Pen & Ink

Sharing Fiction, Poetry, and Writing Tutorials

Know the Novel: Part 1 & 2

Hi everyone! You may be wondering why I’m doing Part 1 of Know the Novel AGAIN, along with Part 2. Well, that’s because I have a new WIP to share with you all!

In my last Know the Novel post, I talked about The Keeper of the Phantom Reef, which is my second Daughters of the Sea book. But since then, I’ve started a new novel, called The Chosen Unseen.

So here you are! Parts 1 and 2 of Know the Novel about this book. Enjoy!


1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?

To be honest, I’m not really sure. 😆 I think I was just getting very bored of writing Daughters of the Sea, so I knew I needed a new story idea to work on. I started brainstorming and came up with the idea of a superhero book–except with a Christian twist. After that initial brainstorming, the story developed and I had a pretty solid plot.

2. Share a blurb (or just an overall summary)!

High schooler Seth’s world has been filled with unanswered questions ever since his father vanished without a trace. But when he discovers a portal to another world, Etheria, he discovers there may be a lot more to his heritage than he first imagined. And in Etheria, he’s important and he has power, unlike his days on earth, where he lives beneath his older sister’s shadow of popularity. Maybe he’s found a true family–somewhere he actually belongs.

Chelsea has been a homeschooler her entire life, until her parents decide to send her to public school. All Chelsea wants to do is fit in and find friends, despite the Christian faith that sets her apart, but that seems impossible. Amidst Chelsea’s loneliness, she discovers that she has a secret power–something she’s never felt before.

When her path collides with Seth’s, a realm where elemental powers aren’t just the stuff of legend–they’re real, and they’re escalating. As Seth grapples with the mystery of his father’s disappearance, Chelsea confronts the reality that her belief might be the key to unlocking their destiny.

Together with a band of misfit friends, Seth and Chelsea must delve into the world of Etheria to save both their worlds from the Enemy.

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

The story starts in a normal high school setting on Earth (kind of similar to the start of Identity, now that I think about it). Then the characters discover the world of Etheria, which is one of my favorite fantasy worlds I’ve created so far.

Here is a map I made of Etheria (I used As you can see, the map is pretty sparse right now, as I’m still filling in details. Also, the map doesn’t show the high-tech society in Etheria, since I don’t have the pro version of Inkarnate.

I think one thing I really like about the setting is how it’s different from most fantasy worlds. This word is almost sci-fi or utopian, with lots of unexplored terrain beyond the edges of the map. I also like how each “realm” in Etheria (Intellia, Enerjia, Vitara, and Centoria) represent different kinds of powers. I won’t spoil too much, but these countries each have their own role in Etheria.

Originally, I was going to make the portal go to just a plain school for kids with special powers… but after some thought I decided I wanted to make a more complex fantasy world. And I’m glad I did!

4. Tell us about your protagonist(s).

Yay!!! Finally, I get to rant about my characters!!!

Seth is the main character, and he’s kind of a depressed teenager type guy. He’s confused about why his dad left their family, and why God would allow that. He also discovers he has lightning/storm powers.

A character board I created for Seth. All images from Pinterest.

He has two friends, Nate and Brad, who are basically his childhood besties. Nate and Brad are some of my favorite characters, especially because they provide most of the comic relief in the story. Well, okay, that’s mostly Nate. But Brad is an interesting character, too.

Chelsea is the second main character, and unlike Seth, she actually has faith in God. But she struggles with trying to fit in at school and making friends. She also struggles because her parents, although kind and loving, fail to accept Christianity like Chelsea has. Oh, and did I forget to mention that she has water powers?

A character board for Chelsea. All images from Pinterest.

5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?

Yeah… I’m still deciding exactly what this looks like. But I have some ideas. The antagonist will probably be the ruler of Etheria (which kind of gives this story a dystopian twist). Again, I haven’t exactly decided what this looks like, but I’ll come up with something. 😉

6. What excites you the most about this novel?

The potential. There’s literally SO MUCH I can do with these characters and this world. Also the family drama and the teenage relatability is so much fun to write.

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

As a pantser, I’m really not sure yet. 😂 But if I like the way the first book is turning out, I might make it in to a series, The Chronicles of Etheria. (Sounds kinda like The Chronicles of Narnia, right?)

8. Are you plotting? pantsing? plansting?

Mostly pantsing. I have an outline…. but I normally end up writing an outline for a chapter after I’ve finished writing the chapter. The outline is mostly so I can see my story at a glance and catch plot holes.

9. Name a few unique elements in this story.

Well, the fact that it’s a Christian superhero story. There could be other ones out there, but I personally haven’t seen any.

Also, just the world of Etheria in general… I feel like it’s pretty different from most of the fantasy worlds you see.

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!).

I already shared a map and some boards, but here’s a playlist I made for the story (thanks to Ava Coulter for helping me create it):


1. How’s the writing going overall?

Pretty good! I started this story in late October, but I took a break for about a month, meaning I’ve really only worked on the story for a couple weeks total. I think I’ve made it pretty far, though! I made it to Chapter 15… then I decided I needed to change the plot so I’m going back to Chapter 3. 😂 I’ve mostly been working on worldbuilding and characters, though.

2. What’s been the most fun aspect about writing this novel so far?

Uhhh… let me think. That’s actually a really hard question. 😅

Probably the worldbuilding. I really like all the possibilities there are with this world.

3. What do you think of your characters at this point? Who’s your favorite to write about?

I love my characters!!! Either Seth, Nate, or Kayla are my favorite to write about (no, I can’t choose just one). Seth is probably the most relatable at this point, that’s why I like him. Nate is the comic relief, so I gotta like him. And Kayla has barely appeared in the story yet… but I can’t wait to write more of her.

I’m still working on Chelsea (the other main character), because I feel like her personality is a little dry right now. I also need to develop my villain a little more… as I’ve barely put any attention on him yet.

4. Has your novel surprised you in any way?

YES. Sometimes I’ll just be writing a chapter, and a random new character or new idea will pop up onto the page. And then the chapter goes in a WHOLE different direction than I planned. I’ve almost given up on my outline now because I’ve had to change it so many times.

As I mentioned before, too, I wasn’t originally planning to make such a big world; it was going to be a smaller world kind of like Daughters of the Sea.

5. Have you come across any problem areas?

Yeah, a little bit… it’s mostly just me deciding what to do with Chelsea. I feel like she’s just necessary enough to the story that I can’t ditch her, but she’s also kind of dry and doesn’t have a complicated backstory like Seth. I’ll figure something out for her, though.

This book also has a larger cast than most of the other books I’ve written, so it’s a little bit to juggle. I rewrote my first chapter at least ten times (and I’ll probably end up rewriting it again 😂), because I was introducing characters too fast or the opening scene was just too confusing.

I’ve also been stuck at some parts of the story… but to fix that I either go to my list of random plot twist ideas, or I ask Chat GPT (I know this is controversial, but AI is actually REALLY helpful. Post to come on that).

6. What’s been your biggest victory with writing this novel at this point?

The time when I FINALLY finished Chapter 1 (for now, at least). I’m actually happy with how it turned out (first chapters are the hardest lol).

7. If you were transported into your novel and became any one of the characters, which one do you think you’d be? Would you take any different actions than they have?

That’s so hard! I feel like I could be Chelsea, except more outgoing than she is. Or maybe Julie, except she’s kind of a brat. So maybe I’m Julie, except more mature and nice. Hopefully. 😉😆

8. Give us the first sentence or paragraph then 2 (or 3!) more favorite snippets!

The moment the tingling started, Seth knew his life was about to change.

That’s my first sentence. It could be better… but I still think it’s decent.

Since I erased half the book to redo the plot, I don’t have a ton of snippets to share yet. But here’s one:

He fiddled with his dad’s old watch on his wrist, feeling its cool surface against his warm skin. He read the engraving on the side of the watch for the millionth time:

Time reveals all. -Dad

It was beat up pretty bad, and the engraving was barely visible now, but every tick felt like something steady he could count on.

Just about the only thing he could count on these days. Well, that, and his friends.

Nate slumped in the seat beside him. He leaned over to whisper to Seth. “Is it just me, or is Mr. Henderson speaking some kind of alien code? ‘Cause I’m not getting a word of it.”

Seth shook his head and quietly groaned. “Me neither. And we’re supposed to ace that test tomorrow.”

Nate patted him on the back. “Hey, don’t sweat it. If we fail, then we’ll fail together.”

A weak smile tugged at Seth’s lips. “Real comforting, Nate.”

I don’t really think this scene is anything special, besides showing a bit of Seth’s personality. So I enjoyed writing it.

Here’s another one from Chelsea’s point-of-view. This scene isn’t in the actual book since I removed it, but I still like the scene.

Chelsea fidgeted as she stood on the gymnasium floor, her long blond hair tied back in a neat ponytail. The echo of sneakers squeaking against the polished wood filled the air.

Today was cheerleading tryouts, and her stomach was doing somersaults. She glanced over at Julie, the captain of the team. Julie held her chin high, her back straight, smiling. Chelsea had always wanted to be like her, and she finally had the chance.

Now she just hoped she didn’t blow it.

Julie caught her looking and rolled her eyes, a smirk playing on her lips. Chelsea quickly looked away, her cheeks flushing.

“Dear God, please help me… I don’t know… just not to fail?” Chelsea whispered a prayer.

She knew God heard her, even when she talked about simple, unimportant things. Why was her stomach still uneasy, then? Why couldn’t she just trust that everything would be alright?

Deep breaths, Chelsea. Deep breaths. She heard her name called, and as if in a dream, she stood up to do her routine.

9. Share an interesting tidbit about the writing process so far! (For example: Have you made any hilarious typos? Derailed from your outline? Killed off a character? Changed projects entirely? Anything you want to share!)

Well, as I talked about before, I did decide to start over writing the story since I wanted to take it in a different direction than I was originally planning. And yes, I have derailed from my outline so many times, that I’ve pretty much given up outlining. 😆

Other than that, I don’t have too much to share (yet).

10. Take us on a tour of what a normal writing day for this novel looks like. Where do you write? What time of day? Alone or with others? Is a lot of coffee (or some other drink) consumed? Do you light candles? Play music? Get distracted by social media (*cough, cough*)? Tell all!

I write at my desk which is in the main living room of my house. It gets kind of loud in here sometimes, but if I turn on music then I can focus better. I write pretty much any time of day, but mostly in the early morning before I have to start school. I drink a lot of tea (especially Chai!).

Occasionally I’ll get stuck on Pinterest or Spotify… but I’ll switch back to my project pretty fast once I realize I’ve been distracted.

So that’s a bit about my novel, The Chosen Unseen. I hope you all enjoyed this post!

Do you have a current Work in Progress? What’s your favorite character? What character do you think you’d be the most like in this book? Let me know in the comments!

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9 responses to “Know the Novel: Part 1 & 2”

  1. Gwyn Avatar

    Hopefully in the near future lol.

    1. Annabelle Avatar

      Haha I’m so glad. Once I finish the first draft you’re welcome to help proofread it.

  2. Gwyn Avatar

    Im soooooooooooo excited to read this book!!!!!

  3. Ava Hope Avatar

    Ahhh Annabelle!!! Just… just… ah I love this story so much! I can’t wait to read it someday. I absolutely love all how you’ve infused your faith in it. It almost reminds me of a young adult version of The Prince Warrior Series. Have you read those? It was so fun learning more about Chelsea. I’m so glad the playlist turned out!!

    1. Annabelle Avatar

      Thanks! Yeah, I’ve read that series, and you’re right, it’s similar in some ways! The allegorical aspects of my book are a little more subtle than Prince Warriors. Thanks again for the playlist!

  4. Maya Avatar

    Wow, this is really cool! I love it already. Yeah, I totally get having to rewrite the beginning. I’ve had to experience that several times. And I love the title!

    1. Annabelle Avatar

      Thanks, Maya!

  5. Sarah Avatar

    Ok, you have no idea how excited I am to read this

    1. Annabelle Avatar

      Yay! I’m really enjoying writing it