Know the Novel Linkup Part 2: Guess What Faith is Writing Now? (Hint: It's NOT Pentegreens)

by - November 16, 2018

Hey, people! Today I return to you with Part 2 of the Know the Novel linkup! However, there's a twist on this post: I'm not blogging about the Pentegreens like I said I would be in the last Know the Novel linkup post. *winks* No, this post and even my NaNo novel are not related to Esma, Rishatta, Bernathel, or any of the other Pentegreen characters. I changed my mind last minute about my novel. 

Now, I'm writing my Dystopian futuristic Christian novel, Watched.

[all pics in this post are from Pinterest, and all rights to their owners and original creators. I own none of them.]

Since y'all don't know much about Watched, here's a synopsis, and I'll also give you some ideas of the characters. More details will come in the end-of-NaNo post when I tell you ALLLLLL about the main characters and setting from this novel. 


A world at war. A nation divided. And a group of people caught in the middle...

America's war with the rest of the world has dragged on for nearly a decade, and soldiers willing to fight grow scarce. After doing away with the draft nearly thirty years ago, it becomes clear that if homeland defense is to be maintained, more people must be sent to the front.

It's a perfect way to both win a war and deal with the Christian problem.

Mel Alltote wants nothing more than to live her life for Jesus and escape the boy at her school who seems hell-bent on torturing her. But when the new edicts put not only her but her family into unthinkable danger, she must make a choice: does she stand for Jesus, or does she run for him?

With the help of Jeannie, her relentlessly optimistic best friend; Bryce, the genius boy torn between his promise of a future and his faith; Opal, Mel's quirky and fierce older sister; and Lucas Burns, the school's resident heartthrob, she may just be able to make it out of here. But the government is closing in.

And soon, it may be too late.

Decent synopsis? Idk. But hopefully it's okay xD Now that this is out of the way, let's move on to the actual questions, brought to you by Christine Smith @Musings of an Elf.


1. How's the writing going?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Oh gosh.
[insert sarcastic hysterical laughing gif here]

I've been so insanely busy for the entire month of November. At the time I'm writing this, I'm not even at 12k yet. I haven't hit 15k. I've written less than a thousand words per day if you divide it up. So...word count wise I'm doing horribly.

But story wise?

This is a story I love, y'all, and it's really going well. I'm learning my characters in a way I haven't for a while, and it feels amazing to be in our world, writing about a non-Pentegreen cast of characters. Don't get me wrong--I adore Esma, Rishatta, Kariana, Derek, Anna, and all the other crazy kids in the Pentegreen series. And yet...I'm so glad to work with different crazy kids. I needed a break after almost a full year with them.

These characters are the BEST.

2. What's been the most fun aspect of writing this book so far?

Surprisingly enough, it's the romance.

See, I've written plenty of other books with romance in the past. However, in the Pentegreen series, the romance is either on the back burner or so chock-full of spoilers that no one knows how it goes except me and my best friend. :P (and no, you're not going to get spoilers. Sorry-not-sorry.) But in this book, for some reason, the romance has ended up being the main focus, which I wasn't exactly planning but which is still fun. My hero is the first attempt at a "heart throb" character I've ever written, and Mel, my main character, is just such a feisty and irritable character than I can't help loving her. They don't get along very well at the moment, but...they're getting there. They're working on it. *looks up and whistles innocently* 

3. Has your novel surprised you in any way?

It's changed so much since the last draft that it's barely recognizable as the same story. 

One character that I love and have always loved has been proving himself unnecessary and may end up cut from the final draft unless I can find some better use for him *cries* 

I'm barely writing half the words I'd expected to be writing

The characters are taking this plot places I had no clue it was going to go

Overall, yeah. My novel is surprising me like crazy. Everything about it is a surprise. 

Go figure. 

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

I'm LOVING my characters. 

I have a 100% supportive and loving girl-girl friendship going on in this book, where Mel and her best friend Jeannie get along, hang out whenever they can, pray together, watch the news together, and may or may not be involved in covert work together. Don't get me wrong, I try to have girl-girl friendships in all my books, but in the Pentegreen series we'll just say that Esma and Kariana's relationship is...tumultuous, to say the least. xD 

Then there's all the sibling relationships. Mel  has a little brother named Win and an older sister named Opal, both some of the more distinctive characters I've created if I do say so myself, and they all get along like real siblings and alternate between death threats and crying in each other's arms and I love them all. My precious bbys. 

My favorite character? Well. As I mentioned above, it's been nice to write from the POV of someone not named Esma, and Mel is also writing from first-person, present-tense, which I haven't done in decades probably, so that's super fun. But I'm also loving Lucas, because the Hot Boy. xD (And Jeannie's pretty great too. I'm a sucker for Manic Pixie Dream Girls, as well as optimist characters, and Jeannie is both.) 

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?

I'd probably become Mel, because she's the fearful and uncertain one who has to contend right up front with the darkness out to get her. I try to make her faith struggles and her life reflect struggles I've had in mine. 

Even so, she's more fearless than I am. So...I'd probably be way more paranoid even then my poor sweet Mel. 

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

Here is my first line: 
For some, running late might be an inconvenience, little more. Some people are allergic to running late, not wanting to offend people. Others are more lenient and show up late to everything— work, school, family meals, dates, and everything else. I’m not one of those people, and I’m also not merely allergic to running late.
No, for me running late could be deadly.
And let's see if I can find a couple more snippets (I'll be posting a wrap-up post before too long featuring all the snippets, but I'll try and find a couple others now ;))
“Excuse me, babe, is this seat taken?”
I don’t look up. It’s a guy’s voice, one I don’t recognize. He’s probably not talking to me anyway— no guy in their right mind would call me “babe.”
“Hey.” A finger taps my shoulder. “The seat next to you. Is. It. Taken.”
I lift my head up slowly, swiping at my red and swollen eyes as I look. I blink several times, glance away, and look back, just to make sure I’m not dreaming.
It’s a new boy.
And this one: 
Fifty years ago they said there would soon be flying cars, vehicles that could lift you up into the air and fly you around with just the touch of a button. Like airplanes, but owned privately. Only they never invented them. The Third World War and the Depression of 2035 took care of that. Any money America had went in the toilet, and we had to declare bankruptcy as a nation. Not even private companies had enough to live off of, and the corporations that exist now are completely different than the old ones.

Except for KFC. Dad says KFC will never die.

7. Have you come across any problem areas?

The world-building, probably: There's been a lot of development as I go along, and that makes it difficult for me to determine exactly how my story will go. There's also the fact that I'm pantsing this book. It's been a while since I've straight-out pantsed a novel (yes, I have some idea of where I'm going and what I'm doing, but I haven't done it in a while). And yeah, that feels good...but it's also somewhat stressful xD 

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

The fact that I've gotten through the first 15k of a totally pantsed novel! The fact that I've written 15k at all! I'm so proud that, even with my insane schedule, I've pulled this off. It's been incredible. :D 

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

No, actually! Not yet, that is. Not even any side characters. I tend to save that for the end, when it happens, and then kill everyone in a line. *shifty side eyes* This doesn't happen multiple times in the Pentegreen series, definitely not...

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!

There is no normal writing day. Everything is death and decay and writing frantically at 10:30 at night after work and trying to multitask writing, homework, and watching Doctor Who. I'm doing my best, y'all. I blast my Spotify as loud as I can, sit at my desk, and bang out as many words as I can before I simply can't stay awake anymore. Usually that's about 1,000 words. I know--I'm pathetic xD 

So that's that! I hope you enjoyed this little look at my current WIP, as welll as the glimpse at what NaNoWriMo looks like for me this year xD How's your NaNo going? Are you more successful word-wise than me? Talk to me in the comments! 

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  1. KFC WILL NEVER DIE. NEVER. XD honestly, that little quote right there made my day.

    And ugh, yes, world-building just KILLS you and your word count......😬

    Great post! I loved learned more about Watched and how your NaNo's going!

    1. I'm so glad! I pulled that out at eleven o'clock at night and I'm really glad it actually turned out funny xD

      And yes, it so totally does. It's just so HARD. :P

      Thanks, Nicole! I appreciate your reading it! :D


  3. So I saw you posted and I was like "OOOHH, it's probably more about Pentegreens!" and then the title said "Hint: it's NOT about Pentegreens" and I also had a heart attack I clicked on the post so fast xD. More Faith stories! And Watched sounds SO GOOD, I desperately want to know more ;D

    1. Ahahahaha I thought I'd be mean by saying that xD

      Thank you!!!! I can't wait to tell more ;)

  4. Where are my Pentegreens?????


    KFC will never die

    *chokes on drink*

    That is brilliant. I love it.

    I've been working on the "I am the Doctor" theme on the piano. It's been great, but now I've got Doctor Who in my head constantly. GERONIMO

    1. Need I add that this book sounds super really cool and I can't wait to read it and the characters sound amazing and I really love deep friend (not romantic) relationships in books????

    2. They' having adventures. *huge fake smile* Also probably dying, but that's beside the point.

      *cackles* I'm so glaaaaad...

      And ooh that theme is so awesome. The show is awesome. All things Whovian are awesome.

      THANK YOUUU! I mean there's still plenty of romance in this book but I also love lots of friendships and characters and their dynamics are like my favorite thing to write ;)

      Thank you for reading!!!!

  5. Eeeeep!!!! This story looks SO GOOD. I'm so excited!!!! Those snippets were so good, I LOVE THE SNARK! *is a sucker for dystopians* And I think you're actually doing really great as far as your word count. You're doing better than I did for NaNo last year and League of Thieves still got written even if it took a few months extra ;P

    I totally get what you mean about taking a break from other characters. As much as I love the squad in My Time in Amar- Easton, Chelsea, Clint, and Bobby- it has also been so nice to step away from them and get to know other people like Dante and Alicia (EUGENE!), and Cedric and Elisabeth (THE DWARFS!), Jaye and Ravven (RIAGAN!), and Evona and Radmir (SAHIR!)

    As you well know, I'm working on Of Gold and Iron for NaNo this year and it's actually going really well. I'm keeping up with my schedule and while some days I lag behind, others I do even better than expected. I'm trying to finish the story this month and as far as word count wise I think I will make it. Story plot wise... well, hmm maybe I should pick things up a little bit. Especially since for this story I actually have a maximum and 120k is coming up fast lest than 40k to go *gulps*

    I really need to do one of these linkups some day and stop forgetting about it... *grumbles at self*

    1. Thank you! I'm glad the snippets were good, I agonized a lot over which ones to include :'D And aww, thanks, I'm actually up to 22k now and feeling way better about it.

      Our first charry squads are always so precious, but moving on and hanging out with other ones is so valuable xD Your characters are always the best, too. I love them all.

      That's really awesome! And you BETTER cap that story at 120k, haha. I believe in you--you've got this!

      Yes you do *meaningful smirk*

  6. Aaahhhhhh! I WAS SO HAPPY TO SEE THIS. Oh my goodness. OH MY GOODNESS. This story is just amazing all the way around. *FANGIRLS*

    I'm so sorry it's been hard to find time to get the words in this month, but, girl, GIRL. This all looks so well thought out and amazing and I already love the characters (I love manic pixie dream girls toooo!) and the SNIPPETS. If I picked up a book and read that first line, I'd be buying it SO FAST. And the KFC line gave me life. XD IT IS SO WELL WRITTEN. How are you getting such beautiful words in??? My NaNo is a MESS. YOU HAVE SKILLZ. And you're pantsing all this??? Wow. It seriously looks so put together and sounds like it's coming along magnificently.

    I just LOVED hearing about this!!! Can't wait for more snippets! :D Thanks for joining in the linkup! I do hope the rest of NaNo treats you well. <333

    1. AGH THIS REACTION. I'm grinning like the Cheshire cat tbh. :D

      THANK YOU CHRISTINE. I DON'T EVEN KNOW ANYMORE OKAY? I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING. Most of my book is such a disaster and then little gems like that pop up and I'm not sure how I did it. I don't know, okay? XD

      But THANK YOU AGAIN and I hope the same for you! Thanks for reading <3


    Also, the KFC comment was so legit, you have no idea.

    Ugh, I love that you’re combining Christian and Dystopian. Why are those genres never combined? This needs to change and who better to start that change then you??


    1. HOPEFULLY SOMEDAY! It's still very much a first draft, lol.

      Oh, I know, believe me. xD

      I know! They're genres who should be combined more often--I mean, it's so sensical. And aww, thanks <3


  8. Ooh, cool!!! I love your story!!! And YES for girl-girl relationships!!! We need more of those. :-D

  9. "Dad says KFC will never die." I know this will be my favorite line when this is published. This is hilarious. When you go back to edit DO NOT DELETE THIS LINE. XD XD XD

    I love the vibe of this book and when you are ready for betas, let me know. I do not care how busy I am because I need this book in my life. XD XD <3 <3 Keep up the awesome work, girl!!


      Thank you! I will definitely let you know :) Thanks so much.

  10. This story sounds awesome! The KFC line got me, that's hilarious. Your snippets are so good, I don't even think I have a salvageable snippet from my mess of words. Good job!

  11. "Except for KFC. Dad says KFC will never die."


      Thanks for reading!

  12. Your story has such an interesting concept! I'd be super interested to read it. And your characters all look awesome, especially Mel.

    "Except for KFC. Dad says KFC will never die." I LOVE THIS OKAY.

    I'm kind of going the opposite direction as you this NaNo -- I'm diving back into one of my oldest storyworlds and revisiting some of my oldest characters. It's been a lot of fun rediscovering their personalities and quirks and writing about them again!

    Congrats on your 15k, and good luck with finishing out the month!

    Eleanor | My Know the Novel Post

  13. "Dad says KFC will never die." LOL, that's awesome.

    Sounds like an interesting story! I'm definitely curious to read more!



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