Know the Novel: Part 2 Within the Writing of Southern Cross

So…I disappeared for a bit, didn’t I? Well, a lot has happened in the past three weeks and I don’t really want to disclose it all here, but suffice to say that life went mad and NaNoWriMo has gone down the train because apparently personal tragedy must always strike during the month when all I’m trying to do is write.

Anyway, I thought I’d duck in at the end of the month to do the next part of Christine Smith’s Know the Novel Link up. Even though I’ve given up on NaNoWriMo I’m still more than happy to chat about my current project, Southern Cross.

1. How’s the Writing going overall?

You’ve had the low down on this already. I got to 11,000 words and then life struck and I’ve only written 1,000 words since then.

So, Not great but that’s how life is sometimes.

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

Ooh… I’ve loved writing about Charlotte! She was a surprise favourite character for me and she’s just been so much fun. She’s a nurse and I have so much respect for the WW1 nurses and everything they went through and I love not only Charlotte but also all the research on nurses that I’ve done for her chapters.

3. What do you think of your character’s at this point? Who is your favourite to write?

I just answered this! I love Charlotte. I also like Curt and Andrew and Charlotte’s “boyfriend”, Sydney Black. They’re all fun!

4. Has your novel surprised you in any way?

Not really? I can’t think of anything at the moment.

5. Have you come across any problem areas?

I’m having real trouble moving from the set up into the actual story. It’s just dragging a lot and also I didn’t write much of an outline so all the pacing is out of whack. Those are my problem areas at the moment.

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

Being able to use literally years worth of knowledge and research about the war has been hugely rewarding. I hope I’m doing it at least a sliver of justice. Definitely finishing it and being able to hone the information and fact into a readable, believable and entertaining story will be a huge victory for me.

7. If you were transported into your novel and became any of your characters, which one do you think you’d be? Would you have taken any different actions than they have?

Hmmm…this one’s difficult. I’m a lot like most of my characters, but if I just randomly became one, it would probably be Amy. Amy and I have a different approach to life, though we’re both pretty humorous (I think?) And self-depreciating with a healthy disregard for authority unless they’ve earned our respect. If I was Amy I’d probably be doing even more worrying than she is at the moment.

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

First paragraph:


A few snippets:





9. Share an interesting tidbit about the Writing process this far! (For example, have you made any hilarious typos? Derailed from your outline? Killed a character? Changed projects entirely? Anything you want to share)

I decided to change the format, tense and person of my story 11,000 words in, just on a whim. Originally, I was writing in first person present tense, and then I decided to change to third person past tense. I also decided to make letters from the boys who these girls love–Amy’s brother, Curt, Charlotte’s brother, Andrew and Pearl’s friend, Frank–the opening for the chapters. I like this format and it promises to be fun.

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 another drink) consumed? Do you light candles? Play music? Get distracted by social media? Tell all!

I haven’t really had any normal writing days. But on a general normal writing day for a generic novel, I’ll procrastinate for some time, then finally drag myself to my desk, light one of my scented candles and write for ages. Or at least spend ages on the computer 😛 I’ve had some great word wars with the folks at Story Embers too! Those were great fun.

What about you guys? How did NaNoWriMo go for you? Did you win? How’s your novel going?

6 thoughts on “Know the Novel: Part 2 Within the Writing of Southern Cross

  1. I’m so sorry to hear that things have been rough on you in the last month! I hope things start to look up soon and I’ll be praying for you!
    Your novel sounds amazing, as usual. I love the snippets and the clear voices you’ve given to your characters! I can just tell that it’s going to be absolutely phenomenal! It definitely looks like all the research you’ve done over the years is paying off; it really is amazing how far research can carry you. While I did get to 50,000 words this November, I quickly realized that I’m in dire need of more research but on the plus side, I know what to tackle when I go into subsequent drafts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. THOSE SNIPPETS OH MY HEART. “Comforting a dying Hun, as you do.” I can’t wait to hear more about this!! It’s gonna be amazing!
    Sorry to hear about y’all’s rough month. 😔 *sends hug*

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Chelsea, I hate to hear November was so hard for you again. ❤ Prayers, friend!

    Your snippets are all beautiful. I love Curt already (and can tell I'll love all the boys, for that matter). Charlotte seems wonderful, too–the bit about the kiss may be my favorite snippet. And the idea of including the boys' letters? Yes please.

    Liked by 1 person

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