The NaNoWriMo Fanatic Tag

What’s up, munchkins?

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner!  *cue wild hyena laughter*  And, as luck would have it, the lovely Hamlette tagged me (well really, she tagged “anyone who is doing NaNo, or contemplating doing it”) with The NaNoWriMo Fanatic Tag.  So obviously, I can’t get out of writing a NaNo post now.  😉

Tag Rules 

1. Insert the tag graphic into your post.
2. Link back to the original post.
3. Answer all — or as many — of the questions as you like.
4. Refer to our communal family bunny named Fanny at least once in your post. (Uhhhhhh . . . I just did?  :-P)
5. Eat three cookies. (Well, if you INSIST . . .)
6. Post a clean list of ALL of the questions somewhere in your post.
7. Tag as many friends as you want!

Part One . . . Get to Know Me 

What is your NaNoWriMo username? 

Katie Prescott.  It’s a mix of my real first name, Katie, with my former online pseudonym, Jessica Prescott.  (Which, in turn, I stole from one of my all-time favorite characters, Jessica Dryden Prescott from A Distant Trumpet.)  Meanwhile, my NaNo profile is here.

Are you a plotter, pantser, or plantser?


I absolutely cannot write without a fixed plot laid out beforehand.  I’m not saying I’m one of those writers who outlines every. single. scene. in exhaustive detail . . . but I need to know exactly where I’m starting, what specific milestones I’ll be hitting along the way, and exactly where I’ll end.  It’s like a paved road, you know?  The paved road has to BE THERE before I can drive on it.  I don’t fancy suddenly running into dirt and rocks–and I definitely don’t fancy crashing through the trees into some ravine that no-one even suspected was there in the first place.

My brain @people who try to convince me pantsing is more fun than plotting:


How many years have you done the NaNo?

None.  Because college was a thing.  Next question.

Do you have any writing “lucky charms”?  

I have a wooden lizard named Malcolm (aka Malcolm X) who I like to think helps me in his own special way.

Meet Malcolm.


Part Two . . . Prep

What’s the name of your NaNoWriMo project?


It’s the second draft of a novel that used to be called “Breaking Glass,” but I think “Gold” works a lot better and I’m going to stick with it.


(Why have I dropped a random picture of gold earrings in this spot?  Dear me.  I have no idea.  I’m sure it has zero connection to the title whatsoever.  :-P)

What is your project’s genre?

Historical fiction.  Specifically, World War II and the Holocaust.

Introduce us to your cast!  

Gladly!  *bows*

First we have Tammi Rothenberg, my protagonist and narrator.  She’s a not-quite-17-year-old Jewish orphan.  She’s angry at the whole wide world, pretty much, because her family tricked her into running for cover while they themselves were arrested by the S.S.  In Tammi’s mind, they left her behind.  And nothing can excuse leaving your own behind.

look at that serious l’il face

(Character art courtesy of the lovely Ink Blotted Beka; and let me tell you, it looks EXACTLY LIKE HER.  *heart eyes*)

Then we have Dirk van Manen, a 23-year-old Resistance fighter with PTSD and a severe “protection complex.”  Aka, my-self-worth-is-tied-to-my-ability-to-save-the-entire-world.  You know the type.  I’ll be first to admit the boy has issues.  He’s handsome, though.

Exhibit A:  handsome.

Next up is Peter.  He’s a 3-year-old Jewish boy who essentially decides that Tammi’s going to be his new mama.  And prickly and angry as she may be with everyone else . . . she just can’t resist Peter.  Because #adorableness.

I mean to say.

Finally, there’s Loes Jansen, Dirk’s older, distant cousin.  She’s fanatical about supporting the Dutch Resistance’s efforts to drive out the Germans . . . but not so eager to help Jews.  And she may or may not be jealous of Dirk’s growing feelings for Tammi.

Behave yourself, Loes.

What is your novel’s main theme?  

Sometimes letting go is the only way to say “I love you.”

What are your novel’s main settings?  

Just one main setting:  the van Manens’ crowded, noisy, four-room flat in Amsterdam, where they’ve chosen to hide Tammi and Peter.

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

First off, whoever suggested I was a pixie of any kind was seriously misguided.  😛

once more, with feeling.

I’m using a basic three-act / three-disaster structure, although my first disaster (aka Tammi’s relatives leaving her behind) also serves as the inciting incident.  I like the three-disaster framework because it’s simple and uncluttered, yet allows you to delve deep into each major traumatic event.


Part Three . . . Inspiration

What was the initial inspiration for your NaNoWriMo novel?  

I’ve been dreaming of a story like this since I was about seven years old, when I read a “Highlights for Children” article about a little girl named Nelly Toll who survived the Holocaust by hiding in a secret window compartment.  That image captivated me.

This makes me think of Tammi.

When I was in my last year of college (2015?  ish?), the story took firmer shape as that of a Jewish girl who, for some reason, was forced to leave her family behind and endure the Holocaust all on her own.  A girl who had to depend on strangers to survive.  With that in mind, I started writing Breaking Glass, which I proceeded to work on sporadically for the next three years.  And which was a total mess, riddled–RIDDLED, I say–with plot holes.  *sighs*

Then I finished my Master’s degree and had the freedom to Get Serious About Writing for the first time in my life, and I pulled out Breaking Glass again.  I stared at it and stared at it and stared at it until, suddenly, I knew exactly what it needed to go from “meh” to “awesome.”  (I can’t tell you just what I changed from that draft to this, because #spoilers.  It involves an unreliable narrator, but you didn’t hear that from me.)

Share your Pinterest boards and music playlist!

I don’t have a specific playlist for this novel–since my writing music always varies from day to day and scene to scene–and my Pinterest character board contains MAJOR-LEAGUE SPOILERS so I’m not about to release it to the public.  😉


Part Four:  Tag . . . You’re It!

Yeah, I’m feeling lazy here so I’mma just copy Hamlette.  If you’re doing NaNo, you’re tagged, my munchkins!

And here, as promised, is the clean copy of the questions list:


PART ONE. . . Get to know me

What is your NaNoWriMo Username?
Are you a plotter, pantser, plantser, or planter?
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”?
What is your absolute favorite NaNoWriMo memory?
How do you pronounce NaNoWriMo? (Na-No-RYE-Mo, or Na-No-REE-Mo?)

PART TWO. . . Prep

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?
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?

[Please note, I skipped quite a few of these, so if you just go by my post above, you’ll miss a bunch of questions which might conceivably be of interest to you.]

John Mulaney again.  For luck.





15 thoughts on “The NaNoWriMo Fanatic Tag

Add yours

  1. “He’s handsome, though.” xD xD xD

    Heyyyyy. So I’m commenting on your blog!!! *gasp* Is this the first time? *cringes* I really hope not. I miss the blogging world so much and I’m sad that I haven’t been around much to comment on your new blog!!! *hugs*

    Hey, I remember Malcom! 😀 (not sure if you had him named yet, though?)

    Woahhh, I haven’t met Loes yet!! (Also your answer about your novel’s main theme. *SOBS* Don’t do this to me, Katie!!)

    Loved this. 😀


    1. Isn’t he though? xD

      It is the first time, yes!!! And I’M SO THRILLED TO HAVE YOU!!! *tackle hugs* ❤

      Nope, Loes is new! *rubs hands* She's my antagonist, so I hope I can make her good . . . OKAY OKAY I PROMISE I'LL TRY NOT TO BREAK ANYBODY'S HEART TOO MUCH. There. Happy now? 😛

      Thank you, friend!!! ❤ I can't wait for you to read the finished version!!


      1. I enjoy not knowing too far ahead, that way my characters can surprise me. Part of the joy of writing for me is “discovering” — knowing too far ahead would give me SPOILERS.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow, that’s a fascinating perspective! I think I’d get really annoyed if my characters were hiding spoilers from me . . . I guess I want to know all the spoilers beforehand? I get my kicks out of imagining surprising OTHER PEOPLE 😉


  2. Ummmmmmmmmmm, yeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah… Matt Damon.

    Matt Damon = ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

    So there's that.

    Very happy that you've figured out the twist to elevate your story! As a firm rewriting fan, I applaud your decision and promise to cheer you on 🙂


    1. Totally agree ❤ I think you're gonna love this guy 😉

      Thanks so much, Hamlette!!! 😀 I am having so much fun with this rewrite–it's buzzing along just beautifully! I'm even starting to think the 2nd draft might be done by the end of this year.


  3. k first of all, Malcom is adorable. 10/10.

    “Sometimes letting go is the only way to say “I love you.”” << wait, no, what does that meeeaaaaannnn??? *nervousness intensifies*

    This sounds awesome! (Though, again, I am now #nervous.) Best of luck with NaNo. 😀


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