top of page
  • Writer's pictureGrace A. Johnson

Know the Novel Part 2: Within the WIP

Part 2 of Know the Novel is HERE! Yes, my lovelies, it's time for updates and progress reports and sneak peeks and all that fun stuff! Before we dive in, I'mma shout out to the lovely Christine Smith, who created this amazing linkup! You can read her kickoff post for this month here, and if you're interested in joining, you still have a chance! Or you can wait until December for Part 3 to talk about how many words you wrote in your WIP in November!

Did you miss last month's post, all about my project Bound and Determined? Just click here to read it and get some exclusive peeks into the novel and characters!

(By the way, I do remember that I promised y'all posts about the themes and about my mysterious heroine, Daisy Sharow, in that post. I'd hoped to have them up late last month or even this month, but alas, life has been busy. I probably won't get around to those posts until December...possibly January. But rest assured, they will come.)

Now, without further ado...the questions!


1. How’s the writing going overall?

Better than expected, worse than hoped, not as bad as it has been, not as good as it used to be.

Make sense?

I set a goal of 21k words, and I’ve written about 9k of that. So, as you can tell, I’m probably not going to make it. That said, the last few months, I’ve only been writing, like, a hundred words a month in BAD, so this...this is huge progress. Then again, back in early spring and last year, I was writing more like 14k every month.

So, as you can see, could be better, could be worse. I’mma just be content.

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

Crossing chapters off my list. Seriously. I mean, there are better parts of writing, of course, but when you’ve been working on something for over two years and you literally only have like a dozen chapters to go, every time you get to finish one and start another is ah-may-zing. Participating in camp this month has really given me the motivation I’ve needed, and I think having that element of community weaved into this last part of Bound and Determined has really given it a new layer of awesomeness.

Even if I’ve refrained from sharing any sneaky peekies with the girls as of yet...

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

Well, I’ve been stuck with these guys since, yeesh, 2017-18 (2019 for Daisy, I think), so let’s just say I’ve thought a lot of things about them—most of which has been pretty negative. Nah, I love these guys. I adore Rina and Keaton; Daisy gets on my nerves but eh, I’ll get over it; Julius and Scarlette are *chef’s kiss* literally my most favorite characters to write because they’re so...them; and having Crimson and Elliot and several other characters whose names will not be mentioned come back has been the most fun. My favorite to write probably Scarlette. It’s crazy, I know, because she’s crazy, but she flows so easily for me and, to be honest, we have fun making everyone else miserable together. She’s my partner-in-crime.

4. Has your novel surprised you in any way?

Er, nope. Not this month, at least. Now, that one time many moons ago, when that one guy did something totally unexpected...yeah, that’s a spoiler. Never mind.

5. Have you come across any problem areas?

Probably. I mean, “problem” is so vague, and technically every time I hit a snag—no matter how long it lasts—is a problem. And I’ve gotten used to that by now, so...

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

Biggest victory…hmm...making it as far as I have, I guess. Writing four chapters in record time. Coming so. stinking. close to The End. Making it past one of the many climaxes. (Can you have multiple climaxes in a novel? Oh, who am I kidding! I’m writing an epic—of course there are multiple climaxes!)

7. 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? Eeyy, this is one of those questions that you just don’t want to answer. Why? Because then I’d have to admit that I put my characters through a ton of crap and wouldn’t want to go through it at all. That said, I wouldn’t mind being Daisy...from about four years prior to the novel’s setting. I could carefully sidestep all the crap and end up with a pretty decent life. However, we’re talking being transported directly into the novel at the time it takes place, in which case...none of them? I mean, maybe one of the kids. They’ve got it the easiest so far. Or Crimson, I guess. I’ve finally stopped torturing her.

For the most part.

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

All right, first sentence:

A swift flew by, carried through the air on a stiff spring breeze, landing gracefully in her empty nest.

Aaaand that’s boring. Seeing as how that was the prologue, I’ll share the first sentence from the first chapter as well…

“Not there, Daisy,” a voice whispered to me as my eyes lighted upon the man in the corner.

Eh, better, but still not all that great. How about some of my favorite snippets/quotes? (There are a lot of these, so I won't blockquote them...)

“There is always calm in Christ. No matter where it is that you go or what it is that you do. He will be glorified. He will watch over you. His will shall be done. In Him, there is peace.”

“Cease looking at the storm around you, the water beneath you, the sky above you. Stay your course and focus solely upon the foundation of your faith, the path upon which you step, the hand that you know will always catch you, the eyes which will forever be brimming with love.”

“But...only the manufacturer himself, only the potter, could achieve such. He could put the pieces back together in their original form, or he could make all things new. ‘Tis all up to the one who puts their self—or their teacup—into his capable hands.”

I would never be enough for her, and nothing I could ever do would satisfy all her desires. That was the meaning of humanity—imperfect, inadequate, undeserving, flawed. There was only one way around mortal frailty, and it certainly was not anything—or, rather, anyone—within my power.

Love was pure, and no marriage borne of obligation or convenience was pure. Love was devoid of selfish gain or ulterior motive. Love was giving with nothing in return. Love was a calling to fulfill someone else instead of oneself. Love was the greatest sacrifice of them all.

“My love for you is as great as the height of the mountains, as vast as the depths of the sea, and as wide as the breadth of the sky.”

Not once in my life had I ever felt so wholly alone. And, yes, it truly was a wholeness all its own, as sometimes the longed-for silence was a blaring trumpet and the crisp, crystal light was a blinding oppressor. Loneliness possessed a vice-like grip and an overwhelming, all-consuming, omnipresent aura. And it lingered, like a visitor, once welcome but now tiresome, taking up personal space and making himself comfortable, as if your home were his. But he had his charm, his polite manner of speech and motion. He was so calm, languid and sleepy, his movements fluid and smooth. He ne’er raised his voice, ne’er knocked over priceless vases or tripped o’er mislaid objects. And so he was always welcome, invited with a happy exclamation. But when the time came for him to be on his way and he yet remained, carefully slumping into your favorite chair and sipping on your preferred cup of tea, his placid hums and subdued rustlings always alerting you to his presence the moment you dared to forget, loneliness became a greater enemy than every other.

Surrender was inevitable. Loneliness always left his calling card, a mark of his existence within your home, and promised to return. Soon.

“Death? But that’s so unpleasant a subject. Especially over dinner.”

"There is a reason why the rain falls, is there not? Whilst it waters one man’s crops, it drowns the fields of another, but that does not diminish its purpose.”

Well, that was lengthy! I know some of it doesn’t make sense outside of context (like the death over dinner quote...gosh, I love that), but it makes for a nice teaser, eh? Let me know in the comments which snippet was your favorite!

9. Share an interesting tidbit about the writing process so far! (For example: Have you made any hilarious typos? Derailed from your outline? Killed off a character? Changed projects entirely? Anything you want to share!)

No hilarious typos, don’t use an outline, already killed off two characters, haven’t changed projects...yep, it’s honestly been kind of boring.

I think the most interesting this is that it’s taken me eleven chapters to get back into Crimson’s voice. You see, I bring her POV back in Chapter 41 (#spoileralert) and I felt like I was just getting by with her voice until, lo and behold, in Chapter 52, I start to feel her coming back and flowing out like she did when I was writing Prisoner at Heart.

And that...was not interesting. I told y’all it’s been boring.

10. Take us on a tour of what a normal writing day for this novel looks 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!

Let’s about noon, I’ll sit down at the bar in the kitchen (not an actual bar, mind you; just an island...attached to the wall...which is technically not an island. You know what? Never mind), usually with a glass of sweet tea, but since it’s the holiday season, I’ve been indulging in a wee bit of eggnog. Dry, mind you, despite being drunk at a bar.

You know what, let’s move on.

I don’t always write in the afternoons, if at all, but since I’ve got a goal and I’m part of a camp and all that fun, writerly stuff, I’ll try and sprint with the girls at camp for a few minutes, just to get in a few hundred words after I finish checking my email and stuff (which takes thirty minutes to an hour, believe it or not).

My sister’s usually with me (surfing the web, not writing), and sometimes I’ll listen to a wee bit of music after my mom gets up from her nap.

Then, about 1:30 or 2 o’clock, my baby brother will get up from his nap, and I’ll close up shop. Later at night, anywhere between 7:30 and 11, depending on how the evening was spent, I’ll write a bit whilst on my bed, surrounding by my sisters’ snoring.

And that about sums that up, I reckon. Nothing spectacular.


Since this post has just been a jumble of boringness, I’ve decided that I am going to reveal to thine eyes only a special something that I’d totally forgotten existed… Keaton’s poem.

Now, some of it...I mean, it make sense, but it doesn’t have much impact if you don’t know Keaton. That said, I’d like to share it with y’all, if you don’t mind…

why did i fail you

when you were always there

why did i mistrust the one

who was always faithful

why didn’t i miss this

and long for your touch

what happened to us

we were once so in love

why didn’t i fight for you

against all unbelief

why did i succumb to

the doubt and defeat

why didn’t i listen

when you tried to call

why did i refuse

to see you at all

why didn’t i want you

you were once all i craved

why didn’t i stay here

and let you keep me safe

why did i think you would

never hear my cry

why did i wander

when i was not lost

why did i stray

so far from the cross

why did i cower

when you gave me strength

why did i leave

the one who was there

why didn’t i come back

several years before

why didn’t i wonder

until it was too late

if i were ever

too far from grace


So, yeah. Wow. Um. Yeah, progress has been slow...these updates are boring...I GAVE YOU A POEM. There's my summary. I'll try and have more fun stuff next month, okay? Maybe some quote graphics or a mock cover or whatnot. Peace out, y'all. I got 11k more words to write.

Bookishly Yours,


Recent Posts

See All

subscribe for more

thank you for subscribing!

bottom of page