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All Things Writing Blog Post

know the novel: part three {words written}

Hello, my friends!

Welp, I’m done. I survived NaNoWriMo, and finished my novel, haha. I’m planning a post for next with all of our Christmas festivities (or the beginning of them!) and decoration ideas, but for now, I have the third and last part in Know the Novel: A Writers’ Link-Up hosted by the lovely Christine Smith @ Christinesmithauthor.com. If you missed the first and second parts, you can find them here and here.

Enjoy hearing a bit more about my writing and some of the lovely snow photos I took this morning!

1. how did writing this novel go all around?

Overall, amazing! I ended up hitting 50,005 words on the 19th of November, after writing 6,000 words in one day. There were definitely rough spots, but I was determined to finish early, and try to finish my novel. I didn’t get my last goal, but I did end up writing 60,000 words in November, and finished my novel, The Summer at Sunset Bay, on the 6th of December, with 64, 375 words as my second full-length novel (the first one I wrote in May 2022) and my 6th project over 20,000 words.

2. did it turn out as you expected or completely different? how do you feel about the outcome?

Mm, there were definitely bits that surprised me, but overall, it went as I planned. I am a pretty big plotter–like I have an outline using the Three Act Structure, then I have about 300 words in chapter plots, also known as what scenes are going to happen in each chapter–so there wasn’t much that I didn’t expect.

3. what aspect of the story did you love writing about the most? (Characters, plot, setting, prose, etc.)

Definitely the setting! Guys, this setting is so much fun to write about. It’s set in a little town right on the beach and the setting is the main part of the story. Of course, I love my characters as I always do, but the setting is so much fun.

4. what was your least favorite part?

I really don’t know I had a least favorite part. Finishing up was definitely the hardest and I finally put a spot in my writing journey where I really didn’t want to write, haha. But I pushed through and it’s finally finished, and all of those long writing days were worth it.

5. what do you feel needs the most work?

Character arcs and foreshadowing. There were a lot of moments when I was writing when I was like “Pearl, you can’t do that! Something like that can’t just pop out of nowhere!” Haha, but I don’t think there is anything major in there. The last chapters are short, so they definitely need to be lengthened since, by the end, all I wanted to do was be done with this project. Other than that, there isn’t anything huge that I can think of, which I’m thankful for.

6. how do you feel about your characters now? Who’s your favorite? Least favorite? Anyone surprise you? Give us all the details!

Some of them I love, and others, I don’t like as much. I have this one character personality that I try to write into every story I’ve written and she is so hard to write–She’s a mix of Jane from The Penderwicks, Claudia from The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler, and Flora from The Main Street series–I probably need to give up on writing her but she would be such a fun character to write if only I could get her personality down. Another lesson is don’t give two of your MCs six younger brothers and expect to be able to keep them all straight. *facepalm* I’m pretty sure they each have at least two different names throughout the course of this novel–I had a list but I was too worried about hitting my word count to go bother and check. Overall though, I love these characters!

7. what’s your next plan of action with this novel?

Currently, it’s going to sit for a few months while I wait to edit it which will probably in February. After that, I don’t know what I’ll do. Currently, I’m just writing novels to get more experience under my belt before I write something and try to publish it.

8. if you could have your greatest dream realized for this novel, what would it be?

Getting this project published and letting others have the chance to read this story! Not right now as it still is a very rough draft, but in a few years, I’d love to work toward that. This story is one of my favorites that I’ve written and one that I’ve pulled from my own experiences the most at. . . it’s a heart-story, that’s full of truth and little reminders, and I’d love to be able to share it with the world someday. <3

9. share your favorite snippet!

Ooh. . . this is the last paragraph from one of my three MCs (main character) perspective – It basically summarizes the whole novel. <3

As they pulled away from Aunt Nancy’s house, from the beach, from it all, Eleanor knew that her summer at Sunset Bay was complete. It was her first summer, but she knew it wouldn’t be her last. So much had changed since she climbed onto that plane in only one short month. She no longer had the problem of being ordinary. She had learned to embrace her flaws. And was now her true self. She had found her identity that summer.
It had been the summer of growth. The summer of change. The summer of laughter. The summer of good friends. It had been the Summer at Sunset Bay.

10. did you glean any new writing and // or life lessons from writing this novel?

I definitely learned some new things. Writing-wise, don’t write 50K in 19 days and expect to be able to enjoy finishing your novel, haha. The last days of this project were tough days when I didn’t want to write at all. Somehow I managed and typed ‘The End’ and this novel is completed. I also learned that when you need to write a lot, writing 30 minutes and getting 1K in, taking a 5-minute break, and going again and doing it until you get your words in is helpful. Or 10-minute sprints with 2-minute breaks in between. I managed to get 1K in 22 minutes which is pretty fast for me. I learned a lot over this month, and throughout this story in general. I can’t wait to see where it goes in the future. <3

And that wraps up The Summer at Sunset Bay and this post! I enjoyed writing it for you and watching the snow fall as I did so.

Has it snowed for you yet? If you’re a writer and did NaNo, how did it go for you? What was one fun thing you did in November? What is something you’re looking forward to in December?

Let’s chat in the comments! Have a wonderful day and thank you so much for reading, friends!


  1. Ooooh! I love this story from what you’ve said about it. If ever you give anyone a chance to read it, I want to be the first one to know ;). Congratulations again on finishing Nano! You are awesome!

    1. Ahh, Aliya *hugsss* thank you so much, dear friend. <3 Your comments are always so sweet.

  2. WOW. Congratulations on winning NaNo!!!! This book sounds so fun, and I’m sure I’ll adore the setting!!!! 😀

    1. Eeep, thank you, Saraina! <3

  3. AHH CONGRATS ON FINISHING YOUR NOVEL, PEARL!! *high-fives* That’s amazing!!!

    1. Thank you, Joelle!! <3

  4. Eva Mac says:

    Woohoo! Congratulations on finishing this book, Pearl. I’m so happy for you <3 I also loved all the snow pictures– so pretty!

    1. Ahh, thank you, Vea! <3 I had so much fun taking those pictures, haha.

  5. Eyyyy congratulations for finishing it Pearl! 🥳 So proud of ya. <3 Thank you for sharing ~ I enjoyed reading more about your NaNo experience in general. 😄💛

    1. *hugs* Thank you so much, Zo. <3

  6. Elli B. says:

    *hugsss* congratulations, girl!!! that’s quite a lot of words XD good for you for pushing through and finishing it 😀
    Also your snow photos are lovely <3 we got a little snow this morning; it was beautiful (also very nice for throwing snowballs at my sister…) XD

    1. *hugs* Thank you, Em! <3
      Haha, we have had quite a few snow ball fights this year already. XD Did your sister enjoy it? 🙂

  7. Aaaahhhh ALL the congrats of ever on finishing!!! That is so, so thrilling! It is so hard when suddenly the motivation to keep going just isn’t there, but you did it ANYWAY and that is utterly admirable. So happy for you!

    That ending snippet is just lovely. So heartfelt. <3

    Congrats again! And thank you for joining Know the Novel. I've loved following along with your journey of getting this book written. I do hope you have a most blessed Christmas!

    1. Aw, you are so kind, Christine! <3 I had so much fun participating and writing up these posts - it was a nice break from my novel. XD Thank you for your sweet comment and I can't wait to participate in the Know the Novel next year. Merry Christmas!

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