Sunday, December 22, 2013

WIP Marathon Check-In #3

...or #2, I guess, since I skipped last week's.

Last check-in: In the middle of re-writing chapter 3 (600 words)

Currently: Still on chapter 3, but much farther in (1300 words). Also, I started outlining a plot event that happens much later in the story (where my last draft ended).

WIP issues this week:

1) New world = lots of descriptions. I'm not good with descriptions. Most of them come out very generic.

2) New characters. Is there a limit to how many characters you can introduce in a single chapter?

3) Figuring out where this scene is going. The main purpose of this chapter is introduction. The plot doesn't really take off until the next chapter. But I'd like to introduce a bit of tension into this scene, something that will lead in to the story. I have some ideas, but I'm still sorting through them.

What I learned this week:

When asking for research advice, make sure you're asking someone who has practical, real-world experience in that field. I'm a first-year medical student, so if you ask about a blood vessel or muscle or organ, I can tell you what it does, where it's located, what nerve innervates it, and possibly a few things about its embryological origin and microstructure. However, having very little experience in clinical medicine, I cannot tell you how you would treat an injury to that structure or how quickly said injury would kill you. For that reason, I went to the AbsoluteWrite research forums. Out of all the people who responded, only one of them had anything on her profile page that indicated real-world knowledge of traumatic injuries (paramedic). Other people gave me answers from out-of-date books or from god-knows-where-else they picked up that information.

Also, something I wish other people would learn: When someone wants research advice, they are not asking for writing advice. Telling someone how to write a book that you know nothing about is nothing short of condescension.

What distracted me this week while writing:

Last week I had finals, and then I spent the weekend with some friends in rural Indiana. I expected to get more done this week, after coming home from the holidays, but that didn't quite happen. I spent way too much time watching various movies, Pretty Little Liars (I took advantage of my friend's inebriation to get her into it. It worked.), and Once Upon A Time (I finally gave up halfway through the first season, when it exceeded my patience for cliche romance and suburban mom warfare).Also, I found a copy of The Republic of Thieves at my local library. (Yay!) Also, doctor appointments and lots of cooking.

Last 200 words:

On the opposite side of the lawn, the Temple waited before them. It was a large structure, constructed out of white-and-gold-and-beige marbled stones that reflected the late afternoon sun. The roof was almost dome-like, but tapered in at the center; it reminded Olivia of the open mouth of a jug.

“Come,” said Katil.

The walk across the lawn was slower than expected; nearly everyone standing around the lawn, priests and citizens and half-Takirans alike, came forward to greet them. Olivia quickly gave up trying to remember all of their names.

At last, they reached the steps that led up to the entrance—not a door, but a veil of the same sky-blue color as the priests’ robes. One of the priests pulled it aside, revealing a large foyer. The aromas of sandalwood and rose petals welcomed her inside. Heads turned in their direction, and more than one person rose from the woven-straw benches that occupied the room.

“Nathaniel!” A woman strode towards them with arms outstretched. Nathaniel met her in the center of the room.


“She’s my mother,” Katil said, as Mr. Arken and the woman clasped hands. Despite the hint of wrinkles around her eyes, her smile had the same energy as Katil’s.

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