The 5-Part Writing Special, Part 1: Introducing the WIPs!!

8:00 AM

 Hello all!!

Welcome to my first installment of Julian Daventry's 5-Part Writing Special (formally known as the Shared WIP Tag!!)

It was super fun to be part of developing and improving this blog collaboration, and I want to thank Julian for allowing me to participate, and thank all of the other collaborators (links are down below at the end, definitely check them out!!)

The WIP that I will be using for this tag is The White Rose.  I've teased about it in previous posts, but I haven't posted very much about it. Hence it was the perfect WIP for this tag!!!

So, how is this thing going to work exactly?

Well, each Friday this month, I'll be posting a new installment of this tag. This Friday will be introducing the WIP, the next one will be about the story world, then two will be on characters and the final one will be on story aesthetics and music.

This post is technically going to also double as my first installment of March Tag Madness here on The Rebelling Muse. Throughout the rest of the month (NOT on Fridays!), I'm going to be posting all of the other tag posts that I need to catch up on. More details about this will follow when I post the 7777 challenge next week (probably around Tuesday/Wednesday, it will be heavily dependent on how well the job interview goes on Monday.....).
Anyways, enough of me jabbering. Time for the main event!!!

Image result for white rose

A 1-3 paragraph blurb of your WIP

Here is the official blurb from my WIP page here on the blog:

Princess Janina Sigurdnir never expected to be the Blue Star of Duventoliel quite as soon as she did...but her older sister Magda's expulsion from the marriage market leaves her no choice. During the tournament for her hand, she finds herself attracted to the noble-hearted, charitable, manly and still-single King Ealdread of Aistaraina...and he feels the same for her. Only trouble is, that King Ealdread is nearly a score of years older than she. Will Ealdread's heart win over his head? Or will his fears of losing his happily-ever-after keep him from attaining it in the first place?  

And now, a more...hem...unofficial one:

So, there is this young princess named Janina who is about, I'd say, 15 years old or so, but she's more mature than a lot of 15 year old princesses. Obviously. Anyways, she's helping to get ready for the Karala Games, which is the Kingdom of Duventoliel's version of the marriage tournament....which is supposed to feature her sister Magda. However, Magda disgraces herself in the beginning of the story. And due to a rather unexpected previous engagement, Janina's other older sister of marriageable age is...well....engaged to another prince.

Anyways, she watches this one guy Ealdread, and she really likes him as a person. Ealdread has this rather unfortunate dilemma: he has to marry in the next few years otherwise he's in danger of breaking dynastic laws and weakening the Aistaraina throne (oh, did I mention that he was King of Aistaraina? Oops.) Throughout the tournament, Janina proves herself as a mature woman able to lead a kingdom and Ealdread learns to be in yoke with a woman.

Think of it as Marcia Schuyler meets Pippa of Lauramore.

Describe your WIP in ten short phrases.

Traditional fantasy
complex world
strong sister relationship
ceremonious woman and chivalrous men
Proving oneself
strong and silent king in need of a bride
A rose beginning to bloom
Wisdom and knowledge
Age has no bearing on love or maturity
Planting new seeds

How did you come up with the idea of your story?

I "created" Ealdread and Janina as the parents of my main male character (Conlaoch) when I did my original character building for From the Cave. The only note about them was this:

Janina married Ealdread when she was quite young.

Sometime later, I wrote the synopsis of their backstory and relationship (because, as most of you well know, I loooove a good backstory...), but never went any further.

A year or two later (which puts it about a month ago), I realized that there were parallels between Ealdread and Janina's story and my great-grandparents' story. And Pippa of Lauramore gave me several ideas too.

So I expanded it into a full WIP :).

Why did you choose to write this WIP? What gave it priority over all the other plot bunnies?

I had wanted to work on From the Cave, but, as what happened with Fair Winds, I got fascinated with the backstory.

Backstories, I find, really help me develop the characters and the world building, before I move on to the actual "story".

Image result for knight

How did you go about preparing to write it?

I'm doing my prep on the fly, which is probably NOT the best way to go about it.

Before I really started writing scenes, I created a Pinterest aesthetic board, and a Spotify playlist, as I do for all of my WIPs. And the overall synopsis is fairly done....somewhat.

This is definitely my most "pantsed out" WIP ever....LOL.

Did you have to do any research for this story? What was the most interesting/funny story connected with your research?

There has a little bit of research - some names had to be looked up, and other stuff. LOL.

The most comical research story was looking for Viking style games. Seeing as this world is a blend between Viking/Germanic, Celtic and Elvish (a very typical fantasy world, you know), I wanted to see what kind of games and exercises each culture has. The Viking ones were interesting to say the least. Here is a video of such exercises, complete with shield-maiden :):

Was this story easy or hard to write? Why?


Like all of mine, it's been rather hard to write. Especially as this is the most pantsed out WIP ever.

Honestly, if I don't have a clear idea or picture of how the scene is going to go, I have a lot of trouble writing it down. Sometimes, a specific song will trigger a specific scene - like in a movie. Sometimes an image is all that is needed. And other times it's listening or reading to books, conversations, etc.

Finding those story triggers is the hardest for me.

Where was your favorite place to write this story?

Well, most of the actual writing is done at my computer desk in my family's office/school room. Simply because I'm typing this story, and all of my aesthetics and other story aids are on my computer.

However, I have imagined some of the scenes in my bedroom and in the great outdoors. (if this was Fair Winds, I would have said the beach, but since it isn't....well, you get a rather boring answer. *shrugs*)

What makes your story unique?

Well now, let's see...

There are not that many stories that deal with a large age difference between lovers (that end happy anyway). Some of the games are unique (I have horse taming as one :) ). And the seal/standard system I have implemented is a little different than most worlds.

Other than that, I'll let y'all judge after the rest of the tag is done.  

What do you love most about your story?

 You mean besides the fact that:

a. I have a personal connection to it via my great-grandparents story
b. It's a backstory....
c. It's fantasy
d. I get to spend time crafting my favorite story world of all time
e. it's a romance (Lent has gotten in the way slightly with this development, so I've been working on the world recently instead cause that needs work and all...)
f. both of my alphas are mad cause I'm being really stingy with my snippets (that must count for something....LOL)
g. I love all of my characters (even the ones that are half formed and naughty)

......I really have no idea.

Anyways, that's the end! Be sure to check out the other blogger's contributions! I know that I'm looking forward to seeing them!!

Scribblingly yours,


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  1. Ahhh, Catherine, this sounds so cool! Origin story type things are always fun. ^_^

  2. Wow, that sounds cool! The games were really interesting.

    I really love origin stories. Those are awesome and they bring to life several details that are important to other stories!

    I can't wait to read more!

  3. I love how it's a back story! That's how my fist book in my series came to be, too. I love the age gap thing, too! and yes, fantasy is amazing :D

  4. Seriously???? This book is SO COOL!!!! I love how it was backstory, and then it just demanded it have it's own book and seriously, it sounds great!!!! (Though I guess you kind of spoiled the ending, and we know they get married in the end....XD)

  5. I LOVE the name of your story!

    Origin stories are AMAZING, I can't wait to read more about your WIP next week. ^_^

  6. This story... It sounds SO PRECIOUS. <3 <3 Romance isn't my fave genre, but I LOVE the sound of this one!! I can't wait to hear me, eeeeeeep!! :D

    And backstories are awesome - I love them too!

    Lila @ The Red-Hooded Writer

  7. Ooooh this story sounds so interesting and sweet! <3 I can't wait to hear more about it!

  8. How intriguing! Your story sounds wonderful! Best of luck to you on it. And this tag seems like such fun! Looking forward to the other posts! :]

  9. This sounds awesome! Can't wait to read more about it in the next few parts of this special. :)

  10. Oooohhh... This fantasy sounds so awesome! I love the idea of the conflicting age difference. :D Can't wait for more!

  11. I'm going to have to show those Viking games to my family, now! :D

    I love the strong, silent male characters who actually feel very strong emotions underneath, so Ealdread sounds sweet! (But... if Janina's fifteen, how is her younger sister already engaged?)

    I look forward to reading more about The White Rose, Catherine! :)
    - Jem Jones

    1. (I thought that, since it said "other younger sister", it might have been a typo. ;)

      The Vikings must have been pretty flexible!

  12. THIS SOUNDS AWESOME, Catherine! I can't wait to hear more about it!!! XD

  13. Oh!!! A backstory!!! (Though you already gave away the ending! ;D )


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