Road Trip Wednesday: Who Wrote the List of Love?

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question.This Week’s Topic: What is your novel’s “Love List”? 

First, you have to check out author Stephanie Perkin’s guest post on Natalie Whipple’s blog for the backstory.

Ready? O-kay.

I begin every story with lots of notes. Character sketches, dialogue, settings, clothing choices, attitudes, musical tastes, etc. If it pops into my head, I put it down. Sometimes it has no bearing on what I end up writing, and other times it’s what completely saves me when I’m in “the muck” Ms. Perkins so accurately describes.

I’m working on TOUCHED for Camp NaNoWriMo, and here’s its Love List (gleaned from my notes):

  • cheating exes
  • a girl with sartorial spirit
  • gardens
  • an estranged mother
  • hidden skill sets
  • family separated by distance
  • hidden lives
  • acting
  • betrayal
  • secrets
  • knowing your worth
  • second chances
  • old TV shows
  • a chance meeting in a convenience store
  • emotions you can’t escape from
  • fierceness
  • fancy pancakes
  • showtunes
  • forgiveness
  • rainbow-sprinkled donuts

Seeing the things I love about this story in list form is very helpful. It’s really easy to forget why you’re writing something when you’re bogged down in the middle with tens of thousands of words to go and weeks of editing/revising to come. It’s important to remember the things that made me want to write the story in the first place. I think Ms. Perkins said it best: “If you keep a list of ideas in your novel that make you proud, you will CREATE a novel that makes you proud.”


9 thoughts on “Road Trip Wednesday: Who Wrote the List of Love?”

  1. Great idea. I will try this with my own WIP! I like your idea to have a chance meeting between characters at a convenience store… and donuts with sprinkles are always good and possibly an aphrodisiac as well. 🙂


  2. This is a beautiful list, and I imagine there is a lot of heartbreak in your story. Second chances (so many of us listed that) make for such a compelling element! Love your list – old TV shows! Yes!

    I was in a couple of used book stores earlier this week and stumbled upon a few books from the 80s I thought you would find amusing, including this one:

    I really wish I’d picked it up!


    1. You’re right, there’s a lot of pain there but it’s all good if there’s lessons to be learned from it.

      Thanks for the book link! I remember reading one or two of that series. That cover is totally 80s awesome!


  3. What a great list! I was especially drawn to fancy pancakes and rainbow sprinkled doughnuts – and now I’m hungry!!! And what a great reminder of our love for our story. I had SO MUCH fun making my list! Thanks for sharing yours. 🙂


  4. Hey, found your blog post through YA Highway. Just wanted to drop some support for a fellow NaNoWriMo Camper! =D

    I made a list of this kind of thing too, and I agree… It’s REALLY helpful as a reminder of WHY we’re writing these things. It’s hard work, but in the long run, it’s SO worth it!

    Some things that caught my eye in your list:

    – Fancy pancakes,
    – Hidden skill sets
    – Knowing your worth
    – Second chances
    – Rainbow-sprinkled doughnuts.


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