Know the Novel Part 2: Delving into The White Rose

2:07 PM

Hello everyone!!

Please excuse the pathetic, obviously robot-written NaNo update post of (what day was it now?). Remind me never again to write an update post when my brain is fogged beyond comprehension.

Today, I'm taking part of the second installment of Christine Smith's Know the Novel linkup! Also known as the bigger and better cousin to the old Beautiful Books Linkup. If you would also like to participate, click this link HERE

And since I know that y'all are scanning this introduction to get down to the questions, I won't keep you here. Let us be off!

1. How’s the writing going?



It's going sooooooooo sllloooooooowwwwww.

My writing could easily lose to a turtle at this point.

Let's put it this way - as I write this linkup, it's November 16. So, we're just past the midpoint of NaNo. By now, I should have written about 25-28k by now, right?

eh heh heh....

I've only written 8K of new material this November.

Now, the actual WIP (which includes all the material from Camp NaNo) is actually approaching 25K. And I still haven't written much of the actual plot....I've definitely alluded to it, but nothing of import has happened just yet.

Or it has, and I've missed noticing. Which is of course very possible, due to my state as an exhausted writer.

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

All the good character relationships. You know, those characters that are light-hearted and happy together? The ones that make you laugh and lift you up? the ones that are missing from YA at the moment?

3. Has your novel surprised you in any way?

Well, yes. There have been a few surprises.

For one, my antagonist from From the Cave magically decided to insert himself into the story as a minor character. Not sure how exactly he managed to slip in there....

My antagonist for this novel has surprised me with her ability to sneak around the castle...but I guess I should have guessed that.

And my romance is actually working? 😲

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

I love my characters more and more as I continue to write this book! Sometimes they drive me up the wall like any children, but it's all good....

I have five favorites that I like to write with: Ealdread (my male MC), Janina (my female MC), Alvilda (Janina's sister), Karsten (Ealdread's friend), and Arnor (liveryman and friend to Janina and Alvilda). Not that I don't like to write with others (Tobias, Janina's brother, tends to show up a lot).......

5. 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?

Even though I'm very similar to Magda in some ways, I'd probably end up becoming Alvilda or Queen Carina. Both are a strong moral influence in the story, and are of similar temperament to me (Janina is a bit soft for me).

To be quite honest, I don't believe that I would take any different course of action than either of the two do. Except maybe in Alvilda's case, speaking up more....especially in the beginning. And maybe in Queen Carina's case, observing Magda and doing something more to help her before she got as bad as she did.....

6. Give us the first sentence or paragraph and then 2 (or 3!) more favorite snippets!

Okay, so the first sentence goes something like least at the moment:

A little beam of light stole between the narrow panes of glass and sought it’s playmate - a young maiden, who as of yet was stretched on her bed.

Only two or three favorite snippets??? Oh this is going to be interesting.....
welp, forgive me if I wind up sharing a snippet y'all have seen before......

Snippet #1 (which picks up right after that first sentence):

It danced over to the golden brown hair and crept along the young fresh face. In vain it tickled the light eyelashes. The light grew in rosy strength and now tried to tickle both eyes. The maiden only stirred a little.
Outside the door, hurried pattering could be heard. Heavy thuds of doors were sounded, closer and closer they came. The maiden still dozed, though her friend the sun was coaxing her to the best of his ability.


At the sound of her name being blasted through the corridors, the maiden capulated out of her bed. The sun, being rather miffed that his ministrations hadn’t worked, went off and hid behind a cloud.

Snippet #2:

Arnor saw a mischivous grin overtake Karsten’s face. Glancing at Alvilda, Karsten silently gathered some pond water in his hand, brought it up to the pier, and splashed it on his bride’s ankle.
“Ahhhh! What in the...” Alvilda covered her mouth when her eyes fell on her betrothed’s grinning face. “My lord....Karsten!” She choked out, laughing as her knight gallantly saluted her. “What in the world are you doing there?”
“Searching for a lost spear, my sunshine.” He settled his head on his arms on the pier, his brown eyes gazing adoringly in Alvilda’s blue ones.
“A lost spear?” Janina asked gaily.
“Aye, Your Highness.” A deep voice wafted from the other side of the pier. “It seems our dear young liveryman Arnor got into a contest...”
Janina put her hands on her waist with mock severity. “And lost the spear in a javelin throw again. Tsk tsk tsk.”
“You would think that after losing the spear 3 times already, he would learn by now...” Alvilda quipped sassily.

Snippet #3:

“Is everything all right, daughter?”
“Yes, of course, Father.” She fingered the medal around her neck, giving her father a clear view of the shimmering Unstained Ring of amethyst gems on her finger.
She saw the relief in his eyes as Ealdread spoke up. “The Princess was feeling a little indisposed, your Majesty. I believe it was the shrimp that was the cause.”
King Reijo’s face crumbled inward as he slapped it with his hand. “I knew there was something I had forgotten to mention to the stewards…..” He gave a short sharp exclamation, and immediately regretted it as his daughter pinned him a sharp look in return. “Forgive me, Janina….it slipped.” 

7. Have you come across any problem areas?

Umm yeah....

The actual Games/competition is really giving me a huge problem. I simply do not know how to write least, not without copying someone's novel/movie or watching a million YouTube videos that don't help me.....

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

The interpersonal relationships between Ealdread, Janina, Karsten and Alvilda. Especially the growing romantic relationship between Ealdread and Janina.....which I totally didn't expect. 

9. Be honest, have you killed any characters off yet?


Though I have had my little liveryman faint from the heat, and he's had a scarf wrapped around his head. And another liveryman was just chloroformed by Magda....

10. 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!

If I may borrow Faith Thompson's response, there is no normal writing day.....a lot of NaNo has been happening on the spur of the moment whenever I can fit it in.

If I'm being deliberate about sitting down to write, I'll go out to my family office/school room and plop down in front of my desktop....conviently placed on top of the record cabinet.
(Don't judge, it's only "temporary" until I get a desk set up in here.....which should have happened a year ago, but time sure flies around here....) 

Then, I'll immediately get up and go to the kitchen....because I forgot to get my tea. And while that's brewing, I'll scrounge around for some trail mix, dried fruit....or chocolate covered fruit.....or even a candy or too.....whatever I find.

After I get my tea ready, I'll go back to my "desk" and crank up Spotify to the playlist I have for The White Rose. I'll then scan the story notes and figure out where I want to go next. Though lately, there has been a five minute delay between these two steps because of a recent war with dying headphones....

I'll then spend a few minutes playing clips of songs to find the song that best fits the mood of the piece that I want to write. This could take 2 minutes or a half-hour.....

I'll then start drafting. Sometimes, depending on if there is a NaNo event going on, I'll check to see if there is anyone up for a word war. I tend to do better when there is one....

I'll then continue to draft until my muse gives out. Sometimes, I'll go onto Pinterest and stare at an image or GIF to get an expression right, but most of the time, my eyes are on my Shaxpir (or my notebook) as I draft. If I get bored, I'll go onto my Blogger feed or email for a "quick check".

That's pretty much how I roll.....

Did I come to the end already??? Huh, didn't realize that was so short.....normally I deliberate on this type of post for days.....

What is your writing day like? How much have y'all written this month? How has your WIP surprised you? I want to know all the details! 

Scribblingly yours,


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  1. *is fangirling* Karsten and Alvilda are my OTP :) :P Funny, you mentioning the record cabinet in this post, and I just happened to ask you about records....


  2. EEEPPP!! I love the snippets!!! Karsten and Alvilda are so cute. <3

  3. Great post! I'm hoping to do this link-up next week :] LOVE the snippets! especially the beginning---a great way to start! And I love the names you've chosen, particularly Arnor. I may feature that in a Name post of mine sometime :D Thanks for sharing!

  4. Eeeeh, the sunshine trying to wake Janina up is just adorable. I love the snippets so much, Catherine!!

    "My writing could easily lose to a turtle at this point." Teehee. But oh, my friend, slow and steady wins the race...

  5. I love your snippets! The dynamics between your characters are especially awesome.

    Unexpected romances happen in my books all the time! I say to myself, "This time you will write a book without romance. Not every good story has to have a romantic subplot, and you can prove it!" And then it never works. I always end up with something. Oh well.

    Best of luck with finishing out the month! And it's okay that you've only written 8k -- that's 8k more than would have gotten written if you didn't do NaNo, and that's still something important!

    Eleanor | My Know the Novel Post


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