Pen & Ink

Sharing Fiction, Poetry, and Writing Tutorials

What’s Your WIP? Blog Tag

Hey readers! A few weeks ago my friend Emma at Roses of Grace tagged me for the “What’s Your WIP?” blog tag! As some of you may know, I typically don’t do a ton of blog tags because I don’t want to spam my readers too much with them. But this one sounded fun… so I decided to do it!

For those of you who may not know what a blog tag is, I can explain it. It’s basically like a challenge of sorts that people in the blogging community do. The challenge is normally a list of questions you can answer. After you have completed the challenge, you can “tag” some other bloggers and they can do the tag too.

So for the “What’s Your WIP?” tag, I’ll answer a set of questions about my WIP (Work In Progress). First, let’s start off with the rules for this tag:

The Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you & link to their blog. (Thanks again, Emma!)
  • Link back to the creator and add the tag graphic. (Katja at Little Blossoms for Jesus is the creator of the tag.)
  • List the rules.
  • Answer the questions. Feel free to add snippets!
  • Tag as many or as few people as you wish & let them know they’re tagged.
  • Add a clean copy of the questions at the end of your post for the tagged.

So those are the rules! Now let’s get to the actual questions:

The Questions

Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be?

Yes, it does have a title! My main WIP right now is titled Identity, and it’s part of a series called Daughters of the Sea. The second book in the series is called The Keeper of the Phantom Reef, the third is called The Girl of Yesterday, and the fourth is called The Turn of the Tides. Those books have yet to be written, but I already have plenty of ideas for them. 😉

Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about?

Yes! Here’s a blurb:

Maria Brooks is just a plain orphan girl with a mysterious past. On the day of Maria’s sixteenth birthday, everything seems normal. From being required to do chores all day to being bullied by her own friends, nothing seems to be amiss. But when Maria goes swimming at the beach the next day, she discovers a secret about herself she didn’t even know: she’s a mermaid.

As Maria explores her newfound ability to change from mermaid to human, she finds herself in the midst of an underwater war that may just contain the secret to her past. Mixed with drama and fantasy; romance and mystery; this book is sure to hold you in suspense through the very end.

The synopsis needs a little work… but you get the gist.

Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind?

Yup, here’s the cover:

How did you get the idea for this story?

Haha, good question. I think I got the idea for this story from a lot of different places. However, I do remember specifically reading a mermaid short story published online that never was finished, and I remember being super inspired by the story, and wanting to write my own book about mermaids. (I was only about twelve at the time). So I did. My book started out VERY cliche, very poorly written, and sort of copying the other story I had read. But as time went on, it became its very own story and now it’s developed into a complete and complex novel.

How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be?

Right now my WIP is about 55,000 words long, and, since I’m pretty much done with content edits, I think it will stay relatively around that area. It is actually much longer than I was originally planning for it to be! When I wrote the first draft, it was only about ten chapters. Now it’s thirty!

Who’s your favourite character so far?

Definitely Alex. He is the only other character besides Maria who has a POV in the story, and I think I like him the most because he’s the most interesting. He does make a lot of mistakes and immature decisions, but it’s so interesting for me to write what the outcome of his decisions are and how they affect him. Overall, I just like how he’s so fun to write about. (And I may or may not like his handsome looks too lol…)

What’s your favourite memory related to this WIP?

Hmm… that’s a hard one. I don’t have a ton of memories related to this WIP other than sitting down and writing it.

However, I do remember one time when I was really stuck on the story. It was somewhere around the time when I was writing the second(ish) draft. I was stuck at the midpoint, not exactly sure where to take the story from there. Then I remember praying and asking the Lord to give me an idea, and all of a sudden, he did! An idea popped into my head right then, and I started writing it down as fast as I could and brainstorming how all the rest of the plot would fit in with it. It was an amazing time.

Any special person(s) who helped create it?

Yes, actually there are quite a few people who have helped! First of all, my parents have been a pretty big part of this process. My mom especially has helped me with proofreading and even coming up with some ideas. My dad has been super supportive and he gives me lots of guidance on the business side of things. Overall, both of them have been great.

Also, my friend Naomi has been helpful a ton; she has given me some really good ideas for the story that I desperately needed. Thank you, Naomi!

And then, all my friends who have encouraged me, and ESPECIALLY my beta-readers and editors. You guys have all contributed so much, and I’ll always be grateful for that!

What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)?

Umm… sorry. Includes spoilers. *sheepish grin*

Can you give us a snippet?

Sure! Here is one from page 116:


No. I couldn’t let the truth come to Maria in this way.

“Alex never wanted to be your friend, Maria,” Isaac said. “All he wanted was power.”

I had to think fast. I couldn’t let Maria believe this. I could already see our relationship tearing apart thread by thread with each word Isaac spoke.

“What?” Maria said. She laughed, almost nervously. “That’s not true. Right, Alex?”

She looked at me, and I could feel a lump rising in my throat. “Let me explain, Maria,” I said, avoiding her searching eyes.

“There’s no explanation to be had from him,” Isaac said. “He never cared anything about you, Maria. He was just trying to lure you into his trap so that he could get a reward.”

“No, it’s not like that!” I said, starting to panic.

“Yes, it is!” Isaac said. “Maria, I figured it out yesterday. Alex was sent on a mission from the Queen of Reefinia to find you and bring you to Reefinia. In order to do that, Alex just pretended to be your friend. It was all an act.”

“Maria, please, I can explain,” I said.

“Alex, is this true?” she asked me with a deep hurt in her teary eyes.

I looked down. I couldn’t say anything.

“Tell me, Alex!” Maria said with so much pain that I had to look at her. “Is it true? Were you really just pretending this whole time?”

I tried to open my mouth to speak, but the words were lost in the sea of emotions that overwhelmed me.

“I told you,” said Isaac. “I knew he wasn’t trustworthy. You should have never trusted him at all, Maria.”


That might not make a ton of sense without context, but there you go. *leaves you all in suspense*

Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs?

Uhh… curveballs? I’d say more like giant, mountain-sized, monster balls!

So yes, there have been twists and turns. The story has changed SO MUCH since I first started writing it. The characters are hardly even the same! (I think the only few characters who still remain from the first draft are Maria, Isaac, and Orion). And like I said earlier, the first draft I wrote was an extremely basic (and extremely poorly-written) story. Now it’s a lot more complex, with some subplots, character arcs, and more conflict too.

Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story?

I think there have been multiple of these kinds of things that have shaped the story… so it’s kind of hard for me to name one. But the first thing that comes to mind is this Bible verse:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23

This verse really applies to the theme of the story and how Maria handles it.

When and where have you done most of the writing so far?

Well, while I’ve been writing the story, my family has moved three different times… so it changes. However, in the past year when I did most of the writing, it was almost all done at my desk in our new house in Traverse City, Michigan.

As far as what time of day, basically whenever I have time. Right now I typically work on it for thirty minutes to an hour in the early morning (from 6 to 7 AM), and sometimes in the evenings between 8 and 9 PM.

Where do you get inspiration for this story?

Lots of different places, actually. I get inspiration from everywhere around me. I get inspiration from my family, my friends, my surroundings… but especially my Creator. He’s the one who gives me all my great ideas for this story.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely a pantser. I have tried outlining before, and it does not work for me. However, I do force myself to write a chapter-by-chapter outline once I’ve finished writing the first draft. You can read more about that technique here.

Do you have a little ritual before you start writing?

Well, not necessarily… sometimes I pray before I write, or I’ll make a cup of tea and make sure my desk is clear before I start. But no, I don’t have a specific “ritual” yet. Although, now that I think of it, maybe I should start one…

Are you thinking of publishing this story?

Yes, of course! It’s already up for Kindle pre-order, and it will be published in February 2023. I’m super excited!

What things have you learned while writing this story?

I’ve learned a LOT while writing Identity. The whole story itself has been a learning curve for me. I started out writing this book as an inexperienced, hobbyist writer, and now I’ve grown into a much more experienced writer and one who strives to become a professional. I am by no means a perfect writer now (I still make tons of mistakes), but I have improved a lot.

For example, I have improved in my characters. Before, my characters were all random people with literally no personality and hardly any thought process. Now they are much more personalized and complex, with their own development and character voices.


So that’s the tag! For this challenge, I’m going to leave it open to anybody who reads this. I think a lot of bloggers I know have already done the tag, but if you haven’t, then please feel free to use it! Or if you aren’t a blogger, but still think something like this would be fun, you can totally write your answers to each of these questions in the comments below.

For those of you who wish to do the tag, here is a clean copy of the questions:

  • Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be?
  • Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about?
  • Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind?
  • How did you get the idea for this story?
  • How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be?
  • Who’s your favourite character so far?
  • What’s your favourite memory related to this WIP?
  • Any special person(s) who helped create it?
  • What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)?
  • Can you give us a snippet?
  • Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs?
  • Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story?
  • When and where have you done most of the writing so far?
  • Where do you get inspiration for this story?
  • Are you a plotter or a pantser?
  • Do you have a little ritual before you start writing?
  • Are you thinking of publishing this story?
  • What things have you learned while writing this story?

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9 responses to “What’s Your WIP? Blog Tag”

  1. Luella Treto Avatar
    Luella Treto

    *mischievous grin*

  2. Luella Treto Avatar
    Luella Treto

    WOW! Alex has a lot in common with my book character, Fillace! (I feel like they would totally be twin brothers if Fillace was in your book XDDD)

    1. Annabelle Avatar
      Annabelle

      Yeah, you are so right! I never thought about that before! (Maybe in Between Universes those two can meet each other :D)

  3. The Rainy Day Writer Avatar

    Ooh, this sounds so interesting. To be honest, when I first read what your story was about, I thought: Here we go again, yet another mermaid story. But even from what I’ve read right here, it seems like so much more than that. I’m really excited for you!

    -The Rainy Day Writer

    1. Annabelle Avatar
      Annabelle

      Haha, yes, if I was a reader for this book and I had just looked at the cover and synopsis, I would probably be thinking the same way. But you’re right, Identity has become so much more than just a cliche mermaid story, and I’m really excited about it!

      Thanks for reading!

      1. The Rainy Day Writer Avatar

        Of course! You’re story seems really cool (and btw, I’d love to help with a release tour/something like that when the time comes…).

        1. Annabelle Avatar
          Annabelle

          Thank you so much for offering to do that! I’m not sure what I’ll do yet… if it will be a release tour or what. But I will definitely keep that in mind!

  4. Emma Avatar

    Yay! This was super interesting, Annabelle, and I LOVE that synopsis. (And the cover is so gorgeous too… did you design it or get someone else to?) I hope the rest of your edits go well!

    1. Annabelle Avatar
      Annabelle

      Thanks, Emma! Yes, I did design the cover myself, although I had a bit of help from my parents. 😉

      Thanks so much for reading!

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