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Know the Novel Part Three (Finishing My Book and Taking a Blogging Break)

Updated: Apr 6


know the novel part three, pink and blue bookish blog post graphic

December is here, which means the final installment of Christine Smith's Know the Novel is also here! Learn more about the journey of finishing my novel and my plans for the future, including taking a hiatus from blogging.



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The Mentioned Break


I'm expanding my author brand (learn more) and making changes to my website, so I need more time to focus on those things. This, among other reasons, is why I've decided to take a short hiatus from posting. I'll be back in January with exciting content I can't wait to share with you all!



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know the novel part three: words written - floral writer desk tag graphic - Christine Smith

You can read Part One and Part Two of Know the Novel here. 😉



finishing One Forgotten...


1. How did writing this novel go all around?

It was quite the (very long) journey. I'm finally finishing (isn't finishing a beautiful word?) writing this monster of a novel I've been working on for two years. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but also one of the most joyful. Of course, there were extremely discouraging days... days where I wanted to hurl One Forgotten in an incinerator, days where I seriously questioned if God even wanted me to write, and days where I cried on the floor (believe it or not); but even in the midst of that there was immense joy and gratitude. Just thinking of this project makes me bubble over with delight. I love it.



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

I'm... not sure how to answer that, honestly. My expectations evolved as the story did. I didn't set out with any particular vision in mind. Writing this book was like starting a garden. While I did outline this story quite extensively, once I developed my characters, the story grew naturally into what it is. Of course, that meant a lot of pruning and weeding on my part, since the world and plot expanded so rapidly from my original premise. The first and second drafts need help, to put it simply. However, I feel very content with the outcome and with where I am in my journey.



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

Oh my goodness, the romance. It's so beautiful and tragic and humorous and just... yes. My family often asks me why I'm smiling at my computer and that is why.



4. What was your least favorite part?

The perfectionism that came with drafting and coming to terms with some of the deeper problems within the story premise. I hit many periods of frustration and getting stuck because of it.



5. What do you feel needs the most work?

Umm... everything. *dies*



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

They feel like real people. They have existed in my mind for years and I know them so well... the thought of not writing them or setting this project aside is hard to think about. I've been immersed in drafting this project for so long and it's strange to be wrapping it up.



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

I'm going to set it aside for a time. I'm not sure if that will be permanent or not. I would love to come back and fix it up in the future, but it depends on what God has in mind. At the very least, I'll chalk it up to good practice as I learned a lot from the experience.



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

Ooh. I would love to revise it and get a book deal with Enclave. That would be so cool.


But more than that, I want to develop this story into something that will powerfully impact readers. Something that will make them laugh, cry, read late into the night, see Christ's love for them, and come away from it with more hope for the future. Even if it's one person, truthfully, if my words could do that for someone, that would be my greatest dream realized.



9. Share some of your favorite snippets!


From Lyra's point of view...


"I know you..." I choke on the words, tracing the outline of his battered face with my fingertips. Lest he's taken from me again, I commit every edge and angle, every freckle and scar to memory. "I remember. You're my best friend."


From Skylar's...


"I have a motto, you see," I smirk at her, casting the book into the starving firepit. "What would you do if you weren't afraid?"



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

That's the thing I love about writing... you can't do it and not be changed. There are so many ways this novel has grown me and drawn me closer to the Lord. We'd be here all day if I listed them all.


First of all, I'm learning that anything worthwhile is hard. That's a given.


I've also discovered the beauty of surrender in giving my dreams, desires, and fears to the Most High; following His lead, trusting Him fully, and seeking Him in all things and above all else. I used to regard surrender as a dangerous thing or even a weakness, but I'm learning now that it is where I find my strength. Ironically, surrender is one of One Forgotten's core themes.


I find there is a fierce courage in holy surrender. There is no bondage, but rather freedom and a certain ability to soar. The more I submit to God, even when it's completely terrifying, the more I want to because I encounter His kindness, beauty, and goodness. That's something this novel has taught me.



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In parting, here is One Forgotten's theme song...




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LET'S TALK

How was your November? Can you believe 2023 is nearly over? (I certainly can't!) Do the winter months make it easier or harder to write? What is a valuable lesson writing has taught you? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!




Now go change the world,

-Ava



8 Comments


Deigan Marie
Deigan Marie
Dec 29, 2023

*sobs*


"I know you..." I choke on the words, tracing the outline of his battered face with my fingertips. Lest he's taken from me again, I commit every edge and angle, every freckle and scar to memory. "I remember. You're my best friend."


Mah heart. </33

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Ava Hope
Ava Hope
Jan 01
Replying to

Aww Deigan! *hugs*

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Girl, this story has SO much potential!!! I would love to see you finish it. Your snippets are both gorgeous and the theme song... AGH. Must write. *firm nodnodding*

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Ava Hope
Ava Hope
Jan 01
Replying to

Thank you, Joelle!! Your encouragement means so much! *hugs* I think I will... we'll see what God has in mind for it <333

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Saraina Whitney
Saraina Whitney
Dec 12, 2023

Augh, this post is beautiful!!!! Those EXCERPTS are beautiful 😭🥰 Congratulations on coming so far in this project!!! I really hope you publish it one day because I NEED to read it. ;) Thank you for sharing this post, and have a wonderful hiatus! <333

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Ava Hope
Ava Hope
Dec 13, 2023
Replying to

Aw, thank you, Saraina!! *hugs* Your support means so much, friend! ❤️

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Grace
Grace
Dec 09, 2023

oh my GOSH!!! ava!!! W O W! girlie, you said you want your readers to cry and laugh?? i felt emotional reading the snippet from lyra’s perspective, and laughed during skylar’s. you’re SO talented, and i hope to see this project on my bookshelves one day!!

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Ava Hope
Ava Hope
Dec 11, 2023
Replying to

Aww Grace! *melts* Thank you!! I'm so glad 🥰 So are you, girl!

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