Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo2016 in Review | The First

Hello friends!

On this Monday, the first of NaNoWriMo 2016, I’m changing up the usual Week in Review post to match 🙂

At the moment my total is at 8,951 words. It’s lower than it should be, but that’s got a lot to do with life and editing Eléonore! The latter is going extremely well, by the way. I should be done the edits today and I’ll be reading it once more through for any mistakes before sending it to my proofreader. Drawing closer to publication and it’s hard to believe that this is actually happening!

But back to The Desert Knight — my NaNoWriMo novel. I’m loving writing it right now and discovering my characters. Parvana is still developing as a main character and sometimes I find that I’m writing her with too much of Eléonore’s edge. When I find that happening, I make notes to go back and clean up her dialogue and inner musings. It’s happening less and less as I’m becoming more familiar with her personality. So that’s good at least.

It’s a first draft, so I’m attacking it as such, writing what comes without much filter, but I’m keeping notes as I go for problems in plot that I’m already noticing and scenes where I overstay my visit. I think one of my biggest issues right now is bringing the setting to life. The desert is such a gorgeous space to use, but I don’t think I’m doing it justice. To help, I have two books on my November TBR that are set in the desert: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley and Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed. Does anyone have any other suggestions for fantasy novels with a desert setting?

With edits finishing up on Eléonore this week, I’m hoping to turn more of my attention to The Desert Knight and hitting 20k before the week’s end. That’s the dream, in any case 🙂

For now, how about a small excerpt:

They knew me as Rikalasar. I was proud to be Rika’s serve, but I was also afraid of the reverence I garnered for it. 

Rikalasar was the mask of duty that I wore at night, to serve the god that had saved my life. My true name was Parvana. At one time I had been called Shara (daughter), Sestrys (sister), Nevalyn (niece). At one time I had been called Kivashik (kin killer).

– The Desert Knight. Faith Rivens. 2016.

How are your NaNoWriMo endeavours proving? Are you on goal? Falling behind? Share your experience! I’d love to hear about it.

And remember to believe in your stories, friends, and in your selves! You can do amazing things if you do ❤

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink


Beautiful Books 2016 | The Desert Knight


Happy Monday and Happy Halloween Friends!

November is fast approaching (aka: it’s tomorrow!) and with it comes NaNoWriMo!

In honour of it Cait of PaperFury and Sky of FurtherUpFurtherIn are hosting the Beautiful Books link-up, a change-up from the usual Beautiful People! But the idea is the same: ten question prompts to introduce your work in progress.

Today, I’m sharing one of the two books I’ll be working on for NaNoWriMo: The Desert Knight.

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

The Desert Knight is set in the realm where Pirate Eyes is located. I loved the world I created so much that I started to imagine different ideas. I marked it down maybe five years ago, but only now realized that it would be a great idea to bring to life as another novella.

Describe what your novel is about!

The Desert Knight is the story of a masked vigilante who travels the dunes at night, protecting innocents from bandits and murderers.

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

If you want to take a look at The Desert Knight’s aesthetics, you should check out my pinterest board 🙂

Introduce us to each of your characters!

Our main character is a young woman named Parvana. She has a dark past and pursues justice as a vigilante in the night.

Nitareva is a young girl whose life will never the same after one calculated act of violence.

Daltan is a holy man who is devoted to the god Rika, and Parvana’s mentor.

Ghazeen is a famed warrior, dishonorably discharged for a crime committed.

Sristi is a soothsayer and a servant of the goddess Kari. She has been Parvana’s adopted mother.

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

All of the above 😉

In truth, I mostly focus on developing my characters, getting inside their head and creating a general plan of action for the plot. With this one, I’m focusing a lot on researching too, focusing on the culture, religion and magic system of this Dalosian desert territory.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

The ensemble of characters that will support Parvana on her quest. I really love this cast. They remind me a lot of Keira’s crew mates in my Pirate Eyes novel. The same bunch of loveable misfits 🙂

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

  1. Arid and dangerous.
  2. Lush and exotic.
  3. Restless and changing.

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

Parvana’s goal is to protect the innocent residents of the desert from the injustices of evil humans. Think that covers the who (or what) as well 😉

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

I’d like to imagine that Parvana succeeds in recapturing a bit of the innocence she had previously lost but we’ll have to wait and see…

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

The main themes are the loss of innocence, the bond of family, the search for justice.

I hope that readers leave the story feeling thoughtful and satisfied, maybe a little sad, but mostly hopeful.

Okay, that’s it for today’s post 🙂

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and my days are going to be packed writing The Desert Knight and editing Eléonore! Look out for an announcement on Friday by the way! I have some exciting news to share 🙂

And if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, let me know what story your working on. You can find me under the username faith_therivens! Let’s join forces and conquer this month together!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Week in Review | The Thirty-Second

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Friends!

And Happy Columbus day to my American friends 🙂

Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend and a great week!

I’m in the thick of editing Eléonore right now, and I’m about to have family over for some turkey and mashed potatoes and rice and gravy and stuffing and cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie and pecan pie and…. mouths watering yet 😉

But I’m taking a moment first to tell you a bit about how my past week has gone!


Actually, all my big highlights of this week are writing related.

I’ve managed to rewrite two scenes of Eléonore–they were my biggest stresses, so with that done I’m tackling some of the minor changes that need to be made which includes small plot holes and inconsistencies and terrible dialogue 😛

Anyway, I’ve also started to outline two new novels (one is the sequel to Eléonore and one the sequel to Pirate Eyes)! As I’ve been doing this, I have come to a rather big decision…

Friends, I can officially announce that I will be participating in NaNoWriMo 2016! I had so much fun writing Heritage last year and I can’t wait to write another novel this November. I’ve decided on which it will be as well…

Hollow Vows (Book II in the Cerastone Quartet). AKA sequel to Pirate Eyes.

My hope is to finish writing the sequel and start editing it in 2017 while shopping Pirate Eyes around and trying to pick up an agent/publisher. We’ll see where the road takes me, but for now I’m excited to continue Keira’s story 🙂

There’s not much more for me to say, but I’ll leave you with a small excerpt from Eléonore! The opening lines…

There were demons to kill, but first I needed a cup of coffee.
The nearest café offered a variety of frappés, lattés, and mochas, but all I needed was a good strong, dark roast black from my usual Timmie’s. An extra three blocks of walking was worth the bitter brew that steeled my nerves and jolted my brain. One sip was enough to get the juices flowing. Three more and I could feel the anticipating building. Ready and willing to slit some throats.

– Eléonore

One thing I love about writing Eléonore is the setting. Holly really inspired with her Infernal Hunt series in which she masterfully paints an image of Prague. I hope to capture the same sort of realism as Eléonore works her way through the streets of Montreal and Vieux-Québec.

Speaking of Holly, if you are particpating in NaNoWriMo you should really check out her blog series where she talks about prepping for the thirty day challenge. She has such insight to offer. It’s a true gem! The link to the first one can be found here: NaNoWriMo Prep.

How was your week? What projects are you currently embroiled in? Anyone else planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year? Share your aspirations and achievements in the comments!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Camp NaNoWriMo Update 3

Happy Monday everyone!

Hope you’re all well and that you had a relaxing weekend!

This weekend was a little busy for me, but I still managed to get some things done. One of those things being…

I finished going through the hard copy of my Pirate Eyes manuscript and now all that’s left for me to do is type up the necessary changes! And then it’s ready. And I’ll be on the lookout for beta-readers by the end of this week *fingers crossed*.

I’m really happy with how this story has progressed since I first started writing it back in December 2006. The characters are more pronounced, the plot flows better, the conflict is more present. At least, I hope that’s how it reads.

On another note, I have decided to submit to #FicFest. I debated it for a while, but it makes sense that I should give it a try. A big thank you to Sara Beth at Life, Love, Writing for convincing me to take the leap. Better to try and get rejected then never try at all, because then it’s like rejecting myself. And I never want to do that!

We’ll see where that goes, but in the meantime I’ll be shifting gears to polishing two screenplays and starting the large revisions needed for the second book in the series. Which means taking the second half of the original manuscript and making it flow like a sequel. I expect hard work. I also expect lots of fun!

Question: What’s the most daunting edit/revision you’ve ever had to do on a story?

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith     quill-ink

Camp NaNoWriMo | Day One

Good Evening Everyone,

Today marks day 1 of Camp NaNoWriMo. I haven’t been able to devote as much time to my edits as I wanted to today, because this weekend my family is hosting a big party that requires a lot of preparation. It’ll make it difficult to set aside the time I want to until Monday, but I’ll steal whatever time I can get. I managed to reach the end of my Prologue at least. All 1,883 words of it!

My big focus this time around is on finding the bothersome sections and marking down my reasons for them: plot holes, repetitious, not enough conflict, unnecessary scenes, even lines that just seem off in terms of language.

I’m also making general notes on character and plot development from scene to scene to be sure that there are no plot holes, enough development, enough foreshadowing, etc.

There’s a lot to do, but I want to do it well.

Here are just a few pictures of my writing station pre-edits which also provide a few small snippets from my prologue if you take a close enough look. It also gives a glimpse of my series title 🙂




I’ll post more tomorrow before the party!

Best of luck with your writing pursuits this weekend.

If you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this April, then I wish you all the luck in achieving your goals 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

NaNoWriMo: Day Thirty

Hi everyone!

Can it be? No, surely it’s impossible. And yet it is…today was the last day of NaNoWriMo.

It has been quite a thrilling November and one of my most amazing ones in past years. NaNoWriMo helped me achieve so much. Not only did I reach and surpass the  5ok mark, but I rediscovered my passion and motivation for my writing 🙂 And truly, it is the latter that I am most happy for, that is the true success. It’s about being able to kindle that passion and flame and using it to pursue my dream! I hope that you were also able to discover that this month.

I’m closing off NaNoWriMo with a grand total of…..78,291!!! 

Screenshot 2015-11-30 22.06.11

Today’s word count: 2,665!

My first and last sentences of day:

Her grandmother’s face was taut with anxiety.

They would consume all the light and in their wake silence would fall.

I tried hard today to reach the end of my novel, but I didn’t quite make it. But that’s okay! I was going to be upset with myself, but then I reminded myself that I can still finish it and will this week. I have about 5k to go before the end. Maybe even less.

In any case, I’m just proud to see how far I’ve gotten and can’t wait to finish my first draft–I’ll continue to keep you posted until I’m done.

Today’s narrative saw Peggie thrust into the Act 3 climax. I had to stop midway through it, just because I’m really tired and I have to be up early tomorrow.

I’m dreading writing the end of this a bit, only because I’ve been wavering lately between two endings: one happier than the other. I keeping leaning towards the bittersweet one. I’ll see which way I finally go when I get there.

I hope that — if you participated in NaNoWriMo — you enjoyed it as much as I have.

Let me know what is the most important lesson you’re taking away from this month’s experience!

Remember to always believe in yourself and your words. Your stories are unique and beautiful. So are you!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-Nine

Hi all!

The penultimate day of NaNoWriMo! Can it be true? November just flew by! And it’s been one wild ride thus far! Still one day to go, though, so no goodbyes for the moment.

Today, I only sat down to write after 4:00pm EST partially because of another great #Storycrafter chat with Faye at Writerology! We role played as our antagonists this time which was highly inspirational in setting out in my new scenes today. A few word sprints and I got a little over 2k written today. Not as much as the past few days, but that’s okay because I hit a different goal entirely….

I passed the 75k mark! And I’m pretty sure another 10k will bring me to the end of my novel. At least, that’s what I’m hoping.

Today’s word count: 2,248. 

My first and last sentences of the day:

We were trained from a young age to wield the magic of the orb.

A long climb awaited them, but Peggie was ready to endure it.

Narrative wise, things slowed down just a tad after yesterday’s explosive conflict. Peggie finally learned the whole truth about her grandmother’s past. At this point, I realized that I missed a HUGE potential for plot development and will probably move the reveal much earlier and allow for some other things to happen earlier too just to remove some of the exposition happening in Act 3. I made a note for the 2nd draft and stopped my inner editor from going back and changing it right away.

Unfortunately, Peggie is now realizing how nearly insurmountable the antagonist really is. And is starting to discover that winning might mean never returning to her home village of Caraliel….but I can’t say more, because…well, you know…SPOILERS!

Anyways, tomorrow will see my last NaNoWriMo post…at least until November 2016! I will return, however, with some book reviews and weekly updates of my progress and a few other surprises too…

Until then, how was your penultimate day of NaNoWriMo? Are you almost at 50k? Are you preparing for a fitful day of writing tomorrow? Wherever your at, whatever your goals, I wish you luck.

And remember: Keep writing and keep believing in yourself! You are talented! You are amazing! You can do anything!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith     quill-ink

NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-Eight

Hi all,

Wow! I can hardly believe that there are only two full days left before NaNoWriMo is over. I have to admit that it’s a bittersweet reality. The energy this month has been palpable and inspiring. I’ll definitely miss all the great #NaNoWordSprints and support, but the lessons learnt are universal and I’m excited to apply them in my everyday writing from now on 🙂

Today’s word total is my best yet. I took part in a few sprints and wrote a bit on my own. It helped that one of my scenes today was a great conflict that just caught me up in the swell of its rise and fall and carried me through a good portion of the day’s narrative.

Total word count: 4,569! 🙂

First and last lines of the day:

Peggie waited for him to pull away first


I believed it too, for a time.

As I already said, Peggie found herself in the heat of a great battle today, pushed to the limits. She made it through, but not unscathed. She’s lost a lot now, but she keeps striving forward, propelling herself towards the final conflict that’s awaiting her.

Of all my elements, I am most proud of Peggie’s character development. She’s made great progress from the person she started as to the person she is now. It’s been a slow trajectory, but a wide one too. And she’s gone along with most of what I’ve put before her, save for those moments when she’s rebelled and proved to be that she knew what was best! I miss the characters from my Divided Draft and think of them often, but I have grown especially fond of Peggie and I’ll miss her too when the day comes for me to close the page on the first draft of Heritage to go edit my other stories.

With only two full days left, I wish you all luck in getting to your 50k, or whatever goal you’ve set for yourself. Remember to be proud of yourself for whatever you’ve written so far. And keep believing in yourself.

Finally, here’s a question for you: what element of your NaNoWriMo story or current WIP are you most proud of? Character? Plot? Theme? Setting? Why are you proud of them?

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,


Faith quill-ink

NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-Seven

Hi everyone,

There was a moment tonight when I thought I might not be able to get this blog post out, that I’d have to wait for tomorrow. It was a moment of stress for me. But my anxiety was proved to be unnecessary. Because here I am at 10:19pm EST writing my post! Thank goodness for that 🙂 I’ll have to be brief, though. My window for writing is nearly done!

It was a good day of writing today. I don’t say great only because my last few days have surpassed all expectations. Even my narrative was far less exciting, but necessary all the same.

My word count for today: 2,248.

My first and last sentences of the day:

Her voice caught on the wind.

She was glad to be reminded of what she had left behind in Caraliel, of what she had to come home to.

Plot-wise, Peggie’s made some great revelations, had to make some painful farewells, and has come to develop a strong friendship with a very secretive man. Her most insightful realization came in the form of recognition of her most toxic fear of death. She has been shown a new passion and a new path for the future, if she so wishes to pursue it. Peggie has a lot to consider in terms of her own needs, but she’s about to hit another roadblock first in the greater danger threatening her home.

I have 3 more days to finish this novel. I’m hoping that tomorrow presents a good opportunity to get well into Act 3. I have a few plans for other projects in December, so I need Heritage to be done asap!

How are your final days shaping up? What are your plans for the month of December?

Okay, I have to run. I’ll be back tomorrow with my usual post. Until then…

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,


Faith quill-ink

NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-Six

Hi everyone!

So another day of NaNoWriMo has come and gone and I have to admit that I’m really sad to think that it will be over soon. Thank goodness the writing never stops 😀

It was another day of NaNoWordSprints, though I’m honestly doing them now because they’re fun and less so because I need the inspiration!

Today’s word count: 3,745.

First and last line of the day:

She searched her soul, not just for courage, but for love, that stronger emotion that existed within the very depth of her heart.


“In my heart, you’ll always dwell.”

In narrative land today, Peggie almost died. For real this time. I hated putting her in that situation — I think it killed me a little — and I can’t tell you how good it felt to see her alive on the other side. And stronger for it. What doesn’t kill you, right?

She’s drawing ever closer to her final conflict, each step a building block towards it, giving her the tools and knowledge she needs to face it and succeed (if she does succeed, that is). She also made a great revelation, which I can’t reveal here because of that ultimate threat: THE SPOILER!

All in all, it was another great day of writing and plotting.

How was your 26th day of NaNoWriMo? Anyone pass that 50k line yet? Wherever you are, remember to reward yourself for every day of written words!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill!


Faith        quill-ink

*On a separate note, I decided on Robin Hobb’s The Assassin’s Quest for the next read 🙂 I’ll be posting a review of Druon’s She-Wolf and Archer’s Best Kept Secrets soon!