In Which You, Readers, Learn About My Current WIP {Know the Novel Linkup, Part 1 + my writing goals}

This whole month, my heart has been singing, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” (Thank you, L.M. Montgomery, for that iconic quote!) It’s been a beautiful month in my state, full of weather both warm and crisp, days of both sun and rain. September through December are my absolute favorite months of the year; I’m beyond thrilled to be wearing sweatshirts and jeans again, to be watching oranges and reds slowly paint the leaves. Basically, these are the perfect months for writing.

So, since I’m in the mood for writing this season, what better way to kick off the next month than by participating in a writing linkup?

I haven’t shared much about my writing here, but this month, I am participating in the beautiful Christine Smith’s Know the Novel linkup! (You can read more about it here!) Christine is one of my favorite people on the Internet; she really does scatter sparkling beams of sunshine wherever she goes. She’s such an encouragement and inspiration to me, and I’m blessed to know her. 🙂

Christine has been hosting this linkup for the past three years, and while I’ve absolutely loved reading everyone’s posts, I’ve never been able to participate myself. Until now.

I’m making this a sort of joint “Know the Novel” and “October/November writing goals” post, and I’m using this as the extra motivational push I need to get going on my current WIP. I’m counting on you all to keep me accountable. 😉

So.

Without further ado…

INTRODUCING…

TIME’S TRAVEL’S DONE!

Over the past few months, this little time travel story of mine has been burgeoning into something much bigger than I’d originally planned. (Plot bunnies tend to do that, don’t they?) Now it’s going to be at least a novella. Probably a short novel.


1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?

I was browsing Pinterest a few months ago and saw a writing prompt that immediately grabbed my interest. Almost instantly, Tom Kingston leapt into my imagination with a smirk and a dramatic bow, followed closely by Alessandro rolling his eyes at his companion.

It was definitely one of those things that sparked my imagination more than any other writing prompts I’d seen recently, but I didn’t know how far that initial spark would go.

I saved the prompt to my “Writing Prompts” board, fully expecting it to be one of those things that’s an, “Oh, that’s cool! I should save it in case I ever need to visit that enormous black hole of a board for another story idea.” But it didn’t let go of my interest, and I found myself constantly thinking about it, my imagination creating my own spin on the prompt.

The idea has morphed over the months and isn’t that much like the prompt anymore, but it gave me a jumpstart on an idea that I wholeheartedly love!

2. Share a blurb (or just an overall summary if you’d prefer)!

Ha. Ha. Ahahaha. It is a truth personally acknowledged that Amelie despises writing blurbs. (I do think blurbing is one of the universally abhorred elements of writing. I have yet to meet a writer friend who enjoys writing synopses for his or her own writing.)

Very, very rough blurb to follow, with the full disclaimer that anything within is subject to change. (I have found these first-person blurbs to be slightly easier for me to write, so that’s what I’m going with for now.)

My name is Tom Kingston, and I’m a time-traveler. An independent operative, if you will. I’m a consultant for the TAUKD, but I mostly work alone. I’ve been alone most of my life. It’s better that way. No one really notices me, except for Maisy, and I don’t draw attention to myself.

Except for the time I ran into a certain reclusive Italian who likes to hang around outside the supermarket. Actually, I ran into him twice that day. And one of those times was over five hundred years ago.

Now I’ve been roped into working with a grumpy immortal bloke, my bookish librarian’s assistant friend, and an oddly terrifying librarian who can wield her tongue, a book, and a cudgel with equal dexterity. Not to mention dodging the black-clad Scottish bloke who’s chasing us around.

Who knew that time monsters and an ancient hourglass could cause this much trouble.

-Extremely cringey and rough synopsis-thing for Time’s Travel’s Done

Well. There you go. Very preliminary blurb-summary-thing.

3. Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?

Well, I’ve been an Anglophile for quite a while (it may or may not be partly due to the fact that J.R.R. Tolkien is my favorite author).

As Tom is British, Time’s Travel’s Done is set in present-day London, and I love so much about it. The rain, the history, the red double-deckers, the rushed feel of city life…so many things!

I’m sure I’m not going to write the setting anywhere near perfectly, being a native American, but I’m having fun researching and am going to try my best!

4. Tell us about your protagonist(s).

(Fun fact: the cast of Time’s Travel’s Done consists of five people, which is actually the smallest cast I’ve ever written.)

Tom Kingston – my extroverted, lonely, wisecracking, time-traveler. Struggling to find a balance between staying under the radar and making real friends, Tom is afraid of hurting others with his special abilities. He’s also extremely lonely because, although he’s an extrovert, he can’t spend time with people as much as he wants. Tom thrives on banter, coffee, and time with people he trusts.

(I have not seen anything featuring Julian Morris, but although he’s a bit too old, he’s the closest to my mental picture of Tom. Image source.)

Alessandro Durante – my *slightly* older, introverted, grumpy, Italian immortal. Scarred from his past and lonely because of his unusual qualities, Alessandro has traveled around quite a bit and seen many unusual things due to his long life. He enjoys tea, seeks beauty in life, and has a rather dry sense of humor (which makes writing the interactions between him and Tom very fun). Also, I got very nerdy while naming him. You can figure out why if you look up the meaning of his last name. Image source.

I also have my side characters: my contemplative, book-loving girl Maisy and my fiery, one-armed librarian Hildegarde.

I love them all so much.

5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?

One of my favorite villain tropes.

The sassy, fashion-conscious villain.

Black capes, black cloats, black gloves, sleek black boots, etc. (Yes, he does like black, which is perhaps a bit cliché, but he also likes bananas.)

Kylian Hawke – my revenge-driven, hurting, fashionable, Scottish, almost-as-snarky-as-Tom character. (If you’re reading this, Hannah, I promise I didn’t name my villain after you.) It’s always hard to describe villains without giving away spoilers, but suffice it to say that Kylian is essentially a vigilante with a tragic past.

Image source.

Also, there are the Ferals, or custodes qui sunt monstra feras (Latin for “guardians who are monsters”) as they are called in books. (Of course, Tom was the one to come up with something catchy and slightly snarky to call them.) The Ferals are the aforementioned “time monsters,” or guardians of the flow of time who happen to be monsters. They’re not villains, but they are antagonists for a good portion of the story. I’d originally called them the custodem feras (which I thought meant “guardian monsters”), but I don’t think that’s the correct Latin translation. If anyone’s a Latin expert, I’d welcome your thoughts!

6. What excites you the most about this novel?

Time travel! London! Sass! Eccentricity! Relationships! I’m basically including many of my absolute FAVORITE tropes, and I am so excited. Just thinking about writing this makes me so excited.

7. Is this going to be a series? standalone? something else?

I haven’t gotten brave enough to do a series yet, so this is a standalone. I’m still not exactly sure how long it will be; I don’t think it will be quite novel-length, but I’m not locking myself into any specific word count. My goal is at least 10,000 words…but I think it’ll probably end up being much longer than that. (It was originally going to be a short story or a novelette. Yeah…that didn’t happen. Ask my family: I never end up writing short things.) I’m guessing Time’s Travel’s Done will end up being around 30,000 words or longer, though, so 30k is my goal for November.

8. Are you plotting? pantsing? plansting?

I’m mostly plotting, but I am sort of plantsing, too. I’m not doing rigid outlining, but I do need a concrete plan when writing. There are still a few story elements I’m figuring out, so I think I’m going to end up pantsing those, but I mostly have the general structure of the story down.

I used to pants every story I wrote, but I would burn myself out, write myself into a corner, and just generally never finish my projects. We’ll see if I ever go back to full-on pantsing in the future. For now, I think plantsing may be my preferred method of drafting.

9. Name a few unique elements about this story.

Well, I can name a few things that I think are fairly unique:

  • An Italian immortal
  • A villain who likes bananas (villains have favorite fruits too, right?)
  • An eccentric librarian with blue glasses and an affinity for pulling ancient weapons out of her library desk
  • I also hope Tom is fairly unique; I tried to add some paradoxical elements to his character that I haven’t really seen in wisecracking extroverts. I’ve felt like all the main characters in my previous stories were much too formulaic, but Tom is the first one who feels more lively to me.

There are also a few story elements that are new to my writing, if not writing in general: adult male main characters, an extroverted main character, and lots of banter. (I love reading banter, but I haven’t written any thus far.)

10. Share some fun “extras” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).

Ah, yes. I can deliver.

I have made one collage thus far:

Collage made using Canva, with all pictures from Pinterest. (The amount of empty brown space bothers me a little, but I didn’t have any other suitably-sized pictures to put in there. I’m not the best at making collages; hopefully it’s not too aesthetically awful on your eyes.)

The Pinterest board is partially embedded here, but you can click on it to see the actual semi-organized version:

I’ve also made a Spotify playlist of instrumental songs that remind me of my story, put me in the mood to write, or are for listening while I’m writing.

I’m experimenting with whether I can write while listening to music or not. I know for sure that I cannot listen to any kind of lyrical music while I’m trying to concentrate, but instrumental music sometimes enhances my concentration. We’ll see! I’d love it if I could write while listening to music! But if not, this playlist will at least get me pumped up for writing sessions and get my creative juices flowing. The playlist contains a lot of Epic Score soundtracks, as well as some Doctor Who, Loki, and other timey-wimey sounding songs.


Before ending this post, I wanted to take a minute to share about the writing camp I’m doing this November!

Image credit: Kenzie ~ member of the Unofficial KDWC Street Team Graphics Team

I participated in the King’s Daughters’ Writing Camp for the first time this July and absolutely loved it. If you’re a Christian girl, you should absolutely look into this 100% free, online camp; it’s such a wonderful, fun, encouraging environment. Since you set your own writing goal for the month, you could do it as a NaNoWriMo alternative, or you could do it in conjunction with NaNo.

For more information, head over to the website! KDWC encouraged me so much in both my faith and my writing, and I’m counting down the days until it starts again. (If you join, make sure to tag me and say hello! I’d love to see you there!)


For the rest of October, I’m planning to whip my outline into shape. I don’t think I’m going to end up with a super detailed outline, because I don’t want to lose my excitement over the story, but I think I’m on the right track. I know basically how I want the story to end, and I know a lot of other things I want to have happen. I may even be able to start writing early (meaning before November starts). Come November, I think I’ll be ready to keep writing. And I can always set aside some time for more character or plot work later if need be. This draft is going to be all over the place, but I can work with that as long as I have words on the page.

As for my November writing goals…

(Smaller) Goal: Write 1k words a day.

(Monthly) Goal: Write 30k words in the 30 days of November.

1k per day. I…can do that. (*sweating*)

This is a lofty goal, my friends. I have never written this many words in one month before, but I’m really excited about this story and feeling almost ready to try. I won’t lie and say I feel totally prepared, because I definitely don’t. But since I embarked on the writing journey over six years ago, I’ve met so many people and made encouraging, enthusiastic writer friends who rally around me and encourage me in both my faith and my writing.

Lord willing, I’ll see you at the end of November with 30k in my Time’s Travel’s Done document.


So tell me, friends, are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? If not, what is your current writing project, if you have one? Are you planning to write this November? Have you looked into the King’s Daughter’s Writing Camp? Are you one of those rare people who likes writing blurbs for your own writing? Have you participated in Know the Novel before? Let’s talk in the comments!

28 thoughts on “In Which You, Readers, Learn About My Current WIP {Know the Novel Linkup, Part 1 + my writing goals}

  1. Oh Amelie I LOVE this story idea! It’s giving me Doctor Who vibes (I’ve only seen two episodes of that show, so I’m no expert, but the time travel is pretty cool). I’m also super excited to see how you handle time travel because every book I’ve read does it a little bit differently! I think my favorite right now is Outlaws of Time (: And hey, we have the same monthly goal for November. Looking forward to hearing more about this story soon!

    Possible translation for your Ferals: custodes monstriferes. It doesn’t really fit with the English “feral” anymore but I’m pretty sure it’s a correct translation of “monstrous guards.” Another option is using custodiens (present active participle of “to guard,” therefore “guarding”) to modify ferae or whatever other word you want to use to refer to the beasts (monstri, bestiae, belluae, feri, bruti,etc.).

    I guess that is the very long way of saying that a proper translation of “guarding monsters” that preserves the root fer- would be custodientes ferae, and if you want to keep “monstrum” in your Latin you could do custodientes monstriferes ferae (“guarding monstrous beasts”) or custodes monstriferes ferae” (“monstrous wild guards”) (keep in mind that fera, ae can be an adjective or a noun and monstr- words and fer- words all have very similar meanings).

    I hope that’s somewhat helpful and not too rambly. Clearly there are a lot of possibilities XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh, thank you so much for your kind words, Maya!! I am so honored that you enjoyed this!

      I’ve been wanting to watch Doctor Who for a while! Several of my friends, blogging acquaintances, and favorite authors love it, so my interest has definitely been piqued for a while!

      Thank you so much for listing those possibilities!! I knew that you’d studied Latin for quite a while, so I was wondering if you’d be willing to help me out. That’s very informative, and I’m definitely going to refer to your list to decide exactly what to name them. (: Basically, the whole reason I called them the “Ferals” wasn’t so much because the *translation* was “feral;” Tom just came up with that nickname because the Latin word sounded similar (if that makes sense XD).

      Thank you so much for your lovely and helpful comment, Maya! And I’m cheering you on in your 30k goal this month!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, yes, summaries aren’t the most fun part of the writing process. Thank you so much, Vanessa! I’m so honored you like this crazy idea of mine! (Yes, I’m also intrigued by Kylian…he hasn’t completely revealed his motivations yet, so he’s still a bit of a mystery to me. XD)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds AWESOME, Amelie!! I love your characters. I mean, a banana-loving villain? I never knew I needed this until now. (And yes, you’ve got me wondering about the favorite fruits of certain famous villains…hmmm…) I also want to know more about the one-armed librarian, Hildegarde! She sounds amazing.

    Like

    • Ahhh, THANK YOU so much for your lovely comment, Maribeth!! I’m so excited to write these characters; I think they’re as antsy to be on paper as I am to get them there. XD

      (I mean, maybe Sauron liked apples, or Thanos had a fondness for grapes. Who knows?)

      Like

  3. OH MY GOODNESS. AMELIE. I have no words to properly express how much I love this!!! TIME TRAVEL. BANTER. BROS. AN EPIC LIBRARIAN. LONDON. SASSY, STYLISH VILLAINS. It’s literally all of my favorite things in one! I am suuuuch a huge fan of time travel and will devour ANYTHING with even a hint of timey-wimeyness. And bantering bros is like my favorite fictional dynamic EVERRR. Oh my goodness gracious, I was grinning and flailing throughout this whole thing. I LOVE THIS IDEA SO MUCH!

    And excuse me, missy, but I thought your blurb was GREAT. The “Actually, I ran into him twice that day. And one of those times was over five hundred years ago.” lines were perfection! THE BEST. XD

    This is just…everything. Thank you so, so much for doing the linkup and sharing all this goodness! I do hope the writing goes absolutely wonderfully! And OH OH. I’ll probably be doing KDWC alongside NaNo as well, so maybe we’ll see each other over there! 😀

    (Also…brb while I go cry infinite happy tears over the nice things you said about me. AMELIE. YOU ARE A GEM! D’: <3)

    Liked by 1 person

    • AHHHH, CHRISTINE, THANK YOU!!! You are the absolute sweetest, and I can’t say how much your encouraging words mean to me. ❤ THANK YOU!

      (And aww, thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the blurb. XD)

      I am SO THRILLED to be in a tent with you at KDWC! Your project sounds absolutely AMAZING, and I'm cheering you on with your NaNo goals!

      Thank you so again so much for your lovely comment! All this encouragement means so, so much to me as I start this new project. ❤ (YOU are a gem, Christine!)

      Like

  4. Your story looks amazing! I haven’t read a whole lot of time travel stuff, but this sounds so fun! I adore the title and the collage, btw.

    Also, I was just looking at the Pinterest board for this the other day!

    Hildegarde… Just yes! She sounds so cool, I’d love to meet her someday.

    I’m also a plantser! And I must say, writing blurbs is awful, but yours is really good!

    Ooh… Daughters of the King writing camp… I have to look into that!

    Best of luck with your project!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. MEEEEEEEP. *much squealing and flailing*
    SIS.
    I AM SO, SO EXCITED FOR THIS BRILLIANCE TO BE WRITTEN!!!!!
    I’m seriously amazed by the amount of creativity in this story. I mean, a grumpy Italian immortal (with an awesome name, by the way)? A one-armed librarian with a penchant for ancient weapons?? A SASSY, VENGEFUL VILLAIN WHO LIKES BANANAS??? (The fashion, too, though. Seriously, Kylian is shaping up to be preeetty much everything I love in a villain. AND HE’S SCOTTISH. Just YES.)
    AND SNARKY BANTER. ONE OF MY FAVORITEST THINGS IN STORIES EVER!! ;D
    Not to mention it’s set in LONDON!
    I am beyond pumped to meet all of these characters!!! Their names and personalities are also so unique and amazing.
    Also, the collage and Pinterest board are BEAUTIFUL. ❤
    I'm also very happy that it includes time travel, because while it ties my brain in knots more often than not, it adds so much intrigue to the plot. (I didn't actually mean to rhyme there. :P)
    I couldn't stop grinning the whole way through. 😀
    Ah, yes.
    BLURBS.
    One of the MANY banes of my writing existence.
    I think yours was very well-done though, far less cringy than the piles of dust-covered blurbs hidden away in the dark corners of my documents.
    You are an extremely talented writer, and I have no doubt this is going to be AMAZING.
    Ahhhh yes, KDWC! I am SO excited to participate in it this year!! It sounds like such a fun, encouraging environment. 🙂 And I know you can crush that goal. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. AMELIE. This sounds SO COOL man.
    I love the aesthetic and honestly I didn’t need to hear much more than – time-traveling, London, and rain- before I was like “YES”. xD
    I think Tom sounds sweet. ❤ I love that he's an extrovert…there are too many dark, brooding protagonists in the fiction world, we need some more crazy ones with spunk and big personalities. 😀 It sounds like he and Alessandro are going to make an absolutely fantastic time-traveling duo.
    I'm rooting for you, Amelie and this lovely story! Go out there and do something great my friend!! <3<3<3

    Liked by 1 person

    • EDEN, thank you so, so much!! You are so sweet, and all these comments are just making my entire day. ❤ ❤ ❤

      (I wholeheartedly agree! I love many protagonists of all personalities, but the spunky, extroverted ones have a special place in my heart.)

      THANK YOU for your comment and encouragement, Eden!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This story looks SO FUN! I love the concept, and I’m definitely down for awesome librarians and immortal Italians. I also love the sound of Tom, he sounds like both a fascinating, well-rounded character and the perfect lead character for this story. Best of luck with your writing! I can’t wait to hear more about this story 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  8. OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS I AM IN LOOOOOOVE. Also I think I know which Pinterest prompt you’re referring to; I’ve always thought it had amazing potential, but I’m all too satisfied to see it bloom under your fingers!! In other words, THIS SOUNDS AMAZING!! I couldn’t read this post fast enough!! Again, I’m in love. Someday I would love to read it, because a grumpy Italian immortal! A sassy British time-traveler!! Imagine the bromance!! Please!

    I’m totally cheering you on this November 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. wow i love the story idea, and your descriptions seem so cool!! i’d definitely read and buy this😭😭😭 also i really hope you achieve all of your writing goals for november and ahh im in love with the antagonist😭😭 great post!!🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Um, how is it possible for me to love Hildegarde already?? I have read approximately two sentences featuring this librarian and I WANT TO MEET HILDEGARDE NOW. The other characters sound super fun as well. But. Hildegarde.
    This sounds like a really entertaining story! I see this post is from a while ago. Has the draft been completed?? I hope it went well. I hope that Hildegarde features as much as deserved. 😉

    Like

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