During the Pandemic, I Finished My Novel

Hi everyone!

Wow, what a time.

A week ago WHO announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic, but at that time it didn’t seem to have an impact on my day-to-day life at all (besides making me wash my hands more & better.) The week before that I was chilling on the beach in Los Angeles and being excited about #AuthorMentorMatch results. Things change fast don’t they??!!

Social distancing is important now. Even though I’m young and at low risk from adverse outcomes of COVID-19, I might interact with people (who interact with other people) who are seniors or have chronic conditions. To play my part I’m doing my best to stay at home.

(To be absolutely honest with you guys, when I heard that social distancing is a thing… The introvert in me rejoiced!!! Finally- an excuse to skip out on social events! No more small talk! Endless days spent at home in my PJs!)

Having more alone time means that I also have the time (and energy) to work on my creative endeavours (such as writing!) It is during this crunch time that I finished my novel Fog, which I’ve been working on since November 2019 (NaNoWriMo.)

Finishing a novel always feels bittersweet for me. On one hand, I am so happy and overjoyed that I’ve created a story in my heart and put it into words. I am happy for my characters who (**spoiler alert!!**) overcame their hurdles and emerged victorious in the end. I am proud of myself for coming along so far.

And yet it also feels sad because it means that I have to say goodbye to the characters that have been in my head for months and months, who I’ve thought about every single day. These characters have surprised me at times and frustrated me at times, and I love them all.

But overwhelmingly, I am relieved. Because I’ve been working on this first draft for what feels like a long time. And it always felt like I was THIS close to finishing it and yet it kept going on and on and on.

The final word count??? [drumroll]

156,565 words!!!

Which is officially the longest novel I’ve written. *wobble wobble faint*

(At this word count, this novel is also not publishable hahahha. BUT that, my friends, is what editing is for.)

A few stats and graphs

  • I finished this novel in 4 months and a half.
  • On average I wrote 1151 words per day.
  • In the month of November I wrote 60,117 words; December 20,235 words; January 30,033 words; February 15,668 words; and March 30,152 words.
  • On 12 days, I wrote more than 3,000 words (yay!!!)
  • On 28 days, I wrote ZERO words (boo!!)
  • But most of the time, I wrote 1 to 2999 words.

As you guys can see in the chart above, I’m by no means a consistent writer. But sometimes, life happens and no words get written, and that’s totally okay.

What is this novel about again?

No one knows where the Fog comes from. All they know is that those who enter the Fog never return.

Luna and her twin sister Treya live in a town on the coast of Suni. Luna is the quiet one, while Treya is charismatic, powerful and the pride of the Delphinus Clan. Treya has already decided to be a Sorcerer and join the Queen’s Army, just like their mother and father. But Luna doesn’t know what she wants to be; also, joining the Queen’s Army seems like a lot of work.

On the day of their graduation. Luna rescues a boy from the edge of the Fog. His name is Caio Amadeus Vladimir and he looks nothing like anyone in the country. Caio wants to go into the Fog and map out the lost regions of Suni, and he asks Luna to be his bodyguard. Luna thinks he is delusional.

Until Treya disappears on a misty day. Luna will do anything to bring her back.

How about a snippet?

When the rest of the family has left for the Boneyard, Luna stays in her room. She sits on Treya’s bed, where Treya’s ceremonial robe is still laid out on the sheets. It is just a few days ago when they had explored the streets of Taisun together, when they marvelled at the bunk style beds in their room, when Luna and Treya sat in their own room at home, chatting while Luna wrote her letters. She had thought that they had the rest of their lives together. Now Luna is alone.

She looks down at her hands to find them clenched, her nails digging into the flesh of her palms. There is only one thought that comes to her mind, and it much bolder and more brave than Luna’s own voice.

What would Treya do?

The thought takes away Luna’s hesitation and gives her a singular goal. There is one thing that Treya would do. Treya doesn’t wait around. Treya fights for her friends. Treya is confident that she will succeed, and because of her confidence, she does succeeds. Treya does what is right.

Luna slides the suitcase from under her bed and begins to pack her things. She pulls out a drawstring pouch and counts her coins and notes. It is all the money that she and Treya has ever had, amassed from helping out with odd favours around the town. She takes a needle and thread and sews the pouch to the inside seam of her robe. It isn’t much money. Just enough for one day’s worth of meals.

How have you been? What are your go-to activities while social distancing and/or self-isolating? Stay safe & healthy everyone!

Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

23 responses to “During the Pandemic, I Finished My Novel”

  1. Sophie, you. are. amazing! ❤ Congrats on finishing another novel!! That's a huge feat and a major accomplishment. One day I hope to join you on that side, so till then I'll keep chugging along with my own story. Hoping you stay safe and healthy in these turbulent times!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Jai Lynn for all your support!! Just keep at it and one day you will finish your novel too! Wishing that you stay safe and healthy as well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations. Yay for you. I wish my novel was coming along nearly as well. The time has come for my characters to stop reacting and start acting, but I don’t know how to do it. Maybe in April life will settle down and I’ll find the time to figure it out and get it written down.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Esther! Yes it is a challenge to get characters to be proactive- I deal with it all the time as well and… to be honest, I end up fixing a lot of it during revisions haha. If all else fails, just keep plowing through and worry about the details later. In any case it is a tough time right now- hoping that you and your family are well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh.. congrats on finishing your novel. I always absolutely love hearing about your WIP’s progress and it always inspires me to work on mine more. But to write 150,000 + words in 4 1/2 months is very impressive and you should be so proud of yourself.
    I totally get that finishing a novel would be filled with mixed emotions, the sadness and the happiness but it is an amazing achievement!! I love seeing your word count over the months as well. And thank you for sharing the snippet, I loved reading it!!
    I hope you are staying safe and best of luck with your next steps!! Congrats again Sophie ❤ !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your support Sophie!! This probably the most challenging novel that I wrote so far, and a couple of times during the process I was sure that I wouldn’t finish haha 🙂 I’m doing all right on my end. Hoping that you stay safe and well too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Huge congrats on finishing your novel, even if it is under such strange circumstances! I’m always so interested to see writing stats and I loved seeing all your charts and graphs 😀 And over 150k words?? That’s amazing!! Good luck with editing, and I hope you’re able to get a lot more work done while social distancing! ❤ Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Margaret!! Thank you so much for your support!! It means so much to me 🙂
      Haha the fact that this novel is over 150K words means that something will have to change- it’s way too long!! Anyway that’s what editing is for haha.
      I guess if there is a silver lining to this pandemic, is that social distancing means more time to write 🙂
      Hope that you stay safe and well too 🙂


  5. Congrats on finishing your novel! It sounds super interesting and like an amazing read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Nia 🙂 Stay safe and well!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats!! your word count is insaneee. Fog sounds amazing so far can’t wait for what’s next!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! Hahaha the fact that the word count is 150K means that it is due for a huge cut during the edit XD Stay safe and well!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. […] During the Pandemic, I Finished My Novel […]


  8. AH SOPHIE all the congratulations! I’m so impressed by all the work you’ve done and your word count is… wow, I’m feeling dizzy just thinking about it hahaha 🙂 I wish you all the very best of luck with the edits ❤ and stay safe and well ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!! I still can’t believe how long this novel turned out to be XD Thank you so much! Wishing you all the best with writing and editing! Stay safe and well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats!! 150+ K words is definitely publishable, though. Just look at how thick many of the fantasy novels are, including Harry Potter. Stephen King also tends to write huge books. (The Rarerus–my book– was 120+ K, and it wasn’t *that* thick.)

    Wow I envy introverts. I rely mostly on social interactions for energy, and now I feel drained more often than not because my main energy source has been taken away. 🙃. Well now the lockdown has been relaxed a bit, so I meet up with a friend once or twice a week to do Pokemon Go stuff. But still, this is a lot less socializing than before. So I’m amazed that you actually feel MORE ENERGETIC now! Not being able to go to the gym also sucks, because aside from socialization, the gym is my greatest source of energy, lol. I take a long walk on most days, and do stretches at home, but it’s not the same.

    Well, enough about me. Congrats again on finishing your novel! The premise sounds so intriguing. I know I’ve been very MIA lately, but if you need a beta reader, feel free to reach out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I think the pandemic is kind to introverts (relative to extroverts at least!) since we don’t mind toning down the social interaction. That being said, even I felt cooped up after a few weeks of being stuck at home!! Yes walks and stretches are fun but they get old after a while haha. I’m glad that restrictions are loosening up here in Vancouver and that I have a few plans with friends coming up. Hope that things get better over there for you too!
      Thanks Sieran! I think this novel isn’t ready for beta-reading yet. It’s too scattered and I’m embarrassed to even read it myself haha XD But I’ll let you know if I need a beta-reader in the future!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure your story is not as bad as you think it is! The writer is always their own worst critic, haha. But yeah lmk when you’re ready to find beta readers. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha yeah 🙂 sometimes I just need to let it sit for a while and look at it again with fresh eyes. Thank you Sieran!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. […] on Tumblr! I’m going to Tag Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks, Margaret @ weirdzeal, Sophie @ sophiexli, Xandra @ starryskybooks and Mary @ marydrover! As always, you’re also tagged if you’re […]


  11. […] During the Pandemic, I Finished My Novel […]


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