know the novel, part one: introduction // a writers linkup from Christine Smith Author

*welcomes you all to my blog with a wave and virtual chocolate*

Every year, Christine Smith hosts a linkup for writers to share about their NaNo projects. Last year I participated with my novel The Ancient Song, a contemporary Fiddler on the Roof retelling. (You can read about it here: part one, part two, part three.) I won NaNo with 50k HANDWRITTEN words (though I didn’t finish the novel), and I sadly haven’t touched the story since.

I do want to get back to that story someday, and rereading my old posts makes me want to even more, but today is not that day. Today… I’m going to tell you about my 2020 NaNo project.

That is, my November goal. You see, with school and life and everything, I simply don’t have the time or motivation to write 50k of a new novel this year. So instead, I’m writing 20k of my current novel(s), Remnant (and maybe the sequel Paradise). Since you all probably know tons about this saga already (if you don’t, here are some posts), I’m not going to be reiterating all that. I’m going to try to give a few little new details and also talk a tiny bit about Paradise!

If I finish 20k, I might go for 30 or even 40, but I think 20k is a reasonable goal considering the amount of other writing (for school and college applications) I have to do this November.

[ Note on NaNoWriMo: a lot of people in the conservative Christian community have boycotted NaNo’s site (or the event entirely) due to the politics and worldview of the staff. While I understand this decision, I will continue to use the site to track my writing, and (if I have the time ;)) participate in the November/April/June events. Even though I don’t think NaNo SHOULD be telling me what to think about politics, they certainly have that right, and it’s up to me to listen or not as I like. So I’m going to use their helpful writing aids despite the fact that I disagree with their view. ]

(Psst! If you want to participate in this linkup — with your NaNo project or a different novel/book you’re writing — click this link to learn more.)

I actually answered a lot of these questions in a similar linkup called “Meet the Books.” I’m going to copy some answers over 🙂

1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?


Eleven-year-old me realized she could actually try and write a novel before she graduated high school (overcoming her previous misconception, the origin of which is uncertain), and so she started. There were silver tattoos and an Eragon/Arya-type romance and Dwarves and Elves and Wizards.

It is very different now, but I am grateful to my younger self for having the idea.


Paradise: Well, I created a character called Perrin (in Remnant) and gave him a deep desire to find a mysterious place. Then I discovered that my main character’s sister was destined to rule a different (but equally mysterious) place. And I wanted to explore my MC’s family’s backstory a bit more. So I decided I’d write a sequel about all three plots.

2. Share a blurb (or just an overall summary if you’d prefer)!

Aionladon has always wanted to be a hero. He’s lived his whole life in the same place and is ready for adventure.

But what he gets isn’t what he was looking for.

United with his lost monarchs and their long-forgotten allies, the elves, he must learn to use his skills to reclaim his kingdom – a kingdom he will never rule, a land that will never praise him, a world in which he is not a hero.

A realm that’s been taken over by the woman who destroyed his family.

Aionladon must find it in himself to be a hero — and yet be unknown. To save a kingdom — but not for himself. To win a battle — by forgiving an enemy. To bring back peace — even to those who broke it before.


As for the sequel… weellll, um, let’s just say I kinda regret oversharing about Remnant in the past and therefore would like to keep this one a little more secret. But there are sand dunes. And a crystal palace, and a swoon-worthy blacksmith named Thomas Argent (*dies*), and pine trees, and a fiery red-haired girl with freckles.

3. Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?

The story is set in the world of… well, there’s not exactly a world name at the moment… but it’s (mainly) in the country of Arendelin, which is a large expanse of mostly fields. Also occasional rivers and lakes. It’s ruled by a monarchy descending through the oldest child, except when the queen’s sister, frustrated that she didn’t marry the king, takes it over. The citizens are humans. [main setting of Remnant, secondary setting of Paradise]

The characters pass through the Mor’art Mountains, a semi-independent province within Arendelin, populated by rebel groups and mountainside villages (mostly human, occasionally elven) with various types of government. [secondary setting of Remnant]

Then they reach the Namot Islands, a semi-united archipelago covered in forests and mountains and ruled by a King (with a capital K) and his wife the Queen (usually descends to oldest son, but a recent civil war changed the way some things work). The people are about half human, half elf, with 10%-ish halfbloods. [secondary setting of Remnant]

There’s also Anadelin, the elven home country, which is really all forest except for the lakes. It’s been ruled by the same rulers since its founding (because immortality), but every ten years each province elects a new regent (regents can be re-elected up to ten times). These regents have an equal vote in councils. [secondary setting of Remnant]

Other countries that don’t much come into this particular book (but may affect later installments) are Rimgard, a northern land ruled by a monarchy; X’lion, a southern, mountain/desert country with an as-yet-uncertain government and people; the Last City, a small city-state on the edge between Arendelin and the desert [main setting of Paradise] and ruled by a female monarchy [secondary setting of Paradise]; the Lost City, a fabled oasis in said desert [secondary setting of Paradise]; and Sleit’Ran, where there are dragons.


4. Tell us about your protagonist(s).

Here are (some of) the MCs of Remnant:

Aionladon Rynael is the MC and main POV. He doesn’t know much about his family, and what he does know isn’t entirely true.

Marelle Skysilver is a guard of Anadelin with a bloody past and a passion for fixing it. She loves the color blue, is best friends with Taresil, and is thankful every day that she said no a long time ago.

Nigel Rynael, an ambassador/translator/chicken collector who likes navy, is afraid of his own abilities and occasionally gets drunk and/or is loud. Like Eanrin of Goldstone Wood, he is fond of declaring his love for someone he stopped loving a long time ago, but afraid to tell the woman he actually loves how much he loves her. (He would probably shudder at the number of times the word “love” appears in that sentence.)


Paradise brings back Aionladon and also features Perrin (an adventurous but naive boy), Novalie (the fiery red-headed girl), and Priscilla (a maid who keeps secrets from others, and a few she doesn’t even know).

5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?

Remnant (not all of these characters directly oppose the MCs, but all play an antagonistic role in part of the narrative):

Kalrona Darksilver is basically Loki from the MCU. I could say a lot more but I’d prefer him to remain mysterious.

Quinn Ira Tarcontel, Lyriona’s mother, took over the kingdom after years of anger at Gabriel for marrying Rosamund instead of her. She’s beautiful and tortured and confused.

Arlin Dreamsilver, Tinvera’s son, is a guard who frequently argues with Marelle.

Tinvera Anadaris Miren, another regent, dyes her hair frequently and keeps all her secrets (sense a theme in this story?).

Brasnin Tarrin plays an important role in an old legend.


Paradise: This one’s more of a man vs. self story, for all of the MCs. Nature possibly as well. Oh, and Kalrona because why not.

6. What excites you the most about this novel?

Remnant: The idea of actually finishing it someday.

Paradise: Thomas Argent. Need I say more?

7. Is this going to be a series? standalone? something else?

Haha. Series. There are four books as of right now:

  • Remnant (plot: taking back the kingdom; theme: family, forgiveness)
  • Paradise (plot: a quest, a destiny; theme: identity, idols, fate)
  • Kindred (plot: um. idk.; theme: identity [yep. again.], anddd… stuff)
  • Captive (plot: a quest, something else :P; theme: vocation, worth)

8. Are you plotting? pantsing? plansting?

Remnant: Goodness, this book is so plotted at this point. There are a few things I’m not sure of, but that’s part of the fun of writing it.

Paradise: Totally pantsing at this point.

9. Name a few unique elements about this story.

Remnant: The MC is actually the sidekick and has to deal with his best friend being a Hero and getting All The Credit. Some of the most important events took place hundreds of years before the MC was born. And Marelle says this:

if i marry you then i guarantee that all our children will be traitors.

[ marelle kainosmiren ]

I’m pretty sure no one’s said that exact quote in literature before (though I can’t be sure, since I haven’t quite read every published book yet). That’s unique, right?

Paradise: Thomas Argent. Also, well, pine trees in the desert. And… it’s sort of like the Lunar Chronicles meets Lord of the Rings, with angsty half-elves and a Till We Have Faces-like climax. That’s definitely unique.

10. Share some fun “extras” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).

There are, sadly, no character aesthetics at this point, but I would like there to be someday.

There are playlists, though:

Thank you for reading (even more) about the Silver Saga (that’s the series title, btw) and I hope you all have lovely days. Don’t forget to check out Christine’s original post for more details on how this linkup works!

The stories are true, my friends. Best of luck on your NaNo (or non-NaNo) writing!

~ m a y a ~

P.S. Which character do you most want to read about? Have you ever written a Loki-type character (and was he, like Kalrona, initially a totally non-original copy of MCU Loki/Tom Hiddleston)? Are you participating in NaNo?

18 thoughts on “know the novel, part one: introduction // a writers linkup from Christine Smith Author

  1. I am still VERY interested in this novel and volunteer enthusiastically to read it for you! 0:D Elves and Loki (even though I’m not an MCU fan)? YES!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not doing Nano, but I did find this other site that tracks your words. *little cheers from the peanut gallery* I feel like I would relate to Marelle just based on those songs (And now I wanna do songs/colleges for the RF characters. XD) Also- I don’t thi– Okay I sort of have a Loki character, but I want to write another one at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, since this was the first time I’ve read about this story/series/books, I wasn’t bothered at all, but I know that even if I had read all the posts about this (which I will one day), I would still love reading about it. I don’t care how many times, I love reading posts about the same WIP (also posts about new WIPs of course).
    Oooh, so many songs to listen to! And they are characters songs too! Yay.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Aaaaaahhhh, Maya, this sounds AMAZING!!! I mean kingdoms and ELVES and such a rich sounding world! This is like the epitome of EPIC. The characters sound like such a fun crew as well! And I think that is so cool how the protagonist is the sidekick!

    This seriously just looks so epic and original all the way around! 😀

    Thanks so much for joining in the linkup again. I LOVED learning more about your WIPs!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ” And… it’s sort of like the Lunar Chronicles meets Lord of the Rings, with angsty half-elves and a Till We Have Faces-like climax. ” I have no idea what a book with this sort of premise would look like, but I know that I definitely want to read it!
    I love those playlists too, I’m going to YouTube right now to look up some of those songs because they sound beautiful!
    I have also definitely written a Loki-type character, but several of them were not based on Loki at all, like Kalrona 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Woah, I’m kind of in awe of how much world building you’ve got here. You definitely deserve chocolate for this. *sends you some* “He doesn’t know much about his family and what he does know isn’t entirely true” is such an intriguing description! I love the idea of the MC being the sidekick and having to deal with the hero 🙂 And that quote XD
    Best of luck getting your 20,000 words!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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