Sunday, June 1, 2014

WIP Marathon May Check-In

Last check-in: Partway through chapter 12 (42,931 words)

Currently: Finished chapter 12 (3924 words). 3165 words into chapter 13.

Current word count = 47,804 words

WIP issues this month: I re-wrote one scene, but I think I like the original better. I might send out both versions.

What I learned this month:

1. It's not that I don't describe things--it's that the things I describe are usually very focused. If two characters are having a conversation, the dialogue is usually broken up by descriptions of what those characters are doing and/or changes in facial expression. It's very easy for me to fail to describe the background. I've always known this to some degree, but it never occurred to me that this should be a problem--maybe it's just how I see the world? Maybe I tend to have a narrower focus?

But the thing is, that's not completely true. When I have a long conversation, my attention is always drifting off into different directions. Long conversations are the best time to notice things about my surroundings. I just need to figure out a way to translate this shift of attention into my writing without making it feel unnatural.

2. There is one conversation in this current chapter that I'm thinking about moving to an earlier chapter. I've gotten a lot of comments that my secondary protagonist doesn't feel very developed early on. If I move this conversation to the end of the first chapter, it will allow readers to get a better sense of who she is, but I think the conversation works better in this chapter. Yes, it means a delay in getting to know the character, but is that necessarily a bad thing? (I'll wait and see what CPs say about it.)

3. I have only one male viewpoint character, and apparently, he could use more fleshing out in early chapters.

4. Logical consistency, yo: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/954065150 (Read it. It's awesome.)

What distracted me this month: Final exams and going on vacation. I'm working during the summer (clinical research on pediatric autism and epilepsy), but so far, my schedule has been very lax, so I don't see this as too much of a distraction. I've also had a fair amount of critiquing to do. (Still do, actually).

This month, I finished reading Her Dark Curiosity (slow start, but turned out good in the end), The Extra (liked it), Half Bad (excellent writing and viewpoint character, but the plot and secondary characters were less than impressive), and The Secret of Isobel Key (bleh). I'm currently reading N.K. Jemisin's The Broken Kingdoms, sequel to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. It's not as good as its predecessor, but I like that it's exploring the far-reaching consequences of the events of the first book.

June goal: I'd like to average 1000 words a day, meaning a final word count of 77,800 words. (Yes, I know my monthly word counts are pathetic. But it's summer, so now I actually have time for 1000 words a day.)

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