Week 3 NaNoWriMo Update! ♡

Hi, everyone! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen! Week 3 of NaNoWriMo has already flown by, and I am so stoked about all my progress. This update was a pretty long wrap-up of how this week of National Novel Writing Month has went for me, so we’re just going to jump into it!

Joys and Trials

Week 3 was probably the second toughest yet, after Week 1. To be honest, I am having so much fun with seeing where my story is going. I ended up changing a few details than what I had in my original outline of my novel, but I really like how most of them are coming out.

Word Sprints have definitely been my friend for the first portion of this month when it comes to getting my word count where I needed it to be. I’ve found that I can write about 1,200 words an hour with some time in between to stop and think about what I could incorporate next, which is pretty good in my book. That gives me the ability to write 85-120 minutes a day to reach my goal, depending on how much I want to write.

The deeper I dive in to my novel–which is called The KICK Society, by the way–and the more I get to know my beloved characters and the world that I have created, the more I realize that my story may not be complete at 50,000 words. At the very least I think I’ll want to add a short epilogue if the first draft of rest of my story is done, when I reach my goal for November. But considering that I’m writing a middle grade fantasy, there are a lot of components that go into building a world and plot when compared to realistic fiction or nonfiction.

Obviously there are still some aspects of my novel that I have to work out, but I’m honestly just excited to be succeeding at my challenge. After all, the climax of my novel will be Week 4’s thing! Right now, I’m just along for the ride.

Week 3 Word Count

November 15th: 2,009 words

November 16th: 1,577 words

November 17th: 1,998 words

November 18th: 1,720 words

November 19th: 1,715 words

November 20th: 1,533 words

November 21st: 1,348 words

Week 3 Word Count: 11,900 words

TOTAL WORD COUNT: 34,644 words

Being over 3/5 complete with my word count goal is both relieving and nerve-wracking. The amount of progress that I make each week is just so insane, and every day I feel more motivated to sit down and write! Although I didn’t hit the 35,000 word goal that I could’ve reached by writing 1,667 words a day (because Goodmommy made me spend more time with her for Fall Break) I am making that up today. What I love about National Novel Writing Month is that even if you don’t write the same amount of words everyday, getting to the goal you set for yourself by the end of November and having fun reaching your goal is what matters the most! I’m loving every single second of it!

Week 3 Goals Update

– Write at least 1,500 words every day

Funny enough, I was able to do this every day but the last day of Week 3. And I was only short by 152 words (again, due to Goodmommy.) But, it’s all good. For most of the days I was able to pass 1,500 words, and I consider that a great accomplishment.

– Increase my ‘Best daily word count’ statistic; write over 2,719 words at least one day of the week’

I didn’t do this either, believe it or not. But then again, I did do over 2,000 words on November 15th, so that by itself is a win, for me.

– Reach 37,000 words

This goal was even more than where I really needed to be at this point. Even though I wasn’t able to reach 37,000 words in Week 3, I’m confident that I will get there in the next 1-2 days. And for me, that’s super exciting to think about!

Week 4 Goals (11/22-11/28)

– Write at least 1,667 words every day

– Start chapter 27 of my novel

– Reach 47,000 words

(I just realized that all of my goals have a 7 in them, lol. That’s one of God’s (and my) favorite numbers, so I’m pretty happy with that. Thank you, Lord!)


Week 3 of NaNoWriMo has been such a fun part of this month, and I’m excited to start off Week 4 even stronger. The end of this month is quickly approaching, and I hope that everyone is enjoying the experience! Please tell me, what has been your favorite part of your National Novel Writing Month experience? I would love to hear from you down below, in the comments!

Have a beautiful and blessed day, everyone! God bless you all, and I will catch you later! Peace in! ♡

Week 2 NaNoWriMo Update!

Hello, everyone! My name is Q’Zion and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen! Week 2 of NaNoWriMo has already passed. And I’m sitting at my computer like, “Where did all the time go?” It seriously feels like time is flying by as I inch closer to my goal day by day. And since half of NaNoWriMo of 2022 is already gone, it’s time to review my progress over the second week of my month-long challenge! Let’s dive into it!

Week 2 Word Count

November 8th: 1,837 words

November 9th: 1,469 words

November 10th: 2,719 words

November 11th: 1,779 words

November 12th: 1,463 words

November 13th: 1,330 words

November 14th: 1601 words

Week 2 Word Count: 12,198 words

TOTAL WORD COUNT: 22,764 words

Wow! Seeing how I’m nearly halfway complete with my 50,000 word-count goal is such a blessing! I just thank God for giving me the willpower to keep writing. Some days are a little tougher than others (particularly those days that I don’t feel like writing) but I’m thankful that I was able to push through and write even more words than I did in week 1! NaNoWriMo Win, here I come!

Week 2 Goals Update

– Write at least 1,500 words every day

In three days of the seven days of Week 2, I was not able to reach this goal. Though I noticed that my word count was super close to 1,500 during every day that I didn’t reach this goal, so I’m happy with what I did!

– Write 3,500 words at least one day

Again, I did not reach this goal in Week 2. However, I was able to do over 2,700 words one day, which still remains my record for my highest daily word count. So, that itself is a huge accomplishment!

Reach 22,000 words

And look at that; I was in fact able to surpass 22,000 words! To be honest, It’s rewarding to see that even if I didn’t reach my other goals for Week 2 like I’d wanted, I was able to surpass my desired word count, in the end.

Week 3 Goals

Write at least 1,500 words every day

Increase my ‘Best daily word count’ statistic; write over 2,719 words at least one day of the week

Reach 37,000 words


I hope you all liked seeing how I did in Week 2 of NaNoWriMo. Although the time has went by quickly, so far, it’s comforting and a blessing to see my hard work paying off; I can’t wait to see my novel flourish even more in the second half of this month! Please comment down below, are YOU participating in NaNoWriMo, this year? If so, what’s your current word count? And if not, have you participated in National Novel Writing Month before?

Have a beautiful and blessed day, everyone! God bless you all and I will catch you later! Peace in! ♡

10 Compelling Ways to End a Chapter

Hello, everyone! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen! Chapter endings are some of the most crucial aspects of a book to keep a reader’s interest. The entire reason why we read books for hours is because of the author’s ability to make us turn the page through increasing conflict and unanswered questions (until the very end, of course.) And a book filled with flat chapter finales is a quick downhill to boredom.

As authors, it is our goal to keep our readers on the edge of their seats as they emerge themselves into our story. So, today we will be exploring some of the most compelling ways to end your chapters. Let’s get this party started!

1. A cliffhanger

One of the most classic ways to end a chapter is the classic cliffhanger method. What’s behind the door? Who is the mysterious person? How will the protagonist react? Cliffhangers are that feeling that we get after a small meal. Although we’ve partially satisfied our palette, we still have a taste for dessert. After effective cliffhangers, the reader will likely turn the page due to the urge to know what happens to your characters next.

TIP: Cliffhangers are a writing tool that should be used in moderation. Too many within your story can cause repetition, a lack of versatility, and boredom for your readers, which is something we as writers want to avoid.

2. An exit or departure

And I don’t necessarily mean a literal exit; although, with enough details, your characters leaving a room can be an effective way to close a chapter. But you could also end a scene with your characters exiting from a situation. Whether that means removing themselves from a toxic relationship or exiting the Earth to go to outer space is completely up to you and the plot of your story!

3. Pose a problem

If there’s anything that makes a good novel, its the constant obstacles that we put in our protagonist’s way as they inch closer to their goal. And it makes for a great chapter when you end it with another problem for your main character(s). This will leave your readers curious about your protagonist’s reaction, and we all know what that means; turn the page!

4. Have your characters make a tough decision

If you decide to end one of your chapters with a problem, the beginning of the next chapter could be an overview of how your protagonist reacts to the newfound obstacle. Then, you could end the second chapter with your characters making a plan or decision on how to solve the problem. By using this technique, you are opening the door for more conflict as the “new plan” may or may not succeed in the favor of your characters.

5. Add a surprising plot twist in the last line

When it comes to finishing up a chapter, there’s nothing more satisfying (and gripping) then a last line that pulls the plot in a completely different direction. In my opinion, these chapter endings are the most effective when executed well because they simply make readers ask themselves, “What’s next?”

6. Ask a daunting question

One of my favorite ways to close a scene in my novels is by asking a daunting question that gets the reader thinking. For example “Who am I?” is a simple yet deep question that could get your readers thinking with your protagonist. You may even want your protagonist’s question to be addressed towards another character. There is plenty of room to be creative with this technique, so just go where your story takes you!

7. Have your characters make a vow

In every interesting story, the protagonist has some sort of goal or mission that they want to accomplish. And a good way to put their commitment to the test is to have them make a vow to themselves (or if you want to raise the stakes, someone important to them) as a way to end a scene. Later on, you can put obstacles in their way to make keeping their vow a much harder task.

8. A reminder of the conflict

To further explain this idea, around the 25% mark of a story (also called the “Fun and Games” section in the Save the Cat outline method) there is an introduction of subplots, and things may be looking up for the protagonist before the sudden blow of the midpoint, where things usually take a downhill path. While it’s okay to have “fun” and lighthearted chapters within our novels (which can actually add a lot of depth and character to a story) its important we don’t get off track from the conflict and theme of our story, while doing so. Therefore, sometimes its good to have an event or a character’s thought remind the reader of your main character’s mission and all that’s at stake.

9. A catastrophe

Instead of leading your readers to wonder what’s next in a cliffhanger, why not end your chapter with a disaster to spice things up? This can be a fantastic way to pick up the action after a period of a slower pace within your story, and amp up the amount of pressure on your protagonist; the perfect way to get your readers to keep reading!

10. Your protagonist learns something new

Finally, a great way to end a scene is when your protagonist learns new information regarding their goal. Depending on the point within your story and/or the current circumstances of your protagonist, this information could help or hinder them reaching their goal. Once again, that’s your call to make, as a writer with a great story to tell!


I had a lot of fun with creating this list for how we can end our chapters with a hook! Although I originally made it to help other authors who need help in this area, this will also help me in turn during my journey with NaNoWriMo, this year. Please tell me, what are some of YOUR favorite ways to end a chapter? Also, which one of the tips that I listed above did you like the best and/or find the most helpful? I would love to hear from you!

Have a beautiful and blessed day, everyone! God bless you all, and I will see you next time! Peace in! ~ Q’Zion ♡

NaNoWriMo Week 1 Update!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen!

Around October 21st, 2022, I made the decision to take on the challenge of NaNoWriMo (writing 50,000 words in 30 days) for the first time ever! It might seem a little reckless, but I was able to do a good amount of planning before November started. And as soon as November 1st arrived, I was off to writing. While I’ve only been participating in NaNoWriMo for 9 days now, I’ve already learned so much about myself as a writer and a person, and it’s insane to see my novel expand day by day!

Today I’ll be sharing three short tips for beginner and veteran NaNoWriMo participants, as well as an update for how I’ve been doing during the first week of the month-long challenge. Let’s get started!

Tip #1: Don’t Stress It!

If there is any advice that I could give to anyone who is doing NaNoWriMo this year, it’s don’t stress too much about trying to hit a certain amount of words everyday. Sometimes you may write 3,000 and that’s great! But on other days, you may only feel like writing about 500 words, and that’s okay, too. In my opinion, the most important part of NaNoWriMo is taking a little time to write every day. And make sure that your minimum word count goal is realistic to the time you can put into your project, this month. For most of us, that’s likely so much more than we write in our average, day to day lives. And if you ask me, that’s a huge win!

Tip #2: Use Word Sprints

One of the writing tools that are provided in the official NaNoWriMo website while your writing is a Word Sprint, which is where you set a time and a word goal that you want to hit within that time. For me, I shoot for about 100 words every 5 minutes; it’s a speed where I’m not trying to write 3,000 words in an hour, but fast enough to get words on the paper without overthinking and/or going back to edit what I’ve already written. Word Sprints are super personalized to a speed that you’re comfortable with, and I think that’s why they’ve become one of my favorite tools to use during NaNoWriMo.

Tip #3: Listen to Relaxing Music

Soft, classical music playing in my headphones has been one of my friends during my NaNoWriMo experience. It makes it a lot easier to tune out the background noise that can be distracting during the writing process, and helps you think about “what’s next’ in your project. So on those days this month when you’re stuck in a bowl of pudding (thanks to lovely writer’s block) you can refer to this playlist that I made on YouTube of instrumental music you can use while writing or reading.

Week 1 Word Count

November 1st: 1,298 words

November 2nd: 507 words

November 3rd: 1,538 words

November 4th: 2,589 words

November 5th: 2,086 words

November 6th: 1,017 words

November 7th: 1,531 words

TOTAL WORD COUNT: 10,566 words

To be honest, I consider this such a huge accomplishment for the first week of this challenge! Although I have been dabbling between about 200-1,000 words behind, there’s still plenty of time in the weekend for me to get some extra words in. And considering that a 3-day weekend is coming up this Friday (due to Labor Day) I think I’ll be getting ahead of the game very soon!

Week 2 Goals

– Write at least 1,500 words every day

– Write 3,500 words at least one day

– Reach 22,000 words


I hope you all enjoyed my Week 1 NaNoWriMo Update. Hopefully the tips and my progress were able to help and/or inspire you for your project! Please comment down below, will YOU be participating in NaNoWriMo, this year?

Have a blessed day, everyone! God bless you all and I’ll catch you next time! Peace in!

Monthly Wrap Up | October 2022

Hey, hey, hey, everyone! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen. And no, we are not dreaming; it’s really already November! To be honest, October was like a fun roller coaster ride, for me. It was super fun, but it also went by crazy fast.

Either way, I really enjoyed myself, last month, and I’d like to share some of my experiences with you guys! So without further ado, let’s get into the October ’22 monthly wrap-up!

My Life

  • It’s been a while since I’ve given you all an update on my fitness journey. While I’ve been a little slow lately when it comes to walking outside three days a week, me and Goodmommy have been finding other creative ways to get some exercise. We’ve even been following along to workouts that we find on YouTube. At first, it took some adjusting but now I look forward to adding more variety to my fitness routine!
  • I officially started National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, and so far, I’ve added nearly 2,000 words. I plan to write about 50,000 words by November 30th. Is it a crazy goal? Maybe a little bit. But I’m so stoked about my new story, and I can’t wait to read the finished product.
  • Experimenting with photography is another thing that I’ve been working on. Lately, I’ve been working with capturing different angles and objects (such as trees, or the sunset) as well as looking at different perspectives to capture a shot. I think that October might be my best month this year as far as my photography goes, because I took quite a few gorgeous pictures!
This photo is definitely one of my faves :> All Rights Reserved.

Books I Read

While I’ve bought a lot of books, this month flew by so quickly that I wasn’t able to finish any of them. But, there are a few that I started, so I’ll be sharing a brief review of my first impressions of each one. However, you may look at my more in-depth opinion in my last book haul. Let’s go!

  • The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin — Basically, this novel that I found at The Dollar Tree (yes, you heard correctly) is intriguing and confusing at the same time. It’s about a small school that consists of grades 1-8. It takes place in a class of 11 students–also known as the entire 7th grade–who idolized their classmate Paulie Fink. It’s kind of at a stand-still right now. Like, I know what’s happening but I don’t know what’s happening. Either way, it seems like a pretty fun book, so I’ll likely get back into it when I’m not so busy.
  • Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: Book I by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Kimberly Kirberger — honestly, Goodmommy was the one who ended up picking out this book for me. I really love the originality that it includes with a variety of true stories, poems, and other types of creative writing by teenagers and adults about their teenage years. There’s so many lessons in this book that I think that any teenager could learn/benefit from!
  • Savvy by Ingrid Law — to be honest, I couldn’t have read much more than 20 pages of this one (if that many) but it’s probably because beginning took a long time to get off the ground. Everything was so slow paced that it kind of lost my interest quickly, which was suprising because its one of my new books that I was the most excited about. But considering that it’s just the beginning of the book, I’ll get back into it eventually to see if things get more exciting.
  • Better with Butter by Victoria Piontek — Out of all the books that I’ve read this month, this one has got to be the cutest! In a nutshell, it’s about a shy girl with anxiety who gains confidence when she saves a baby goat named Butter. So far, the beginning of this novel has been pretty promising, and I’m super excited to see where this story goes next!
All Rights Reserved.

Series I Watched

  • One of my favorite series ever is The Mysterious Benedict Society, which is an exclusive series on Disney+. It’s about a group of smart, yet neglected kids who make a band of do-gooders to save their city from a conundrum called the Emergency. To me, this series is the perfect mix between adventure, mystery, fantasy, and the wholesome friendships that dominate a film. And what’s even cooler is that they just released season 2!
  • It’s been a long time since I’ve binged-watched this series, but I recently took a dive back into That’s So Raven. I think most teenagers and young adults can agree that it’s probably one of the most nostalgic sitcoms of the 20th century. While Raven’s Home is a decent sequel, I don’t think it compares to the original.
  • I have a lot of Disney Channel shows that I really love, but one of my ultimate favorites is Good Luck Charlie, just because it’s such a wholesome and quirky show. No matter how much I see the episodes, they never fail to make me laugh 100 times over.
  • Occasionally, I also tend to watch the show Walk the Prank. In about the 3rd or 4th grade, I used to watch this show almost every day after school. And while I don’t watch it all that much now, it’s really nice to look back at it when I need a little laugh. There’s something about childhood shows that’s just so comforting.
All Rights Reserved.

My Favorite Posts of the Month

I wrote and published a total of 13 posts, this month! Hooray! I’m honestly not mad at the number, because I think every single post I made was super good, and that’s what matters most as a writer! While I loved all the posts that I published in October of 22′, there were a few that stood out to me:


And that was the monthly wrap-up of October of 2022! Hopefully, you all enjoyed seeing the highlights of last month for me. Please comment down below, which post of mine last month did you enjoy the most? Also, what was YOUR favorite part of last month?

Have a beautiful and blessed day, everyone! God bless you all and I’ll catch you later! Peace in! ♡

How I’m Preparing for NaNoWriMo [Preptober]

What’s up, everybody! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen!

If you haven’t already heard, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo fo short) starts on November 1st … and that means that it’s time to write a novel! In case you aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, here is the official website’s description of their Young Writers’ Program;

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, empowering approach to creative writing. The challenge: draft an entire novel in just one month. For 30 wild, exciting, surprising days, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!

Our Young Writers Program supports under-18 writers and K-12 educators as they participate in our flagship event each November, and take part in smaller writing challenges year-round.

ywp.nanowrimo.org

In other words, NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge–both for adults and kids/teens in the Young Writers Program–to reach a personalized word goal by writing every day until November 30th! No editing or revising; just writing.

I’ve “participated” in this challenge for the last couple years, but I’ve never actually gotten my project off of the ground. However, this year I’m planning on writing a 50,000 word novel, starting on Tuesday! Ambitious, right? But don’t be fooled; I didn’t decide to do this challenge unprepared. Today, I’ll be discussing some of the ways that I’ve been preparing for National Novel Writing Month! Let’s get started!

Established my goals for the challenge

For me, NaNoWriMo is an opportunity for me to write everyday, quit worrying about making my writing perfect, have fun, and produce a novel in the process. Although my blog has significantly increased the amount that I write, NaNoWriMo will push that to the next level, and I think that my word goal will really challenge me to increase my writing skills and hold back on my perfectionist ways. The challenge is really all about having a good time doing what I love to do; write. So that’s something I plan to keep in mind throughout the entire process.

Made a schedule (sort of)

Okay, so I haven’t made a schedule where I’ve figured out the exact dates and times that I will be working on my novel; after all, every day is different. But I do know that in order to reach my word count goal by the end of November, I’m going to need to write 1667 words every day. That means that even if I can’t write that many words on a day that I’m busy, I could make up for it on a weekend or on a day when I don’t have much on my schedule. Having an idea of how much you need to write to reach your goal–in baby steps–is super helpful to break down the task in front of you without it being too intimidating.

Gotten to know my characters

In the novel that I am almost done with drafting, I pretty much dove into the writing process with the idea and built on that from there. And while that was fun to try, that project has been at a stand-still for a while, now. Since writer’s block is not really an option when you have 30 days to write a novel, I did a little (no a LOT) more planning this time around. For each of my characters I filled out a questionare on who they are, what they like to do, where they live, their personalities, etc., and I think that really payed off. Now, I can picture how each of the characters look in my head, and I have a better perspective on who they are as individuals. And considering that characters are one of the most important parts of a story, that will be super helpful for me, later on.

Established my setting

Usually, settings aren’t something I do a whole lot of thinking about when I get an idea for a story. Like with my characters, I kind of go where the plot wants me to go. But this time, my novel takes place in a magical kingdom split into 4 (meaning there are four pairs of a king and queen.) Each kingdom has their own customs, geography, and citizens with their own personalities and behaviors. Therefore, establishing my complex setting for this story was a crucial part of making my novel’s first draft as well-executed as possible.

Prepared small rewards with my family

Right after I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, I made sure I discussed it with Goodmommy. She was so supportive that she even purposed that every time I write 5,000 words toward my goal, she’ll give me 5 bucks! And every 25,000 words, we’ll go out for ice cream! Awesome, right?!? To be honest, I think getting family support and small rewards to look forward to will make NaNoWriMo so much more fun!

Outlined my plot

Finally, I outlined all of the major events of my plot. At first, I wasn’t planning on doing this AT ALL. But I’ve had a pint full of motivation lately, thank God, so I ended up going for it. Now that my plot outline is complete, it will most likely save me from running into writer’s block halfway through November. And as a writer, that’s almost always something to celebrate.


By now, I’m quite sure you guys can already tell, but I’m super stoked to get involved in the hype of NaNoWriMo. Although I realize 50,000 words is a pretty steep goal for my first time doing this challenge, I’m more than confident that I can reach it! Please tell me down below, are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, what are some things you’re doing to prepare? And if not, have you ever heard of National Novel Writing Month?

Have a happy and healthy rest of your day, everyone! God bless you all and I’ll catch you next time! Peace in! ♡