20 August 2016

Peek Into My Novel: Hidden in the Shadows


On August 16th, one of the most amazing things happened. I finished my fifth draft for my novel! You had no idea how elated I am to finally say I've reached the end, just hitting 80k. The people who are the gladdest about reaching the end of my novel after myself would probably be my family, appalled to find their daughter spending only an hour on her laptop for over a month and who missed out watching the first ten days of the Rio Olympic Games, the one thing she has been obsessing over for the past four months.

This novel project has been in the works for over five years, which is even longer than this blog! A majority of the plot holes that ten-year-old old me overlooked have been filled, my characters actually have a personality (the bantering between them, my friends, is GLORIOUS) and the blend of various East and Western cultures is amazing, like a good coffee roast blend which many of you coffee lovers (how do you handle it) apparently enjoy. It's been such a long journey, that I even managed to throw a snippet from one of the future novels a long time ago. And, despite this being used as a procrastination method while writing, I created a Pinterest story board.


"Future novels?" Well, yes. This is a series, with five installments overall. That is partially the reason over my major stress about the first novel-- so many aspects need to be introduced within the first book or else certain events will look like deus ex machina occurred when in actuality, the fundamental basis of it hasn't been properly explained or a character's personality may appear uneven for the actions they take.

I'm terrible at providing blurbs. My brain is still fried from the last several chapters and the idea of school starting, and since I cannot locate the somewhat not-bad written blurb I have written two weeks ago, I'll try my best to sum it up: it's a fantasy adventure series involving four children, elemental manipulation, shadows (in more than one way), and the overall concept of balance. The first two books may potentially in the ground between Middle Grade and Young Adult, but everything else after that will most likely be YA.

Now, for the introduction of my four main characters! There aren't any photos which depict how they appear in the first novel (they're all twelve-year-olds, in the beginning), but at the bottom of each of their photos is a link redirecting to how they look like at the end of the fifth novel (in the 16-18 range).

older Jack || The unconscious redhead is important.

Jack, an ISFJ, is the leader of the group, manipulating the elemental gift of fire, and the protagonist for the first novel. He's the most athletic out of the four, but not necessarily the healthiest. He can be super neurotic, at times, to the point where I had to research and write up a thorough twelve-step itinerary of how to put out a fire alongside disguising a fire has taken place from the five sense (this was really calming to write about), several steps of said itinerary taking place in the first three pages of the novel. He can also be a bit of an hothead and can be sensitive if one treads on the wrong path, but those are the only bad sides of him. He's super loyal, practical, and supportive to those he encounters, and this is why many can depend on him in about everything... except cooking.

older Christina || Her natural curly red hair is the best.

Christina is the INFP of the group-- she usually spends her time doing yoga, painting, and spraying tie-dyed water onto frogs, all of these done outside, of course. Water is her native element. She currently lives with "Auntie Linda," her grandmother who "tries" to groom her into a proper young lady as her parents and older siblings having job constraints limiting their interaction and care for her. Examples of "grooming" would be getting a Brazilian straightening treatment, or putting hot sauce in nail polish to not bite her nails off. She is super shy, and, upon being prompted to speak in a nerve-wracking situation, stutters in the height of her nervousness. Christina is often accepting of others, but is insecure of her own self, and that, mixed in with harsh words often aimed at her, she secretly can hone a jealous streak kept under wraps.

older Sam || He recites poetry better than pi.

Sam is the dichotomous persona of Christina in nearly every way possible, including his MBTI type, categorized as an ESTJ. He is often viewed as a pompous man thinking highly of himself due to his great intelligence he constantly has to remind people of. Physics and the anatomy of poetry rhythms are his strong suits. A vernacular lexicon is stored within his mindset, and he wishes to mitigate the situation in his favor by "educating" his obtuse opposing side. Just as his Earthen elemental power suggests, he can be quite stubborn. It is his stubbornness and insensitivity to the emotions of others which ticks most off. However, he does have a kinder, understanding side of him which occasionally does make an appearance, but it is ephemeral and reserved only for those he trusts.

older Daniella || The two things she cannot do-- she inherited that from me.

Daniella is the youngest of the four, being an Air elemental. Since she undergoes one of the bigger transformations, her initial personality type is difficult to pinpoint. She is the complete opposite of what her element stands for-- she is free flowing only for most of the wrong reasons, she will be the one to initiate a fight, and her stubbornness and pride won't allow her to admit she is wrong. The two most important things: she is inflexible and cannot whistle. She makes sure to not let her forget that. Her interests revolves around her social life, but she also enjoys talking to the librarians looking after her when her parents are on business trips, who dote the other. Daniella is adopted.

From left to right: Owl || Reginald || ??? || Narro || Dawn

Above are the supporting characters under eighteen! Just a note about the character portraits: they're not entirely accurate, as there are certain specific details that are absent in several, but they're close enough, especially when it comes to physical appearance age. The middle pictured character makes a cameo and doesn't reveal a name, but she is important and her first appearance and what she does makes a huge impact later. One of the characters doesn't look their age, at all. I dare you all to guess who this person is! If you do chose the character correctly, you will either be rewarded ten points towards your house cup or a virtual share over breakfast foods. They're all important people who I may be brainstorming painful ways for their death, at the moment. I can't include the adults, as finding adult photos on Pinterest is such a gruesome task.

Other things you should probably know about my novel:

// The original idea all originates down to a dream I had as a child, a sleeping dream, and out of all of my dreams, that's the most memorable one: swimming with huge fishes, suffocating under the heaviness of lava air, ball room dances with those dressed in the 1700s-- all of these were only merely landscapes compared to what I remember from this. I just remember waking up, thinking, "Wow." My mind slowly wandered away from the thought of the dream, as it was one of those things you just can't talk about or its novelty just wears off. Later, I was greeted with a slap with four characters that had ties to this world my brain dreamed of and I just knew then, this was something worth looking into, something worth uncovering.

// Relationships? Yes! But how do you know whether I'm referring to platonic or romantic? Personally, I view the series to start in the group between MG and YA, until around the third book, where it has the potential of morphing into full YA. My original plans for the novel had little to do with romance, anyways. It still does not. That doesn't mean there won't be any. If there is, it will be brief, but the journey getting to the endgame will be painful. There won't be a love triangle... quadrilateral... concave polygon thingy applicable between all four. My brain would murder me trying to get everything straight.

// This somewhat involves the topic at the top: I finally understand why authors tend to break so many people's hearts, because besides the top point above, there is also the topic of character deaths. This is not something which will be shied away from. A lot of characters will die-- I've told my brother how many, and he pretty much exclaimed out, "That's too much. You'll only have this many people by the end!" Much character development comes from certain deaths, how the characters each value life which passes, what sacrifice entails, and what balance ultimately means. I have a huge Ziploc bag of unopened paper towels that remain unused-- if you need a box of tissues, ask me for some, and if you think you need more, I can teach you how to make a paper tissue box holder next to your bedside. Afterwards, you can bedazzle or pour glitter all over.


A somewhat bit of a surprise for you: it's taken me such a long time to decide how I will post this, but I've created a Google Docs document with four collective snippets from the novel for you to read-- two serious, and the other two focusing more on the interaction between two of the characters. There are many parts of the story I could have chosen parts from, but these are some that reveal only little of the plot. When you have friends who love to playfully banter with you, it gets into your system.


My plans as for right now, in regards to the novel? I'm letting my novel rest for about an entire month, or maybe past my birthday, in late September, before embarking on the editing stage. I'm kind of worried I'm printing out nearly 150 sheets of paper. There are two friends who I've been meaning to work on separate collaboratives lately: one is a sci-fi fantasy hybrid, while the other is a contemporary novel. I should be contacting them over the month. I'll probably also be focusing reading my annual reading competition books. There's also a chance I'll be looking for beta readers for the future, writing a monthly post series about my WIPs, and creating, possibly, a little blogging writing circle where we end up challenging one another to write a new piece every month with a different theme and form. Sounds fun, right? If you're interested in either and we get enough people for the second, comment below!

If you have any last minute comments, leave them down below! As for now, well, I'm just going to sign out of the post and maybe drop the pen, just signifying my rest on the novel, pun not intended.

Okay, so technically I half of my novel on paper and the other half on my phone while finally typing it within the laptop copy, but to say, "Drop the LAPTOP! Boom swiss twizzle sizzle," it's not entirely... convetional.

...Drop the pen. Boom.

40 comments:

  1. CONGRATULATIONS! 5 drafts is incredible. I have no idea how you do it. thats a long time. keep at it.
    your novel sounds lovely :)

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    1. Hi, Faith! Thank you. Writing can often feel super taxing and discouraging, but really, it takes a lot of determination and passion to keep things going. Pretty much sums up how I survived these past couple of years.

      xoxo Morning

      P.S. I saw your post directed to girls and seriously, that's got to be one of my favorite posts of this year. <3

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  2. THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!! I'm so thrilled for you- five drafts is incredible! I love your work, and if you ever need a beta reader...;)

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    1. IT IS SUPER EXCITING!!! I've literally been fangirling before school (no, both of us start this Monday and I know we're both just crying). I'll definitely ask you to beta read I the future, though said "future" will probably land six to eight months from now. xD

      xoxo Morning

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  3. CONGRATULATIONS MORNING THIS IS SO GREAT. 5 freaking drafts? That's insane, I'm so proud of you wow. I WANT TO READ THIS SO BAD, so *nudge* *poke* if you ever need a beta reader, i'd totally be willing *nudges*

    I already love sam because I fall in love with those type of characters oh my. Also those snippets are lovely and your pinterest board is magical, i love it. GAH I LOVE IT ALL. ok i'll stop now.

    ~Noor

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    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH NOOR. Five drafts can be so tiring-- I wish I told my younger self that each chapter does not have to have over 10k in word length, because at that rate, an epic would have been procured rather than a novel. I'm so asking you to beta read!

      Also, SAM YES. All four protagonists I consider to be little fluff balls / strawberries, but I just love Sam's character development. He initially dislikes Christina (he's just like this guy who builds up walls around himself) but as the series goes on, there's some parallel between the two and the relationship the two have is just so special LIKE I PRACTICALLY QUIVER THINKING ABOUT IT BECAUSE MY TWO LITTLE FLUFFIES ARE JUST ADORABLE. Legit *adorable*.

      If you think the Pinterest board is great, you should see the Spotify soundtrack for the entire series. It's literally bawl-worthy, from the heart wrenching cello moans to the frivolous beat of the drum slowly ascending-- I've already said too much. xD

      xoxo Morning

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    2. SPOTIFY SOUNDTRACK SIGN ME UPPPP.

      also i added you to my NEW AND IMPROVED friends page :D

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    3. AHHH OKAYYYYY I won't post it for about another three months-- there are only ten songs and it's not enough to encompass the main things that will occur in the series.

      AND AHHHH YAY THANK YOU & LOVE YOU <3 <3 <3

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  4. I want to reaaadd ittttttttttt ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

    Gah, it's so great that you've gotten so far on your book!

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    1. YES BECCA YESSS. You know, it'd be super cool if either one of us gets published and goes on a book tour where the other lives, so we may bond over coffees hope and building book forts at the bookstore. Sounds like a good plan? ^.^

      I've gotten so far rewriting, but once again, the stage I dread-- the editing stage. *shudders*

      xoxo Morning

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  5. Oh congratulations Morning! 5 drafts?? Incredible. I'm already in love with your story. Your characters seem so realistic and amazing. If you ever need a beta reader, I'm right here. ;)

    anna | annaish

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    1. Thank you, Anna! It's always been important to lay out the characters of a story-- for me, I see that their internal conflict(s) can often affect how they view and deal with the external, so crafting realistic characters is a huge must. I know that YA fantasy is up your ally lane, and I also know I can count on you to beta read! :D I'll take up on that offer!

      xoxo Morning

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  6. So excited for you! This is seriously something so wonderful hay I hope to do someday.

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    1. VANESSA YES. If you ever decide to go full-on tackling the novel process and need someone to beta read or need advice or anything of that sort, don't be shy to ask! ;D

      xoxo Morning

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  7. Congratulations!! Wow, five drafts!?!?!
    Your characters sound so amazing and well developed, just the sort of characters I would enjoy reading about.

    I'm just waiting for the day when I see your books in Barnes and Nobles :-)

    I would love to read it, like Anna and Noor, if you ever need a beta reader, I'd love to :-)

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    1. Yes, five drafts! It's a long process, but hey, many authors have taken years to merely outline their series, so it's all good. ^.^ I'm glad to hear that you think the characters are well-developed-- sadly, they don't spend much time in the "real" world, our world featuring television sets and stuff. It's an entirely new setting, and to tackle that with the characters is an entirely different dynamic altogether.

      I'll be sure to remember to ask you to beta read once the novel is edited enough!

      xoxo Morning

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  8. I'm so happy for you. I can't wait to purchase and devour your entire series. ;)

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    1. Thank you, Rosie. I can't wait for you to fangirl over the characters, who are definitely fangirl-friendly. >.<

      xoxo Morning

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  9. So proud of you Morning! This looks like an amazing book!!

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    1. Thanks, Clara! Hopefully the series will withstand amazingness, as well. ^.^

      xoxo Morning

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  10. YESS this is so exciting! :D Oh my gosh, your collages are so pretty. o.o And five installments is a lot. I can't imagine doing anymore than two -- which is what I'm currently doing. That is already exhausting enough. xD

    I loved your snippet! :D

    // katie grace
    a writer's faith

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    1. IT IS! And don't be deceived by the simplicity of collages-- it took FOREVER to create the board. xD Five books are a lot, but I love two-parter series, as well! I'd love to read Song of the Desert and it's sequel, when it comes out. ^.^

      xoxo Morning

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  11. This looks SO good! I want to read this right freaking now! I cant believe you've put so much time into it too - I can barely do a page :)
    awesomebloggerblack.blogspot.com.au

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    1. MIIIAAA <3 Don't worry-- it is pretty hard to get into a writing schedule, but it's easy to stick to after some time.

      xoxo Morning

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  12. Woww.. Congratulations Morning oh my gosh I'm so proud of you. 5 drafts is INSANE and whilst this doesn't sound like the sort of thing I'd typically read, I already love it and am definitely expanding my comfort zone.

    You're so inspiring Morning and best of luck!!

    - www.whatlexieloves.blogspot.com

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    1. You're right-- five drafts ARE insane! Oh, right! I almost forgot that you're more into MG/YA contemporary. Not to worry though, I actually have novel projects that are right up that ally. ;)

      xoxo Morning

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  13. OH MY GOSH MORNING!! I'm so proud of you! I can't wait to pick up this novel on the shelves one day! This must've been an insane journey for you, and you've definitely inspired me to concentrate more on my novels... wow. Congratulations. And it makes me so happy that I'm not the only one that types all of her characters! I find it so helpful.

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    1. OAKSTAR!!! It's a crazy journey, but keep going-- I also cannot wait so see one of your novels on the shelves, because your writing, your poetry, is so good.

      Typing characters is so much fun! It can be somewhat difficult if you get carried away answering the questions like you'd answer them, which is one of my struggles while doing the tests for my characters, but they're worth it!

      xoxo Morning

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  14. Congrats on finishing!! Ooh, your characters sound amazing, and I'll definitely have to check out those snippets. <3

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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    1. Thanks, Ellie! :D My characters are like my little fluffballs-- I just have to protect them. They're some of my favorite characters I've crafted. xD

      xoxo Morning

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  15. Wow morning! 5 drafts is amazing, seriously well done! I'm so uber happy for you!

    - Edie
    mintyperfections.blogspot.co

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  16. FIVE DRAFTS?!?! EEEP! Woah you are such a good writer. I'm over here picking my way through my book at a snail's pace. ugh.
    BUT your snippets were so good and I love this whole thing and I WANT TO READ ITTT <3

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    1. YES, FIVE DRAFTS!!! EEEEEEPPPPP! Also, patience, m'dear. Books take a while to take formation. Don't be ashamed about moving at a snail's pace; there's also another thing that I tend to do that makes up my main excuse for taking awhile to write-- PROCRASTINATION. XD

      Thank you thank you thank you IT WOULD BE COOL IF YOU BETA'D. *coughcough*

      xoxo Morning

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  17. HOLY CRAP MORNING. This is absolutely AMAZING! I call for virtual cake, immediately.

    ~ Waverly ~

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    1. YAY! I love virtual cake. I doubt anyone would object. *blows out candles* *cuts out pieces at gives some of Waverly*

      xoxo Morning

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  18. Congratulations! It is an amazing feeling when you finish writing a novel, but also, in my experience, a little sad. You feel a little lost afterwards. You've been working on this project for so long and suddenly it's...over? You're obviously excited, though, and for good reason! It looks like you really took the time to get to know your characters and their personalities, which is awesome. I look forward to seeing your series on the shelves ;)

    Ella ★ Simply Scribbles

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    1. Thank you, Ella! I do feel a bit tired and sad that my novel is over with, for now-- I've been nervous about returning to it in roughly three weeks and looking at all of the plot holes and crutch words used. *cringes* And yes, yes-- knowing how your characters are and how they act, that's the precipice of it all. xD

      xoxo Morning

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  19. Hey Morning,
    I'm Crystal, new to your blog and I absolutely adore it! And I don't give out compliments like that loosely.
    You are amazing, a whole book of 5 drafts holy guacamole and assorted condiments wow! You are obviously super modivated and I should take a page from your book (pun definitely intended!)
    You go girl, you go go go!
    This story sounds right up my alley! I read a lot of fantasy/science fiction and would definitely be a beta reader if you need one :)
    Witty banter! Superpowers! Character development! Yes please!! :D
    I dabble in writing (you basically need it i every career path and creative writing is such fun!) although my style is more short and detailed and I never end up finishing novels. But I love to experiment and would DEFINITELY be interested in a writers group.

    -Crystal!
    You're Just Right

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    1. Hi, Crystal! It's nice to meet you! Welcome to Ups & Downs!

      "5 drafts of holy guacamole and assorted condiments"-- you did NOT just compare my novel to food. xD But don't stop with food compliments, because they are just great!

      That's great that you're interested! I am looking for beta readers, so if I need a beta reader (or a writer's critique group), I'll let you know! Witty banner is SO IMPORTANT. Although I wouldn't exactly describe my characters to have superpowers-- it's more that they have abilities. I'll go check out your blog after I finish my AP homework!

      xoxo Morning

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Hi there, reader! Thank you so, so much for having time to read my posts and comment; I really appreciate it, and I promise I will try to reply back! I'd also love it if you would follow my blog too and spread the word; that would make my day. :D Have a great day!

Stay strong and wonderful!
xoxo Abigail Lennah