NaNoWriMo: Week One (+ Beautiful Books Link-Up!)

ONE week down of NaNoWriMo, three more to go… How is everyone going!? As I draft this post, I’ve reached 23k. So far, I’m SUPER pleased with my progress. I admit, it was a slow start for me—I think about 2k words on the first day—but after that, as I fell more in tune with my WIP, everything has been going much smoother (I mean…as smooth as writing can ever be.) I admit: part of my brain is still, even days later, stuck in my last WIP, but the more I write, the easier it is to open the Word Doc. and dive in straight away. In my last post, I mentioned that I would continue to share some of the music from my playlist that I’ve been using as inspiration … so this week’s is “Flames of Glory” by Really Slow Motion. ❤

I absolutely love the slow-build of this song, and how it’s full of so much hope and determination…and it REALLY reminds me of my protagonist. Whenever I’m feeling unsure in this MS, this is the song I go back to for inspiration.

bb-redone1So today, I’m linking up with Cait & Sky for the “Beautiful Books” link-up. I’m SUPER excited for this, because it fits perfectly in with my first NaNoWriMo weekly update.

(P.S. the lovely & kind & amazing Cait just recently announced her book deal and I am so excited. Go check it out!!)

1. Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

Sort of talked about above, but well! I haven’t yet reached the I-hate-you stage of this WIP and words are coming fairly easily.

2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

I mentioned that I didn’t intend to share anything from this rough-rough-rough draft, but here we go. (FYI: this isn’t the first paragraph/sentence. Just something from this draft I think is somewhat passable.)


3. Who’s your current favorite character in your novel?

My favorite character will ALWAYS be my protagonist. She’s full of light, and hope, and she’s 100% willing to fight for what she believes in, and for herself and her sisters.

4. What do you love about your novel so far?

This is so, so hard to choose. Because so far, I love everything about my novel. I love the bond shared between the three sisters; I love the concept of my Fae and griffins; I love the dangerous and beautiful world it’s set in. World building has always been a favorite element of writing fantasy to me, and it’s been incredibly fun (…so far) to craft this world!

5. Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

Nothing that I’ve noticed so far, but oh my god, I just know that when I go through to revise/edit there will be so many of them. My last WIP (which I completed just before NaNoWriMo begun), was written in third person, whereas I chose first for my NaNo project. So, as my brain is still sort of in editing mode from my last WIP, I’ve been making embarrassingly stupid third/first person POV errors, and accidentally switching between them. (It’s SO not going to be fun correcting them. Gah.)

6. What is your favorite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?

It’s sort of cheating if I say “all of it”…but it’s true! I’ve been toying with this concept for just about a year now…so it’s all pouring out of me. Like I mentioned in my NaNo prep post, I’m not a huge planner, but so many scenes, characters, and settings have slowly been unfurling in my mind for what feels like forever. Beginnings are always challenging to write (have I started in the right place? Is it engaging enough? Is it easy enough to understand with a whole-new fantasy world setting?), so I sort of love them for that. I already know this beginning will undergo a whole lot of revision by the time I’m done with it. The middle is fun, too. For a lot of writers this is where the plot sags, but honestly, I see it as an opportunity to introduce new places and people, and plant the seeds for the ending scenes. The ending is always so much fun to write. When I write my endings, I’ll usually write them all in one sitting…because they’re scenes/ideas/concepts that I’ve been DYING to get out the entire time.

7. What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!

Coffee. So much coffee. Too much coffee. I love to have a drink around me when I write (and edit.) But if it’s not coffee, then definitely tea. Right now I’m obsessing over a cranberry and pomegranate (I drunk SO much of this when I revised MIDNIGHT QUEEN… As it’s partly inspired by Hades & Persephone, it seemed fitting) & strawberry, loganberry, and raspberry tea. I don’t often eat while writing—a little too distracting—but music is a must. As is silence. I can write anytime, but I prefer nighttime when it’s quieter. Also…I am not a morning person. At all. And if you want to see a picture of my writing space, my first ever post on this blog was about that!

8. How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone?

A little bit of both, I guess. It’s so nice to have a writing group to cheer you on, and writing sprints have definitely helped to increase my word count this week, but at the end of the day, drafting is often a solitary thing. I love to be completely, utterly wrapped up in my project, and I can only do that alone.

9. What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?

Music. My Pinterest boards (which I’m borderline obsessed with.) Coffee…or tea. And also: those handful of scenes that I’ve been dying to write. They give me a goal to reach for—something in the WIP to look forward to even when writing becomes like pulling teeth.

10. What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?

  2. Take a break. Go for a walk & immerse yourself in nature, bake some cookies, write a blog post. Some space from your WIP will give you clarity, and might be enough to reignite your passion for it.
  3. Don’t freak out if you’re behind with your NaNoWriMo word count. Even if you don’t win, it doesn’t matter. Whether you write 100, 1000, or 10,000 words this month—it’s ALL good progress.

Bring on week two! How are you all faring? Any tips for when writing gets difficult? What’s your favorite thing about your WIP right now?

Currently reading: Nothing right now! Taking a tiny break during NaNoWriMo.

Currently listening to: “…Ready for It?” by Taylor Swift.

9 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo: Week One (+ Beautiful Books Link-Up!)

  1. Rebeccah @ The Pixie Chronicles says:

    Omg, 2k words a day is slow for you? Here I thought I was doing good since that’s what I’m averaging! But I guess if you’re already at 23k that puts things into perspective 😉 I’m happy all your plans are unfolding for you so perfectly, I love the small snippet you shared! Hopefully, you’ll share more once the month is over. Best of luck on week two!


    • karaterzis says:

      I’m a pretty quick drafter…on productive days, anyway (some days I just don’t write a THING.) And you ARE doing good! That’s almost 400 words more than the daily word count requirements! Thank you so much—I was SUPER nervous sharing that snippet as this draft is soooo rough. Best of luck to you too! 💕


  2. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    I love your pieces of advice there! SO true. And that tea actually sounds freaking delicious even though I don’t generally drink tea apart from chai.😂 Also I adore your excerpt there and yaaas for writing about sisters! I just finished editing my wildly feminist fantasy with epic sisters (and I legit just put a woman in EVERY position ever and mentioned men like…hardly ever, just because ha @ all those fantasy were there are no women😂) ANYWAY. I’m so happy it’s going really well for you! I always find the first chapters to be the hardest. I love writing middles. 😍



    • karaterzis says:

      Thank you!!! And yes…that tea IS delicious. It’s literally getting me through NaNoWriMo to be honest (I had, like, three cups yesterday.) And OMG YES. I 100% approve of putting women in positions of power!! 💪 💪 💪 First pages ARE difficult. These ones were so tricky for me, whereas in my last WIP they just came so incredibly easy! I just KNOW this book is going to need a ton of revision. Sigh.


  3. Kate says:

    I just listened to “Flames of Glory” while reading that snippet and ohmigosh, I can FEEL IT. It’s like I’m right there. Is that weird?
    Best of luck on the rest of the month! 🙂


  4. Chelsea R. H. says:

    I LOVE stories about sisters, or brothers, or brothers and sister. I feel like sibling stories and relationships have been abandoned of late for romances? But why??? they make great stories, every bit as intense and relatable as romances.
    That snippet is amazing too. I like how powerful it feels. 😀 Good luck with Nano!


    • karaterzis says:

      Yes, I completely agree! The family relationships in this WIP are super important. As much as I do love the romance in the book I’m writing, I ADORE the relationship between my sisters. ❤ And thank you so much!


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