Saturday, June 28, 2014

WIP Marathon June Check-In

Last check-in: 3165 words into chapter 13 (47,804 words)

Currently: Finished with Part One, aka, the first half of the novel (14 chapters, 51,945 words)

WIP issues this month: I wanted to write 1000 words a day this month. Obviously, that didn't happen.

A really big thing happens in chapter 9, and chapters 10-14 are all about the ramifications. These chapters don't have a whole lot of plot. What they do have is a lot of angst, arguments, and a few backstory reveals. A big reason my writing has slowed down recently is that I'm getting really tired of it. There were actually 1-2 chapters that I opted not to include, at least not right away, because I'm worried that they'll make the story drag. I might come back and write them later.

I am really glad to be done with Part One, though. My last draft of the novel wasn't so much a draft as a compilation of scenes. Now they all finally work together cohesively.

I'm also really excited to start Part Two. Though I'm going to have to outline like crazy to figure out how all the different scenes work together.

What I learned this month:

1. While reading Premeditated: I love snarky narrators, but when you're ending every single paragraph with some sort of smart-ass quip, it slows down the narrative and actually gets really annoying. (It also didn't help that most of these comments weren't all that clever or funny.)

2. I watched the Delirium TV pilot and wrote a whole post about how it fails at worldbuilding (and how it misses a lot of opportunities to actually explore thought-provoking ideas).

3. Speaking of worldbuilding, a really helpful thing to do is find one or two friends (preferably smart ones) and explain your world to them. That way, they can ask you a lot of questions that you might have never thought of yourself, and they can help you pinpoint things that don't make sense. Last month (I forgot to include this in my May update) I had a conversation with a friend about Inter-World, the organization that mediates between our world and the magical world, because I wasn't sure in which US city to set the North American headquarters. It was a really helpful conversation. (Though I still haven't made a decision.)

4. Based on a reviewer's comment, I re-awakened a love for one of my secondary characters (the token "mean girl.") My philosophy on the token mean girl is this: if you're going to include her, make her awesome. Make her fun and interesting (and better yet, make her smart and competent). If she exists for no reason other than to sleep around and get jealous of the protagonist, you're doing it wrong.

The thing about this character is that she doesn't want to be nice. Why should she have to censor herself when everyone else is thinking the same thing? It's not her fault other people act like idiots and then get upset when she calls them out on it.

Now if only I can figure out a way to give this character more screen time... (Sadly, she hasn't appeared in any of the chapters I wrote in the last few months. She almost did, but that was one of the scenes I decided to hold off on.)

What distracted me this month:

Work, critiquing, weekend trips (2 weekends at home and 1 at a retreat with friends), being chronically tired because I have no self-discipline or time management skills. Also, Orange is the New Black season 2.

Books I read: Finished The Broken Kingdoms (not as good as The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, but the two complemented each other well) and Premeditated (it was okay). Currently reading The Spirit Rebellion, sequel to The Spirit Thief.

July goal: I would like to have Part Two fully outlined, and finish writing at least a third of it. (Many of the scenes are already written, but there are also some that I haven't touched it.)

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