My (Untitled) YA Fantasy Novel

Collecting my fiction-writing updates in one place

Deepti Kannapan
2 min readMay 10, 2023
A workroom setting in my novel. Illustration by the author

I’m writing a YA fantasy novel! I had the idea in late 2019 and I started it in earnest in 2020. I wanted to write a story about a girl growing by the edge of magical wilderness, in an egalitarian, pre-agricultural society.

It’s become a slow burn project because I keep getting blown off-track by flurries of activity for other shorter projects.

It’s also taken a while because I’m learning a lot of writing craft along the way, and sometimes the breaks give the new concepts time to sink in. Like learning how to structure a scene, and add just enough new information and surprises to keep it interesting.

I wrote the novel’s “origin story” of how I started writing it here: (parts #1, #2, #3, and #4).

I also made a video series about a particularly productive novel-writing period, where I used drawing to get me unstuck.

I love leaning on strengths from my other interests, like art and research to find unique ways to approach this area. I draw to help visualize. I read news and history to inspire little plot details. And I love a good math metaphor to understand an idea in my magic system.

This is also one of the biggest projects I’ve done, and it’s taught me a lot about managing long-term projects that’s transferred to other areas of my work. Writing is an unpredictable process, and novelists learn quickly to work with that in their planning. An important lesson for me, since all my projects are unpredictable. I’ve learned from writing that I can handle that just fine!

Originally posted at

Here’s my worksheet resource for having a deeply creative work session!



Deepti Kannapan

Painter, occasional cartoonist, aerospace engineer. Writes about sustainable technology, creativity, and journaling.