NaNo is in full swing! Also: Beautiful Books {The Birdie Writes}


NaNoWriMo is here and kicking my butt we're great friends.

Joking aside, NaNo and I are getting along pretty well. I'm writing every day and even though some days I might not hit my target, some days I exceed it (I love those days). For me, NaNo is about progress, and not sprinting to a finish line. So even 500 words a day is good in my book.

And things are definitely taking shape in my novel (I'm three quarters of the way there!). It's becoming something beautiful and soul-destroying and the exact thing I always pictured it being. 

The NaNo pressure isn't crushing, but has provided a light nudge that spurs me to get something down each day. I'm grateful for it.

If you're also a NaNo-er (is that a thing? It should be a thing) then let's be buddies!

Now, onto parte due of Beautiful Books. Which is fun if you like questionnaires and talking about yourself. AND LET'S BE HONEST, WHO DOESN'T?


Do you have any pictures that reflect your book?

I actually have a bunch of (secret) Pinterest boards, oozing with images that fit my story perfectly and really help me to visualise things. I'm tempted to make them public, but secrets are all too alluring.

Here are four:


Do you have pictures of your characters? If not, describe them!

Again, my secret Pinterest boards are brimming with these for all of my characters. It's hard to find real-life people that are exactly how I picture my characters, but these guys come quite close.

(Left to right: 
Isla, Colton, Celia, Daigo
Gregory, Thayer, Mallory)


What scene are you most excited to write?

Oh, there's a scuffle chapter. It's a chapter with dead cats and fighting and craziness and guns, where true intentions are revealed by two rather villainous characters AND SOMEONE MAY DIE RIGHT AT THE END OF IT.

It's going to be dramatic. Because I enjoy being evil.


Now that you're writing, have any of the plot details turned out differently to you planned or imagined?

Theo has turned out so very differently, crafting himself a whole new sub-plot that I am adoring (if I do say so myself). He's Snape-like in so many ways (you'll be forever questioning his intentions).

Also, Sabina, who manages to be a character while being dead. Her arc has changed enormously and I really feel it's for the better. It adds a whole new layer to her relationship with both Isla and Theo. And it also makes her story more heartbreaking, because breaking hearts is what I do, yo! 

Is there a character or aspect of your plot that's especially difficult to write?

Celia's chapters are pretty hard to write, because I feel like her character shines so much more in scenes NOT written from her point of view. She's intriguing seen through the eyes of others, and so I have to try really carefully not to ruin that. 

What's your favourite aspect so far? And your favourite character?

I really like the relationship between Colton and Daigo – that deep-rooted friendship that manages to survive even when it shouldn't.

Ironically, Colton is also my favourite character but Daigo is my favourite perspective to write from. His moral compass is a little broken. 

Have you drawn from any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and its characters?

Actually, no. Characters and plot are completely pulled from my imagination. Since I've never been a ghost, and have also never hunted them.

It's odd, because usually I do take aspects from certain people and mix them together. But for this story, my characters are very much not like anybody I know. And since I don't have much (see: any) experience with ghosts, my plot isn't drawn from any life experience and nor are (thankfully) the tragic backgrounds of some of my characters. 

Do you have a playlist or a certain song for your novel or characters?

Writing is quiet time, so no music for me. I can't concentrate with music on; it gets me out of the zone. AND I NEED TO BE IN THE ZONE. 

Let's have some fun: imagine you're transported into your book. Which character are you most likely to hang out with?

Oh, God. It's like Sophie's Choice. 

I suppose Isla is the most normal of the bunch (HAH) and so I'd be most likely to hang around with her. But then Colton would lull me in with his accent and Daigo's sarcasm would win me over and Celia's abrasiveness would have me grinning AND I JUST CAN'T, OKAY? 

How do you keep yourself motivated enough to achieve your daily word count? (Does it involve Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)

Chocolate is always a part of anything I do.

Also: Pinterest is gold-dust for me, because even if I'm not in the mood to write, I'll start pinning things that are related to my novel and it'll give me that inspiration boost.

So that's another little glance into the world of my novel!
How has NaNo been treating you? Are you on a role, or finding it all a little hard? 
For those not doing NaNo: what do you think? Is my novel reeling you in? Or should I just quit while I'm ahead? (Please say option one!)


Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.



    Daigo, with his broken compass, just sounds like he would be my favourite character already. It makes a nice fizz. And may I ask, who is that super cute guy cast as Colton because.... ;) Sure he's standing a little bit further back than everyone but I like I what I see, that's all I'm saying haha

    GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR NANO BATTLE. A quarter left and you've conquered it! :D

    1. OHHH I'M GLAD YOU LIKE. Thanking you <333

      Haha, yeah, I do enjoy Daigo's chapters the most, simply because anything goes. The guy cast as Colton is Jeremy Irvine. Since my novel is set in ol' England, I wanted English actors / actresses to represent the characters (except Daigo of course!).
      That's a good point about his picture though. HIS TINY LITTLE FACE. I've zoomed it in a bit more so you can admire his jaw line. you're welcome ;)

  2. That first line is fabulous. Seriously.

    I'm so excited that you're doing NaNo and having a good experience with it as well. I think Nano is great for some people to have a reason to start writing and fall back in love with it, as long as it doesn't crush your spirit :)

    At any rate, you know I'll be the first to buy anything that you release.

    1. That means so much coming from you!!! I've changed that first line so many times it's ridiculous, but I feel like I've nailed it this time (well, I say that now. Wait a couple of days and then I"ll probably change it again LOL).

      I can confirm my spirit remains uncrushed. It's even doing a bit of a happy dance!

  3. Oh, I love group banter! And that first sentence totally caught my attention. Those pictures are seriously creepy, yo.
    Good luck to you, Allie!!

    Danielle @ Love at First Page

    1. The creep-factor is important! It can't all be popcorn and banter (as much as I'd love that hehe)

  4. This sounds fabulous! Good luck with all of your writing!!

  5. OMG ALLIE! THIS SOUNDS FABULOUS! I love anything barter-y and your comebacks and writing are awesome. Plus those pictures are perfect and definitely give you a feeling for the novel overall. Fabulous post - I wish I could read more! ;)


  6. I LOVE THIS! Okay, first of all. My mother-in-law's name is Sabina, and my sister-in-law's name is Isla. I am not sad that Sabina met her demise. Just saying ;) And the banter, my goodness, I adore it! Love, love, love. You must, under no circumstances, quit, because I want to read the whole thing someday!

    Keep up the great work! I am pretty sure I am calling it quits, since we're close to halfway in, I have written like, 700 words, and am kind of hating every one of them. I don't think this is my book, though I know my character is my character, so that is weird.

    1. I am clearly unintentionally stalking you. Maybe a Shannon will pop up in a chapter somewhere LOL.
      (Oh my God about your sister-in-law. I am dying with that comment. SHANNON, haha).

      700 words is better than nothing! Every story has to begin somewhere and it's important not to be discouraged. But if you scrap it then at least you know one thing: you've got a set idea of your character, and characters are most important anyway. Once you've got that down, everything else is ten times easier.

  7. Wow, this sounds fantastic! That's awesome you're doing so well. You're really making me want to get back into my writing but I have like NO time these days. Ugh. Love the character photos though...especially because you have Kaya and Nico (last names taken out because I can't spell, but I love Skins and Hollyoaks and that's how I know them). Anywhooo...your other photos from your secret pinterest are spooky cool too.

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you :D

      I always feel like I have no time LOL. I'm sneaky and write at work when things are slow, because if I didn't then I'd just have no time at all. I think the key is just to think 'oh, I've got an hour free, let's write'. Even one hour straight of writing can lead to so much!

      After I saw Mad Fat Diary, I knew I needed to have Nico in there! He is PERFECT for Theo, it's ridiculous. And Kaya has that haunted, tarnished innocence that fits Isla perfectly.
      (And dude, I'm not even going to attempt to spell their surnames either!)

  8. Oh wow your characters look awesome! I'd so totally read this!

    My blog, The Blog Hermit
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    1. Thank you! Hopefully one day you'll get a chance :)

  9. WOAH I am really loving how your book is shaping up Allie! That cult scene was excellent, especially with the way it ended. Kudos to you for writing it completely based on your imagination and by the looks of your pinterest board, this one is going to be amazing! Good luck <3

    1. I hope so! I'm really excited about it (even if this current chapter is completely sucking my soul) LOL

  10. I so resonate with this - especially the part about chocolate ;)

    I try to follow Stephen King's advice to write 2,000 words a day - but in the midst of college and craziness and working and just trying to stay afloat with the million and one other things I have to do, that doesn't often happen.

    Ciera @ The Write Things

    1. We actually didn't have any chocolate in the house yesterday while I was writing. THE TORTURE.

      I wish I could write 2000 words a day, but it's a hard thing to do, like you said! Especially with work and stuff. 9-5 jobs are not a writer's friend. BUT any progress is still progress, so as long as I get something down each day, I'll be happy

  11. The snippets are enticing. D: I want more of it! (Even if it proves to be soul destroying. OR because it'll be soul destroying and fabulous!)

    Good luck with NaNo! I always try to do it, and end up with only 1k words, low self esteem, and broken dreams in the shape of eraser shavings.

    1. Everyone loves losing their soul to a book. But taking people's is even better MWAHAHAHAHA.

      Ah, see, you're old school in your writing. I do it on a computer, so my broken dreams are in the shape of smashed keyboards and coffee rings on my desk. It's a modern way to go insane

  12. I didn't know I needed this book until right now. That first line is definitely captivating and I hope to meet those characters [relatively] soon ;P Best of luck with NanoWriMo! You can do it! :)

    1. I'm so in love with you right now! THANK YOU :D