Writing the Next Great Bestseller

Happy Friday, everyone!

And, to all my fellow writing enthusiasts – happy NaNoWriMo!

I’ve always wanted to participate in National Novel Writing Month, but since November is usually one of the busiest months of my year, the opportune moment has never presented itself. And, unfortunately, this year isn’t looking any less bleak… Between university starting, my oral exam, my master’s thesis, and the whole world succumbing to chaos, I really don’t have the time to commit to a full novel.

Inside Out Reaction GIF

Or do I? After all, what matters most is a story’s greatness, not its length. I’m sure a four-page novel can be just as good as a 400-page one.

To prove my point, I’ve written exactly that. A four-page book that is sure to blow your breath away with its epicness and amazing writing. In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this became the world’s next great bestseller. And eventually got turned into a blockbuster movie. After all, I did my best to include every one of my favorite tropes and writing quirks, so there’s no way it can’t be good. Plus, I didn’t let anyone else read it first, so that its artistic purity wouldn’t get marred by any conflicting feedback.

acting amanda bynes GIF

So here it is: A Sunrise of Serpents and Evaporation! Fellow book bloggers, I expect you to promote the hell out of this masterpiece! (And yes, I know the title doesn’t really fit with the content of the story. But I thought it sounded really cool and marketable, so I decided to go with it anyway.)

A Sunrise of Serpents and Evaporation

I let out a breath I didn’t know I’d been holding. I could do this. I knew I could.

I gave my reflection one last check in the mirror. Luscious golden locks curled across my pale cheeks, making my icy blue eyes look all the more striking. Sharp cheekbones accented my round, full lips. I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. I would never be pretty, so this feeble attempt at making myself look presentable would have to do.

Besides, I’d always been more of a bookish person anyway. Unlike other girls, I much preferred to spend my time lost between pages with the likes of Sydney Carton and Edward Rochester for company. And Heathcliff, of course; him being the epitome of desirable Victorian love interests. Why would I want to hunch over the bathroom sink for hours and apply make-up?  That would make people think I was one of those fake reader girls, and that simply wouldn’t do.

“You’re cutting it awfully close, Cyd!” my dad’s voice boomed from somewhere downstairs. “You don’t wanna be late on your first day!”

Like anyone in this dump of a town would even care about that. Of all the places he could have chosen to move to after mom’s death, Knives, Maine, had got to be the most boring. Apart from the school, the biggest building in town was the local convenient store – at least according to Wikipedia. Though maybe that was the point. A town with nothing in it also didn’t have any reminders of mom.

“Coming, dad!” I yanked the brush through my curls one last time, gave my reflection a final look of disapproval, and wrestled with the bathroom door for a good solid minute until I remembered that it opened inwards. Trying to ignore the lump in my throat, I headed downstairs.

Dad was already at the kitchen table, sipping coffee from his favorite chipped 49ers mug. Mom had given it to him back when they were dating, but I suppose he hadn’t had the heart to get rid of it along with all the other reminders he’d purged.

A wave of sadness washed over me. I know that probably doesn’t sound very sad, since I’m telling you this and not actually showing you my feelings, but trust me, this was the way it was. I was very, very sad because my mother had just died of cancer and my dad and I both didn’t know how to deal with it.

“I made you breakfast.” Dad gestured to about ten different boxes of cereal at the place across from him. “Didn’t know which one you wanted, so I figured I’d give you some options.”

“That’s really sweet of you, dad.” I forced a smile. Milk was nowhere in sight, and if I remembered correctly, I had emptied our last carton yesterday. I’d have to pick up some more groceries on my way home. (I know what you’re probably thinking right now – if her dad bought all those cereal boxes, wouldn’t he have gotten milk, too? But that’s where you’re wrong. This is a very obvious plot hole that I am keeping in the story so I can show you how much of an adult I am. Or do you know any other kids who help their parents with chores around the house?) “But I’m already running late, so I’ll probably just eat a sandwich on my way.”

His face fell ever so slightly.

“I’ll grab us something for dinner to make up for it.”

He chuckled. “That’s my girl.” (See? I am an amazing daughter!)

“You sure I can leave you alone here for a couple of hours?”

“You sure you don’t want me to come with you?”

I tried my best to hide my horror. “It’s just high school, dad. I think I can manage.”

“Alright then.”

With that, he returned to his coffee, and I went on the hunt for sandwich material.


Despite being the largest structure in town, Knives High School was tiny. If it hadn’t been for the koala – my new school’s mascot – glaring at me from the enormous wooden sign at the edge of the parking lot, I might have missed it altogether. At first I assumed the other buildings must be hidden somewhere behind the tremendous amount of trees that grew here, but quickly came to realize that there was, in fact, just the one building I was currently staring at.

“You new here?” A girl with skin as dark as the earth after a heavy summer rain, as brown as a mug of coffee on an early Monday morning, and as smooth as melted chocolate in the sunlight peered over my shoulder at the Knives High information package I was holding. Dad had picked it up when he’d registered me at the school, and I was supposed to return all the paperwork ‘at my earliest convenience’.

“That obvious, huh?”

“Kinda.” She grinned, flashing a row of pearly white teeth. “We don’t really get that many strange faces around here.”

I grimaced.

“Don’t worry! You’ll feel at home in no time! C’mon, I’ll show you around – I’m Bri, by the way.”

“Cydnee. And that’s really nice of you, but I’m supposed to drop off all this paperwork at the front office.” I gestured vaguely toward the school. “And get my schedule and everything.”

“Oh, that’s totally fine! I can show you where it is!” She grabbed my hand, dragging me along without waiting for an answer. “I’m sure you’re gonna love it here!”

Deciding not to comment on that, I followed Bri through the big double doors and into the building. Thankfully, the air was considerably warmer here. All this cold northern wetness took some getting used to.

“It’s right over there.” She flashed another one of her brilliant female smiles, pointing to a counter to our left. Someone had taped a huge banner reading “FRONT OFFICE” onto its wooden panels. Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t have found that without my tour guide.

I got in line behind a tall boy with jet-black hair. Even though he had a very thick winter coat on, I could tell he had some serious abs. But I wouldn’t let myself get distracted. Instead, I thumbed through my packet again to make sure I had everything.

“Your name is spelled C-Y-D-N-E-E? That’s so weird! I thought it was Sidney, like, you know, S-I-D-N-E-Y?” Bri had obviously been reading over my shoulder, and felt completely unabashed about it.

“Yeah,” I shrugged. “My parents thought it looked cooler that way. Besides, every proper assassin needs a normal name with strange spelling.”

Bri’s eyes widened. With fear, I presumed. “You’re an assassin?”

“Well… I’ve never actually killed anyone. But I do consider myself very badass.”

The boy in front of us snorted.

“You got a problem with Cydnee’s name, Finn?” Bri sounded rightfully outraged.

The boy turned around. He was taller than I’d realized, and tanner than any human being coming from Maine had the right to be. And hotter, too… His lips lifted into a crooked, male smile.

“No. Why would I care what hipster parents want to name their kids?”

Bri stiffened indignantly beside me.

And then the boy’s eyes met mine. Before, I’d been thinking about how, in spite of her over-the-top enthusiasm, I actually kind of liked Bri. She clearly loved me, even though we’d only just met. Besides, everyone I’d seen in this town so far was excessively white, and you couldn’t exactly be the protagonist of a YA paranormal novel if you didn’t have a token minority best friend. I needed Bri if I ever wanted to be a true heroine. Maybe I’d get lucky and she was also a lesbian, and my book could fulfill the LGBTQ+ quota, too.

But within the sliver of a second in which Finn’s gaze locked with mine, all those thoughts vanished into nothingness. I saw only green, green in my vision, my body, my lungs. Depths and depths of it. Waves of seaweed, jade and turquoise swirling around me, luring me in. I couldn’t breathe, I realized with wonder. I was drowning. Everything was fading, I was dying, I knew, but I was completely and utterly entranced.

And then it stopped. The green became eyes again, a look of horror. And then he was gone.


I came to in the nurse’s office. I knew it was the nurse’s office because it smelled very strongly of antiseptic. I have great deduction skills, you see.

Bri’s anxious face hovered over mine. “Cydnee! You’re awake! You were so pale, I thought you might have died!”

“I definitely don’t feel dead,” I said. And I didn’t. My thoughts immediately circled back to Finn. I knew, in the depths of my heart, that he had just tried to kill me. But something about him had also drawn me in. I realized, with a pang, that I was utterly and irrevocably in love. Even though he probably wasn’t human.

“Are you sure you’re okay? You still look a bit weird.” Bri’s voice trailed off.

“I’m fine,” I insisted. “Where did Finn go?”

“Who?” Bri looked absolutely puzzled.

“Finn! You know, that tall black-haired dude we were talking to two minutes ago!”

“Finn Thalassos, you mean? I didn’t know you guys knew each other!”

“What? I mean, we don’t! But we were just talking to him!”

“Look, Cydnee. You just had a really bad fainting spell. But I swear to you – I haven’t seen Finn at all today.

That was most definitely strange. But it confirmed my suspicions that there was more to Finn than met the eye. And in the next few weeks, I would use my amazing sleuthing skills to find out exactly what it was.

I suppose I could tell you all of that in a really long novel, but since I’m so excited that I can’t really keep it to myself, I’m just gonna info-dump everything on you now. The first thing I did was, obviously, to confront Finn. And let me tell you – his reaction was certainly suspicious. He wouldn’t meet my eyes and gave me this super agonized speech about how we couldn’t be friends, even though he really wanted to be. So I did some research, and it turns out that Finn is actually a merman! Who would’ve thought! When he touches water, he grows a tail, and he also has really powerful aquatic magic that has allowed him to live for 500 years but still look like a teenager. The only problem is that, when mermen meet their soulmates and look into their eyes, the soulmate immediately starts drowning in order to unite the two of them in a watery grave. So yeah, even though Finn and I are in a relationship now, we can’t actually look at each other, which complicates things a bit. But that’s okay. It’s not like Finn is my only option. If things go too badly, I can always pick sharkman instead… We’ve been a love triangle for quite a while now, you know.

The End

So yeah – that was it for this week! Aren’t you completely blown away by my writing talents? Isn’t this just about the best thing you’ve ever read?

happy schitts creek GIF by CBC

Please let me know your feedback in the comments! (Though I won’t be implementing any of it, since, as you know, this story is already perfect as it is…)

Also, let me know if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, so I can cheer you on from the sidelines now that I’m done with my own project! What are some of your best writing tips and/or biggest pet peeves?

75 thoughts on “Writing the Next Great Bestseller

  1. Klaus Viedenz says:

    ‚A Sunrise of Serpents and Evaporation‘ is a brilliant masterpiece that transcends genre and delivers the best out of both Fantasy and Romance. Witness the love story of a generation this fall in Abookowlscorner’s stunning debut, as Cyndee is forced to choose who she will be: a fierce, queer assassin in love with the mysterious Bri, or the beloved of Finn, the intoxicating merman. But does she really have to choose? In this spectacular and groundbreaking novel, nothing is as it seems…rich with love for detail and intertextual references to Modern and Victorian Classics like Jane Eyre and Twilight, this masterpiece is a story for the ages that will be read, reread and read again. It deserves all the stars in the world.

    I wanted to write a review on Goodreads, but there’s no Goodreads entry for this embodiment of perfection! How terrible! I’m doing NaNoWriMo too, by the way, but I’m trying to write those 50k words. Cause I’m boring.

    Liked by 6 people

    • abookowlscorner says:

      😂😂😂😂😂 This might be my favorite comment (*ahem, sorry, review*) I’ve ever gotten. As an author, it is always nice to see your readers pick up on the subtleties and nuances of your work. I particularly appreciated your openness to Cydnee having a polyamorous relationship with both Finn and Bri. It is something I will certainly consider in the sequels, though Cydnee’s conservative world views might prove a hard obstacle to overcome.
      I am also devastated to hear that ‘A Sunrise of Serpents and Evaporation’ has no Goodreads entry. I will have to do my best to rectify that immediately!

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and best of luck with your NaNoWriMo project! Though really, Klaus – 50k words when 4 pages would do… I’m disappointed 😉😂

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Line says:

    You’re right. This is the BEST THING I’ve EVER read! Somehow I can’t find it on Goodreads, which I really need to because I have to add it to my list of favorites. I’m also expecting it to have a 5.0 average rating of course. You also know I’m going to feature that first line a lot on my blog. You just nailed it! 😍

    You also really captured some of the best tropes of our time. Some of my favorites include the bookish person who only reads classics and has an aversion to make-up, but also the token minority best friend. It’s not possible to write a good story without those.

    (okay, but seriously, this is hilarious!!!! 😂😂😂😂😂 I did a full-on snort at the merman revelation)

    Liked by 2 people

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I’m so glad you approve 😂😂😂 And I agree – you should definitely feature the first line on your blog. Apart from the fact that it is the start to an epic work of fiction, it is so underused that I’m sure many of your readers would benefit from seeing something so novel and unfamiliar.

      It is also a mystery to me why this mermish masterpiece isn’t up on Goodreads yet. I will have to go see what is up with that…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pilar says:

    OH MY GOD!!!! Honestly, this is one of the best things I have ever read!!! I LOVE IT 😍😍 You have made my day Naemi 🤩🤩 Without a doubt, A Sunrise of Serpents and Evaporation is one my favorite novels of the year!! The tropes, the angst, and the super cool (not at all stereotypical) characters with original (never used before) names add so much depth to this story. It’s not missing ANYTHING. The perfect combination. I give it 100 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    This was hilarious 😂😂 You should definitely write a satirical anthology.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I am pleased to hear that. As an author, it is so very gratifying to get such an overwhelmingly positive response from my readers. Though of course, I wouldn’t have expected anything less. With my authorial talent, there was no way people wouldn’t love the absolute originality of my masterpiece 😉

      Seriously though, I’m glad you liked it!! 😂😂😂 I thought I might have brain damage when I was cackling to myself while writing this, and was pretty convinced some of my followers would think I’d finally lost it completely 😁


  4. Strawberrys Corner says:

    Oh my god! This was perfect! It had me laughing the whole time, already from the perfect opening line that we, as readers, all love to see in a story! haha

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ahaana @ Windows to Worlds says:

    SKSJDSDJSKDJFDJFSK SORRY IM SO LATE!!! A SUNRISE OF SERPENTS AND EVAPORATION SOUNDS LIKE SUCH AN AMAZING BOOK!!! i honestly cant wait to read the full thing once your done, and this will DEFINITELY be on the nyt #1 bestellers list, and will be the next great bestseller!!! happy writing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ahaana @ Windows to Worlds says:

    sorry ur my stupid brain didn’t realise this was the full thing, but then i went to re-read it again because it was so good, and then i realised that was it 😂 IT WAS SO GOOD THOUGH YOU’RE SO TALENTED I SWEAR SKDKASHDKSFJADSJ 🤩🤩 im not doing nano this year but like your piece is giving me the inspiration to start NEXT year ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nefeli says:

    This is a MASTERPIECE!! I am in awe!! It makes me want to delete everything I’ve ever written because it will ever match the greatness of this particular work of yours. I would give feedback, but we should not touch perfection. I don’t even know what deserves more praise. The use of every single trope possible? The magnificent info-dumping? The cliches? All-around brilliant!! A modern classic, if you will. Truly a work of art.

    Seriously, though, these past few days have been quite stressful and this completely lifted my mood, so thank you!! 💙 I have fallen a bit behind on my NaNo word count, but this gives me motivation to keep going, even though my story will never be as good as the Sunrise of Serpents and Evaporation 😂.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I’m glad I was able to cheer you up a bit! 😊 Uni stress was getting to me, so writing this was kind of therapeutic for me, too 😂 Though of course, I agree that there is nothing to criticize. This is obviously the best thing I’ve ever written, so maybe I should also go ahead and delete everything else 🤔 And maybe burn my mediocre book collection while I’m at it…

      But, jokes aside – good luck with NaNoWriMo! I’m sure you’ve got this, and even if you don’t end up writing 50K, the most important thing is to have fun! 😉💚

      Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I’m glad you liked it 😂 And of course – that line is a must! No book could possibly become a bestseller without including it 😉 Also, I’m glad my amazing titling skills are being appreciated 😁


  8. Definitely Moi says:

    I think I’ve just discovered who my favorite writer is!😂 Omg, Naemi, thank you so very much for making me laugh. Whew, I’m actually wheezing! 🤣 You’d actually be really good at writing satirical articles, honestly. Looking forward to that! But you know, you actually don’t need to do that, as this is the embodiment of perfection!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I’m so happy you liked it, Moi! That means a lot, since this post is actually also one of my personal favorites 😊 I mean, of course it is, since this novel is, like you said, the embodiment of perfection. I’m not sure what you mean about satire, since this obviously 100% serious, but since you heavily hinted at me being your favorite writer, I am more than mollified 😇

      (Seriously, though – I’m glad you thought it was funny! I was cackling like a maniac while writing it, which kind of made me question my own sanity 😂😂😂)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Anoushka says:


    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      AAAAHHH, HELLO MY NEWEST FAVORITE FAN!! **flashes a welcoming brilliant female smile**

      I am very gratified to hear my immense talent and artistry is being appreciated. After all, not everyone can write perfection such as this! I fully expect to see A Sunrise of Serpents and Evaporation at the top your favorite books list this year! 😌


    • abookowlscorner says:

      But lol, I’m glad you liked it! While writing this, part of me was seriously wondering whether I’d finally lost it completely and was revealing the true extent of my brain damage for all the world to see 🤣


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