NaNoWriMo update week 1 | November is here and I am hyped!

NaNoWriMo has started and I am so excited! Last week I wrote about how I really wasn’t excited and since then a lot has changed! On Tuesday, the day before NaNo started, I finally realized that working on a WIP that didn’t excite me anymore wasn’t gonna do me any good. I, instead, changed my story idea to something that I’ve been wanting to write since this summer and had been afraid to start. And it is so much fun to write!! More about that story idea later.

What I noticed already is that my drafting is going way easier and faster, because I’ve finally come to realize that drafting does not need to be perfect. My draft is gonna be a mess, with incoherent sentences, spelling errors, repetitions and messy dialogue and you know what? THAT’S OKAY. This draft can be as messy as I want it to be because in the words of Jen Wang: First drafts are like practicing dance moves in your room alone in the dark; it doesn’t matter what it looks like because it’s just for you.


So what’s my story idea?

You might remember, I once wrote a post with several story ideas that I was considering writing for NaNoWriMo, one of those was a transgender Mulan retelling. I was so excited for that one and I’ve finally decided to just go for it. Research can come later, now I just need to get the story out.

The story initially was set in 5-6th century China because that is where the story of Mulan originated but I’ve decided to change it to modern-day China. I wanted to include modern media and it was much easier to make the story diverse, which is something I really wanted.

My current working title is Making Mountains Bow. The story is about Xiulan, who is a transgender boy but not openly because his family doesn’t understand. I don’t want to spoil the entire story but it includes: an amazing sibling relationship, quirky friends, a tragic death, a war, dragons, expectations, betrayal, battles, strong male and female characters, and much more!


Character Aesthetics

I have created many character aesthetics for my story, some of which are below! Some of these characters I haven’t introduced yet and there’s even one that I have no clue how to work into the story.

char Xiulan
Adobe Spark
Kailee Aes
Mars aes



I’ve currently written 6.813 words and I’m really happy with that! I hope to write another 1-1.5k today, but I have obligations so I’m not sure I’ll be able to write a lot. So far I’ve had one day on which I just couldn’t write more than 1k, which was because I wasn’t feeling very well.



I’m having a hard time finding snippets I love, because the prose I use right now is not that good. But that doesn’t matter right now, anyway, I can change it in the rewrite. I do have a lot of dialogue that I just love so here are some snippets from that:

“You look like shit,” she said pointedly. Another thing about Kailee, she never knew when not to talk. She had no filters between what she thought and what she said.

“Well, thanks, I hadn’t noticed,” he said sarcastically. He felt like it too.

“Wild night?” she smiled, “got to meet any cute girls?” She and her girlfriend had just broken up a few weeks ago but she was already on the look-out for new flings.

“Ha, if you call my sister cute, then yes. Or champagne, is champagne a cute girl? I met a lot of champagne.”

She grinned widely, “ooh got a little tipsy, then?”

“I think I rambled on about the stars, walked into twenty people, puked in a bush and then woke up with an axe hammering my head. Figuratively then.”

“So your ordinary Friday night.”

“I’m sorry for ruining your night,” he said softly, the guilt biting at his voice.

“No! You didn’t ruin it, you were a sweet drunk. Very… wise.”

He chuckled, “oh god, I made a fool out of myself, didn’t I?”

“Only a little bit.”


How is writing going for you? Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo? What’s your favourite snippet that you wrote in your NaNo project? Any tips or tricks you’ve discovered?

I am looking for people who are Chinese and/or transgender and would like to help me out with the representation, so if you’re either of those and don’t mind me contacting you ask some questions while writing, please let me know!

28 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo update week 1 | November is here and I am hyped!

  1. OH MY GOD LIA CAN I HIRE YOU TO DO MY CHARACTER/NOVEL AESTHETICS those are honestly so beautiful slfjlslflslflsld. And agh I really love that you’re writing this in an Asian setting with Asian MCs!! And I’m not Chinese but I can try to help with Asian rep in general if you need? And YES for all the diversity you’re including — I love it. Your snippets are amazing as well!! 💕 GOOD LUCK WITH THE REST OF NANO!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES SURE just send me a summary/description of your characters or story! Just things the characters like, dislike, idk, stuff like that! I’ll make aesthetics for you!
      Yay! I’ll contact you if I need help with the rep! Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OMG REALLY I was just joking ahhaha! Okay, I’ll try to get something together for you in the next few days (but don’t feel pressured to do it ahah).

        (Also, I have an ace MC and I know you’re ace, so I might have to ask you a few questions about the rep if you don’t mind…?)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes of course! Ask me whenever you need help or have questions!
        And yess go send me something I want to make your aesthetics (I might have gotten a little addicted to it :P)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. YOUR AESTHETICS ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!!! (and also sorry for not commenting on your blog recently I GENERALLY SUUCK AT IT)

    I’m so excited for your novel omg it sounds so freaking good I love MULAN SO MUCH. I’m Chinese and I can help you with your novel if you want! You can contact me anytime 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! And no worries, I’ve been slacking with commenting too lately. NaNo has completely taken over my life oops
      YAY THANK YOU! I’ll contact you when I have questions or need help! ❤


  3. Sometimes Lia, I feel like your aesthetics is the only thing keeping me alive 😳
    I LOVE Kailee already from that snippet but mYGOSH MARS’ AESTHETICS IS MY FAVE 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Haha! There’s the champagne you mentioned on twitter having to go back and correct the spelling on. AHHH THE AESTHETICSSSSS ❤ I am so excited for this story!! It sounds so awesome

    Liked by 1 person

  5. oh my god, this book sounds amazing and i need it in my lifeeee!! the aesthetics are so beautiful too! and the snippets are so wonderful! and i’m not chinese but i am trans so i could totally help on the rep whenever you need it ❤ GOOD LUCK ON THE REST OF NANO LIA!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. asdfghjklkjhjkl;SdfghjklKJHGF



    too good to be true lia

    “Only a little bit.”


    I LOVE THE DIVERSITY, I love THE CHINESE CULTURE and the family vibes I’m getting from here. Your aesthetics are so,,,, ORGANISED and neat and YOU ARE QUEEN (only of aesthetics. I am not giving into you about word wars. ever. I am in denial okay)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so happy to hear that your new project is going along well! 🙂 I’m always looking forward to seeing your Twitter updates aaand the aesthetics are absolutely beautiful 😍 It’s a cool idea to set your story in modern-day China, it definitely intrigues me. I also very much like the snippets 🙂

    My NaNo Novel is coming along well & I’m quite satisfied with my progress so far. It just really feels like the right story for me so far 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww that’s sweet! Thank you! I really wanted it to be in modern-day China because I’m not a huge fan of history, although ancient China would also have been really cool!
      Yay, I’m glad it’s going well!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. OH MY GOSH i wish i had this much written! i feel like the first week of november just slipped away and i am so bogged down with things writing has made it’s way to the back burner. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww that’s too bad! Writing can be hard to fit into your schedule! I’m lucky because I have exams week (meaning no classes) and no exams so I got plenty of time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. that is lucky! i had a good day yesterday; but then have had zero time today. but i’m liking my story idea more now, so that’s something. lol

        Liked by 1 person

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