2018 Writing Recap | 2019 Writing Goals

Hello, people of the Blogosphere! I disappeared from the internet for a very long while! To those of you who messaged me to ask if I was still alive: thank you! Y’all rock! To those of you who didn’t notice my absence: it’s fine! I’m not bitter at all…

Why did I disappear, you ask? Well, to cut a very long story very short, life happened. I started college in August, and let’s just say that being blind as a bat and having a variety of other strange medical disorders made transitioning to college… interesting… for lack of a nicer word. Because of that, I didn’t have the time or energy to dedicate to blogging or really anything other than classes and just enough writing to maintain what was left of my sanity. Next semester should be a lot smoother though, so to kick off 2019, I am going to attempt to return to the Blogosphere and the Twitterverse because I miss writing for an audience rather than just filling pages upon pages of composition books with words that will probably never see the light of day. I seriously doubt that I will be able to maintain a regular posting schedule like I used to, but I’d like to try to post at least twice a month. We’ll just see what happens…

Anyway, (life updates aside), it's New Years Eve, which means it's time for me to tell the world whether or not I accomplished my 2018 writing goals and outline some writerly goals for the coming year! Spoiler alert: I sort of achieved my 2018 goals, and my 2019 goals are probably a bit too ambitious, but I'm a Slytherclaw, so it's fine!

Cheyenne’s 2018 Writing Recap

I had three writerly goals for 2018. They were:
◦Finish the beta reader process for Scarred Flawless
◦Outline Fractured Faith, (Scarred Flawless Book 2)
◦Outline Nevermore Forever

Yeah… okay… obviously the first goal didn’t happen! The fact that I thought that was doable is beyond laughable! Scarred Flawless really needs an update post of its own, but I’ll try to condense it for now. Basically, fictional geography is one of life’s great mysteries, and fixing the disaster that was my first attempt at creating a fictional world is proving to be WAY more difficult than anticipated. I had to resort to making maps, and maps made by the blind girl are more entertaining than useful! I have world building woes, okay! I don’t know when Scarred Flawless is going to be ready for the eyes of other humans, but thank you to all the people on Twitter who have inquired about it! It makes me very happy to know that other people want to read my book based on a couple of quotes from it. In all seriousness, I do hope to have Scarred Flawless ready for betas by the end of 2019. I am currently in the process of finishing what I hope is my final read-through before I start making the final revisions.

My second goal was a bit more of a success. I don’t quite have a scene by scene outline for Fractured Faith, but it is detailed enough that I could start drafting if I so desired, so I’m calling that one a success!

My third goal is a bit more complicated. I did not outline Nevermore Forever, but I did start outlining Unmarked instead! The original idea for Nevermore Forever is still sitting in a Scrivener file somewhere because I do want to come back to it some day, but I care about Unmarked more right now. Unmarked is a young adult thriller, which is not something I ever expected to write, but I kind of love it! The fast-paced vibe is very refreshing after the deep darkness of Scarred Flawless. The outline for Unmarked is nowhere near done, but I have the big picture and a few drafted scenes, so I’m calling this goal a partial success.

Onward to Writerly Plans for 2019!

I only have four writerly goals for 2019. They are:
◦Finish editing Scarred Flawless
◦Start drafting Fractured Faith
◦Start outlining Scarred Flawless Book 3
◦Finish outlining Unmarked
Honestly, I will be more than happy is I only achieve the first goal. Scarred Flawless is my priority right now, and I am ready to be able to hand it over to other people. Outlining and drafting will be my reward for the many hours spent resolving my world building woes.

Share Your Plans

Did you accomplish your goals for 2018? Do you have any writerly plans for the coming year? I want to know in the comments! Also, please let me know if you want to see any specific kinds of posts from me in the near future. I need quick and easy stuff that I can write and schedule, because school is starting again soon.

My NaNoWriMo2017 Bullet Journal

Happy Halloween/NaNoWriMo Eve! This is kind of last minute, but I thought I would share five of my favorite NaNoWriMo bullet journal spreads.
*If you are unfamiliar with the bullet journal system, click here for a video that will explain it better than I can.

Unfortunately I can’t show you pretty pictures like most of the bullet journalers on Instagram because all of my spreads are in braille, and the vast majority of you couldn’t read them. However, I will do my best to describe the spreads well enough for you to actually understand what I’m talking about… 🙂

  1. The Monthly Spread:
    This is basically a staple of all bullet journals, not just writing ones. I don’t typically use the monthly spread when I’m planning for a normal month, but I do during November. This is so that I can easily see what weeks are going to be insanely busy and what weeks are going to be basically free. If I’m going to have a crazy week, I make sure to cover for it in the week prior.

  2. The Word Count Tracker:
    This is a table consisting of three columns: day, word count, and damage control. Along the left-hand side, I list the 30 days of November. In the word count column, I write the word count I achieved for that particular day. In the damage control column, I write the number of words that I need to write the next day in order to fix any damage I did the day before.
    The recommended word count per day to win NaNoWriMo is 1667. Although it is possible to win NaNoWriMo by not writing on the week days and doing nothing but writing on the weekends, (I have done this), it is MUCH easier if you stick to a daily goal of somewhere around 1667 words per day. Hence the word count tracker!

  3. The daily spread:
    For me, this spread is literally just a todo list. Basically, these pages consist of checklists of everything I have to do before I can write. Without these pages, I would get completely sucked into NaNoWriMo, and important things like homework and algebra tests would be forgotten.

  4. The Inspiration Spread:
    This page consists of a list of things that inspire me to write my novel. The majority of WriMos, (including myself), tend to get sick of whatever they’re working on half way through the month and move onto a shiny new idea. This is bad, because you will never finish anything if you don’t stick with something. Also, if you were excited enough about an idea to decide to do it for NaNo, it’s probably pretty good, and you should probably stick with it! My inspiration pages usually consist of things like…
    ◦I love my characters!
    ◦My plot is super exciting!
    ◦These characters have a story to tell, and it’s my job to put it on paper.
    ◦The world needs my novel!!!!

  5. The playlist Spread:
    Most of you probably know by now that I make a playlist for everything I start. I can’t rite in silence, and if I’m going to listen to music while writing, it should totally be stuff that pertains to my story! Putting the playlist on shuffle and listening to a few songs is usually enough to get me in the writing zone, but sometimes I need a little extra help to get into the mindset to write certain scenes. So… I list all of the super important scenes that may be tough to write and associate each of them with a song so that I can listen to that song in order to get in the mindset to write that scene.

October Updates & NaNoWriMo Time!

Hey writerly people!

You may or may not have noticed that I haven’t posted anything in like… three months or so. That is because school happened! It’s my senior year, and I haven’t had time for much of anything other than classes, college stuff, and the occasional stolen moment of editing Scarred Flawless. However, I am going to do NaNoWriMo again this year, and, (because I am a crazy person), I have two projects:

  1. I am editing Scarred Flawless. I have about 25 more scenes to put into place. After that, I will do the final read-through, and it should be ready for beta readers in December or January!
  2. I am planning to write 50 thousand words of the first draft of Fractured Faith, which is the sequel to Scarred Flawless.

Will I win NaNoWriMo? Probably not! But at least I can say I tried!
I will still probably be pretty inactive on here until January when my course load lightens up a little, but I will be posting NaNoWriMo updates on Twitter! At least I think I can manage to write a 140 character update every day… Maybe… Probably NOT!
If you are also participating in NaNoWriMo, feel free to add me as a writing buddy! Also, let me know what you’ll be working on in the comments! I promise I will check the comments! And respond to the comments! Over Thanksgiving break… 🙂

Beautiful People | Author Writing Process Edition

Beautiful People is a writing link-up created by Cait @ Paper Fury. This month’s topic is your writerly process!


  1. How do you decide which project to work on?
    I always write the thing that I want to read most. Usually this is the project that I’ve thought out the most and at least somewhat outlined, but sometimes it’s a completely new project that I know very little about but already love.

  2. How long does it usually take you to finish a project?
    That depends on the project… I can usually do a short story in a month. Novels take about a year, (with three months of drafting and nine months of cleaning up the mess that I call a draft).

  3. Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?
    I always diffuse peppermint oil when I’m writing because it helps me focus, and I usually listen to either my project playlist or nature sounds.

  4. What time of day do you write best?
    Either really late at night or really early in the morning… what is sleep?

  5. Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?
    Ummm… no. My style is my own, just like every other author’s style is their own. I honestly think that you could give three different authors the same prompt and ask them to write a story, and they would come up with completely different stories because everybody’s brain works differently!

  6. Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?
    I started writing because I loved reading and telling stories, and I just never stopped. It’s so much of a habit to write every day now that it feels weird to not write in a day! I’ll keep writing as long as I have stories to tell, and I’ll probably cry if I ever run out of stories!

  7. What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?
    Definitely my Shaman Novel! The number one piece of advice that you’ll hear as a writer is, “Write what you know”. I personally think that this “rule” is idiotic and hardly ever follow it, but it does have a tiny bit of value. When I started writing my Shaman Novel, I stepped off a cliff into the deep blue unknown, and that was the most terrifying moment of my writerly life! It’s one thing to create a magic system, world, characters, plot, and fantastical creatures out of your imagination, but it’s a completely different thing to combine fantasy and psychology when you know absolutely nothing about the psychological disorders at hand! Speaking from hours of experience here… Google is a writer’s best friend!

  8. Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?
    Nope! Now that I’ve written two drafts of my Shaman Novel, I can write anything!

  9. What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?
    Uhhhh… I’ll just skip this question! Just kidding… My main goal for 2017 was to have my Shaman Novel ready for beta readers by June, and clearly that did not happen! I have world building woes, ok?! Cut me some slack here! I still gotta name some fictional countries!

  10. Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!
    I absolutely positively despise gifs because gif + screen reader = BAD! So… here are my three words: messy, incoherent, somewhat insane. That turned into four words, but I’m calling it good!

Beautiful People | Parental Edition

Beautiful People is a writing link-up created by Cait @ Paper Fury in which you share a bit about your characters. This month’s topic is parental relationships! I’ll be answering the following questions for Niko Deverow, (The main character of my Shaman Novel.)


  1. Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?
    Niko’s biological parents mysteriously disappeared when he was three years old. His Aunt Zelda and Uncle Quinn are his legal guardians, but they don’t really care what he does as long as it doesn’t ruin their chance at a spot on the royal counsel. The closest thing he has to a real parent is his shaman mentor, Archer Cross. She was like a sister to Niko’s mother, and now she’s made it her mission to save him from the royal lifestyle as his mother would’ve wanted.

  2. Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence, and how has it affected their life?
    I already answered the first part of this question above… Sophia and Gidian Deverow disappeared when Niko was only three, so he never got a chance to know them. Niko inherited his Mom’s shaman gift: the ability to see spirits and residual energetic imprints. For example, he could see the blurred image of a violent murder that played out 50 years in the past because of the energetic imprint it left behind. This made it super hard for him when his Aunt and Uncle got guardianship. His dad basically ruined the Deverow name when he married a shaman, and now Zelda and Quinn care about nothing beyond fixing their reputation and reclaiming their spot on the royal counsel. From a VERY young age, Niko has been taught to hide his abilities. He wears a flawless mask to keep up his royal pretence, but beneath it he is filled with scars and secrets that can never be revealed. Because he’s holding so much inside, he finds ways to numb the world. He becomes addicted to Bliss, (a made-up drug), and turns to self-injury as a form of release.

  3. How did their parents meet?
    Every year, the Counsel and the Shaman Court meet under a peace flag. Gidian Deverow and Sophia Murser met at one such meeting. Sophie saw that something was off in Gidian’s aura. He didn’t quite fit with the other royals, and that intrigued her. She struck up a conversation at the peace banquet, and after several months of secret meetings, Gidian made plans to desert the counsel which would throw his family name into exile.

  4. How would they feel if they were told, “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?
    Niko would be overjoyed to get ANY kind of information about his parents! He’s spent most of his life trying to find out what happened to them, which is difficult because he has no access to shaman records, and the counsel doesn’t keep information on traitors. Even though he sees the spirits of the dead, he’s never seen his parents. He can’t decide if this makes him scared or happy because it either means they’re not dead, they’re in some kind of afterlife, or they’re alive and somewhere worse than death.

  5. What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?
    Sophia was training to become a spy for ISA, (the International Shaman Alliance). Gidian was being groomed to carry on his family name and one day inherit the Deverow’s counsel seat.

  6. Is there something they adamantly disagreed on?
    Considering they never new each other, they didn’t have a chance to disagree on anything.

  7. What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?
    It was very difficult for Sophie to find out that Niko had her abilities. Sight and Empathy are two of the most difficult shaman gifts to master, and when they’re combined, they usually result in madness.

  8. What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?
    Niko has a vague memory of his mother singing him to sleep in a foreign language that sounds a lot like Hawaiian. However, he can’t decide if it really happened, or if he just made it up to feel some connection to his life before the counsel.

  9. What was your character like as a baby/toddler?
    Niko was a very quiet child. He was always watching, listing, and absorbing the world around him.

  10. Why and how did the parent(s) choose your character’s name?
    The name Niko means, “victory,” or, “warrior”. Gidian and Sophie named him Niko because they knew the world was a harsh place, and they wanted it to remind him that he was strong enough to fight and win.

Snippet Sunday

Snippet Sunday is a writing meme created by Samantha @ Reed’s Reads & Reviews in which you share a snippet from your current writing project. This snippet is from my Shaman Novel.


Vivian Deverow was drowning. It was kind of ironic if you thought about it. “Strike a match and let it burn,” she muttered to herself through a choked laugh. That’d been her motto for years, but her matches couldn’t burn under water.

Staying Inspired During Camp NaNoWriMo

Greetings, writers! We are entering the third week of Camp NaNoWriMo, and this is usually when I start losing my writing inspiration. So… Here are five tips for finding the inspiration to finish that first draft!


  1. Remember why you originally wanted to tell this story. Make a list of everything that originally made you want to write it, and stick it somewhere where you’ll see it often. Mine is at the very front of the notebook where I keep the info for my Shaman Novel.
  2. Listen to your writing playlist. If you don’t have a playlist for your project, consider making one! If music isn’t your style, check out some writers on youTube or read some writing related blog posts like this one. Sometimes listening to other writers talk about being excited to write their stories can inspire you to write your own! You can check out this post for some awesome writers on youTube.
  3. Do some word sprints. Word sprints are where you set a timer for a certain amount of time and try to write as many words as possible in that time frame. If you don’t want to sprint alone, you can follow @NaNoWordSprints on twitter and write with lots of other people!
  4. Ponder this question: What is your main character’s current social media status? This does two things. First, it allows you to think about your character in a context other than your story which allows you to understand them better by thinking about how they interact with their friends. Second, it makes you think about what they’re doing. Maybe they’re reacting to what happened in the last scene on Twitter. If that’s the case, then you should probably write their reaction next.
  5. When all else fails, start what-ifing! Read the last scene you wrote, and then write “what if… insert plot event here“, until you know what you need to write next. This can be super painful if you’ve outlined every single detail, but sometimes that outline just needs to fly out the window for a while. Yeah… This can cause a mess when it comes to editing the thing, but it also makes a better story in my experience!

Snippet Sunday

Snippet Sunday is a writing meme created by Samantha @ Reed’s Reads & Reviews in which you share a snippet of your current writing project. It’s been forever since I’ve done one of these, but today I bring you the “unofficial official” synopsis for my Shaman Novel. This is the blurb that I’ve posted to my Camp NaNoWriMo profile, but it’s subject to change as I continue to edit the story. I hope to have the book ready for beta readers by June, but in reality it’s probably going to be more like August or September…
Since you guys are following my book/writing blog, I’m assuming you’re all readers, writers, or both. That means you probably know a thing or two about books and their blurbs, so please let me know what you think of mine in the comments! Does this synopsis make you want to read my book? Is there anything you don’t like about it? Any and all feedback is appreciated! 😉


Nico Deverow’s entire life is built on secrets, lies, and blood. His family built their fortune in blood money and poisoned their way to a seat on the Royal Mist Council, but Nico doesn’t belong in that life. Ancient murders, restless spirits, and the uncensored truth in everyone’s auras are all revealed to him through residual layers of energy, and no one can ever know about it. The second sight is a shaman power, and a Deverow with a shaman gift would kill his bloodline’s reputation completely. His mask is flawless as his family name decrees, but underneath he’s shattering. With no one to help him contain his powers, the magical drug called Bliss and the raiser sharp blade of a dagger become his only salvation. But when natural born healer Adam Rachadon discovers his abilities, Nico is given a choice: trust a shaman with a secret his family would kill him for, or refuse his offer of help and continue to live a lie.