdom Ravencroft; she loves meeting people and sharing scripture passages with them; she is kind of a mentor to Marywyn, teaching her how to read and write, and even buying her a first horse (though to be fair, it was an old horse and didn't cost much).
Princess Connaven; she loves reading and horse riding and going to parties and she really doesn’t have any hobbies otherwise; Marywyn is in charge of keeping her safe, which means Marywyn sometimes has to do things she’d rather not in order to keep Connaven safe.
Duren Blackburn; he plays the fiddle during the music-makings, but I don't really know if that's considered as a hobby, as he carries it everywhere and it's really just a part of him in a way; he teaches Marywyn how to use a sword and is always encouraging her to be brave.
Who is the SC that is the closest to your MC?
I would say Wisdom, for sure.  She’s just that kind of person.

How do your SC’s act around people they don’t know?
Wisdom has no fear of people.  She intentionally seeks out strangers just to get to meet them and learn their hopes, dreams, their stories, their trials...she just loves people.  She's go up to anyone and talk.
Connaven is more shy.  If a stranger begins a conversation with her, she would gladly listen, but would be unlikely to speak, at least until she feels a little more comfortable.  She would want to make sure she looked nice, especially when she wants to make a good first impression.
Duren, well, he's not shy or withdrawn much, but when you only communicate with gestures and facial expressions, things can get awkward.  So he tends to sit to the side and just observe, though he would gladly try to hold conversation as best he can without actually speaking when someone is willing to try and interpret.
What conflict do they add to the story (disagreeing with the MC, perhaps)?
Wisdom, as much as she would like to help Marywyn, answers to the West Band first and foremost, which means she sometimes has to leave Marywyn or else not help.
Conn gives quite a bit of conflict (see below).  Wherever she goes, Marywyn has to go.  Whatever she says, Marywyn kind of has to obey.
Duren...yeah, he can make things complicated as well.  Communication issues and the like.

Would your MC die for any of them?  What about vice versa?
Marywyn is actually faced with this question.  As the Crown Warrior to the Princess, she is supposed to keep Connaven safe, even if it means dying for her.  And Marywyn has to ask, is she willing to give her life for the Princess?  Is she brave enough?

If you were writing a books about your SCs, what might the books be like?

Wisdom’s story would have so many rabbit-trails and be so crammed full of people we would never be able to keep them straight.
Connaven's story might be a little more exciting, but there would be some large gaps of nothing but daily castle life.
Duren’s would probably be the most entertaining, but there would be pages left completely blank and other pages completely existing of KJHALDKFJHDSLKJF.
What is your favorite part about the setting?
I dunno.  Honestly, I love putting bits of history in the storyworld.  “This is where the great battle of whatever was fought” and “this old tower used to be an important landmark” and “the great bell is not to be rung when enemies are in the land” and all that cool stuff.
What was the hardest part about coming up with the setting?
Um...the fact that I do almost absolutely no world building at all before I start writing.  So I do have to go back and kind of add it in.  And that can sometimes be annoying, because I’d rather be doing other things, lol
Is there anything about the setting that produced a major change in your character throughout the story?
Well, considering there are tigers in the fields and valleys, and even bigger ones in the forests and mountains, Marywyn has to be brave enough to face them when she has to travel around.
Did you base your setting off of any place in particular?
Eh, not really.  I just kinda took little bits from all over; nothing in particular comes to mind.  I know, I'm boring.

Come back next week for the epic aesthetic party!  Remember to check out the other blogs:


Know the Novel - A Linkup Part 2

Hello everyone.  It's me.  And I'm back for the second part of Christine's little linkup, which is sooooo fun!!
How’s the writing going?

Writing is going well.  I've only had three bad (as in, painful) writing days, one with my right wrist, then my IT band, than a really bad left wrist episode that made me call typing quits as soon as I reached my word count.

I'm still well on my way to reach my goal of 100K in one month.  But then, Thanksgiving looms.  And a day out with Sarah and Evan.

What’s been the most fun aspect about writing this novel so far?

Getting back into the story world after editing the other books for so long.  I'm getting to introduce characters I wrote in the third book.  And just really build things up for the epic ending that is Words of Peace.

Has your novel surprised you in any way?

Yes!  They always do, actually, since I slightly wing my drafts.  I recently had this one scene that will probably get cut out, but it was unplanned, and just lots of fun to write.

What do you think of your characters at this point? Who’s your favorite to write about?

I love my MC, Marywyn.  She's really great to write, especially after struggling through a few harder female MCs.  So I'm glad that she's easy to write.  But Ii do enjoy writing Duren as well, though because he doesn't talk, it can be a bit of a challenge to write out his gestures and stares.  Wisdom is fun, too.  And Mask.  Okay, I just like writing all my characters...

If you were transported into your novel and became any one of the characters, which one do you think you’d be? Would you take any different actions than they have?

I would probably be Wisdom, I think.  Though I'm not as much at ease with strangers as she is.  And she always seems to have the right thing to say, while I don't.  But I do love getting to know people, like she does, and we both enjoy reading and the like. 

Honestly, though, I would probably have gone against Rayn's command and galloped to Ristor with Marywyn, though.  But Wisdom didn't want to disobey rules, so she remained in Raybir.

Give us the first sentence or paragraph and then 2 (or 3!) more favorite snippets! ready for some horrible NaNo drafts....

First Paragraph: If you open the history books to the reign of King Ryden, and look at the records, you will see where I was sworn in as a Crown Warrior.  What you will not find, is, a month and a half later, where I was removed from my position.

She held up a hand, a finger shaking.  “Back up, let’s get out of here.”
“What is it?”
“Water snake.”
 My hand dropped to my pocket just as a large head burst from the water.  I had seen snakes before, many, many times, but never ones this huge.  The eyes were as big as my hand, the mouth large and gaping, the teeth green from years spent in the water.  Raya grabbed the closest rock, chucking it towards the snake, but missed by a few inches.  The slimy beast turned towards her, slowly drifting forward.  I pulled the tiger knives from my pocket, planting my feet so as not to slip on the rocks.  The familiar grating sound carried across the water as I rubbed the blades together, and the snake turned away from Raya, looking towards me.  Then, suddenly, Mithrin was there, erupting from the waves right underneath the snake, a knife shining cold and deadly in his hand.  He thrust upwards, spilling blood into the ocean.  The snake struggled, rising higher out of the water before sinking under the waves.  It’s tail struck the rocks, and I lost my balance, dropping the knives as I fell onto the rocks.  Pain jabbed my shoulder and I watched one of my knives slip beneath the water, falling down…down…into darkness.

I leaned out the window, breathing in crisp, salty air.  Below me, the sea crashed against the rocks of the castle.  Birds flew so close to the window, I could probably touch one if I held out my hand.  Jaran leaned out beside me, a smile growing across his face.  “The sea!”
“Don’t get too far out,” Tan stood in a corner, leaning on his unstrung bow.  “I’ve heard stories of sea creatures pulling people out of the castle and into the water and drowning them.”
Jaran and I both took a quick step back, and Tan laughed.  “Just stories.”
“But stories usually are started with a grain of truth,” Jaran rubbed the back of his neck.  “Let’s not risk it, eh, Marywyn?”
“So what do we do now?” Tan looked to Kiren.  “Is there a plan?”
“Do whatever it takes to not get ourselves killed.  Should be easy enough, except we made the mistake to bring Jaran with us.”
“First chance you get, throw him to the sea creatures!” Raya laughed.  “Marywyn, push him out the window!”
Jaran skittered away and threw himself onto a couch just as Mithrin reentered the room.  Everyone stood, making polite movements and exclamations, while Jaran thudded to the floor with a screech in a tangle of blankets and pillows.


“I’ll make you a deal.  I’ll tend to your wounds, and in return, I won’t ask you what you’re doing here.”
Mask set the mug down and stared at me for quite a long time.
“And I won’t ask why you wear that ridiculous handkerchief.  Consider that as a gift.”
“You’re hurt.”
“You know that I’ve been following you.”
“Yes, and you’re hurt.  I cared for Ristorians after the war, just like I would help any of my own people.
 I’m a healer.  We see someone in pain, and we have to help them, whoever they are, wherever they are from.”
The Innkeeper set down the things I’d asked for.  I gestured to them, my fingers hovering over the bowl of steamy water.  “Deal?”
Mask tugged the handkerchief up higher over his nose.
Have you come across any problem areas?

Sort of yeah, but that's because I knew I was changing my synopsis and I didn't care.  So now I have to deal with the consequences.

What’s been your biggest victory with writing this novel at this point?

Pushing myself.  I personally find 50K a very attainable goal.  So it's been really nice to challenge myself to reach 100K and actually have to work to get there.

Be honest, have you killed any characters off yet?

Well, a couple random enemy warriors have been killed.  Another character has gotten attacked a number of times.  And I know of two fixed deaths that have yet to happen (just haven't gotten that far in the draft yet).  But no, no main characters have died.  Yet.

Take us on a tour of a what a normal writing day for this particular novel has looked like. Where do you write? What time of day? Alone or with others? Is a lot of coffee (or some other drink) consumed? Do you light candles? Play music? Get distracted by social media (*cough, cough*)? Tell all!

So...a normal writing day?

Get up.  Read the Bible.  Write for 5 minutes (no music, just a very brief sprint).
Get dressed.  Feed the animals.  Eat breakfast while browsing social media.
Go to work. lunch and check social some more.
Go home.  Play an instrument.  Eat supper.  Feed the animals.  Take a shower.  Check social media one last time.
Write for an hour and a half (this is my main writing time; usually I just play soundtracks, with a handy box of cheese-its and a cup of water nearby, and sometimes I have a cat or two in the room).
Watch ten minutes of something (like a Studio C video or two) as a reward for reaching my daily word goal.  Set alarm and go to sleep.
Repeat.  Saturdays are similar (except I do other stuff instead of work) and I take Sundays off completely from writing.

Shared WIP Tag, Part Three

And wow, three weeks into NaNo already!  Wow, time flies.  I'm still on track, which is good, and loving (almost) every minute spent on Words of Song.

Introduce the main antagonist of your book!

Queen Moreno would probably be the main antagonist, though there are numerous other enemies throughout this book.  Mask and Landin, for examples.  Or the entire Rochen kingdom.  Or the tigers.
But I digress.
Queen Moreno is, well, a queen.  She rules over Raybir with her husband, but she technically doesn't have much military power.  The Queen is the one who sees over the people of the land, while her husband is more concerned with the army.  They share the responsibility of commerce.

She spends most of the book plotting revenge against the kingdom of Ristor for attacking her castle and stealing away her daughter.  She may not realize that Ristor might not actually have stolen her daughter, and her own kingdom would loose if a war actually broke out.  Or maybe she just doesn’t care…
What do you (the writer) have in common with the antagonist?  What do you not have in common?

Oy.  This is deep and kinda personal.  Moreno is an Eldest, like me.  That’s a lot of responsibility, a lot to live up to.  And you start to think and act like everything will go well with you, because the oldest sibling always has everything all together, and seems to get what they want.  Then when it doesn’t, you’ve got nothing left but to take matters into your own hands…
Difference is, I won’t kill people or do other nasty things to get what I want.
What does your antagonist do when he/she is mad?  Do they have a soft spot?
Moreno attempts to keep her anger in, but it eventually comes out, yeah.  She'll scream and demand and pitch an adult fit when things just aren't going how to expected.

Her soft spot?  Er...I dunno.  She loves her family and those she calls her friends.  She likes to take care of “her own” folk.  And she enjoys sweets and going out to parties and all that fun stuff.  She is proud of her job of caring for the people of the kingdom.
Who is your antagonist’s worst enemy?  What is their greatest fear?
Her worst enemy?  Probably Caven Blackburn, except she killed him.  So maybe it would be Redenah Windborne, the only other person who knows her secret.  Or maybe our little village girl, Marywyn, who somehow manages to evade Moreno’s every attempt to stop her...and that’s when Moreno starts to be afraid, afraid that her past, her goals, everything she has tried to hide, would come to the light, which is her greatest fear.
What is your antagonist’s weapon of choice?
She usually just sends out her Crown Warrior, Landin, to do her dirty work.  He’s a great swordsman, and she personally has no skills with a weapon.  She also has another warrior, Ameren, that she’s convinced to spy around for her.  She also tries to sweet talk her way around people.

How would your antagonist surprise your reader?
Spoilers!!  I mean, she could pull out a skateboard and do some super cool, tricks on the castle wall and that would surprise everyone, but I really don’t think that’s going to happen…
What is one thing your villain would never do?
Give up.  She refuses to give in and loose.  She'll either win or go down fighting.
What lie does your antagonist believe about the MC?
She thinks that Marywyn isn't that dangerous, that she doesn't really need to watch out for her or worry about a single girl messing up her great plans.
Mwahaha, I got news for her.
What is your favorite thing about your antagonist?
To be honest, I really don’t like her.  She’s proud, somewhat rude, and not afraid to lie every time she opens her mouth.  She wants to kill many characters that I really love.  Moreno and I would not get along, not at all.
If your antagonist was your MC, what would your book look like?

We, as readers, would spend a whole lot of time sitting in the castle, wondering how in the world did Marywyn and her friends escape from so many dangers yet again, and also plotting revenge for all the wrongs suffered in the past.  The book would be a lot more boring, though maybe less confusing, since we would understand Moreno's motives and what her whole plan is.
Don't forget to check out the other blogs!!


Shared WIP Tag, Part Two

Welcome, everyone, to part two of the Shared WIP Tag!!  Hope everyone is having a good NaNo and is enjoying their novels!

Introduce your MC a little and tell us something quirky about them.
Marywyn is a village girl, around twenty-something, and she loves gardening.  I wouldn't really call her a quirky person, though she likes playing little jokes now and then, and she really enjoys helping the village healer as he tends to people. 
What does your MC value the most?
Her family and friends, but especially her siblings, Dominin and Saran.  Then she slowly starts to realize that she may be putting them before God, and that she should be trusting in and prizing Him above all.
What is your MC’s wildest dream?  What is their greatest fear?
Marywyn stills dreams of rescuing her brother, but as time goes on, it becomes more and more likely that he was killed.  And so she begins to realize that she might never see him again – her greatest fear.
What is your MC’s favorite food?  Can they cook?
Marywyn loves berries, or really, anything fresh from her garden.  She’s not the best chef around, but she does know how to cook and can make some good meals, though being a villager, she’s used to simple fare and probably couldn't make something super extravagant.
What do you (the writer) have in common with the MC?  What do you not have in common?
Well, Marywyn and I both love to sing, though she’s better at it than I.  And I know how to play instruments, while she doesn’t.  I love to read and can’t keep a plant alive to save my life, and she struggles to read and is a pretty dedicated gardener.  I love horses and she tolerates them only because they’re faster than walking on her own two feet.
What lie does your mc believe about himself/the world?
Marywyn believes that since she’s just a simple village girl, who can barely hold her own with a weapon, that she is quite useless and has no part to play in history.  She can’t understand why important things keep falling upon her to do when there could be others possibly more suited to doing them.
Who is their best friend and why?
Wisdom Ravencroft, probably.  Though Wisdom is everyone’s best friend, to be honest.  But I think she has a sweet spot for Marywyn.
What song best describes them in this book?
The violin, the slightly creepy tone, but also a bit adventurous, motivating...
What is their personality type?
Crap, I hate these… I got ISFJ when I took the test for her, but I dunno...kind of, I guess?  I really don't go through the types much, to be honest.  So I'm not sure how accurate it is.
Why should your readers care about this person?
Because Marywyn is like a lot of us...she dreams of going on adventures and being a hero, but when she actually does get to go galloping off with a sword, she realizes that it's dangerous.  Not to mention sleeping on the ground is hard, and spending all day in the saddle is painful, and speaking to royalty can make your knees knock together, and tell you what, just stay home because it's a lot safer and less strenuous.
Don't forget to check out the other blogs!!!


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.