The 5-Part Writing Special, Part 5: WIP Aesthetics, Art and Music

12:29 PM

Hello all!

Blessings for a good Holy Week, and happy Easter to everyone! I cannot believe that it is almost the end of March (and Lent to boot!).

Neither can I believe that this is my last 5-Part Writing special post....

This last post marks also the last of my preparations for Camp NaNoWriMo. Now that the world is somewhat set, and the plot is sketched out, the writing can begin in earnest after April 2nd (for you know I'm not going to write on Easter Sunday).

I have a LOT of goodies for you dear readers today, so let us begin!

First things first:

One thing that I got introduced to in July Camp NaNo was the art of creating avatars. A tradition that my cabin (The Fellowship of the Keyboards) has is to have a drawing or avatar of the MC of the WIP as the author's profile picture.

Janina and Ealdread

Well, I can't "draw". I can trace really well, and if I have about a week, a photo and a ruler, I can transpose a photo into a nice drawing. But picking up a piece of paper and drawing something out of thin air from my head without it looking very cartoonish....forget it.

Queen Carina and King Reijo

So last July, I went hunting for a really nice avatar building site, and that's when I found Azalea/Dolls Divine. My first ever avatar was Eirwen from my July NaNo WIP "Seeds of an Orchard Invisible" and because I found avatar building so addictive, I created avatars for my other SOI characters. You can view those avatars on this post HERE.

Alvilda and Karsten

For the most part I use the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit Scene Maker to make my avatars, which you can find HERE. Recently, I've found two other scene makers that are really similar to the LOTR one that I plan to use in the future (even though I don't like the shows that they are based off of): Game of Thrones and The Tudors.

Magda and Arnor
By far, making the avatars is the most fun and unique way that I can visualize my characters. What's even better - it's my creation, so I can share them as I wish, not bound by copyright!


I like collages a lot. My header would be a case in point.

However...I never do collages for my WIPs. Mainly because of copyright issues. I'm very scrupulous about using uncopyrighted images in my headers and my posts, so the idea of taking other people's photos and sticking them in collages doesn't appeal to me.

However, Pinterest is a HUGE inspiration for me when it comes to writing. So, I'm going to share some screenshots of the secret Pinterest board that I have for this WIP. Because I did avatars for the main/side characters, I'm going to share some aesthetics for my foreign sovereigns/nobles, as well as aesthetics for Castle Sidabras and Duventoliel.

Foreign Sovereigns

Castle Sidabras


As you can see, there isn't that much there I develop the world and the foreign kingdoms/states, I plan on adding more to these boards. 


I mainly use Spotify for my music needs, for both writing and life purposes. My Spotify playlist for this WIP is over 8 hrs long, and it consists of tracks from:

1. Peter Crowley
2. Antti Martikainen
3. Selected tracks from Brunuhville and Adrian von Ziegler
4. Medieval/Celtic artists such as Erutan, Arlene Faith, and David Davidson
5. How to Train Your Dragon soundtracks ( have no idea how much of a lightbulb move this changed the entire trajectory of my soundtrack.) 
6. Scandivian artists, including Cantus (who did the Norse pieces from Frozen) and Danish String Quartet.
7. Random cinematic/video game pieces that fit, including two songs from Brave.

So, the music vibe I was going for was a mix between Medieval, Celtic, and Scandinavian.While I won't share the entire playlist, I'll most definitely share some of the songs that helped me the most.

White Rose by Peter Crowley.

This song was the genesis of the original plot bunny for this WIP. I was, in fact, directly inspired by one of the lyrics in the song ("My White Rose"), and that motif just stayed throughout the process of development. Now, its in the title, it's Janina's nickname and seal, and even around my castle grounds! 

The Rose by Westlife

I swear, if this WIP is ever made into a movie, I want this song in there towards the end. Can't say much else otherwise I'll spoil it (even though it'll be totally obvious when you listen to the song).

Wayfarer by Brian Dunning and Jeff Johnson

If ever there was a piece of music that sent me to the fields around Castle Sidabras, it's this song!!

Mu Vaibmu by Cantus

While Vuelie will always be my favorite Cantus piece, this song especially makes me think of my WIP, especially Magda...

Mock Cover

I decided to save the best for last.

I started making mock covers when I started to publish on Wattpad, and I must say that I enjoy making these things a lot!

This one, however, gave me a headache, in more ways than one.

In creating this cover, I finally had to address the problem of naming my universe. After two full days of scrambled searching through name and language lists, as well as online dictionaries, I came up with a list in which I chose three contenders: Tarwa, Verden and Harn.

I loved both Tarwa and Verden and couldn't decide between the two of them. So I put the question to my closest writing buddies: my alphas, my Camp NaNo cabin, and several close buddies on GR (via a poll). The race was neck and neck for several agonizing hours!!

At the last, Verden pulled ahead with 10 votes, while Tawra remained at 6 votes. For those who loved the name Tarwa, don't worry! It is now the Verdenian word for our Earth. 

And now.....

to reveal......


In all fairness, I cannot take credit for the cover image.

My designer brain was absolutely muddled when it came to finding a good image. In desperation, I asked for help from some of my GR friends in the Writing Buddies group.

What I didn't expect was one of the moderators, R.A. Rooney, to actually MAKE a cover image for me! I must admit, I (softly) screamed when I saw it. It's so gorgeous!! I'm most grateful to her for taking the time to craft this masterpiece!

It is going to make me step up my game in creating covers though. I do want to experiment with double exposure, especially if I decide to make another mock cover for From the Cave to match this one.

And so, we have come to the end of this post....and to the end of my part in the 5-Part Writing Special. I'm really sorry that this is the last post, as I greatly enjoyed this whole blog series! 

Be sure to check out the other collaborators! I know that there is are lots of beautiful collages, music pieces, drawings, mock covers, and other aesthetics just begging to be viewed!! 

What was your favorite aesthetic/art/music? Is anyone participating in Camp NaNo - and is it really only 2 days until writing starts??? 

Scribbingly yours,


P.S. In lieu of the fact that several of you commented with this hashtag on my 17 Facts about Me post, here's the button:

Feel free to share it with other fellow non-coffee drinkers! And you're welcome :).

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    ISN'T IT EPIC!! The second one is good, too. I'm hoping they make one for Race to the Edge because THOSE SONGS ARE EPIC, TOO!!

    Your avatars are awesome and THAT COVER!!! IT'S BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Happy Easter. He is RISEN. <3

    1. And I am taking that button for my blog because it is awesome! I'll link back to you! <3

  2. THESE PICTURES! YOUR AVATARS! EESH, I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! All of y'all have so much more organization to this week's post than I do...I just kind of jumbled together some pics and snippets and called it aesthetic. XD Man, Catherine, these are GORGEOUS!!!!

  3. That cover!! AHHHHHH! So beautiful! I love it!

    I used to use AzaleasDolls a lot to make avatars for my characters. I haven't gotten on there in a while, though.

    Everything here was fantastic! I loved it!

  4. THIS IS ALL AMAZING!!!! I have got to check out that site!!! Your avatars are gorgeous!!!! ;)
    I'm really looking forward to when this comes out... <3 <3 PLEASE PUBLISH ONE DAY!!!!!!!!

    1. After musing and listening and all for several days... I AM A STUBBORN FANGIRL!!!!!
      I NEED TO READ THIS!!!! <3 <3 <3

  5. Your WIP sounds amazing!:) And you listen to Erutan!!?? She is one of my favorite artists too.
    I can't wait to read your story, Catherine!:)

  6. That cover is gorgeous!!!

    All of this sounds amazing, Catherine. I want to read this book so badly!

  7. I just heard about that doll site! Very neat. And I like your characters ;D Fun last post ;D

  8. Erutan??? I love listening to her songs! Some of them are so pretty!

    That cover...WOW that is amazing!!!! I think Verden sounds cool. Kinda royal and all.

    I’ll have to listen to the music later when I find my earbuds....

    But I love the Queens dress. Pretty!!!

    Thanks so much for doing this special, I hope you enjoyed it, and I LOVED getting to know more about your book!

  9. I absolutely love the White Rose Celtic song! It's so pretty! :)

    You're welcome for the cover! It looks great with the words added to it!!! :) I LOVE doing double exposure covers - I think it makes a book cover look even better!

  10. Lovely post! I LOVE listening to movie soundtracks whilst writing, and tend to lean heavily on LotR, HtTYD, and even The Hunt for Red October (though Russian music has absolutely NOTHING to do with my medieval faerietale... heheh).

    The avatars are great! I used to sketch drawings of my own characters, but I'm still an extreme amateur (my sisters are AMAZING artists in anything). Trying out the doll/avatars sounds like a great idea! I may have to look it up...

    Verden is an intriguing name for a world, and I do like Tarwa! How neat! :]

    AHHHHHHH!!! Camp is here!! I'm with a group called Wrimo Warriors :D Best wishes to you for this fast-approaching April writing spree!

  11. Your cover! *gasps*
    It's SO pretty!!! She did a great job on it.

    And I get your fear about collages and copyrights *shivers*

  12. These avatars!!! I LOVE them! <3 They are very, very cool. (And I can't get enough of Avatar Janina's dress!)


  13. Your book looks amazing!!! I love the cover so much! <3

    I really like your avatars too - especially Magda and Arnor...

    1. Wow! I just checked out the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit Scene Maker and it's great! Thanks Catherine!

  14. *tackle hugs you back* Someone's excited! :D

    I'm having a hard time not to do all my covers double exposure! :D:D

    1. Haha, that's funny!!! :D I knew you'd be doing a post with the cover, so I kept checking (subscribing as well) so I didn't miss it!! ;)

  15. Wow, your wrap-up post is so cool! I absolutely LOVED your MOCK COVER!!! I hadn't even thought about doing that!

    Also, tracing isn't something to be ashamed about. I learned how to draw from tracing in fact (I'm going to do a post on drawing characters soon...I hope...) so go for it!

  16. I am doing Camp NaNo for the first time. Wish me luck (good luck to you as well, of course xD)!

  17. I just tagged you!!! ;)

  18. AHH I LOVE THE COVER!! And I'll definitely have to check out the avatar-making site.
    By the way, I have a tag for you! It's the Get To Know Me: Writers Edition tag.


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