The NaNoWriMo Fanatic Tag! — Introducing Project Goblin

good morning, cyberspace!

IT’S OCTOBER, PEASANTS!!!!!! And I’m sure we all know what that means because obviously we all have the same mind and also i am extremely predictable and single-minded.


I can’t believe it. My absolute favorite time of the year #lies is nearly upon us. NaNoWriMo — the most glorious events of all events. The most glorious month of all the months. THE MOST GLORIOUS DAY OF ALL THE DAYS! — is almost here. And since I’m just barely on the verge of hopefully finishing everlost soon #lolmorelies, I think we all have a pretty good idea for what this post is going to be about. . .

THAT’S RIGHT, FOLKS. The Kenzie is starting a new novel!


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The NaNoWriMo Fanatic Tag 2.jpg
can we just appreciate how grotesque this tag graphic is??? i mean A++ work there, Kenzie. that doesn’t look awful at all.

I am so, so, SO excited about this post, guys. NOT ONLY am I going to be introducing you all to my brand new novel child, but I am ALSO going to be taking a step out onto a very wobbly limb and CREATING MY VERY OWN NANOWRIMO TAG!! Because I absolutely love NaNoWriMo (obviously), and it is my Ultimate Goal™ to get every single writer on the face of this here earth to participate, even if they are a rebel and their goal is small and they’re not sure if they’re ever going to win because LIFE and WORK and SCHOOL and WATCHING YOUTUBE and basically just ALL OF THE THINGS.

And what better way to energize people to still try and participate in The NaNo even though they are 25% certain they are going to fail than by creating a NaNoWriMo Fanatic Tag????

I mean, I’m pretty sure this is the only way to get people to participate in NaNo. So.

As you might be able to tell from my severe lack of experience on all things professional and cool, I have never made a tag before, and therefore I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing right now. Buuuuuut, I have participated in many a tag, and also written over 100 blog posts, and my name has a Z in it, so I think we’re just gonna wing it and see what happens.

this is what I do with literally everything, guys, it’s okay.

So without any more blib-blabbing, LET US GET STARTED!


(also just a quick note here: just two days ago [LOOOONG after I had already written out which questions i wanted to ask in this tagI was binge-ing a ton of NaNoWriMo YouTube videos while knitting my brother’s birthday present, and I finally stumbled upon a YouTube NaNoWriMo tag, which kind of freaked me out because a couple of the questions in this tag are pretty much the same as in mine?? and now I’m worried people will think I blatantly ripped off this poor person. but I swear I didn’t, guys. I had already written out my questions, and actually had already started writing the blog post, and I had absolutely no clue this tag even existed. HOWEVER, this tag is for videos, and mine is for blogs, so I mean??? I think we’re okay, here. but also if you have a YouTube channel, I 10/10 recommend participating in that NaNoWriMo tag! it was created a few years ago, but it still looks like so much fun. and I also recommend checking out Kristina’s channel, because I actually have watched many of her NaNo videos (how on earth I missed this NaNo tag, I will never know) and they are AMAZING. so yes. go check her out. *ends frantic babbling*)

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. . .THE RULES. . .

1. Insert the tag graphic into your post. . . it can go literally anywhere. at the bottom. at the top. beneath a GIF of a bunny eating a carrot. . . (actually I take that back. it now has to go beneath a GIF of a bunny eating a carrot.)

2. Link back to Yours Truly’s post. . . meaning me. link back to me. because then everyone can join in the fun and become one big happy family and adopt a bunny rabbit named Fanny and live happily ever after.

3. Answer all — or as many — of the questions as you like. . . I understand and respect the fact that some bloggers prefer to keep their projects under wraps, and some like to shout about ALL OF THE THINGS into the great and terrible cyberspace. because of this, I’m not going to force you to answer every single question. if you want to answer all the questions, then that is FANTASTIC and I love you. If you don’t, however, I’ll probably throw a pumpkin at your face but i mean it’s a small price to pay for doing what you want, so.

4. Refer to our communal family bunny named Fanny at least once in your post. . .

5. Eat three cookies. . .

6. Post a clean list of ALL of the questions somewhere in your post. . . this is so that everyone you tag will be able to see the full list of questions easily, even if you decide not to answer all of them. (see? I’m looking out for you, my smol secretive slugs.)

and finally. . .

7. Tag as many friends as you want!. . . because NaNo is MUCH more fun when you do it with friends! Even if the people you are tagging are slightly hesitant about doing The NaNo, go ahead and tag them anyway. Nothing says “I will murder you with my pitchfork if you don’t do this with me” more than slapping a tag in someone’s face and shouting “YOU’RE IT!!!!” I personally recommend tagging anyone named Fanny. 

And that’s it for the rules! I think I had a little too much fun with that. . . Aha. Let’s get to the tag now. . .

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. . .THE TAG. . .

PART ONE. . . Get To Know Me

. . . What is your NaNoWriMo Username? . . .

The Whimsical Bean. Come and stalk me, peasants. *thumbs up*

. . . Are you a plotter, pantser, plantser, or planter? (because you are actually a plant, but SHHHHHH. no one can know this.) . . .

Typically I find myself to be a plantser. I like to have a solid idea for where I want the story to go, but I also like having gaps and patches in the outline that allow me to sort of spread my wings and see where the characters decide to take me.

However, with that being said, I’ve decided that for this particular NaNo, I’m going to completely branch out and try full-on plotting for the first time ever? Because WHY NOT. It’s not like I’ve built my entire writing life around being a plantser, or anything. There’s absolutely no way this idea is going to fail at all.


. . . How many years have you done the NaNo? How many times have you won? . . .

I’ve done the November NaNo exactly three times already, which means this will be my fourth year participating.

However, even though I absolutely ADORE the November NaNo, I’ve actually only won it one time? The first year I participated was an ultimate fail. I think I got to about 20,000 words of my now trashed Dystopian novel, RESET, before giving up on the entire thing and moving on with my life because Christmas. (solid logic right there.)

However, I returned full-tilt in 2016 and won with a whopping 50,202 words!!! (which felt AMAZING, by the way) . . .and then I promptly failed again in 2017 because I bit off more than any mortal man could physically chew and decided to rewrite the second draft of everlost, rather than actually writing a brand new novel.

So yeah. That was fun.

And it actually turns out that I ended up rewriting OVER 50,000 words???? But because my goal for the month was to finish the second draft……….



So for the short answer — I’ve participated in November’s NaNoWriMo three times (this will be my fourth), and I have won once.

I’m seriously hoping to win this year so at least I’ll have a 50% success rate.

. . . What is your NaNoWriMo Origin Story? . . . 

I think my discovery of NaNoWriMo is about as Kenzie-ish as you can possibly get.

I first discovered the mythological term “NaNoWriMo” whilst perusing the writing section of Pinterest (for research. obviously). As I was looking through various writing tips and tricks, a single word kept cropping up that I had absolutely no idea how to pronounce or comprehend — NaNoWriMo.

So, since I had absolutely no clue what it was — and I was fairly confident it looked like fun — I decided to do some Pinterest searching. Ten minutes later, I stumbled upon THIS exact YouTube video*, watched the whole thing, and then promptly decided that I wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo. . .

. . .next year.

Because, unfortunately enough for me, I found out what NaNoWriMo stood for on October 31st.

However, though I resigned myself to the fact that I couldn’t actually participate, there was absolutely nothing that could curb or hinder my overwhelming excitement for the writing marathon that I was not taking part in.


Which obviously got very annoying after a while but SHHHHHHHHH this is unnecessary information.

After about three years of my incessant screaming about this amazingly fandangled Thing that I TOTALLY COULDN’T PARTICIPATE IN BECAUSE I WASN’T PREPARED, OBVIOUSLY, my mom — as always — finally gave me some really great advice.

She told me to just try it. Even though I wasn’t prepared. Even though I didn’t have any sort of gameplan for the month. She told me to just try it out and see what happens.

And that, my dear marshmallow fronds, is exactly what I did.

I took the book I had been previously chipping away at for the past few months, and on November 1st, I ripped the whole thing apart and started working it from the ground up again. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, and though I didn’t actually meet the goal of 50k (again, I bombed out in the middle of the month at 20k because I was a limp vegetable fronds), that first November was still one of the most fantastic Novembers I’ve ever had.

Not to mention it was the beginning of a very passionate and lifelong so thank you for encouraging me to do the thing, Mom. You’re the best. <3

*just a quick note of warning to anyone who watches it: there ARE a couple uses of the s word in here, but overall it’s a very fun video, and her accent is amazing

. . . Do you have any writing “lucky charms”? (a stuffed dragon, a favorite pen, a paperclip that fills you with all of the inspiration???) . . .

Hmmmm. . . Let’s see here. Do I have any lucky charms for writing?



First up is the opalite necklace I got for my birthday this year. I don’t know what it is about that pretty little rock, but whenever I’m wearing it, my creativity output literally flies off the charts. (IT’S KINDA CRAZY, GUYS.)

So while I’m not going to say that I was able to edit FOUR CHAPTERS on Saturday simply because I was wearing this rock, I’m also not going to say it wasn’t because I was wearing the rock. *winks awkwardly*

And second are purple pencils and pens. If I’m writing on paper, I like to be writing with either a purple pencil (this is the preferred utensil) or a purple pen. There actually is a very superstitious reason behind this (my muse’s hair is purple, so obviously he will come if i am using his preferred color, right? RIGHT????) but I’m not one to knock a method when it actually works, Joe.

and also I’m terrible at breaking habits and using purple pencils has become a very bad habit, so.

. . . What is your absolute favorite NaNoWriMo memory? . . .

This is probably my favorite question, because I have a very vivid memory from 2017’s April Camp NaNo that makes me grin from ear to ear every single time I think of it. And I know that technically it isn’t from November NaNo (which I’m trying very hard to keep this tag focused on), but like. . .? I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS MEMORY. So I’ma gonna share it.

Basically, my absolute favorite NaNoWriMo memory of ever was from two Aprils ago, when I stayed up until 1 in the morning to finish the first draft of everlost. But it wasn’t just the fact that I finished my book that made this memory so memorable. It was the fact that my entire writing cabin stayed up with me, cheering me on and sprinting with me and celebrating with flinging cookies when I finally finished.

I cannot even begin to describe how happy this memory makes me. And not only that, but that April cabin soon became the cornerstone for the amazing, absolutely perfect writing group that I’m a part of now. We might not have a group name quite yet, but I can honestly say that these crazy people I’ve met through NaNo (and blogging!) are some of the greatest friends I’ve ever had.

Although I must admit that last year’s NaNoWriMo Dare Squad was also a very fond memory. I mean, it’s still haunting me to this very day, of course, but still. It’s a fond regret.

. . . How do you pronounce NaNoWriMo? (Na-No-RYE-Mo, or Na-No-REE-Mo?) . . .

If you’re wondering why I’ve chosen this question, it is because I find that this is the easiest way to weed out the people who you should be friends with, as opposed to the people you should avoid like the plague.


PART TWO. . . PREP (because having a vague idea of what you’re doing is a good thing, maybe?)

. . . What’s the name of your NaNoWriMo Project? . . .

Ummmmmm. . .yeah. I haven’t actually named this year’s NaNoWriMo project yet? I mean, I have ideas, but none of them have actually stuck.

SO I’VE DECIDED TO CALL MY SMOL CHILD PROJECT GOBLIN FOR RIGHT NOW. Because that name sounds cool and secretive and not at all like I totally don’t have a name picked out for this book yet.


Although I’ve also been debating calling it The Goblin King, The Girl and The Goblin King (although it’s abbreviation, TGATGK, looks like I’m choking on my pasta) and also just Todd. I really can’t pick what to call it, though, so if you have a preference as to what I should refer to this book as on the blog, make sure to tell me your opinions down in the comments below.

. . . What is your project’s genre? . . .

100% Fantasy with just a tiny little red ribbon of paranormal-creepy woven throughout.


. . . Introduce us to your cast! . . .

ASDFGHJKL I’M SO EXCITED FOR THIS QUESTION!!! As any of you can probably attest, I absolutely adore creating book casts. They just make me so happy for some reason? And pretending like my book characters are actually actors is one of my all-time favorite things to do.

So obviously I had to include this question.

Now, I’m not going to be diving too deep into my character bios quite yet, because there are many spoilery things that I’m just not very comfortable sharing with the whole of Cyberspace right now (and also this book idea is something that I have been letting stew in my brain meats for about a year now, so I’m kind of protective about it. aha.), but rest assured that as I acquire more non-spoilery information about these smol precious children, I shall be sharing ALL OF THE VAGUE THINGS with you guys! *thumbs up*

. . . THE CAST . . .

Todd. . .

Todd (that’s his last name. his first name is a secret. mwahahahaha) is my main protagonist, and what I believe to be the ONLY viewpoint character. This may or may not change in the future, of course, but for right now, I’m trying to limit myself to one POV for this story. (because everlost kinda killed me, so?)

I’m not exactly sure what all I can tell you about Todd without giving away any spoilers, so here’s a list of random facts that may or may not be relevant to the plot:

  • He’s a starving artist. . . Quite literally, actually. He lives as a tenant in a dreary basement apartment (apparently I have a thing for people trapped in basements. #oops?), working on his artwork that never sells.
  • He has a pet bird!. . . because I cannot possibly write another book without adding a bird into it.
  • He always has charcoal stains on his fingers and palms. . . because he’s an artist, duh. And his pieces are also typically pencil-drawings.
  • He doesn’t necessarily fit into the world he lives in. . . which is sad, but true*. He’s a misfit, and this just so happens to be something I absolutely ADORE about this story. (because misfits are my favorite and there are a LOOOOT of them in this book.)

Unfortunately that’s all I can really divulge about Todd for right now, but as soon as I begin to develop his character a bit more, I’m sure I’ll be able to share some more stuff!

*if you want to cross the bridge, my sweet, you’ve got to pay the toll. take a gulp and take a breath and G o  A h E a D  and S i G n  T h E  s C r O l L !!!!!!!

Annalora. . .

(i’m sort of debating changing her name, because I think it MIIIIIGHT be too close to Adaline? But I’m not sure yet.)

Annalora is the second — and possibly most important — cast member. It’s because of her that the entire story takes place, which makes her a very key component to the book. If I do end up succumbing to writing another multiple POV novel, Annalora will probably be the second viewpoint. But as I said before, I really don’t want to do this. Aha.

Fun Facts About Annalora. . .

  • She’s a smol child bean, and I love her so very much. . . this is totally relevant to the plot what are you talking about
  • She carries a scythe!!!!!. . . AND I AM SO SO SO SO EXCITED TO WRITE THIS!! Like. . .she’s so creepy and Grim Reaper-ish??? AND I LOVE
  • She’s kind of sort of evil????. . . and I may or may not be extremely terrified of her ahahahahahahahahahaha. . .?? (HINT: i’m terrified of her.)

And that’s not very much information at all, but honestly that’s all I’ve got? I seriously need to outline this book more. I’m just going off the very, very core idea of this story right now, guys.

The Triplets. . .

I honestly can’t tell you guys all that much about these little guys. I mean, I WANT to, but like. . .so many spoilers.

What I can tell you, however, is that they are small (probably 5-6 years old?), very round, and very, very, very creepy.

These three little munchkins also kind of terrify me (tbh this entire book freaks me out?) but I still love them so much. They are so small and precious and SAD and I just want to give them all of the candy and hugs and eyeballs. . .

The Wizard. . .

This guy probably dies at some point. That’s literally all I know about him.

Barkley. . .


If you were to ask me what ONE THING makes me over-the-moon excited to write this story, it’s BARKLEY.

Barkley is sweet. Barkley is smol. Barkley is probably my favorite character in this entire cast, and even though he doesn’t say a word, he has stolen my heart away with his simplicity and cuteness.

There’s actually a very specific memory I have that sparked the inspiration for Barkley, and though I’m not going to tell you exactly what it is (because it spoils a very cute little scene I’m hoping to write next November), I can tell you that it happened in the middle of a very dark, very spooky night as I stayed up working on my novel, everlost.

So. Take from that what you will.

The Goblin King. . .

I know this character has to exist, but I honestly have no ideas for him yet. So I guess that’s something I need to work on this month. Aha.

A Mime. . .?

Again. I know he exists, but I’m still trying to flesh him out. I’m pretty sure I’m going to love this guy, though. Perhaps I shall name him Martin.

The Bird Who Has No Name Yet. . .

I’m beginning to think I should have outlined my novel more before creating this tag. . .?

Pip The Magical Pencil. . .


. . . What is your novel’s theme? . . .

Some of you might be moaning and groaning about this question, but I mean. . .? I tried writing a book without knowing the theme once. Do you know how well that went?

Do you?


Badly. It went badly.

So if I have one piece of advice for you, my friend sprout, DO NOT GO INTO THIS NANOWRIMO WITHOUT KNOWING YOUR THEME. Just don’t do it. You’ll regret it so much, Bernie.

As for me, I sort of vaguely alluded to my theme earlier in this post, but I’ll state it more matter-of-factly now: Project Goblin’s theme is about the misfits. It’s about finding where you truly belong. It’s about love and friendship and a world of broken hearts that form a family. It’s about being true to who you are, never fitting the mold, and breaking free of the things that have scarred us.

I am so excited to write this story, guys. I think every now and then, a writer finds a story that is their heart. Not in an “Oh, this is my absolute favorite story to write!” kind of way, but a “This story is a physical piece of my soul penned in ink” kind of way. And the fact that this story is stitched so close to my heart kind of frightens me, but at the same time, I know I’m ready to write it. I’m ready to create a fairytale of my own making, and I’m ready to tell a story for the misfits.

So yes. I’m equal parts nauseous and excited for NaNo.

. . . What are your novel’s main settings? . . .

I’m not sure about all of the main settings quite yet — and I’m sure you guys are probably in pretty much the same boat when it comes to your NaNo novels — but it doesn’t hurt to just sort of hash out some of the broader details, right?


So let’s get into this.


STARTING POINT. . . Todd’s Basement House Thing

Todd’s house is pretty dark and dingy. There’s a cement floor, yellowed ceiling, and one really small square of a window that he can peep out of to see the world bustling by around him. (also i’m not entirely sure how this works because he’s in a BASEMENT, but like. . .? Future Kenzie will work this out, I’m sure.)

THE HUB. . . The Forest

(okay, but like. . .does anyone else here give their stories a hub? like the hub is the main place your characters visit. it’s like their home away from home. their “safe space.” AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO DOES THIS????)

I can’t give away too much information about The Forest yet (because I literally know nothing) but I can tell you that it’s extremely dark, extremely creepy, and the trees are probably somewhat dead.

I’m really excited to worldbuild in this forest guys. . . I can already imagine the glowing blue mushrooms and the poisonous fog and the pixies and fairies and ASDFGHJKL HAVE I MENTIONED I’M EXCITED FOR THIS STORY???? Because I am.

(also i’ve made The Forest my hub for right now, but as we all know, the NaNo has a way of twisting things around, so even though The Forest is my hub today, it could become the Wizard’s grungy shack tomorrow. Who even knows anymore.)

OTHER(?). . . The Goblin Palace

Other than knowing that there has to be a Goblin Palace located somewhere in this book, I really have no clue what on earth this place even looks like. It could be a giant bounce house for all I know at this point.

And that’s pretty much it. I mean I also have a scene idea inside a diner, complete with burgers and milkshakes, but like. . .? This might not actually happen? (i want it to, though. . .)

. . . Are you using any plotting/story structures for your project, or are you just winging it like the beautiful pixie that you are? . . .

In the past, I never payed any attention to the novice handicaps of “story structures”. The Three Act Structure? The Hero’s Journey? PSSSH. THOSE WERE OBVIOUSLY FOR CHILDREN WHO KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THE ART OF STORYTELLING. And I, of course, was a master.

And then I wrote everlost and realized it had literally no plot and then ripped my hair out and discovered that perhaps there are story structures FOR A REASON.


So yes. This time around I’m going to be trying to use the Three Act Structure for plotting out Project Goblin. I mean, I’m still not sure how much plotting I’m actually going to get accomplished between now and October 31st, but we shall see.

And also I feel like actually trying to bend a structure around this story will help relieve some of the headache in revisions, whereas with everlost, the entire second draft was basically me just inwardly kicking myself in the face because I hadn’t outlined very well.

So yeah. I’m using a structure this time.

And oh!!! Oh!!! One more thing! If you’re interested in trying to use a story structure for your novel this NaNo, but have absolutely no clue where to even begin, I highly recommend checking out Phoebe’s post on plotting and story structure. But also you should totally check out her entire writing blog, because it is amazing and perfection and I love it to bits and pieces.

. . . What are some ways you prepare for The NaNo? (mentally, physically, eating five bars of chocolate at once because #energy) . . .

Honestly I’ve found that the best way to prepare for NaNoWriMo — both mentally and physically — is to just resign myself to the fact that I will not be seeing the light of day for the entire month of November.

Life, food, sleep, friends. . .? What are these strange words? They certainly aren’t in my vocabulary anymore.

Another thing I like to do to prepare is watch a ton of NaNoWriMo vlogs on YouTube. And I know that sounds super procrastinate-y, but I can assure you it’s not. It’s for #research and #inspiration. Obviously.

And also I listen to them more like podcasts while cleaning my room or knitting or eating a giant bowl of ice cream because I’m totally procrastinating.

. . . What’s in your writing toolkit? (pictures are encouraged!) . . .

I looooove looking at other writer’s NaNoWriMo Toolkits. It’s something that makes me insanely happy, which is why I knew I wanted to include this in this tag.

My own toolkit, however, is slightly lacking right now, but I’m sure it’s going to keep growing as I continue to plot and plan for November. So for right now I’m just going to show you what I’ve collected up until this point!

The Kenzie’s Toolkit Includes (but is not limited to). . .

  • Moriarty. . . This is my laptop (yes, I named my laptop Moriarty. I’m not obsessed you’re obsessed) and honestly, I have literally no clue where I would be without him. I bought him about a year ago with my very own money (a feat I am extremely proud of, because he’s my first all-my-own laptop), and ever since he has been my constant writing utensil. He’s kinda slow and glitchy, and he has many little quirks I’ve had to get used to, but he’s absolute perfection and I love him.
wow that picture came out dark. . .
  • NOTEBOOKS. . . Notebooks are a must when you’re writing. Especially if you’re writing a first draft. Whenever I’m stuck on a particular scene or need a change of pace from my laptop screen, I just pop on over to my notebook of choice and begin scribbling. It’s kind of amazing how often you’ll be able to unstick yourself from a plot predicament just by switching which method of writing you’re usin. And also notebooks smell delicious so like ??? I feel like this is a win-win situation, here.



Another thing I’d like to point out about notebooks is that I always pick a notebook that feels like the story I’m writing. For Project Goblin, for example, I have a Nightmare Before Christmas notebook (see above image) that I’ve been holding onto for at least a year, simply because I knew it had to be used for this story.

(am I the only one who does this? please tell me I’m not the only one who does this. . .)

  • Writer’s Bible. . . Okay, so like, I still haven’t put this together yet? But I’m working on it, guys, I swear. It’ll totally be done by October 31st. Totally. Ahahahahahahaha. . . (if this does get done before I’m 80 years old, perhaps I shall write a blog post on it. . .?)
  • PENS AND PENCILS!. . . You physically cannot start a new novel without having a solid assortment of office supplies. It’s just not possible, guys. What are you supposed to write in your pretty and beautiful-smelling notebooks with if you don’t have a pencil? The slaughtered blood of a maggot? I DON’T THINK SO. Do yourself and the maggot population a favor and get yourself some pencils.


  • Music. . . Because music is food for the creative’s soul. Probably. I mean, sometimes music hinders my writing productivity rather than increases it, but still. If I don’t have music, I’ll probably die. And also it’s really fun to create a writing playlist specific to whatever book I’m working on, so that’s always an interesting experience. . .


  • Candy. Obviously. . . Specifically Crunch bars because Crunch bars are life. But I don’t have a picture of any Crunch bars right now because WE DO NOT HAVE ANY CRUNCH BARS IN THE HOUSE. Which means I’m currently dying a slow, painful, Crunchless death. Someone please send me a Crunch bar. . .

UPDATE: My mom literally just went to four different stores in our town (apparently no one knows how to properly stock candy anymore?) just to get me a Crunch bar. I don’t think I’ve ever been a happier bean. . .


  • USB drive. . . Let me tell you a simple truth, folks — if you write 50,000 words in thirty days and you DO NOT back up your novel at any point during the month, I can personally assure you that some grandiose, extremely convoluted and improbable tragedy shall occur in which your laptop will fry, fizzle, crash, snap, break, shatter, or get eaten by a gnarly whale, which will result in you losing every single word you wrote over the course of November. So if there is one thing you MUST have in your writing toolkit (besides the candy, of course), it is a USB drive. Or at least SOME method of backing up your novel. (I know some writer’s use Drop Box, some actually email their story to themselves in chapters, some people store it in multiple places and computers, etc.) Just take King Julian’s advice and back it up back it up back it up back it up every single day. I promise you won’t regret it if you do, and you most certainly will if you don’t.


PART THREE. . . Inspiration (because inspiration is good for the soul)

. . . What was the initial inspiration for your NaNoWriMo novel? . . .

As always, the inspiration for this novel came from a short story I wrote.

About two years ago — when I was still in high-school — my mom decided to give me some picture prompts for my writing class, which I then had to look at and generate a story based on. (yes. i had a writing class. have i mentioned that my mom is the most amazing person in the whole entire world??? [also this was sort of like the pictoprompter I was doing here on Smudged Thoughts, so I mean that was actually a ton of fun.])

But anyway, one of these picture prompts was of this. . .desk, I guess? It was this kind of dark and gloomy picture, with a pencil snapped in half with its shavings scattered over a blank piece of paper and one of those old-fashioned morse code machines off to the side.

This picture — I’m not gonna lie — was epic. And as I pondered what on earth I was going to write for it, the idea just sort of came to me — this was supposed to be a story about an artist trying to draw a little girl.

I wrote the entire thing in one sitting, handed it back to my mom — who said it was kind of like The Ring. ahahahahaha. #oops? — and then gently pushed the story idea to the back of my brain to let it marinate for a while, because I just knew there was no way this story was finished yet. There was so much more it had to tell.

And I guess that’s what this year’s NaNo is for.

. . . What’s your NaNoWriMo Novel’s Word Aesthetic? . . .

If you guys haven’t been able to tell, I’m 100% obsessed with word aesthetics right now. #sorrynotsorry

Project Goblin’s Word Aesthetic. . .

ghostly branches, hollow eyes, a red scarf fluttering through a grey city, the gentle scratch of a pencil, golden-black feathers, a gentle tap tap tap on a darkened window pane

. . . Share your Pinterest boards and music playlists! . . .

As of right now, I don’t actually have any music playlists to share (this is on my list of To-Do’s for the month), but I have started creating my Project Goblin Pinterest board! #procrastination And while it’s nowhere near complete right now, I’m confident it will continue to grow throughout the month as I begin to outline and find more inspiration. If you’d like to stay updated on the creation of this board throughout the month, here’s a link to my Pinterest account so that you can follow along and see what sorts of images inspire Project Goblin! (I also have a couple viewable everlost boards on there if you’d like to check those out, as well. . . #extraincentive)


(I have literally no idea how those tech-savvy bloggers insert a pinterest board into their blog posts. I’ve looked at like three different How-To’s and I can’t get the darn thing to work, so you’re just gonna have to click the link, I guess. #fail)

As you can see if you clicked the link ahahaha, this whole board is kind of vague right now. The reasons for this are a) I knew I would be sharing this board and wanted to keep it vague to avoid spoilers, and b) I HONESTLY HAVE NO CLUE WHERE I WANT TO GO WITH THIS STORY YET???

But I’m going to figure this out eventually, guys. Totally.

. . . What’s your absolute best advice to new (and old!) NaNoers? . . .

I think my best advice to any and all NaNoers is to just have fun with it, and to never beat yourself up.

I know that a lot of writers sort of romanticize the fact that NaNoWriMo is taxing on both our health and sanity. I know that we laugh and joke and tease about how we won’t have a life outside of writing for thirty days (please see Kenzie’s answer to how she prepares for NaNoWriMo), and that participating in NaNoWriMo is both exciting and soul-deadening, and that this is perfectly acceptable. It’s easy for us to get this mindset that literally all we can do through the month of NaNo is write, and I’m sorry, but that is not okay.

I’ll admit it, if you want to hit that 50k deadline by November 30th, you do have to push yourself. You have to write even when you don’t feel like it. You have to work harder with your writing than you probably work with it all year. You have to find that piece of stubbornness deep within yourself that tells you you can write, even when the outside world is telling you that you can’t. Writing 50k in 30 days is possible — I’ve done it twice before. But there is a world of difference between writing 1,667 words every single day in a way that is healthy and fun, and forcing your tired, busy self to pump out 1,667 words on the daily because you have to.

Be kind to yourself and to others in November. Take breaks. Spend time with your family. Get some fresh air. I understand that writing is hard work — and that writing 50k in 30 days is even harder — but don’t burn yourself out over whether or not you’ll meet the goal. If I have one piece of advice to you, it’s to just enjoy what you’re doing. Simply relish in the fact that you are creating worlds that did not even exist before you decided to bring them into existence. Enjoy every single minute of this crazy, exhilarating adventure, and I promise you that your NaNoWriMo is going to be amazing, whether or not you reach that 50k mark.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

. . . TAG! YOU’RE IT! . . .

And 6,000 words later, it’s finally time to tag some people to participate in this tag! Now, I know that some of the people I’m tagging today are sort of on the fence about participating in NaNoWriMo this year, so just consider this tag a not-so-gentle shove off that rickety old fence in the direction of participation. BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NANO, GUYS. You just have to. It’s like a law or something. . . (and if you’re worried or unsure whether you’ll hit the 50k, that’s perfectly fine. the whole 50k is less of a rule and more like a guideline. just ask Barbossa.)

But anyway, here are my tags!

So there you have it, folks! If this tag looks like something you’d like to try, then please be my guest to be a sneaky snek and steal it for yourself! And also, if you do happen to do the tag, please please PLEEEEEEEASE leave a link to your post down in the comments below!!! I want to read everyone’s answers. . .

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

. . . THE QUESTIONS. . .

As promised, here’s a clean list of the questions for anyone wanting to do the tag!

PART ONE. . . Get to know me

What is your NaNoWriMo Username?

Are you a plotter, pantser, plantser, or planter? (because you are actually a plant, but SHHHHHH. no one can know this.)

How many years have you done the NaNo? How many times have you won?

What is your NaNoWriMo Origin Story?

Do you have any writing “lucky charms”? (a stuffed dragon, a favorite pen, a paperclip that fills you with all of the inspiration???)

What is your absolute favorite NaNoWriMo memory?

How do you pronounce NaNoWriMo? (Na-No-RYE-Mo, or Na-No-REE-Mo?)


What’s the name of your NaNoWriMo Project?

What is your project’s genre?

Introduce us to your cast!

What is your novel’s theme?

What are your novel’s main settings?

Are you using any plotting/story structures for your project, or are you just winging it like the beautiful pixie that you are?

What are some ways you prepare for The NaNo? (mentally, physically, eating five bars of chocolate at once because #energy)

What’s in your writing toolkit? (pictures are encouraged!)

PART THREE. . . Inspiration

What was the initial inspiration for your NaNoWriMo novel?

What’s your NaNoWriMo Novel’s Word Aesthetic?

Share your Pinterest boards and music playlists!

What’s your absolute best advice to new (and old!) NaNoers?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


I’m just gonna cut to the chase and keep this short and sweet because my brain is literally fried from writing this right now. SO.

Are you participating in NaNo? If so, ARE YOU GOING TO BE DOING THIS TAG? Do you like tags? Do you like slugs? Do you think Project Goblin sounds like a nice smol book? Does it sort of low-key freak you out? What kinds of writing projects have YOU been working on lately? and most imporantly. . .


Let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS! down in the comments below!

As always, until next time. . .

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*


44 thoughts on “The NaNoWriMo Fanatic Tag! — Introducing Project Goblin

  1. *sings* Flotsam, Jetsam, now I’ve got ‘er, boys. THE BOSS IS ON A ROLL!

    Ah. AHHHHH. Kenzie! She carries a scythe!! *incoherent squeeing* Yes!!!

    I love how all you know about the wizard is that he dies. V useful.

    Meep! I love the theme!

    You DO know basements can have windows, right…. Right, Kenzie?

    Thanks for the plug! I’m glad it helped you!

    I loved this post and I’m so excited for this story and I can already get a feel for its aesthetic in my brain and yay!

    See, I want to do this tag, because I’ve been stalling and don’t have a post ready for Monday and this would fix it, but to do so would mean I’m committing to NaNo and I don’t know that I can….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh! Almost forgot about what to call your project. Go with the one that sounds like the noise a seven-year-old who doesn’t know how to eat mozzarella sticks makes as they drag melting-hot string cheese out of their throat while tears stream down their face.

      That’s the one.

      Liked by 2 people

    • YESSSSSSS! Someone else who knows the entire song!!!!!! 😂😂😂 I only learned it all recently, but I will NEVER lose at Disney Charades when it comes down to those stupid eels, now…

      YES!!! Yes she does!!! I figured it was high time that I gave one of my precious children a weapon similar to my own… And Rupert approved of a scythe cousin, so?

      It totally is, though. I mean, I have no clue HOW he dies….but he dies. So I mean I think this plotting thing is turning out to be very useful. 😂

      ASDFGHJKL THANK YOU!!! This is a theme that’s extremely close to my heart… You know. In case you couldn’t tell. *readjusted MISFIT pin on collar*

      Well yes, but….but…would it be able to look out at the city street??? OH! OH!!! If the building was ELEVATED……. THIS PLOT HOLE HAS NOW BEEN SOLVED. EVERYONE CAN GO HOME NOW. 😂😂😂

      I’m pretty sure I’m going to forever and always plug your blog. And not just because it’s you writing it, but because the advice and tips actually REALLY help me out??? I love it so so much…

      MEEP!! I am so happy you enjoyed it!!! It was really fun getting do dive a little deeper into characters and settings more than I’ve allowed myself to in the past, so this was kind of exciting… XD AND I AM GLAD YOU HAVE AN AESTHETIC!!! That makes one of us… Please create a pinterest board and send it to me… 😂😂😂😂

      Ooh… Well, even if you CAN’T do NaNo, that’s perfectly okay!!! I definitely don’t want to force you to do anything you can’t or don’t want to do!!! (I believe you’ve already posted your answers, though, but still. You don’t have to do NaNo if you can’t. [And also I started reading your post but got called away and I’m SO EXCITED TO FINISH IT ACK!!!])


  2. Eee! This’ll be fun! But I will have to do the tag right before November because I don’t know what story I’ll work on. And I need bake some cookies for it…

    I wanna be a planter now…throw story seeds about and see what grows into a tangle and what I’ll plant methodically…

    BWAHAHAHAHA! I love the “fond regret.” xD >:D

    I kinda like TGATGK as an acronym, it sounds like a goblin word. But long names can be unwieldy, however that can be solved by going the way of old fashioned stories that have two titles, like Pride and Prejudice is also called First Impressions. So you could have a short, easy title and TGATGK.

    *Snerk* I like that the wizard is only known for dying. Also, I sympathize with Todd already, but I suspect Pip the Magical Pencil may steal the show for me…

    And I really like your theme! It’s always nice when lonely people form a true family for themselves.

    The forest sounds so creepy and perfect! I’m not sure if I have hubs in my stories or not. But it makes sense depending on the story.

    I really hope plotting goes well for you, the EV revision sounds really tough!

    Ooooh, that’s a shiny word aesthetic!

    (Also I think the tag graphic looks pretty good.)


    • That’s okay! You can do the tag literally any time you want! You could technically do it even DURING NaNo, but I made it as more of a “let’s get excited to prep together” kind of thing. OKAY BUT LIKE EVERYONE IS TAKING THE COOKIE THING SERIOUSLY AND LIKE??? I love this but I didn’t have any cookies on me at the time, so did I fail my own tag??? 😂😂😂

      Okay. And you just totally took the idea of being a planter and made it whimsical. How on earth did you do that….? 😂

      Fond regret is the only way I can describe it. XD

      Oooh! TGATGK DOES sound like a goblin word!!! And also I’m quite fond of the name The Girl and The Goblin King, so I think that’s the one I’m going to go with. Also I absolutely ADORE Pride and Prejudice, so being able to honor it by giving my book two names is delightfully tempting…

      Honestly, I have a feeling that Pip The Magical Pencil is going to be stealing the show for EVERYONE pretty soon. That character is going to get way out of hand… (if I can remember him. I kind of forgot about him, to be honest. 😂😂😂) Also the wizard is happy to die. He’ll probably just turn into a ghost and keep on trekking through the storyworld, anyway. XD

      YES!!! I love that too. I think that’s why I picked that theme, because random people coming together to form happy little families is one of my absolute favorite things ever…

      Meep! I’m so happy you like my forest!!! It still needs a name, which I am currently trying to hash out, but I really really love this story world… Hubs are my favorite things when it comes to setting, to be honest. It’s my main place where my characters feel at home…

      EV IS pretty rough, but the plotting of TGATGK has been nothing short of miraculous. It is so much fun getting to expand my horizons with new characters after such a long time with everlost… And ACK I am so happy you like my word aesthetic!!! I love creating word aesthetics…. Aha. XD

      (Meep!! Thank you so much, you lovely bean!!! <33333)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did it! It’s definitely good for NaNo Prep!
        OF COURSE WE WILL TAKE THE COOKIES LITERALLY! COOKIES ARE DELICIOUS!!! Just eat three cookies before NaNo and you’ll be fine. ^.^

        Because gardens are perfect for cultivating fantastical and storyful things. ^.^

        Yes, that is the best solution to the title for sure.

        Okay, the wizard becoming a ghost sounds like the best thing ever, that is perfect. He needs to not completely die!

        Oooh, yes, the forest needs a name, it’s probably been named by now. xD I think I kind have a hub for Elda, it’s also a forest, a magic one that’s not spooky, though there are eerie places.
        Exploring new storyworlds is always fabulous! :D
        ( :) )

        Liked by 1 person

          Oh of course. This is why I had a bumpy start to NaNo. I never at my cookies. Ugh, I’m such an idiot.

          Okay. That is very true, I suppose. XD

          Oh, the wizard is DEFINITELY not going to die completely, no matter what happens. I love him way too much at this point. XD

          I mean, my story world now has a name, but the forest itself is still nameless. XD I’m working on it, though. I’m sure it will come to me eventually. OOOOOOH! ELDA HAS A HUB!!!! And it sounds so beautiful!!! I wanna go there….
          YESSSSSSSSSSS! And also slightly scary, because I’m used to writing exactly one setting. XD

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yay! :D
            Ah, alas, such sadness, we must have more cookies!

            I’m glad the wizard will continue to be in the story. He sounds fun.

            I suppose the forest can be extra spooky if it’s nameless, it’s like no one could map it out and name it, so you could end up anywhere within it and get lost.
            Elda: It’s a great place.

            I think you’ll eventually find that having multiple settings is super fun and not as scary. (Says the person who hasn’t ever mapped up her ancient storyworld properly… )


            • We SHOULD have more cookies. Everything is better when there are cookies available.

              He is fun. One of my favorite characters right now, to be honest. XD

              Ooooooh. I love that thought. A forest that is constantly shifting and changing and trapping people within it…. Kind of like Mirkwood. XD Unfortunately I’m not sure that would work for this story, but it’s definitely a thought if I need inspiration for plot twists. XD

              I certainly hope so! Right now it’s just very disorienting…. I know EV’s setting like the back of my hand, but this world is just…..weird.

              Liked by 1 person

              • *Eats more cookies*

                Oh, I wasn’t thinking of a shifting forest (though those are fun), but more like a character gets knocked out, wakes up, asks some random person where they are, BUT THERE ARE NO NAMES so the person can’t be directed properly!

                xD I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt a new setting was totally weird. I guess I hop between them too much. An interesting difference!

                Liked by 1 person

                • *same*

                  OHHHHHHHHHhhhhhh. Okay now see that sounds amazing, too. XD That’s it. We need to write a book together. *is actually awful at co-writing so this will most likely never happen but still*

                  Yeah! Honestly, I feel like we’re opposites when it comes to writing in a lot of ways. I’m chronological to a fault, you bop around a lot and yet still somehow manage to stay on track??? (teach me your ways….) I’m slow, you’re fast. Settings disorient me but excite you… It’s a really neat blend of differences. The two of us are like a perfect example of how diverse writers are. 😂

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Haha, yeah, my sisters and I would sometimes think “Let’s write a story together!” and promptly not agree on any kind of premise or character. I doubt I’m good at co-writing.

                    We are, I think another difference may be that you write more consistently? Sometimes I go months or weeks without any solid writing done (I feel like it’s maybe gotten better lately, but I tend to not keep the momentum after Nano). I write a lot sporadically and then stop.
                    I stay on track with a meticulous list of all the scenes, plot points, and sometimes more detailed actions on a giant numbered outline pasted to my wall so I can stick all the random scene snippets I write into the correct place in the manuscript. And I have little numbered headers in my MS so they’re easy to find.

                    It’s really fun that we are a snapshot of differences!


                    • Right? I’ve never tried co-writing anything with my siblings, but I’ve tried with friends before, and it has failed most spectacularly.

                      Ooh, yeah, I didn’t know that! To be honest, my consistency has come with MANY MONTHS of practice. I try very hard to write every single day, simply because it’s hard for me to jump back on board the writing train if I don’t write consistently. Not writing for weeks sounds terrifying. XD I used to be a lot more sporadic, though! (and having a writing group to keep me on track definitely helps! XD)

                      WHAT!!! Jethan, that sounds AMAZING!!! See, I’m trying to be more detailed with my outlining, but I’m still more of a plantser than plotter. (I’ve been plotting TGATGK, though, and it’s been going relatively well!) I would love to see pictures of this board, if you don’t mind??? PLEASE EMAIL ME. I MUST SEE THIS.


                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I think being in the writing group has helped a lot, but I still struggle with it, because even though I have written everyday, lately I’ve had hardly any focus for it. I’m probably always going to be sporadic about it, but I can maybe get used to being more consistent when I’m in a WRITE A LOT! phase.

                      I’m tempted to do it, but I’ll have to blur out a lot of spoilers, or maybe just use the first page as an example…I’ll figure something out!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Oh yeah, that’s definitely a good point. Tbh, now that NaNo’s over, my “small break” from writing is turning into a not so small break. I really need to get back on top of the writing horse… And your WRITE A LOT! phases freak me out. XD I don’t even know how you write so many words…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Same. xD

                      When I am filled with writerly desperation and can write 12k, only about 8k was anything I could add to my story’s narrative. The rest was talking myself through plot ideas.
                      Man, and all my early nanos were so short and unfinished…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • But STILL. That’s 8k words of story!! My weirdest day for November only reached half of that… And psh, talking yourself through plot ideas is perfect when brainstorming for writing. XD I failed my first November NaNo… It was sad… :((

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I think it gets easier with practice, I mean, you broke your record twice last month, so I don’t think either of us have hit our limits for daily writing.

                      Our poor little NaNos…at least they were cute…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Ohhh! Yeah, maybe! I think there were a couple days where I wrote over 3k, which was particularly high for me, but only one day I wrote over 4k, which beat my wordiest day….. At least, I THINK. 😂

                      AHA. WE DO NOT SPEAK OF HOW MESSY THEY ARE.

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. OH MY WORD THIS TAG IS AWESOME. I’m totally doing it. You should get a pingback tonight or tomorrow. ;)

    AND OH MY WORD YOU NAMED YOUR LAPTOP MORIARTY. YUSSSSSS. ASODIFASODFJAOESIJRF. And I bought my laptop with my own money as well! AND it’s slow and glitchy! :P

    NaNo is the besssst.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness!!! Thank you SO much!!!! I am so sorry it took me so long to respond to this. I’m kind of awful with responding to comments, but I’m working on getting better. XD And I’ve got your blog post pulled up in a new tab, so as soon as I’m done responding to my backlog of comments, I am TOTALLY checking that out! Thank you so so much for participating!!!

      And YESSSS! I’m kind of obsessed with Moriarty, to be honest. It was actually my sister who put the idea in my head to name him that, though, because we were “joking” about how my new laptop would probably eat all of my novels. Aha. It was a hilarious topic. 😂 DUDE YES. WE SHALL HAVE SLOW AND GLITCHY LAPTOPS TOGETHER. 😂 At least they’re all ours, right? XD

      Definitely. XD Thank you so much again for participating, and also for checking out my blog! *flings cookies at you*


      • I can be pretty bad at responding to comments as well, so I feel ya!

        I’m obsessed with him, too! Not a creepy way, of course. ;) (Or maybe it IS creepy.) I actually just got a ‘new’ laptop from my sister which is much faster but I still have fond memories of my old one. :)

        *chomps on cookies*

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s kind of a never ending cycle of pure horror, tbh. 😂😂

          Saaaaaaame. 😂 Is it creepy? Is it not? We shall never know. XD Awwww! Lucky!!! But at least you still have the find memories!!! Those are always what are important, anyway. :)))


    • ACK!! Thank you so much!!! I’m really excited to begin writing it. XD
      Ooooh!! I cannot wait to read your answers!! I’ll do that as soon as possible!!! And OH MY GOODNESS I AM SO EXCITED FOR NANO, AS WELL. Honestly, this entire month is basically just me incoherently screaming about NaNoWriMo. 😂😂😂


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