Grace A. Johnson
Know the Novel Part 3: Words Written
Wow. November has come and went, and now we're only days away from Christmas! I don't know about y'all, but I'm kinda sad to see November - and Know the Novel - go! Today is the final post in the three-month-long linkup hosted by Christine Smith (click the graphic below to check out her post), all about the words written in my WIP!
If you missed the last two posts, you can find them here and here! Just make sure y'all stick around 'til this end of this one, because I'm got a special surprise for y'all!
Now, without further ado, the questions!
1. How did writing this novel go all around?
All around? As in, since Chapter 1 or just in November? Because if we’re talking the last two years (give or take a couple months) I’ve been working on this novel, then we’ll be here. all. day.
But if we’re just talking November...it went well. I’m honestly surprised by how consistent I was (and I even missed probably two weeks worth of days) and how many words I was able to get in when I just focused. I would’ve liked more progress to have been made, but I’m not gonna complain.
2. Did it turn out like you expected or completely different? And how do you feel about the outcome?
Considering I didn’t expect it to be finished yet, yes, it did turn out as expected. And also considering that consideration of how it’s not finished, I have no comment on the outcome.
Let’s just say that if, when I do reach The End, it looks like I’ve planned, y’all will be very, very mad at me. Like, more so than y’all are now.
3. What aspect of the story did you love writing about the most? (Characters, plot, setting, prose, etc.)
The torture. Seriously. These last few chapters have been pure torture of every kind for my characters, and I’m sorry to say that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. We’re really getting to the heart of things, which is beneficial. Once you get past the pain, of course.
Overall, though, I love the spiritual/faith elements. As difficult as it’s been to tackle all these tough issues in one book, I have enjoyed it and I’ve learned a lot. I only hope I (1) make sense and (2) can impact someone else! And, funnily enough, the romance in this has been kinda wonky. In some ways, I wouldn’t even classify it as a romance, because I’ve just got so many other things going on. It’ll probably get more romantic toward the end, though, which leads me to my point. I’ve also loved writing the romantic moments—when they come...which is often in the form of an argument—because Keaton and Daisy have this electrifying chemistry that’s so...destructive. That’s a strange term, but I did liken them to oil and shoal once, so… Seriously. They’re combustible together. One moment completely chill, the next enraged about something, and then a couple seconds later, kissing and making up.
Sounds like a Harlequin novel, yes, but then there’s this element of innocence and first-love (at least on Keaton’s part...#nospoilers) that just ties it all together.
Anyway, it’s beautiful and I love it, even though I feel like it kind of trickles out at some points. It’ll come rushing back in eventually, though, I’m sure.
4. How about your least favorite part?
How slow it is. Now, I don’t just mean that in terms of how slow I write...I also mean that in terms of the pacing of the actual book. I feel like a single moment stretches across three pages, so when I’m not torturing anyone, I’m literally doing nothing but dragging things out.
5. What do you feel like needs the most work?
All of it. Seriously. Xavier’s scenes need tweaking, since I’m trying to make his character stronger. Everything with Quinn in it needs to be redone, as I think I finally understand his character now. Keaton’s dialogue needs to be cleaned up—and I mean decreasing how much he says...not that he’s cussing or anything. And I need to rewrite that one scene. And...yeah...everything. A lot of the scenes are (1) rushed, (2) too wordy, or (3) unnecessary, and several characters need to undergo some revisions. And that changes a lot.
6. How do you feel about your characters now? Who’s your favorite? Least favorite? Anyone surprise you? Give us all the details!
I’ll put it like this: I don’t hate any of them anymore. My favorite has to be either Rina, Crimson, or Elliot. I’m not writing from Elliot’s POV, which hurts, but I love every moment with him from another character’s perspective. He’s finally back to his jovial old self!
And of course I love Crimson. She’s my girl.
Then there are some of the villains in this story (because, yes, there are actual villains) who are just way too much fun to write. But no spoilers.
Oh! And Julius and Scarlette have definitely surprised me with (1) how smooth and easy they are to write and (2) how much I love them! They both have very consistent characters, which is something I greatly appreciate, and just they themselves are all over the place. I love it.
Least favorite, though? Daisy. I don’t hate her anymore, but I still don’t like her. She’s just way too difficult to put into words. Such a jumble of contradicting emotions and thoughts. You’ll understand it once you meet her.
7. What’s your next plan of action with this novel?
Finish it. And then edit it fifty times.
8. If you could have your greatest dream realized for this novel, what would it be?
Finish it. Seriously. At this point, I have no other expectations.
9. Share some of your favorite snippets!
Yikes, we’ll be here all day. Remember, this is a 54-chapter-long project at the moment. Why don’t I just find one non-spoilery scene?
Okay, yeah, that’s basically impossible. Plus, I've already shared some of my favorite short, relatively un-spoilery snippets in my last Know the Novel post...so lemme see what I can do.
Below are some of my favorite snippets mainly because of how the prose flowed...that said, I think I have a lot better quotes in this book; I just didn't save them out so I honestly don't remember. *facepalm*
Crisp white sails snapped with each sharp thrust of the wind, waving at me with malicious smirks as each clashed with their respective masts and tangled with the strong coiled rigging. Only one streak of canvas stood out from among the rest, a mere speck to the naked eye upon the horizon, obscured by the sunset, in its painstakingly bright red, one more vibrant than the Rina’s maroon of thirteen years ago, one more dangerous than the stripes of red and blue so gleefully worn by the Union Jack. Slashed athwart such an angry sail were two simple words, the name this small brigantine so proudly bore, two words that seemed so foreign as the christened name of a ship and yet so at home on my tongue, against its colors, in my memory’s ears.
I leant my head against the bulwark, bracing myself with my elbows, as I examined the deck beneath me and envisioned the dark Cimmerian waves engulfing what was left of my soul. Muted grey despondency washed away the blazing red of anger until every emotion was sunk into a murky pool of complacency, leaving only emptiness, a hollow space that could not be filled by anything. Ever.
"At times, he’s the most definable, vivid, and pragmatic sort of person, running as smoothly as the gears of a clock. Then others, he is a dark, distant, smoldering man with a depth far beyond his years. Sometimes, he has the attitude of a child—fantastical, whimsical, hopeful, creative. Dreaming. Then night falls along with his nightmares, and all else drifts away."
"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."
These words…I breathed them in, lifting my head as I groped for the book beside me, flipped to Isaiah with an urgency that nearly tore the pages. They were a promise.
But the question was this: did God speak of the body or the spirit? Did He guarantee that He would always deliver my body from the waves and the streams and the flames? Or did He promise everlasting protection, an unending covenant, the guarantee of eternity? That no matter where I went or what foe—earthly or spiritual—I faced, my spirit remained bound to His, my heart consecrated to Him, my future in His hands, His grace sufficient, and my salvation constant and true?
10. Did you glean any new writing and/or life lessons from writing this novel?
Absolutely! More spiritual lessons than anything else, the main one being the definition of grace. I’d talk about it here...but I also plan on writing a blog post about it. One day. Eventually. Probably not this year, like I’d hoped, but we’ll see!
Now, I dunno if y'all remember, but I promised you quotes graphics and a mockup in my last Know the Novel post...so here they are! You'll probably have to click on the graphics to read the text...
This first one to the left has one of my favorite quotes...the one I hope to expound upon in a post all its own soon!
Now, this one? Whoo, guys, despite the typo (which I assure y'all I fixed in the manuscript), this quote which is by both Crimson and Elliot is another favorite of mine, because not only was it so fun to write, it just makes my heart squeal every time I read over it!
And this is not actually a quote...more like a tagline for the novel as a whole, but y'all know I love tying in the title. Not to mention those colors! *sighs*
This quote literally only makes sense in context, and the scene it's derived from is one of my favorites (I have a lot of favorites, actually)...and I love that picture. I could honestly go for a pink theme with this book if I didn't wanna use pink for the next one.
And, yes, spoiler alert. There will be a book four (after the cliffhanger in Bound and Determined, there'll have to be) and I do plan on weaving the color pink into it.
Now, at long last, I must debut the mockup cover I designed for BAD...
Let it be noted that even though it took me probably an hour to put this thing together - and I took special care to make it resemble the cover for Prisoner at Heart - it's still not even CLOSE to what I want the real cover to look like. This is just for fun and probably what I'll use on proof copies.
Without further ado (I do a lot ado)...
Eh, not too shabby, if I do say so myself! What about you? What do you think? What was your favorite quote/snippet that I shared today? What are you most looking forward to about Bound and Determined? How did your projects go in November? What do you plan to get done in December?
#knowthenovel #boundanddetermined #quotegraphics #snippets #mockup #progress