in depth final post.



Welcome to the final presentation of my in-depth. I will try to briefly explain my project so I can show you what I’ve done. I set out at the beginning of this project with a goal in mind, to at least try and write a novel with some good characters and a fair amount of detail, and then to present those characters and ideas to others. I initially wanted to write ten or so chapters with multiple drafts, and I did meet that; I have 22 chapters with a single draft and 10 chapters with a second draft ( I’ve posted the draft of the first 3 chapters in other blog posts as evidence of learning if your interested in reading through them.) anyway, bellow I have posted a chose your own adventure adaption of chapter 14 of my book (I thought it was an eventful interesting chapter that would generate some actual interest in the book.) and brief list of characters in my book, enjoy! 


this is a choose your own adventure version of chapters 13-14 of my book as i felt they were very engaging chapters. they were slightly adapted to fit the chose your own adventure format but i think they represent the detail, character development and first person narration that i was working on. ( to access  please go to the choose your own adventure story at the top of the page)





This is a brief description of all of the characters in my book and what purpose they have. The classifications are… 

Main character: frequent dialogue, appears on nearly every page, greatly contributes to the plot 

Sub main: two out of three of the above characteristics i.e. greatly contributes to the plot and has frequent dialogue but isn’t on every page  

Side character: has occasional dialogue, often supports the main characters back story more so then they do the plot, only appears in a couple of chapters  

Back ground character: either only mentioned or has one or two lines of dialogue 

Character name                                      character type                                 character details   

Safina Dupont   

Narrating main character   

Narrates the whole book. after her family uproots its self and moves back to the town her dad grew up in, follow her on some pretty insane adventures around the town of black pine.  

Personality traits. 






Anniya Pavlov   

Main character   

A native a black pine, or so we think… she knows a lot of the secrets and the lies behind the ‘charming town’ facade. But she’ll only reveal the dark and gloomy things with time. She wants to leave because she doesn’t truly belong in black pine. 


Personality traits. 






David Pavlov   

Main character   

He wants to believe he should be there. Unlike his twin sister he’s nervous to break the mold and go on adventures, he doesn’t want to admit the things he’s seen.  


Personality traits 





Alex Dupont   

Sub main character   

Just the guy bagging grocery’s at the local store right? Well…probably. we actually may never know. no one gives him a second look until his sister mysteriously dies.  

Evlyn Dupont   

Side character   

She seems to kind and too welcoming at first, but she can probably tell if your family (even if the space time continuum can’t)  


Side character   

Just an ‘innocent’ girl who lost her best friend.  


Side character   

Just Rubys  ‘innocent’ classmate  

Mayor Dupont   

Side character   

 The rather aggressive and toxic mayor of black pine  

Mr. Dupont (Safina’s dad)  

Side character   

 Safina’s extremely stressed out father  

Ms. Dupont (Safina’s mom)  

Side character   

 Safina’s calm and artistic mother  

Ms. Edwards   

Side character   

 The math teacher, she seems like the only thing in this town that’s moved in to the twenty first century. 

Mr. Owens   

Side character   

 The history teacher who may actually still be stuck in the nineteenth century  


Back ground character   

 The town sheriff.  

Millie Dupont   

Back ground character   

 Alexs sister. 


But what exactly is black pine? 

I feel like the plot spelled out in a single (and hopefully attention grabbing) sentence would be ‘in a tiny town held together by a thin web of lies, murders and fires only the ghosts know the truth.’ But black pine is really a world I’m trying to create, one of the difficult (and unexpected) parts of writing a fiction novel is research, I’ve been trying to essentially create a magical rule book as in the book we go back and forth between past and modern day black pine.   


I thought that adding some visuals might make the world of black pine come more to life, I really like drawing and have read in several places that drawing your characters can help you write them better so these are some sketches I did of my characters, just in case you were curious what my characters look like. 






if you’re interested in seeing the edited chapters of my book here is a copy ( not all of the chapter after 10 have names yet)

                                     thank you for reading through my in-depth I hope you enjoyed it!


in-depth post 6

project type: writing a novel using first person narration. 

Big goals: write a minimum of ten chapters and however far I end up writing by march 23 should be at least 25 thousand words ( half of the minimum amount of words that a novel should be) and to have both a first draft and a second draft that includes good character development and detail for a fully immersive world. 

revisions to big goals: write a minimum of ten chapters with two drafts and fifteen chapters with one draft. by late may there should be at least 35 thousand words.


Progress report. 

Last blog post I had said that I was working on chapter 14 and after march 23 my plan was to switch mainly to an editorial and writing my second draft role. I have done relatively well on both fronts; I have finished chapters 14-16 and have edited chapters 1-9 as well as starting on a second draft of chapters 16. The editing has gone quite well, I am trying to remember everything I have been recently studying about grammar and plot. I have ended up adding quite a bit to my novel as I am starting my second draft, I am currently trying to work on adding traits to my characters that hint to later plot points and reveals concerning said characters.  


As I had also mentioned on my last blog post, I have begun work on a written list of magical laws for my story so that there can be fluency in the way that the characters interact with magic to avoid plot holes.  


Obstacles and frustrations. 

When I initially started writing my novel, while I did have a relatively detailed lay out of how things were going to work, it wasn’t perfect and as the characters have changed and been altered I’ve had to deviated from that original plan, meaning that my second draft has been an obstacle to write as it ended up being written with the ability to have a range of endings, now that I’ve come up with an ending that works, I have had to re-write quite a bit of the first few chapters to fit the end and it is taking more time then I would like; however I do understand that this is an important part of novel writing as the best things aren’t simply written, they are re-written, so it is an frustration that I will have to deal with.  I do now see how starting with a more determined end goal in mind could have cost me some of my current frustration.  

Evidence of progress  

This is (edited) chapter 3. I personally think that this is the most important chapter since it is when all the main characters are introduced. 

  • Black pine chapter 3  
  •  At first, I only walked through forests, after about ten minutes I came to the end of our driveway, then I turned and started walking down the dirt road and eventually into the town. He town didn’t look much different from an old western town from movies, it had a general store, a diner and a few buildings that, while they weren’t clearly marked, looked like more stores. There was nothing familiar, I saw no brands or logos, I couldn’t have told you what time this was built, the town would have looked just as appropriate as a set on an old frontier movie as it did for me to be walking through it.  
  •  This place is stupid, I mean, yes the massive house is cool and I’m in to the rustic feel but it’s dumb! the nearest town with more than 200 people is 75 miles away. 
  •  I looked up and saw a few things the first was an old general store made out of some stupidly beat up wood it looked like the was a gun shot or two in the porch and only one of the 3 windows wasn’t broken. 
  •  I figured I should stop starring at the broken building because it was making me nervous, so I closed my eyes and listened, my school councilor had said that centered you or some crap like that once, so I tried it; I heard a bird, some wind in the trees and bushes and a bell, it sounded like a school bell, at least they had a school, although apparently the high school only had 30 students. I could barely hear the chatter of students leaving and they all seemed to be moving away from me. 
  •  Like our family mansion I guess most people lived in the forest.  
  • I stood with my eyes closed until I heard something else panting and fast foot steps I looked up and saw a girl 20 or so feet away. She had long coffee brown hair in a braid that went to her waist, vivid green eyes and pale skin first she turned I thought she was looking at me, but she called out “ David” then turned the other way and smacked me in the face with her braid. 
  • It didn’t hurt, the people on my soccer team would hit each other in the face with our hair all the time, it woke us up for early practice, but the girl looked horrified “ohmygodi’msososossorry” it came out all as one word. 
  •  “hi” I said 
  •  “ don’t worry it’s not a big deal” 
  •  “still I feel terrible” she stopped and looked surprised then she looked me up and down and paused “ are you…. new here?” 
  •  “ oh um ya I am actually” 
  •  she turned around and screamed “David” at the top of her lungs 
  •   “what?” I heard a guy yell back. 
  •  he rounded a corner from about 30 feet at first there was something about him I couldn’t quite place he looked familiar, I just couldn’t figure out why… then it hit me  He looked exactly like the girl, I knew a boy and girl couldn’t be identical twins but these two must have been as close as you could get. 
  •  “ this is David” said the girl she pointed back at who I could only assume was her brother. 
  •  “ well alright but who are you” I was on edge and must  of not sounded friendly because she recoiled. 
  •  “ oh opps sorry I’m Anniya it’s nice to meet you” she said. 
  •  she was half smiling but still seemed weary of me like she had a million questions that she was deciding if she wanted to ask me.  
  • Even though she was about 3 inches shorter of me she was immediately intimidating, maybe it was the old football gear sticking out of her bag or just the way she was staring at me but she made me nervous. “ David this girl is new here” and gave her brother the weirdest look like she was trying to ask if she should run away from me. 
  •  That’s when I  started noticing the differences between the two of  them, he had on paint splattered jeans ( not in an intentional way but in an I paint so much this is just what I look like now way) and a navy blue  t-shirt. 
  •  she had on a forest green tank top, basketball shorts and her legs looked like she’d recently fallen into a blackberry bush. 
  •  Finally after 30 seconds or so the guy spoke up “ sorry we don’t exactly welcome new people” he was not intimidating in the least. 
  •  he was almost shrinking away from me he looked so shy and scared and his voice was shaking a little. 
  •  “ ok why don’t you like new people” 
  •  Anniya whispered something to David so quietly I couldn’t understand and Anniya finally responded to me “the last new person in our town killed some body” she said unbelievably bluntly. 
  •  “what?!” i screamed, “oh my god” 
  •  Anniya seemed more conferrable with me after my reaction to hearing about murder, she now spoke without looking like she was ready to tackle me “ any way what is your name?” 
  •  I started to laugh, I’d forgotten about the whole introducing my self thing “ I’m Safina Dupont.” 
  •  “ oh you’re the new people in the Dupont house” 
  •  she suddenly relaxed and her and David walked a bit closer to me “thats so awesome our parents knew the people who used to live there I think they were probably friends with your… parents?” 
  •  she seemed so questioning like I was royalty, as if I had a social standing just out of reach and if she said the wrong thing I would banish her, I wasn’t used to that I was used to within 30 seconds of meeting someone, seeing the inside of my own locker, she gave me power, the power I’d allowed my self to give to bullies, and I didn’t like it “ oh umm I guess my dad and my aunt maybe” 
  •  I was trying to be nonchalant to make her feel comfortable, but it only seemed to make her more stressed, maybe she thought I didn’t like her or something? “ that’s really cool that you play foot ball I used to play soccer at my old school”  
  • “ oh!”  
  • she looked surprised but I couldn’t quite tell by what. “ you noticed,  I love foot ball we have a stupidly small team and can only afford to play one game a season but were really good”  
  • “ she’s right they are” David chimed in. 
  •  “ oh do you play too David?” 
  •  he raised an eyebrow at me almost as if I’d asked the dumbest thing he’d ever heard the gestured at his paint splattered jeans “ I’m to busy with my art to play foot ball” his voice was still shaking a little bit . 
  • “ oh that’s really cool” I said “I’m not nearly talented enough to draw”  
  • “ oh it’s really not that hard” he seemed to be blushing. 
  •  I guess he didn’t get a lot of complements “ oh he’s just being modest he’s amazing at art” Anniya seemed to be standing up for him against, well no one. 
  •  maybe he got teased for his art? I could relate a bit to that, I just wish I had a twin who would stand up for me. Suddenly Anniya spoke up “ hey do you want us to show you around” 
  •  “ okay that would be great”  
  • I beamed at her she seemed so welcoming now, I did not at all feel like I was about to be tackled. 
  •  She pointed and talked like a tour guide at first, pointing from where we stood to all the important buildings, although there didn’t seem to be very many buildings, important or otherwise 
  •  “ ok so here is the general store” she started walking up the steps 
  •  “ hey a weird question Anniya but why are there bullet holes in the porch?” 
  •  she started laughing “ oh my god that’s such a weird story, but those aren’t bullet holes. The high school is really famous for their track team Davids on high jump I’m on the 1500 meter and 200 meter run, everyone has to participate it’s the only sport other teams come here to play against us, any ways, one time our javelin team one by  A LOT and they stared celebrating like crazy and started having a contest about who had the most accurate shot. no one was in the genral store so they started using the post on the veranda as a target that’s what the holes are and why all the windows are broken!” she told the story so comically and animated I started laughing, so did David. 
  •  “ besides” she said 
  •  “ this place has the best ice cream in the world, you need to try it” so we walked inside “hi john” she said happily to the cashier “ 3 of the usual” 
  •  “alright” he said 
  •  and passed her 3 cones with pale purple ice cream, and she turned to me “try it” I must have looked nervous “I promise it’s good”  
  • And after she handed john a few coins, we all walked outside  and down the front steps, I cautiously licked at the ice cream “wow ok, you were right Anniya this is awesome!” I said. 
  • and I wasn’t lying it tasted like blackberry with a bit of vanilla and some type of herb like maybe basil? it may sound weird, but it was awesome. After that no one said much, We all just walked and attempted awkwardly at small talk. then David spoke; it was surprising his voice wasn’t shaking and he sounded suddenly confident “ok i need to show you this if your new here”  
  • And then  ran into a stand of trees I looked at Anniya and she looked just as confused as I did but we followed we ran for at least 10 minutes I saw houses and a few smaller stores when we were near the main road but deeper into the woods there was nothing. 
  •  suddenly he stopped at a gate, a sign hung off it,  it read “private property” in big red letters Anniya looked over at David “hey uh David this just sort of looks like a fence and uh I don’t think we can go in” 
  •  “your right, we can’t but she can” and he pointed at me. 
  •   I must have looked super confused cause he pointed at some fine print “property of Dupont family” Anniya looked confused and just shrugged at me, like, do you understand what’s happening, sadly I didn’t, so we all jumped over the low fence. 
  •  “how do you even know about this place if its private property” Anniya asked skeptically.  
  •  David smiled “well uhh I used to help Mr. Dupont set up his computer and one day a landscape painting fell out of my bag he said it was good but I told him I needed something else to paint because well…l… I’ve painted everything in this town so he told me I could come back here, and paint this”  
  • as he said that the trees parted and we were standing at a lake; it wasn’t your ordinary lake either, this was emerald green and yet the water was so perfectly clear could see every detail of the bottom. I could here a little waterfall and the sound of little animals, squirrels or something scuffling around, Anniya looked like she was I shock and just stood there smiling as the two of us looked down into the crystal-clear water. 
  • “ David” Anniya paused, like she was still deciding on her emotions  “ why didn’t you bring me here sooner?!?” her voice was weird, like she was laughing and getting a tiny bit mad. 
  •  David frowned, clearly not understanding her expression better then I was “ I really wanted to” he said  “ but he only let me come back here a few times and said I couldn’t bring anyone” 
  •  I stared off into  the lake I must have looked concerned  because Anniya sked me what was wrong “ oh” I said “ I guess I don’t Remember hearing about my grandpa being so strict” 
  •  David looked super confused “ he was never strict we would let me go where ever I wanted in his house” 
  •  “ then why wouldn’t he let you back here?” Anniya asked. I was squinting against the sun at this one point where there was something across the lake but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what the heck it was, as the two of them talked, this weird structure drew me in, I was hyper focused on the one point. 
  •  now I’m not an impulsive person but I just took off running down the lake shore, something about the object just made me curious. I was jumping over logs and boulders I’d already cut myself in a few million places but I kept going. 
  •  it was cold and the wind was whipping my hair around my face, I looked back only to see Anniya a few feet behind me apparently she didn’t mind running towards nothing at all either. I’d ran so fast I was nearly at the opposite side of the lake and i darted into the forest I’d only ran 100 meters or so and I stopped dead in my tracks. 
  •  It wasn’t a mirage, it wasn’t a deformed tree, but that didn’t mean I knew what it was. 
  • We’d come to a clearing  there were no more trees the clearing was dark and cold the air was still, I looked down at the grass and there was a small pile of bricks and charred wood, that’s when I noticed the size of the clearing as I walked deeper the fog rolled in gray and thick, what looked like the burnt foot print of a building  appeared through the fog; I walked into the center. 
  •  the ground was covered in bricks and charcoal even though we’d ran a good 5 minutes I could still hear the lake echoing through the trees.  it got colder the deeper I walked into the clearing I looked back over my shoulder Anniya was following me, walking along almost cat like swerving around bricks and gracefully jumping over  charred 2 by 4’s. 
  •  through the thick trees I could barely see David standing on the beach trying to see us, finally I saw it, the thing I’d seen from the other side of the lake it was a building! 
  •  It was small maybe only a story tall and one side of it was burned, but it looked mainly intact Anniya must have seen it to because she gasped “ what is that.” 
  •  I turned around “how should I know I’ve only been here for like an hour” I paused “oh no, I told my parents I would just be out exploring the grounds for a few minutes!” I hit my palm to my forehead. 
  •  suddenly David broke through the tree and I could see his outline in the fog “ you are technically exploring the grounds of you house” he said sarcastically. 
  •  I mean he wasn’t wrong “ but still I should go” I paused “ David… how do I get back?” 
  •  he sighed and reluctantly said “ follow me” at first I though he didn’t like me but then I realized, he wasn’t ready to leave the burnt building yet he had questions that needed answers “ what if we meet here tomorrow?” I suggested “ it is Saturday tomorrow” Anniya chimed in “ ok lets do it” and as Davids words rung throughout the clearing I knew we’d made a promise we weren’t going to be aloud to break. 


My plan for presenting my project. 

So, I plan on doing a few things for presenting my project, since it’s not really something I could take a video of (like an art project.) so I have decided to do several things to try and show how much I’ve learned. first, I will post my book summarized in a sentence, which is something I discussed with my mentor at our last meeting ‘summarizing your whole story and characters in a single sentence can be quite difficult, but it is worth it because you can easily explain the basic concepts of your story to the potential audience’ (quote Michelle, my mentor.) I will also be posting some of my favorite lines and scenes (without giving spoilers for the book.) such as jokes or statements that I am most proud of myself for writing or scenes that include lots of detail and well show case the skills I have learned for adding detail (adding detail was one of my original big goals.) I hope the people reading my learning center will be able to see a few things 1. How much I’ve enjoyed writing my novel, I hope that if someone who has always considered writing a novel, but has never started goes through my in-depth post and sees some of the techniques I’ve discussed they might consider starting a novel, it has been a really fun experience that I’ve learned a lot of skills through. 2. I want people to see some of the behind the scenes of writing a novel, when I started this, I had no idea the amount of research that goes not only into researching different writing styles but that goes into creating a believable relm. My novel does have elements of time travel and I have put a fair amount of time into researching the past to try and make the time travel element more believable (the reader should have to suspend disbelief on the fact that it’s magic, not on how people acted in the past.)  I do think that what goes into writing a novel would be an interesting thing to see and I hope others find it interesting as well.  

For the interactive part of my presentation, I plan on turning one of my chapters into a chose your own adventure, with an assortment of endings, it will probably only take people a few minutes to click through and will act as a good introduction to my characters. 




concept that has become relatively apparent to me as I have started writing my novel is the amount that creative critique or even just general advice from other writers, amateur or professional can be extremely helpful. In our last meeting we re-visited the creative academy for writers, a website that includes masterclasses, motivational exercises and advice on writing from other writers ( website link.). I have also been working on discussing my novel with my peers and classmates, several of which have taken an interest in my novel and have graciously agreed to do a peer review of my novel and have been giving my feedback on plot holes or ways to make certain areas more entertaining, easy to follow etc. As well as class mates that enjoy writing giving me general advice on how to write interesting stories. I was aware of how important the concept of asking others for advice was, but after me and my mentor discussed it I chose to be more proactive in asking others for help or advice as it’s the best way for me to grow my skills. 



Of course, when writing a novel there are lots of different pathways one can take; right from the beginning my mentor asked what style of narration I wanted to try and as well as listening to my idea, she suggested several other writing styles and shared their benefits. Throughout my book as I present my ideas my mentor has asked me questions about the 5W’s (who, what, when, why, where.) and has given my alternative suggestions based off what has worked in my mentors writing and what she thinks may work for my story 

If I had been in a different situation with my mentor some different alternatives, they may have given me might have been different character ideas, while my mentor did give me some advice on how to develop my characters, by the time we had our first meeting I already had the idea of my current characters very well laid out. Perhaps in different circumstances (if I hadn’t come up with the characters before our first meeting.) my mentor could have given my more alternative character ideas.  

in depth post 5

In-depth project 5 

Project type: writing a novel using first person narration. 

Big goals: write a minimum of ten chapters and however far I end up writing by march 23 should be at least 25 thousand words ( half of the minimum amount of words that a novel should be) and to have both a first draft and a second draft that includes good character development and detail for a fully immersive world. 


Progress report. 

Last week I had said that I wanted to minimum complete chapters 9 and 10 by next blog post for my goal of having a criteria meeting rough draft by March 23. I have started chapter 14 this week and have fully completed chapters 9-13 with a word count of approximately 31 thousand words, surpassing both of my length goals.  I have also named chapters 10-12. 

I think that the rough draft contains adequate detail “the first draft is getting your idea out on paper, the second draft is for making it look like you knew every detail and piece of plot the entire time” (quote Michelle Bettauer, my mentor). It also contains great character development and character arcs, that include reveals, backstory and character traits.  this week we switched focus a fair amount and started talking about false climax and developmental questions. a false climax is like a climax, but it happens earlier in the book and typically the antagonist wins. “ it’s like when you see a fight scene in a movie, and go wow that was so cool, that must be the end but, there’s still an hour left in the movie, and you get kind of confused because you thought that was the climax. ( quote my mentor) false climax are good for character and plot development and really help with the reader having more of an attachment to a character. 


Developmental questions are the who, what, when, where and how’s that you use to make laws for the magic in your fictional world, readers can suspend some disbelief but the magic does have to have boundary’s that are spelled out or at least touched upon in the novel. 


Frustrations and obstacles. 

I’ve really just be struggling as my book Is nearing its climaxI have multiple different ideas on what might make for an interesting climax and am having trouble deciding on which one fits best with my plot. have to clear a lot of hurdles since there are requirements with the outline of a climax and it has been a bit frustrating to figure out what I want my climax to be. 


Project changes. 

My project has basically stayed the same, I’ve surpassed both of my first draft goals so, I have made a new one. By the end of in-depth I want my novel to be 35 thousand words. Based off my growth of previous weeks this may not seem like a lot, but much of my focus in the coming weeks will be going in to editing and not writing new plot points. 


Evidence of progress, 

Chapter 2 of my book ( rough draft) 

  •                                                               Chapter 2  
  •                                          Musical interlude  
  • As we pulled out on to the high way headed north: I put in my ear buds and it drowned out the noise of the car and my parents talking a fell into my world of music.
  •  I checked my phone “no new messages” sign popped up on the screen, I quietly laughed to myself; you’ve lived in the same town your whole life yet no one even knows your gone 
  •   “funny movie kiddo” my dad asked. 

 I took out a headphone “ sure dad 

 he seemed a lot calmer now that we were on the road, maybe he was like me, indecisive till someone makes you do something, then it’s the best moment of your life, that’s why we needed my mom she ran in head first, she had moved to America by her self when she was 18! Only four years older than I was, I took comfort in that, if she could do that, I can do this. 


We drove through only forest for a long time, not passing anything other than a few rest stops, an old dinner called “the pine tree” and a  motel  that was actually called “the rest stop” with a bunch of z’s coming out of the rest on the flickering neon sign, I guess the word “rest” was asleep, 


 we’ve been on the road for what feels like hours but according to my phone had only been about 90 minutes. So, I started scrolling through old photos; most people had pictures of them and their friends by the side of a lake or at a mall, or wherever other teenage girls hung out, I had very random pictures of forests, the skyscrapers from Milwaukee and a picture of a juice bottle for some reason unknown even to myself. 


 I ran out of pictures pretty quickly but I felt cramped in the back of the carI tried to read but it made me feel sick so I tried to open a window which still did nothing, 


 I want to crawl out of my own skin just so I can move, but in this stupid hot car I felt worse and worse so, I wanted to get out and run around on the side of the road but my dad said we were on a tight schedule, what schedule!  I thought to myself, the moving truck wasn’t coming to black pine  till 8 or 9 and it was 10 am! 


 my mind started to wonder about possibility’s, maybe the neighbors were going to through us a welcome party, was that normal? I’d never moved before, I didn’t know how other people reacted, would there be chips? Because I was starving; I honestly don’t know how moving works, maybe we had to do something to set up the house before the movers got there?  


I was letting my imagination wander and as I looked out the window I started to dream about the forest, it looked so open and cool, I saw a deer poke its head out of a bush and watch our car go by, 


 we put animals in a zoos, just so that we could observe them and see them, but I wonder when animals are in the wild, do they stare at us in our cars like we’re in the zoo? 


 my mind drifted to all of my thoughts, I thought about gardens and tree houses and milkshakes.  this was when I think I started to drift off.  


I don’t really know how long I was asleep for I just know that when I woke up, it had gotten brighter out, it must have been 1 or 2 by now  , 


 I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and squinted at something in the trees, a glittery star was hung off a branch “ hey mom?” my voice still sounded groggy “ what was in that tree 


 she turned around to face  me “ the star?” 


 “ uh huh” 


 “ sweety that’s to mark a drive way it’s hard to see them through the trees so people hang stuff off of the trees In front of there houses 


 I sat bolt upright “ are we in black pine!?” 


 she smiled “ well the out skirts at least” 


 some one might as well have glued my face to the window I wanted to see everything even if it was just a bunch more trees “ hey dad”  


“ yes” he said 


 “ how many people live here 


 “about 200” 


 “ is there a school 




 “ how many students? 


” “30 ish”  


“ what does the house look like”  


“ safina we’ll be there in a few minutes, no more questions” he was clearly getting nervous,  


he was humming blackbirds by the Beatles he always did that when he was nervous. 


 we pasted another star about 5 minutes later, then two minutes after that then one minute after that! They were getting closer together till we hit the main road, 


 ok road was a stretch, it was dirt with no trees or brush; we pasted a few stores but nothing that looked like a house. then we pasted the school, it was about 3 minutes from the nearest store and was definitely in the middle of the forest, 


 we kept going down the dirt road until we got to a blue star on a tree, my mom checked her phone “ this is us” she said as we turned down the drive way. 


 we went for a few minutes down a winding drive way, and then I got my first glimpse of the house; it was tall and made of dark wood, it looked colonial era and had a spire on top. all of the windows were shuttered and ivy was growing up one wall, it was the only clearing in a massive forest. 


 I put my head out the  window I smelled strong pine and dirt “ this is home” said my mom, suddenly my stomach dropped, I felt like I was about to throw up, this was home we weren’t going back to Milwaukee this was where I lived now, it was the middle of nowhere, there was no super markets, no McDonalds, no high-rises. What if everyone here hated me,  I bet forest kids are rough what if they killed me, my mind was going faster than the car was, it was a like a dream as the car stopped and I grabbed my bag and went inside, it was a blur, 


 as I walked down the long entry way and up the dark spiral stairs holding the curved railing like my life depended on it; a voice broke my trance “ Saf your room’s the second on the left” my dad yelled. Ok deep breath, only a few more steps I turned and walked through the door. 


The room was made of the same wood as everything else, the rug in the middle of the room was a beautiful dark green and the bed had a canopy with dark green mosquito netting,  


light came in from the back where there was a arched green stained glass window with a pine tree in the middle as well as a large picture window, 


 I dropped my bag on the bed and walked over to it all I could see was trees I looked at the ground, first I saw a path leading away from my house the I noticed a rope ladder hanging out of my window,  good, an opportunity to just run and not be cramped anymore, 


I ran over to my backpack , ripped a piece of paper out of my note book and scribbled out a note  “ going out to explore the grounds – saf” I dropped the note on the bed and climbed out the window, down the rope ladder and started following the path.  



 A website about false climax’s. 


A collection of sources on writing character emotions and arcs.  



Mentor: M 

Me(carolyn): C 


Discussing false climax’s (some statements were slightly edited for length and clarity) 


White hat: I think this qualified as me using the white hat since I asked for the hard facts of using false climax’s in writing like, what’s their purpose or when should I use them.  

C: I believe the purpose of a false climax is to give the reader a taste of what’s to come later in the book, is there more to false climax then that? 

M: yes so that’s the base idea, you think it’s the big thing and then you realize There’s more to come but you can also use it to help the reader build more attachment to your character. 

C: when would I use that, when does it apply? 

M: you might use it to build tension, a few chapter before your climax.  


Red hat: I think I used the red hat here since I expressed my emotional interest that has come from other books/movies in using false climax’s. 

C: using false climax’s seem like a good Idea for reader attachment, I definitely want to use these in my book (here I shared the idea of what chapter in my book I would put the false climax and what it would be) 

M: yes ok I get why you would want to have a false climax there, I like this idea, that works really well for the limits of a false climax, it also speaks to your characters growth. 

Black hat  

The above mentor comment I think plays well into the black hat, we spoke about how the false climax I had decided on played into my story’s theme of trusts and plot twists. My decided on false climax both fit the values of my book and of a false climax. This was something both me and my mentor agreed on. 


Green hat. My mentor asked about a different solution novel design that would hit the same goals, I did bring up a few but I still plan to use the false climax. I think it fits best with my book 

M: what could you do instead of a false climax? 

C: I could try a false defeat, or moment of weakness of the characters? 

M: yes those do work. you might want to try more of a reveal, like you find out There’s a new villain 

C: ok so I could use a reveal instead? 

M: yes, this adds a new level of narrative which is often useful. 

C: that sound cool, but I think a false climax works best with the placement and character development in my novel. 



Yellow hat. I think this is an example of the yellow hat since we agreed that using false climax’s would be better for everyone’s time and was a good use of my time. 

C: I think what would make everyone’s effort worthwhile is that false climax, it could really help build a connection between the reader and the story. 


M: yes, this is definitely worth spending time on because as well as reader and story bonding it can really help with character growth which is very important to the story. It’s a simple tool of raising tension and stakes, its not mandatory, but a false climax is definitely worth spending time on. 


Blue hat. 

The total focus of our conversation was false climax’s and how useful they can be in a story to shoe characters in a new light, to allow character growth, build suspense and develop a reader character bond. 






in-depth post 4

Progress report  

i have made quite a bit of progress since last week, in accordance with me and my mentors conversation before my previous blog post, I have been researching grammar in writing of novels or “non-scientific styles of writing, and have begun my first edit on chapters 1, 2 and 9, I plan to have done a first mainlgrammatic edit on chapters 3-7 by next blog post. Me and my mentor have continued to discuss the grammar of my book and the plot“the plot shows a lot of potential” ( quote Michelle Bettauer my in depth mentor). 


Since my last blog post I have completed the rough draft of chapters 7-9 and have a good plan for chapter ten and possibly eleven ( assuming time permits). Making the outline of what I want chapters 9 and 10 to look like has been an obstacle since this is the first time that my characters go out of there element which covers steps 5 and 6 of the Heros Journey, the crossing of the threshold and tests, allies and enemies; in many books this is where the first character arc or if following the save the cat style ( explained below) the beginning of the secondary plot and the second act. 


Save the cat writing style (explained in more detail then in previous posts) 

The save the cat writing style in the division of certain “times” in your novel ( such as “the villains close in” or ”the time for the protagonist to make a choice”) divided up by either page number or percentage. 

The steps are: opening image ( page 1), the theme/main idea (pg 5), background for story (pg1-10), set story in motion/ change the world ( pg 12), choice for the protagonist ( 12-25), enter new situation/ act 2 (25-30), second plot line (30), promise of the premise ( 30-55), false victory or defeat (55), villains close in(55-65), all is lost ( 75), why is all this happening( 75-85), the eureka moment/ act 3 (85), solve problems, defeat the villains (85-110), the final image, this can be a mirror image of the first image(110). 


This may sound much more complicated and structured then the heroes journey ( and it can be), so for my person writing style of combined the two styles, using the heros journey 12 steps as the structure and using save the cat, to fill in blank spots or to use if I’m having some degree of writers block or simply don’t know what order to put in different plot points. 



I’m a bit frustrated with semi colons at the moment, I have asked my mentor about where they should be applied and done some research, but I am still struggling to figure out where I should use them. 



Changes to process 

With the information I’ve collected since the beginning of this project I’ve mainly had to make changes to dates  that I want things to be done by my current schedule from now on is.. 

February 28   Complete rough drafts of chapters 1-9  
March 11   Complete chapters 10 and 11  
March 22  Do first preliminary edit ( mainly spelling) 
March 23  Begin second draft (most likely the last draft I’ll be able to do) 

I hope that the rest of my project time line will stay the same. 



A website for improving punctuation 

The every thing guide to writing your first novel 

A book that seems to include almost every technique in the novel writing business 

By Hallie Ephron   


Evidence of progress  

The second half of chapter one and my finalized names for chapters 1-9  

there was one thing that I still had to do I climbed up the loft bed, checking out my window that my parents weren’t watching, ok good they were packing the car. I leaned out over the side till I barely touched the wall and pealed back a bit of the blue wallpaper behind it was a small hole in the wall. 


 it was where I kept the presents…. 


If your not in my family or you’ve never met me then you won’t know what the “presents” are every year on my birthday my parents give me one present and hide one with very complex clues, we’ve done it for decades, probably centuries  it was one of the things we just did, I’d never known anything else, 

  it was just a fun thing that we did as a family; I never really learned where it started but I heard it was because my family used to be very poor and had very little, it was a way of making presents seem more special. 

 it was a fun tradition but it got… competitive my dad and his twin sister competed on his 18th birthday to win there fathers fortune; neither of them ever found it, and so when my grandpa  passed away his house was left to my dad, 

 both my dad and aunt left home after they realized that there whole life at there fathers house had been a contest to prove them selves worthily of his money, 

 my dad moved to Milwaukee and met my mom, 

 my aunt moved to France, we haven’t heard from her since. 

 My dad refuses to talk about anything from before Milwaukee but I guess I’m going to find out about the town he grew up in, because that’s where we’re going now. 

 Weirdly enough I was- Concerned to go there, my dad had such an aversion to even the memory of the place  it has to be awful, 

 its in the middle of no where of course its awful! I told my self and with that cheery thought I started pushing over filled boxes out into the hall, 

 the long red and green embroidered  carpet was covered in boxes of all shapes and size, several of which were blocking the door making the hall way dark and claustrophobic. 

 I crawled out under the long mirror and stood up, my mildly insane looking curly dark brown and blue hair looked like I’d been pulled through a lake and it had been tied in a bun before it had a chance to dry and my eyes were still red from not getting any sleep, well they were red and almost black brown and I had a random spray of freckles across my nose. 

 I rubbed some Dorito dust of my face 

 “safina” my mom shouted, 

 down to one world, she must  be mad now, I crawled as quickly as possible jammed a last few thing in my backpack and prepared to leave, 

 I looked around for one last time and smiled “bye… I guess”  I whispered,  

ok deep breath; I crawled out of my room and bolted out of my house down the lawn and turned around, 

 the window and doors almost looked like a face, an old friend ready to say good bye, how had I never noticed that before. 

 “ safina c’mon” my dad snapped, 

 he’d been uptight  since we decided to move back to black pine. Black pine, black pine, black pine. 

  I ran the name over in my head, it was a cool name for a town. 

 I looked back at the house,  I thought about waving bye to the house but that was childish, so I took my backpack and hopped in the car, it was an old blue SUV with  massive comfy backseat, 

 my mom turned around “ what took you so long 

 I blushed “ I forgot to pack a few things”  

  she smiled “oh, ok just a few things?” she winked 

 “ just a few” I smiled, 

 and with that my dad speed out of the driveway, 

 I looked out the rear view mirror for one last look at the house it was old and quaint, it  was made of bricks and had the most beautiful garden, and it used to be home. 

 Chapter names   

1  house of boxes                         6 they didn’t question me  

2 musical interlude                      7 lying about broccoli  

3  running towards nothing         8 something any logical person could dismiss                          

4  boring cases of arson               9 the girl who died  

half way to a gas station            


I wanted each of the chapter names to represent both the emotion of the chapter and represent my main characters a bit chaotic and unique train of thought. 

How to have a beautiful mind  



1.What new information are you getting and what did you ask to probe further into the information. 

My mentor is teaching me a lot about grammar right now as that is what both she and I feel that I need the most work on, this week I have been focusing mostly on spacing out blocks of text and researching the proper use of colons and semi-colons, I both asked her about the use of a semi colon and how it adds to the readabilitycharacter development, conversation and context in novels  


2.Discuss any new points of view you’ve developed while talking with your mentor  

I think speaking with my mentor for the past few months has shown me how much detail goes into a novel, you want to be so familiar with your characters that you could answer questions about them that may never come up in the book I.e there favorite foods, books and family history ( although family history does come up in my story) and how many subconscious “tells” you need to write into your characters and how they should interact with other characters based on the emotional scars. 

I never realized how big of a  deal these sorts of details  are to making a good book and, as I read back through some of my favorite books, I have grown a new appreciation for the time and effort that I know goes into creating characters and places out of thin air. 

  1. an alternative perspective that is new to me is how important grammar and spacing are to a novels enjoyability as a reader, despite the fact that I read all the time it had never truly occurred to me how differently spaced and formatted novels are; well writing I’ve never really put a priority on spacing or using colons, my mentor has showed me her perspective on how utterly important spacing and grammar are to the reader and to the way that the story and characters sound. 


  1. How do your mentors values differ from yours  

 as mentioned above I think that my mentor focuses more on things like spacing then I do, but aside from that I think we have similar values when it comes to writing, all ideas that she’s introduced me to have seemed like good ones, I think we both put emphasis on have fully developed characters with emotional arcs and adding detail. 


5.What questions did you ask on facts or details. Elaborate  

This week along with talking about grammar we talked about emotional arcs, this is when a character has a moment of severe emotional development, such as when someone shows great sadness that is part of the plot or secondary plot to show great emotional growth/how the character reacts to emotion. So I asked a lot of questions about emotional growth such as is there a limit on the type of emotion the person should experience in their arc. When should emotional arcs come in, in the plot line. I asked these questions because I am new to writing emotional arcs and didn’t know if there was a set of rules I had to follow, which it turns out as long as there is an unusual ( for the character) emotion to show growth there is very little criteria. “ with rules in writing you can often break them, but before you break them you have to fully understand the rule” ( quote Michelle Bettauer)  


  1.  ask questions, record them. Why did you ask these

Most of the questions that I asked this week had to do with emotional arcs as shown above, such as is there a limit on the type of emotion the person should experience in their arc. When should emotional arcs come in, in the plot line. And some questions about punctuation in spacing such as, if lines need to be broken up because of a line of speaking can I end a line on a coma or semi-colon such as  

“Hello” bob said, 

He sounded much happier than usual this morning. 

Because in writing I have already been taught that after you find out who said something ( like we know bob did) you should move on the  next line. 

I think I asked these questions to clarify  and review things that I’ve already been taught ( this week we mainly went back over stuff I already learned and was unclear on). 

7.Ask explanation for a certain skill you are learning. 

As I mentioned last blog post, I was confused and continued to be during our last conversation as to how the spacing and colons were important, it seemed like it could be a lot of extra work, I asked both my mentor and consulted a website that she had recommended to me that was about the importance of colons in writing to explain the point that your trying to get across in your writing. 

  1. ask a multiple choice question, was this helpful? 

I think giving someone multiple choices whilst they’re trying to explain something to you is always useful as it can remind them of ideas they meant to share with you but have forgotten or gives them a better idea of what your interested in as far as what your mentor needs to teach you and what you do not fully understand. In almost all situations asking multiple choice questions can clarify both yours and your mentor ( or any other person your talking with) points. 



9.Ask questions to clarify the persons thinking or feelings. 

I tried to ask questions as much as possible, for the last two meetings me and my mentor have been mostly working on grammar and I was quite confused as to why this was so important to my mentor in novel writing, she has continued to specify it has to do with her love of reading “ I like reading different stories online but if I see bad spacing or large text blocks I often won’t read something that sounded like it could have been a good story” ( quote Michelle Bettauer). So, it was important that I had good grammar and spacing to her because she wanted people to want and enjoy reading my novel. 

in-depth post 3

 Chapter one  

Progress reports  

Progress report  

I have actually made a lot of progress in this last week, I have completed the rough draft for chapter4-6 and have sent out my rough draft of chapters 1-4 for a peer read through by my mentor and a classmate Bana) and am awaiting any critiquesplot questions or character development issues from them. I am happy with my progress right now, my progress plan ( which has been altered slightly) is to finish the rough drafts for (minimum) chapters 1-10 by march 23 to leave myself time for a final edit and a final read over. 


Mentor information. 


So far me and my mentor have met 3 times in these meetings, we have discussed adding detail, character development, how to make the book easier to read, grammar, paragraph structure and the how to have a beautiful mind topics. 


 Chapter two 

Frustrations, obstacles and resources  


So far it’s been smooth sailing with all outer issues ( my computer or other people) my main frustration is with the general layout I did for my book, as I’m writing I’m finding continuity errors or obvious other solutions to issues that shorten or lengthen the story, and I actually turned my chapter 4 out line into two chapters, while this may seam like it wouldn’t be frustrating and like it saves my work, it means it pushes the climax by one chapter ( since chapter 5 becomes chapter 6, 6 becomes 7 ect) so I have to cover for that and add other elements which means a partial reconstruction of chapters 6-8. 





A website about grammar that specifically relates to novel writing 


A website manly about paragraph structure in creative writing and how to make conversations and descriptions more evident 


All the wrong questions 

A book that well illustrates the type of writing I want to do ( first person/action narration) 


Harry potter and the philosophers stone. 

A book that shows the heros journey style of plot development and character development well  


Me and Banksy 

A book that shows the type of conversation rich paragraph layout I want to use   


Mentor quotes 

‘change paragraphs when you would want the camera angle to change if you were filming a movie 

‘add more description to areas the audience would never experience, like supernatural events’ 

Plus others through out. 


Honestly everything has been going pretty well obstacles wise, we can do everything virtually and just as an added bonus, me and my mentor are in the same learning cohort for our drama class so we’ve been able to discuss a few things during class breaks ( following appropriate school rules such as social distancing and mask wearing). 

 Chapter 3 


Evidence of progress 


The first part of the rough draft of chapter one  


                                                                             Black pine  

                                                   (  Rough draft )  Chapter 1  

                                                  House of boxes  


I jumped over a brown cardboard boxes, ducked behind a full-length mirror and crawled into my room under stacks of “junk”. home, it smelled like my mom’s flowery perfume and paint.  


entered my room, light poured in from the large window that was partially covered by navy blue curtains and on to my sky-blue wall, black dresser and shined off my silver loft bed. 


 the only special thing about my room was the bookshelf it was tall, taller than I was. 

 it was made of dark oak wood and was covered in not only books but everything important to me, soccer medals, a few polaroids of places I’ve been, post card of places I want to go. 


 except this wasn’t really my home anymore. 


 I know I should have packed my room days ago like the rest of the house, but the moving truck wasn’t coming for– I checked my watch 37 minutes?! that wasn’t enough time to pack up everything I’d ever owned! 


 I grabbed a few boxes and started shoving stuff in, nothing was folded, and it got messy. 


 At this point I didn’t know why I didn’t want to leave, I hated my school, I had no friends, I got bullied constantly it was just….. home I can’t explain it. 


 but back to packing. I shoved in jeans and the button downs and t- shirts I wore to school, 

 till finally I got to the band tee’s , nirvana, 21 pilots, Metalica, and not the cropped fake ones you get from h and m these were real, of course they were banned at the prep school I went to, but me in an object would be my band tee’s kind of overlooked but special in some ways, I loved’em. 


 “ Safina we Gotta go” my mom yelled out to me “ the trucks nearly here” 


I went into panic mode, my mom could get scary at times plus I knew her and my dad were already on edge for the move. 


 Okay: clothes and junk box down, bed sheets and books to go, I assumed the movers would be packing up the furniture too. 

 there was one thing that I still had to do I climbed up the loft bed, checking out my window that my parents weren’t watching, ok good they were packing the car. I leaned out over the side till I barely touched the wall and pealed back a bit of the blue wallpaper behind it was a small hole in the wall. 


 it was where I kept the presents…. 



Chapter 4  

How to have a beautiful mind part one  



How to be interesting. I think is an especially important topic in novel writing, if you are not interesting people won’t enjoy your work and even you won’t enjoy your own book or working on it, a good way to be interesting is to add personal stories or depth ( although in book often the personal stories are altered slightly for privacy, continuity, space and relevance to the story) but people subconsciously connect with stories that add character development that are based on real life because slightly altered real stories seem relatable. 


How I used points in how to be interesting and how to be a good listener with my mentor. 


Find ways to link matters and generate interest. 

 Writing is all about reader interest, the last lesson that I did with my mentor involved ½ an hour of how to avoid skim reding due to large blocks of text. We have a shared interest in lots of writing styles and skills one way that we generate shared interest in meetings is to make connections between novels and movies we both enjoy, it gives us a better understanding of the writing style the other person is talking about since we’ve read the same books in that style.  


Explore, elaborate and pull out interest. 

I find writing quite interesting, so it is easy for me to pull out interest, however the fact that we were planning to do a grammar lesson worried me as I do not find that aspect very interesting, however I was able to find parts of it quite interesting like tips and tricks to avoid readers from skim reading.  



Use what if statements to create new thoughts. 

Thought our meeting I tried to use lots of what if… statements to connect thoughts and to clarify for example, while discussing paragraph structure, my mentor said paragraphs should be divided by new people talking, I said “what if it’s a rapid fire conversation” this caused her to elaborate on her point which was quite interesting in that she told me about how large blocks of description or dialogue text can cause readers to skim read part that could be important and that yes, even in rapid fire conversation, dialogue should be broken up. 


Ask for clarification when you are unclear or disagree with something your mentor has said.   

I did ask for clarification several times during our meeting, she was introducing me to many new ideas about book and paragraph structure and I was important to ask for clarification so that I could fully understand the topics. For example my mentor talked about describing larger scenes less, this sound confusing so I asked for clarification, she said “ if you’re talking about a war, you may not need to describe the battlefield you only need to describe the important thing or the unusual thing such as a doll lying in the street.” this statement greatly clarified the concept. 


Support your mentors point with additional facts or evidence/ share a personal story that illustrates the topic. 


One of the best points that illustrates both of these points is the same, my mentor was sharing the importance  of using paragraph separations in description, I shared that of two of my favorite books, only one of them did this well and has my mentor had said, the one book that had large blocks of  description text ( harry potter and the deathly hallows ) I was guilty of often “skim reading” parts whereas the other ( all the wrong questions) did this quite well and used short blocks of text that well illustrated where the book was taking place and only described important thing as opposed to  describing those unimportant to the plot. 


Modify an idea to make it more practical/ stronger. 

Often in writing you have to take other writers ideas and styles to fit your books and charactersI am currently (re)reading  the book “ all the wrong questions” in which the author utilizes a first person narration style to show both character growth and add some mystery to the story, I want to use a similar writing style with a bit of modification. The book I am reading is a detective story that is primarily focused on a single mystery with very few characters other than the main one, whereas my style of writing has to include and adapt for multiple characters. 







Skim reading  

Glancing over large blocks of text to get to the point of text that can often cause readers to miss important parts  


in-depth 2

In depth blog post two

Writing a first person narrated novel.

Progress report:

I have just had my second meeting with my mentor where we primarily talked about scene development, with  this  information along with the detail and character development exercises we did in our first meeting I have written the first 3 chapters rough drafts in which we meet the main characters and start to be introduced to the setting for much of the journey. As well my mentor taught me about how to “block out scenes” by making a chapter/scene with bullet points or simple sentences and I have stated doing that with my chapter 4 rough draft. In this scene lay out process you prioritize things you want to happen and add detail in the actual chapter.  I have decided to mainly follow the heroes journey writing model which is a twelve step for adventure novels and is the writing model that they’ve used in famous novel such as harry potter and for the forth chapter ( the one I’m working on) I’m on step 4 of the heroes journey, which is funnily enough called the meeting of the mentor, in most books the first four to five steps of the heroes journey happen quickly with step 5-9 happing slowly and 9- 12 sometimes being only a few pages and sometimes being half the book.

The steps of the heroes journey are

1   ordinary world, the heroes home or where they seem normal and feel comfortable

2  the call to adventure

3 the refusal of the call to adventure, which isn’t always that the hero doesn’t want to go but there might be an aspect of their life that they can’t leave

4 meeting the mentor, a teacher like figure giving advice

5 crossing the threshold/ acceptance of the call, the character goes into the unknown

6  the tests, this is when the hero meets those how help and hurt them and leaves their comfort zone

7 in to the utmost cave, the escalation to the final ordeal and what tells the audience just how bad the final ordeal ( typically the climax) is about to be there will often be a large trail of character in this step

8 the ordeal, this final terrible battle we’ve all been waiting for

9 the seizing of the sword/ reward, the hero gets a reward, whether it be gold or self confidence

10 the road back, the hero returning home this is often a stage were the hero must choose between the greater good and a personal reward

11 resurrection, this is what is truly the final battle and often a time where the hero will be put in extreme danger ( the real climax)

12 return with the elixir, the hero returns home a changed person with a different out look

Information on mentor:

My mentor is a talons alumni how also did her in-depth project on writing although hers was not focused on first person narration. So far we have had two meetings where we talked about character development, detail and scene layout.



Everything has been very smooth sailing lately I’ve been enjoying writing rough drafts and scene layouts and haven’t run into a lot of issues yet


Project evidence

This is my simple sentence  layout for chapter four of my book, it has characters; safina( protagonist), david and anniya

Chapter 4  

 Starts Monday (first day of safinas school from safinas perspective) 

  • She goes to class from home and walks with david and aniya  
  • Gets hit in the back of the head with a note saying they should go to burnt building after school 
  • – she agrees
  • They continue to hang out at burnt building every day
  • Anniya starts questioning why it’s there
  • Safina wants answers but selfishly doesn’t want to tell others about this “escape” from reality  
  • Safina eventually agrees to ask the history teacher about any burnt buildings  ( step 4 heroes journey) 
  • History teacher doesn’t know of any burnt buildings
  • Anniya says questioning was to vague, they need to look harder  
  • David wants to leave well enough alone 
  • Anniya convinces them to break into the department of records  
  • Safina doesn’t fully trust them yet and says they should wait 
  • They do some “team building” ( school project about invasive species)  
  • – safina agrees to break into the department of records  
  • They arrive at the department of records at 1 am  
  • Climb on to the roof
  • And break the window ( end chapter)


Overcoming obstacles

So far I still haven’t hit any major obstacles, having meetings with my mentor over zoom due to covid-19 doesn’t affect my project. So far the biggest obstacle has been figuring out what order to write chapters, many books are written back to front instead of beginning to end  and there are pros and cons to each, I have pretty much decided to write front to back at this point but not knowing what way I wanted to write my novel was an obstacle because it meant I delayed starting writing for a bit while I was trying to figure it out.


Changes to project

In my initial project layout I planned to write one rough draft a week and then the actual chapter the next, my mentor told me it would be easiest and make the best novel if I wrote a whole novel rough draft, then went back and re-did the whole thing so I’m trying to get to at least 10 rough draft chapters by the end of march.


Resources used

The everything guide to writing your first novel ( book) chapter nine: shaping scenes

this give advise about when to write certain aspect of your novel how often you edit, how much detail you should add to certain areas and writing tricks like the simple sentence scenes

save the cat

this is a resource I plan on using along with the heroes journey writing method it is a layout of what should be in scenes, as far as detail, dialogue, or story arch.



how to have a beautiful mind

How I agreed with my mentor

Are their any circumstances where the other persons view might be right?

Yes, definitely my mentor knows so much about writing and she is constantly teaching me new stuff that can only be learned from experince, one thing in particular is the fact that while we were discussing my rough draft she pointed out that every character needs an emotional wound to fill out there character, I said that I already chosen trust issues, she pointed out that my character was much to trusting for someone with trust issues, I hadn’t realized that, but she was totally right so I revised my out look for the fourth chapter  a bit based on this insight, she also gave me some tips to make the character have a subconscious emotional wound where it’s semi-obvious to the reader but still not pointed out, by saying “she had trust issues” in the book your pointing it out a little too much many people don’t always realize they have personality traits, so it’s important that my mentor taught me how to add subconscious traits and I agree with my mentor that it’s better to add these traits subconsciously.


Make a real effort to see where the other person is coming from

I didn’t fully lay out certain areas of my story, so when my mentor started recommending I add certain parts to my story that I wasn’t sure I wanted in my story, while I did offer another idea for my story that she agreed with, I could see why she made her suggestions and they were good suggestions they just didn’t necessarily fit with my thought process.


Genuinely seek to find points of agreement with what they were saying

When she talked about how important pre-planning out scenes I genuinely agreed with what my mentor was saying, the idea of bullet point planning out chapters seems really, really smart to me, and it is a strategy I plan on using.



How to disagree

Do not disagree just to show how clever you are

I really did try to genuinely listen to what my mentor has to say, she’s been writing for a long time and has developed techniques, even if I didn’t necessarily agree with or want to use certain strategy I still heard her out because she’s the expert I even tried a few strategies that while maybe I didn’t agree with at first because I’m sure she’s tried them before and even though I may not end up using some of the strategies I think it was good that I looked into it.


You may want to disagree to show a difference in personal experience

I personally think that disagreeing to show a difference of personal opinion can be a good thing as long as you may have a genuine issue with what the other person is saying, so if I think when I didn’t fully agree with a strategy my mentor is suggesting, it’s fair for me to disagree because my personal experiences have shaped the way my novel is going to go.


Distinguishing between having a difference of opinion and disagreeing with an opinion

My mentor suggested an Idea about what emotional reasoning a character should have when making a decision and that was her opinion, I had a different opinion about what the character should have and this was us having different opinions, I thought her opinion was good and I didn’t disagree with it I just had a different opinion.


How to differ

When a difference arises, try to figure out what this difference is based on

Most of the differences of opinion that me and my mentor were not really strong differences of opinion

more of her suggesting a potential idea and me saying that there was a different way I wanted to go, so I think most differences of opinion in my opinion simple came from us being different people with different experiences and writing styles, us having different ideas is a really good thing though, some of her ideas I will definitely include in my book and some of which I decided weren’t for me, so because of this I think differences of opinion are a really good thing.


How can differences be reconciled? Which difference and how can it be reconciled

I think differences of opinion can often be settled through collaboration , for example my mentor suggested that my charecter have an emotional attachment to a certain space and I agreed with that but I thought they should feel a different emotion so I took her idea of them having an emotional attachment to a certain place but used the emotion I thought was best, this was a good way to settle our difference of opinion and add a great detail to my story.


Do you and your mentor have a different opinion for the future?

Not really, she has a similar opinion to me on how a plan to write my novel, she agrees with my timeline and I agree with many of her writing tips and tricks.

What are some opinions of your mentor how do they compare to yours?

My mentor has suggested that I use the save the cat writing strategy after doing a bit of research on that strategy, I think it’s a good strategy I just think that I will definitely use it along with the heroes journey strategy because I do prefer the heroes journey strategy personally, however the have the cat strategy does seem like a good strategy.





in-depth post 1

My chosen skill is… 

The skill that i have chosen for my in depth project is writing a fiction novel, some of the smaller areas under this large umbrella that I want to work on are adding details to fill out my stories and “transport” the reader to how I see the world in my story, character development, there’s a big difference between giving a character a name and a few basic hobbies or interests and actually making the character seem like a person with depth and emotions I want to work on creating a character that truly feels like a real person. The specific type of writing I want to work on is first person narration (  famously used in books like Percy Jackson)  this type of writing has always seemed very difficult to me since the character ( or even multiple characters) in the narration roll have to be so incredibly developed you have to be able to write everything from there perspective and see the world through your characters eyes and not your own. 


 Why did I choose this? 

 I chose this because I’ve always wanted to try writing, I’ve always come up with what I think are good short stories but I’ve never really tried at writing a full length novel even though I’ve always wanted to. The in-depth project is a good way for me to really make the time for me to do something that I really, really enjoy  


How can I learn this skill? 

I plan on learning this skill through having conversations with my mentor (who writes stories and actually did a similar in depth project to me and utilizing several resources such as reading a lot more novels that fit a similar criteria to my project ( fiction, first-person narration and very descriptive) some books that I think fit this are every soul a star, any of the Percy Jackson books or spin off series and “me and Banksy” to name a few more popular books I will also use  the creative academy of writing a website recommended to me by my mentor that has classes on writing skills, talks by writers ect. 



How can others help and support me? 

My mentor can continue to recommend amazing resources ( like the creative academy of writing) and teach me about some of the things she learned in her own in depth project as well as giving me tips and knowledge she has gained through here own writing experience. My peers could be “lab rats” for me to present small amounts of my book to and receive feed back and criticism ( I will be putting a page or two of a chapter from my book every 2 weeks on my blog)And society can just keep being the same society that gives me inspiration and real events to draw from. 


progress report 

 As far as progress I’m working on a few rough drafts for a story Idea that I had to present to mentor so she can create a lesson plan based on some of the points I’ve specifically told her I want to hit. The rough drafts are coming along nicely I’m currently working on a basic over view of the first 8 chapters ( I plan to write 10+ but the plot dramatically changes around chapter 8 and I want to see how a few rough drafts play out before giving the last two or three chapters an over view) and a rough draft of the first time my characters meet and one of the first more dramatic adventure scenes as well as a very rough draft of the first chapter. I’m actually ahead of schedule for my rough drafts by a few weeks so I’m very happy with how my project is beginning. I am also currently working on some character development where I am essentially working on taking my characters from a name and possibly a visual plus a few hobbies into a person and giving the characters as much depth and backstory as possible. I believe that I’ve completed a rough draft of “filled out character traits” for 2 out of my 3 characters and am working on the third  



Information on my mentor and how the mentorship is going 

My mentor actually ( as mentioned above) did a similar project to mine for her in depth project and is a TALONS alumni, so far we’ve manly had conversations over email working out what I need to get prepared for our first video chat and just generally what I should look into for writing tips, so far I think all of our email conversations have gone well. 


Any frustrations? 

Honestly no. The project is going beautifully so far I’ve loved the little bit of writing I’ve been doing, my mentor seems great and has given me some awesome resources so I’ve had no frustrations so far. 


What about obstacles? 

I’ve been very fortunate in that I don’t think covid-19 will affect my in-depth to much given that so far it seems most of the discussions can be done virtually quite well, me and my mentor are working well so there are no obstacles there,. So far I think the biggest obstacle for me is being new to writing I don’t necessarily know what chapters to write first initially I’d just planned to write rough draft chapter one, finished draft chapter one, rough draft chapter 2, finished draft chapter 2 ect. But upon further research I found that many books are written from the end to beginning or from the middle out so I am trying to balance  out which chapters I should write first. 


Evidence of progress 

Here are some character detail on my main character from a character development work sheet ( not the whole sheet I don’t want to give away to much) ( the person narrating) 

 Character “ pitch” safina is kind of your classic “quite kid in the back” who also is really, really smart and has a semi photographic memory, once you get to know her better she is a very different person and can be out going and adventurous. 

Name: Safina  Annmarie  Dupont  


Birthday: march 23  

Height: 5 feet 4 inches 

Hair: waist length, wavey, light brown often dyes temporary streaks of bright colors 

Eyes: dark amber 

State of health: severe almond allergy but otherwise healthy 

What does there voice sound like: relatively monotone a tiny bit low pitched 

Nickname: no, reminds her of how much she was teased 

Town where they were raised: Milwaukee Wisconsin 

Moved to: black pine Wisconsin 

School: straight A student very nerdy, hated all of her peers for teasing her  

Ethnicity: half Malaysian quarter Spanish quarter French 

Relation ships status: single 

Do they have a job: occasionally babysits for neighbor 

Greatest failure/regret: not trying harder to follow her passion for song writing  

Greatest success: getting straight a’s four years in a row school record) 

Best and worst memory: worst getting beat up and left in a forest by her peers.  best memory going to Disney world  as a really little kid  

Favorite music type: alt pop  

Project modifications? 


As mentioned in the obstacle section I’ve had to modify the order that I’m writing chapters, but the project is so new that I think that is the only modification I’ve had to make so far.  


Relevant resources 

Many of my resources were recommended to me by my mentor as things that she’d found success with in her own project, some are resources I’ve compiled through my own research, right now we are working on character development so many of my current resources pertain to that.  




The emotional wound thesaurus ( website) 

A thesaurus of sorts on how to develop tragedy into a plot or characters back story such as how to add bullying into a plot line: give the character(s) trust issues make them anti social, have them spend free time in non-crowded space I.e parks forests or there own home. 

There are other scenarios as well that range from over protective family to deaths each with specialized tips from writers on what attributes and coping mechanisms to give your character. 


The creative academy of writing 

This website essentially offers advice and tips from people who have also written books in a master class format. 

Several famous novels that follow the same format I wish to use 

Percy Jackson, me and Banksy and every soul a star are definitely my favorites from what I’ve read so far. 


And several ted talks including  

How to build a fictional world by Kate Messner  

What makes a hero: Matthew Winkler 


a character development sheet ( the same one as shown in the evidence of progress section ) which I will be using for all of my characters.  



I am continuing to add more websites books ted talks ect.  to my resource collection these are just the first few I’ve had success with.