shanti · writing

Beautiful Books: Writing progress

Hi Virtually Readers! The end of November, and hence NaNoWriMo, is approaching. I have been writing…despite the fact that my laptop died and all I had to write on for three weeks was my phone or that laptop I borrowed at work. Yes, I have become the person who works on her novel instead of doing work, and I don’t feel at all guilty about it. Anyway, I FINALLY got a wireless keyboard, and then I arrived home and have a new laptop, and so I have definitely upped my productivity on my novel. I’m feeling…okay about it. So I’m linking up with Sky @ Further Up and Further In  and Cait @ Paper Fury for their Beautiful Books feature, where you talk about a novel you’re writing. You can see my post for last month here. Oh, and I thought of a title, or at least a working title: it’s called Skies Contained!


One: Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

I’m feeling pretty confident at this stage. I’m on track to finish. I have been panicked and frustrated at times, but I’m feeling okay now. My novel is…going. It’s at 39,000 words right now, and I’m hoping to do 3000 words a day until the month is over, because this is going to be a little longer than 50,000 words. I was so pleased with this idea, but of course the execution isn’t perfect…but I’m doing my best.

Two: What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

I am quite pleased with my first sentence. The most dangerous scene in the novel is probably the first one, at least in terms of physical danger, and I think I got it right.

Three: Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

Definitely Mesilla, the main character. I know her best. I also quite like Gremi, Mesilla’s grandmother. She’s a bit like Emily Gilmore. I want her to be funnier, but she’s quite snobby which I like writing.

Four: What do you love about your novel so far?

I’m really enjoying writing the setting! It’s set in the mountains, and the culture is sort of Tibetan? I need to do research at some point, but the setting is nice because it’s quite familiar to me.

Skies Contained.png

Five: Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

There are several minor characters who I thought would come up more, but I keep getting confused betwen them and switching their names and characteristics, it’s pretty terrible. And I’ve made lots of typos, gosh, I don’t want to think about them.

Six: What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?

I like the beginning because I don’t know how much I’m going to mess up, and the middle because I can add whatever random subplots come into my head, but I’m afraid of the ending because I don’t know how I’m going to fix anything.

Seven: What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!

I like to write in the mornings best. My schedule was pretty messed up for the first half of the month, but now I’ve sorted out my technology issues, I like to start around nine and write until I’m done for the day; at the moment, my daily goal is 3000 words. I do listen to music! Usually just indie music playlists–this one and this one are my favourites–but I also like to listen to soundtracks, like Into the Woods or Moana. Or else instrumental covers of songs. Sometimes I’ll drink tea, and I usually reward myself for writing with candy or chocolate (or both)

The cat likes to get in my way while I write

Eight: How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?

Not that private! I’ve described the basic plot to at least five or six people. My mum keeps reminding me that I should put writinig ahead of book review or writing (I’m so behind on my book reviews, it’s tragic), so that’s sort of encouraging. Mostly I just tell people to explain what I’m doing with my time. The annoying thing is when people ask about publication *sigh*.

Nine: What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?

The idea that at some point, I will know how to edit, and I will make this into the book which I envisioned in my head…or maybe a different book, but a deserving one. Also chocolate and netflix when I’m done writing for the day.

Ten: What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?

First, I know everyone says this, but write even when you don’t want to.

Second, when you’re not writing, just let your characters sit in your head. I took three days off writing, but had lots of good ideas (which I wrote down so I wouldn’t forget) during that time.

Third, you don’t have to enjoy every minute you’re writing, but if it’s all horrible, maybe you’re not writing the right story?

I realised that I got to the end of this post without saying what the story is about, really, so ask me you most burning question in the comments! and if you’re engaged in any major (or minor) creative endavour, I’d love to hear about it and encourage you 🙂


10 thoughts on “Beautiful Books: Writing progress

    1. I find it hard to make the worldbuilding an explicit part of the story. I have the ideas in my head though which governs the characters decisions to some extent. I mean, worldbuilding should mostly be in the background I guess.


  1. So my most burning question is… Can I read it one day???? I think we’ve talked about your novel before and I so desperately want to read it. Also congratulations on being so close to finishing!!! I stalled at 10k and never picked it back up again… whoops!!!! Awesome post! It’s nice to hear a bit more about your writing.


    1. I’m gonna say: maybe! I don’t have critique partners or anything right now, but I’d at least like to have a second draft before I start looking. YOu do need some dedication to keep going, but I totally understand having other things going on as well.


  2. I’ve never written anything longer than a paper for class, so I can’t even imagine writing nearly 40,000 words! Congratulations on your progress so far and good luck with the rest of your writing!

    claire @ clairefy


  3. Congratulations, Shanti, it seems like you’ve been doing great with your story so far! I hope you’ll manage to finish your draft by the end of November. Writing so much in a month is already such an amazing accomplishment. I LOVE your working title and am really curious about this setting, I’m sure it will be fantastic. When will you tell us more and share snippets? I am too curious ahah. ❤ Best of luck to get to the end! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did manage to finish which makes me quite pleased! I’m glad you like the title! It took me ages to think of a good one. If I do Beautiful Books this month, I’ll tell you more and maybe do some snippeting!

      Liked by 1 person

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