Beautiful Books

beautiful books

In preparation for NaNoWriMo, Cait from Paper Fury is hosting Beautiful Books. It looked fun to me, so here I am. :) I’m going to be talking about my NaNoWriMo project, which is currently being called Courageous Hearts.

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

In my co-op class “Making a Difference,” we were supposed to pick a problem in the world and see how we would fix it. I chose mental health and decided to write a novel to raise awareness. I’ve only had the idea for this book for about a week, but I’m very excited to make it a reality.

Describe what your novel is about!

*chokes on spit* Don’t ever ask a writer what their novel is about, please.

Um . . . it’s about two teenagers with mental problems navigating their way through life and helping each other along the way. idk.

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!










I think the feel I’m going for is sad and lonely, yet hopeful.

Introduce us to each of your characters!

Skylar Wolff:


This is one of the MCs, Skylar Wolff (who suffers from depression). She’s fifteen. She has long chocolate hair, gray eyes, freckles, and usually has circles under her eyes from lack of sleeping. Her hobbies included drumming, hiking, skateboarding, listening to music, and later photography. She can be stubborn, secretive, lazy, and disconnected, but she’s also very accepting of others and inventive. Skylar lives with her mom (Kristie), Dad, (Jeremy), and eleven-year old sister (Leona).

Austin Keats:


My other MC, Austin Keats, who has social anxiety. He’s sixteen, but had to repeat a grade, so he’s in Skylar’s class. He has auburn-brown hair, hazel eyes, and is really quite tall. Austin enjoys playing guitar and drawing. He’s caring, persistent, and observant, but is also indecisive. He lives with his mom (Emmaline) and Dad (Samuel).

Brisa Rey, Skylar's best friend.:


The last character I’ll be introducing is Brisa Rey, Skylar’s best friend (who is also fifteen). She’s short, has naturally curly raven hair, and onyx eyes. She likes helping animals, biking, shopping, and babysitting. Brisa is dramatic, enthusiastic, chatty, and sometimes bossy. She lives with her divorced mother (Paulina), two older brothers (Ricardo and Sebastian), and her goldfish Greg.

There are more characters, of course (like the characters’ families, their English teacher Mr. Penguino, etc.), but I haven’t fleshed all of them out yet.

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

I will definitely be stocking up on dark chocolate. I foresee lots of staring at the blinking cursor.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

I’m excited about writing a morbid scene, and I would say what it is, but I don’t want to give away the whole plot. ;)

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

I guess the three main settings are the high school, the skate park, and the lake.

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

I think Skylar’s goal is just to survive, and Austin’s goal is to help her overcome her depression. Their mental illnesses are the antagonists.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Ooh . . .  much emotional change. The severity of Skylar’s depression will change a lot, and I think Austin will be slightly more confident.

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

I know it sounds kind of bad, but I’d actually like the readers to be kind of sad when the book is over. I’m hoping that it will connect with them emotionally.


My NaNoWriMo Project

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year (my username on the YWP site is SecretKeeper001), and I’ve been trying to figure out which story to work on (I’ve got loads of ideas). Today, I picked one: I’m going to be writing a novel about a girl with depression.

Why? You see, in my homeschool co-op, I have a class called MAD — Making a Difference. Our assignment these past two weeks was to choose a problem we’re passionate about and come up with a solution. I chose mental illnesses.

After writing down how mental illnesses are problems (mostly how people treat those with illnesses) comes the hard part: solutions. It had to be something doable. I thought, What am I good at that could make a difference? and came up with writing a novel. Yeah, it is doable.

I don’t know entirely what the novel is going to be about, but at least I have a month to figure things out! I’m going to write it from the POVs of a girl with depression and a boy with social anxiety. One chapter would be told by the girl, the next by the boy, and so forth. The boy will be a stranger at the girl’s school who notices her scars.

I’m really excited to write this novel, because if I get it published, I think it could help lots of people realize that mental illnesses are a real problem.

Also, I need some help with this project. Is there anyone who has depression/social anxiety, and is willing to talk to me about it? In order to write a realistic novel, I need to know more about what it’s like to live with depression/social anxiety. If anyone is willing, email me at, please.


Add a WordCount Meter to Your Sidebar

Hey, guys! A couple of people have asked me about the Shadow Bird wordcount widget in my sidebar, so I decided to post a tutorial. Before we get started, I’d like to say thanks to AnonymousA for telling me about the widget in the first place!

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

To begin, go to Language is a Virus.

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

Once there, go to the address bar. After, add nanowrimo/word-meter.html, and press Enter.

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

It will take you to the NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter page.

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

Scroll down until you find the “Create Your Own!” form.

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

Type in your novel’s information.

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Clicking “Pick a Color for Your Word Meter” will make this screen pop up. Select the color that you want the progress meter to be (choose one that will match or complement your blog’s color scheme).

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Press Calculate and scroll down until your find this area. Copy the code in the box (Ctrl C).

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

Go to your blog’s customization screen and select widgets.

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

Add a Text widget, paste the code into Content (Ctrl V), and title the widget ________’s WordCount. Remember to press Save & Publish!

NaNoWriMo WordCount MeterThen go to your blog and look in the sidebar for your new wordcount meter!

This would be helpful for anyone wanting to share their (Camp) NaNoWriMo novel’s progress, or just show how much they’ve written for any writing project.


Random Fridays #5

Happy day after Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a good time . . . eating . . . stuff.

Yeah, anyway, so I’m doing Random Fridays again —


NaNoWriMo Winner 2015

Um. Yeah, I’m a winner. You may clap now.

Photo belongs to

Photo belongs to

Random Fridays  is a weekly meme hosted by Rebeca at “Books and Messy Buns”. Anyone can join, you just have to do the following:

  • Pick up the book you’re currently reading (or read last)
  • Go to this random number generator and insert the total amount of pages in your book
  • Generate a random number
  • Open your book in the page with number you got
  • Repeat step 2 and 3 but with the number of lines in that page
  • Your random sentence is the first sentence in the line with the number you got (it doesn’t matter if the sentence starts a few lines before)
  • Share your sentence, book title and author with the book community :)

My Random Sentence:

“She keeps passing boats safe from a journey that no one wants them to make.”

— page 147, Emily Windsnap and the Ship of Lost Souls by Liz Kessler.


Ugh . . . I have a loose tooth and it hurts . . .

Character Questionnaire


Sorry, I’m just excited ☺

One of the most important parts of a story are the characters. I’ve put together a simple character questionnaire so that any fellow writers can get to know their characters better. Ideally, you should do this for every character in your book, even the minor ones (perhaps not the ones that just say one thing and then disappear forever, but you get my point). You’ll want to get to know your main characters better than this list will help you do, but it’s a good place to start.




Lives in/with:




Dress style:


Leader or follower:

Favorite color:


Once you’ve finished answering the questions on this list, you’ll hopefully know your character better than when you started out.

If you have an account on NaNoWriMo, feel free to drop me a comment with your username so we can be “Writing Buddies!”


DIY Plot Board

Is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year?

Writing a novel in thirty days . . . I can do this . . . Mum, buy the chocolate . . .

Anyway, today I’m going to be showing you how to make a plot board. Writers: you need to make one of these. Seriously, it’s really helpful.


So here is my lovely plot board. All you need to make one is a poster board, a Sharpie, and Sticky Notes.

You may be wondering, Why do I need one of these again? Well, my dear, the answer to that is  . . . um, I’m just going to tell you what you can use a plot board for.


Write important bits of your plot on your Sticky Notes. Then put the Sticky Notes onto your plot board in the order you’re going to write them. Once you see some of your plot written out like this, you can sort of visualize your novel, savvy? And you can move the order of events around easily.


At the top of my plot board, I wrote Project, followed by a Sticky Note with the (code) name of my novel on it . . . so I can remember which story the plot is for :)


The area before the word Project is for little notes about the story that aren’t part of the plot. Like who is in your main character’s “gang,” even if your MC doesn’t like half of the people.


After the Sticky Note with my story’s name on it is where I put pieces of the plot that don’t have a place yet. For example, I know that my character named Clara will break her wing (see yellow note) during the final battle, but I don’t when this will take place. Until I figure that out and what events lead up to this, that Sticky Note will remain in the Homeless Plot Things section of my board.


A plot board is so easy to create, and it’ll make plotting a tiny bit easier. I really hope that you’ll make a plot board of your own!