The 5 A.M. Fail: But the Finish of the Structure!

It was Sunday morning at 1:00-something A.M. I couldn’t fall asleep for a horrible headache, but after some prayer I finally dozed off… and kept my alarm for 5 A.M. set. >:)

Surprisingly, I woke up even before 5 A.M., due to the same terrible headache. I was feeling quite nauseous but determined to finish the structuring of my novel already.

So when that 5 A.M. sucker went off, I jumped out of my loft bed to stop it, grabbed my current structuring notepad, new pen (I dried out my previous one again. Shocker. 😉 ), phone & headphones, and jumped right back in despite nausea and that evil headache.


Feeling terrible, I tried a few epic instrumental drama tracks to kickstart my adrenaline. But they seemed to make my headache worse, so I settled for something softer: When You’re With Me by The Afters, the theme love song for the second main couple of the Warfare series, Hora and Itsu.

I’d upload it so you can get a listen, but I’m too lazy.

I couldn’t take much more of the headache and nausea after one and a half pages of structuring, so I quit and tried to go back to sleep. I really hate quitting, but throwing up all over my beautiful notepad full of dramatic structuring didn’t really seem like a good idea.

Lying in bed, fighting nausea and trying to get back to sleep didn’t work. Eventually, I had to jump out of my loft bed, run to the bathroom, and throw up, and that was that.

The sad fail of my heroic 5 A.M. structuring attempt.


I skipped church that day; throwing up on the back of the pastor who usually sits in front of me didn’t seem like a very good idea, either. I felt much better and got a ton of structuring done later on Sunday, and then Monday rolled around.

Glorious Monday.

I finished structuring my novel! I completed structuring the Climax, Resolution, and Closing Line and I was DONE.

You wouldn’t believe my relief.

(And that I’m actually re-considering Warfare as the name of my series after all. I’m a very indecisive person.)

Well… kinda relief. I then realized I had to answer sixty questions per scene for my scene outline. I’m planning fifty scenes for my novel, so that’s 3,000 questions I have to answer before my scene outline is completed.

I’m gonna die, guys.

Technically, I could actually do NaNoWriMo tomorrow if I completed my scene outline today. Then my novel would be ready, the hard work completed.

But my other two reasons for not participating still stand, and I don’t think I can get 3k questions answered and still have fun, so… *sniff* I still won’t be doing NaNo this year.

I’m still really excited, even though I’m not participating. I’m actually reeeally sad I’m not doing it, despite a lot of recent hate and confusion on my Why I’m Not Doing NaNoWriMo post?? Pssst: I actually do like NaNo. XD

Right now I’m working on typing up all six notepads of outline and structuring notes so I have them on my computer for easy access while creating my scene outline and for quick answers to general questions while I’m writing.

Like… How old was Ari when Kira took her in? How old was Hinoki when he watched his parents die? Is it the right or left elbow of Ari’s that Hinoki gives a chronic injury to?

As always, I’m tracking my progress on MyWriteClub if you want to stay updated frequently. I’m currently…

171 / 300 pages in. *pants* Today alone, I typed up 2.8k words. (Let’s not get into yesterday’s.) And all of that today is only some of Hinoki’s character arc planning. *pants harder*

(The 300 pages are all my own notepad pages, completely separate from the outlining and structuring workbook pages.)

*pants more*

The thought of working on my beloved scene outline was what drove me on through the loathed torture of character arcs and frustration of structuring. And now I have to answer sixty questions per scene, so it’s not so beloved anymore.

I don’t know what else I’m going to do but DIE. Did I mention that already? Probably not. I’M GONNA DIE.

I want to get started on the scene outline by Thursday, November 9th.

(The only reason my gorgeous face is not bringing this photo up a notch included above is because I don’t know how to work a timer on my camera so I had to manually take this photo. That resulted in a blurry close-up after multiple tries and stretching my arm out as far as I could.)

I hope I haven’t given outlining and structuring a bad rap. I just like taking things all the way and going to the extreme, and then being very dramatic about it.

(Well. There’s some of my gorgeous face.)

Outlining and structuring have been a lot of fun, and the best possible thing I could ever decide to do for my novel. What goes in is what comes out; with all the blood, sweat and tears I’ve poured into this thing, I can’t wait to see publishers trip over themselves to get their hands on it first and then watch the book fly off the shelves the moment it’s in stock.

Conceited daydreaming. Yep. That’s how I’m consoling and motivating myself through all this work.

Above all, I can’t wait to see the Name of Jesus Christ glorified through this series and set a standard for excellent, moral fiction.

Christian books shouldn’t be lame and corny. If we’ve got the Son of God living inside our hearts, why would we dare settle for less than making the best? God-honoring entertainment should be the best around, since it honors God. And that’s what’s driving me on.

But why am I getting all sentimental? I haven’t even written the book yet!

Here’s my tentative schedule for Warfare Book I:


August-December: Outline, structure, write scene outline


January-March: Write first draft

April (Camp NaNo): Edit first draft

May-June: Beta readers (YOU!)

July (Camp NaNo): Edit second draft

August-September: Beta readers (YOU!) (while outlining Book II)

October-November: Finish all editing (while continuing to outline, structure and scene-outline Book II)

December: Begin pursuit of publishing! (while finishing scene outline of Book II)

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. I wanted to be writing Book III but… not settling for less than my best. *sniffs* It’ll be worth it.

I’m still really excited, though. For you!

While I’m no author (yet >:)) or anything, I just wanted to say that I’m here for you and support you!

You’re always welcome to email me if anyone else is too busy to read that awesome snippet you just wrote and are dying for someone else to read. Or if you have a question about outlining or structuring, I’m no expert but I can definitely give you some advice as I’ve been studying those subjects a lot lately! (… as you can see. XD)

If there’s no one else to answer a question like that or fangirl over your recent snippet with you… I’m here! ♥

Are you ready for NaNo tomorrow? Have you done an outline or are you pantsing? Are you scared to death of outlining after reading my posts?

Rest assured, I really like being dramatic. Take everything I say with a pinch of salt.

Love you and am praying for you! And get ready for some big surprises here at Madi Grace. >:)

P.S. While you brave NaNoers are tackling that word count, I’ll be continuing my usual:

By |2017-11-19T02:37:47-05:00October 31st, 2017|Photography, Warfare, Writing|57 Comments

About the Author:

I'm Madi: blogger, writer, doll collector, and minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Learn more about me here and this blog here.


  1. The Chloe Blog October 31, 2017 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    That’s great that things are coming along and that you are starting the scene outline on the 9th! (My first book is actually being released then, too!)
    God Bless the rest of your journey!

    • Madi October 31, 2017 at 6:09 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much, Chloe! Ooh, it is? That’s amazing! Congratulations!

      Thank you! God bless yours, too!

  2. bookwormjulia October 31, 2017 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    I hope that you’re feeling better now!
    And congratulations on finishing structuring!

    • Madi October 31, 2017 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      Thankfully, I am! XD Thank you so much, Julia!

  3. Clara October 31, 2017 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    Aww, I’m so sorry you were sick! 🙁
    Your books are gonna be so epic, Madi. 😀 I wish you the best of luck answering those 3,000 questions. XD Do you still want to sprint with me tomorrow? And if so, what time would be best for you? 🙂

    -Clara <3

    • Madi October 31, 2017 at 6:11 pm - Reply

      Thank you — I’m feeling so much better now! <3

      Aww, thanks so much, Clara. 😀 THANK YOU. XD Ooh, yes, I would love to! Would six P.M. be okay? I think that's a time I can be guaranteed no interruptions. XD

      • Clara October 31, 2017 at 9:52 pm - Reply

        Sure, that sounds awesome! “Meet” you on the Hangouts chat at 6. XD

        -Clara <3

  4. Christina October 31, 2017 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    OOOH! Can I sign up to be a beta reader? I know I’m kinda getting ahead of myself, but I want to be sure of getting a spot. XD LOL. :0

    • Madi October 31, 2017 at 6:12 pm - Reply

      The actual sign-ups aren’t until 2018, but I’ll definitely reserve a spot for you! (Heh heh, you’re smart. There are going to be limited spots available. XD) I’m SO glad you want to beta-read! <3

      • Christina October 31, 2017 at 6:13 pm - Reply

        LOL! Thanks! I can’t wait!

        • Madi October 31, 2017 at 6:14 pm - Reply

          No problem! HEHE YAY! <3

      • olivehiddenhollow October 31, 2017 at 6:22 pm - Reply

        WHAT??? There are limited spots?!? Get me on quick! ??

        • Madi October 31, 2017 at 6:25 pm - Reply

          YES INDEED THERE ARE. Hehe, alrighty! Consider it done! 😉

  5. olivehiddenhollow October 31, 2017 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Yes, you did scare me about outlining, thank you SO MUCH. ?
    But I’ve been reading Cait’s post on outlining, and on writing first drafts, and I think I’ll be alright. But I’ll be doing most of my outline on nano, so it counts for my word goal. ?
    Most crazily, ~Olive

    P.s. Ah!!! But I can’t write tomorrow morning! I have to make pancakes, and then almost immediately start school! AAAHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGG

    p.p.s. Cait’s blog is

    • Madi October 31, 2017 at 6:31 pm - Reply


      Ooh, I read her post on it! It was great. Ooh, awesome. ? Best of luck with your novel! IT’S SURE TO BE AWESOME.

      P.S. WUT. NOOO! That STINKS. Just get school done SUPER DUPER FAST. >:D

  6. light4thelord October 31, 2017 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    (so glad you’re feeling better! I know how awful it is to get sick when you’ve got stuff you want done. I’ve done it twice this year already. *scowls* And now it might be a gluten allergy. *scowls again* I hope not.)


    You are i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e. I SO need to outline and structure my next book *sigh* I think I’ll probably go through what you did for uh, that book. I am NOT going to say what it is (especially since the title no longer relates to the story XD XD XD ).

    And you SO need to join YWW. It’ll be worth it. Join in January, I’m not even kidding. (ask Charis and Anika. They’re in it. And Chloe. And lots of other awesome people) 😀 😀

    You’re making me want to read this more. And seeing as how I’m *supposed* to be getting ready for bed. *ahem* I must depart. *Wails*
    ~ Light4theLord

    • Madi November 3, 2017 at 8:02 am - Reply


      (Thank you so much! Oh my gosh ugh, that’s awful. I really hope it’s not!)


      Awwww! <3 XDD I have so many titles that don't relate to the story, either. XDD

      DUDE. IT SOUNDS AMAZING. I really want to. But I'm not sure... BUT I WANT TO. XD

      HEHE THAT'S THE GOAL. Awww goodnight. *wails*

  7. Rebcake October 31, 2017 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Hey, that’s weird! I also had an awful headache and nausea a few days ago…It wasn’t as bad that I had to throw up, however…But I did end up going to sleep early, it wouldn’t be that cool to throw up on my laptop keyboard. XDD
    AHHH THESE PICTURES!!!! They’re so gorgeous and aesthetic and everything!!!!! And! the! heart! bokeh! editing! tho!
    Best of luck on your scene-by-scene outlining! I really should try structuring with a future novel. I haven’t even completed a single novel in the past, though I do have a ton of terrible drafts which never received a Chapter 2 and shall never see the light of day again. I won’t even tell you about my Camp NaNoWriMo fail this July…it’s kind of embarassing. Halfway through the month, I had already given up. 🙂
    My entire life can be summed up by that last gif.

    • Madi November 3, 2017 at 8:04 am - Reply

      EVIL HEADACHES. They’ve come to keep us from working! XDD

      AWWW THANK YOU!! <3 Haha yeah most of the bokeh is very much fake and edited XD

      Thank you SO much! OOH you should TOTALLY structure a novel, it's so much fun and epic and amazing and AHH. LOL I have a ton of drafts like that... XD Awww, I'm sure it wasn't THAT bad!

      Ahaha dude XDD

  8. Chloë October 31, 2017 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Awwww no! I’m sorry you got sick! But congrats on finishing all that outlining/structuring stuff!!!

    • Madi November 3, 2017 at 8:04 am - Reply

      Awww thank you so much!! <3

  9. Danielle October 31, 2017 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Yay for finished outlining! That just looks… scary. Hmph, I have to wait until May to read it? *goes and cries into a pit of despair*
    *sings* Help me, help me. NaNo starts tomorrow and I’m unprepared. *hyperventilates because the reality just set in*


    P. S. Save me a spot on beta reading! I MUST READ IT.

    • Madi November 3, 2017 at 8:05 am - Reply


      Yeah, unfortunately, making everyone wait ’til May. BUT DUDE. That means so much you wanna read it. :’)

      AHH YOU GOT THIS. Best of luck with your novel!!

      P.S. HEHE OKAY.

  10. Allison October 31, 2017 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    Yuck, your sick headache (I think that’s a term? Maybe?) sounds awful! I’m glad you’re feeling good enough to take such GORGEOUS WRITING PICTURES they’re so pretttyyyy! XD Anyway, yay! Congratulations on getting so far on your story, and I hope your tentative schedule works out like you’re wishing. 😀
    Also, DON’T DIE. Just a tip.
    This post was quite fun to read, dear. Have a lovely evening! 🙂

    • Madi November 3, 2017 at 8:07 am - Reply

      (XDD) Thank you SOO much, Allison! I’m so glad you like the pictures! Hehe, me too!

      Most of my schedules don’t, but I’LL MAKE THIS ONE WORK OUT. XD

      GASP. Great tip. Never thought of it before. XDD

      I’m so glad, thank you so much! Same to you!

      • Allison November 3, 2017 at 11:46 am - Reply

        Hee hee! XD
        OKAY. GOOD FOR YOU. 😉
        Heh heh, why thanks. I thought it might be helpful.
        😀 ♥

  11. Abby Strangward October 31, 2017 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    Your dedication is incredible! I write short fiction, mostly, and am just finishing up my first longer attempt – 12 000 words! Less than your outline alone, I expect!! Good luck with the 3000 questions!! x
    Abby –

    • Madi November 3, 2017 at 8:08 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Abby! Ooh, best of luck with your writing project! It’s sure to be awesome. Thank you so much again, and thanks for commenting!

  12. blackiesunshine October 31, 2017 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    *immediately signs up for beta reading* (AKA PUT ME ON THE LIST MADS NOWWWW)
    I’m sending you a link over email. Go check. 🙂

    • Madi November 3, 2017 at 8:09 am - Reply

      HEHEHE OKAY. I’m SO glad you wanna read it!! <3

      Ooh, okay! I replied! 😀

  13. - suzy - November 1, 2017 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    OH MY WORD, GIRL THIS IS ALL INTENSE STUFF. I just took a moment to stare at those pics of the notepads all lined up and was thoroughly impressed. AND THAT’S JUST THE OUTLINE WHAT THE FLIP. And to be able to stick through it?? despite feeling sick??? Pretty hardcore in my book… So stoked for when this fabulous novel of yours comes out though, so just sign me up for the preorder list like, a year early, ‘kay?

    • Madi November 3, 2017 at 8:10 am - Reply


      Aww, thank you so much! HEHE. MUCH FUN. Aww, YAY! I’m so glad you wanna read it <3 You're so sweet. Thanks so much for commenting ?

  14. olivehiddenhollow November 1, 2017 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Yaaaaaaaaay! I’m all happy now because I’ve not only finished, but went past my daily word goal for nano, and its only the first day! I feel so happy and confident now, like that I maybe have a chance of keeping this up all month! ??? (And it was only past by like thirty words, but whatever?)
    Most crazily, ~Olive

    P.s. And this is a big achievement for me, because last year my average was about 300 per day, no wonder I didn’t get very far. ?‍♀️


    • Madi November 3, 2017 at 8:16 am - Reply

      AHHHH YAY OLIVE! See, you’ve totally got this!! That’s awesome!! 😀

      P.S. WOAH. THAT MEANS YOU’RE MAKING A TON OF PROGRESS. *applauds for eternity*

  15. Olivia Bell (aka Livy) November 2, 2017 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Aww, I am so sorry you were sick, I had that too recently and I know it’s HORRIBLE! But, I am so excited for your book and I know you can do it!!! Your photography is beautiful and I agree, you are gorgeous. 😉 I’m sorry I haven’t commented much lately. 🙁 I’m looking forward to the surprises coming up!

    Love and hugs to my favorite and very awesome Madi! 😀

    • Madi November 3, 2017 at 8:17 am - Reply

      Ugh, it is! Aww, thank you SO much, Livy! LOL! 😉 XD Aww, that’s totally okay! <3 YAY, I'm so glad!

      Love and hugs back to my favorite and very awesome Livy!! 😀

  16. bennettv November 4, 2017 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    LOL! This reminds me so much of me. When I was growing up, we didn’t have much paper or pens in the house, so I would write my stories on whatever I could get my hands on. Scraps of leftover wallpaper, napkins, junk mail envelopes, etc. I just wanted to write. When I was twelve, my stepdad got a computer, a real dinosaur of a thing that took forever to load. I wrote twelve Chapters of my first novel on there. Then the computer crashed, and the entire manuscript was lost. (It wasn’t very good writing. LOL) Anyway, it looks like you are as dedicated to writing as I still am. I can’t wait to watch your books fly off of the shelves! 🙂 (I totally do the conceited daydreaming thing too. LOL)

    ginnie /

    • Madi November 5, 2017 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      LOLOL, that’s awesome you just wrote on whatever you had! Aww, I’m sorry your computer crashed, but at least it was early-career writing!

      Awww, thank you SO much! Your comments are always so encouraging. ? LOL, I’m glad I’m not the only one. 😉

  17. Kendall November 4, 2017 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Yikes! I saw Christina’s comment and almost freaked out… if there are going to be limited beta spots, can you definitely save one for me? I’ve been chewing my mind out trying to wait for the next beta opportunity!

    I’m glad you’re feeling better!
    Your planning sounds awesome! I definitely am one of the “I don’t want to plot so I’m just going to write”” people. Someday, when time becomes a closer friend, I will work on structure and plotting. 🙂

    • Madi November 5, 2017 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      Of course I can! I would LOVE to have you as a beta reader. That would mean so much!

      Thank you so much! ARG SAME. It’s a struggle to force myself to do all this planning beforehand! I just wanna WRITE. XD Ah, so true. I hope you’ll be able to work on structure and plotting when you have more time soon! It is a lot of fun… and time. 😉

  18. Kendra Lynne November 7, 2017 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Being sick is HORRIBLE (though it could possibly be inspiring when a person is writing a book in which a character becomes ill…? never mind). I’m glad you’re feeling better!
    Those pictures are SO cool; I love the effects you added. 🙂
    My first tendency is to just dive into the writing of a story, but plotting is so necessary in my opinion. I really like how you’ve went about plotting, and it has greatly inspired me. 😉

    • Madi November 7, 2017 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      UGH YES (Ahaha, so true. XDD) Thank you so much, Kendra!

      Aww, thank you SO much! I’m super glad you like them!

      ARG ME TOO. I just wanna WRITE. That’s what writers do, write? WE WRITE. But authors plot and outline, and thus have successful novels. So *sighs* IT WILL BE WORTH IT. Awww, I’m so glad! Best of luck if you decide to plot! <3

      • Kendra Lynne November 8, 2017 at 2:05 pm - Reply

        Thank you! (and by the way I realize I should have said ‘gone about plotting’ XP)

        • Madi November 8, 2017 at 2:24 pm - Reply

          XPP I do that all the time. XD

          • Kendra Lynne November 8, 2017 at 3:35 pm - Reply

            Oh good! XD I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  19. EnniMorgan November 11, 2017 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    WOW. Just, WOW.

    • Madi November 12, 2017 at 10:15 am - Reply


      • EnniMorgan November 12, 2017 at 10:17 am - Reply

        O.o. I don’t think that my parents would ever let me stay up….My mom was like, “For NaNo, you have to have a regular bedtime.” I was like, “But that’s defying the purpose of NaNoWriMo!”

        • Madi November 12, 2017 at 11:42 am - Reply

          XDDD That’s hilarious. XD

  20. silverfoxstudios November 25, 2017 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    The Rock Harbor series bu Colleen Coble is a really good christian series. I love the books

    • Madi November 25, 2017 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      Ooh, it sounds awesome!

  21. kirstyntodd February 1, 2018 at 5:15 pm - Reply



    Just letting you know.

    Warfare. Sit, stay.

    • Madi February 1, 2018 at 6:21 pm - Reply



      • kirstyntodd February 2, 2018 at 5:23 pm - Reply

        I’M GLAD.


        Warfare. Sit, stay.

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