Saturday, January 31, 2015

WIP Marathon January Update

Last check-in: Wrote (complete or incomplete versions of) chapters 26-31. Working on chapter 32. (105,580 words)

Current check-in: Mostly finished chapter 32. Tried to write some new scenes for chapter 31, but will probably hold off on them for a while. Working on chapter 33.

I'm not really sure what my word count is at this point, because I'm still trying to figure out what's going on with these scenes.

WIP issues this month:

I've had two main issues this months. The first is that I'm simultaneously brainstorming and writing and revising and mentally-revising multiple scenes. Part of this involves ironing out backstory details so I can decide which of my characters knows what and how that affects their relationship and future interactions with other characters. Part of that decides figuring out if additional scenes are necessary to fill out certain story arcs. Part of it involves brainstorming ways to make early chapters better, so that the worldbuilding is richer and more clear, but the story still moves forward.

The other issue is fear. I wrote a lot during winter break and the first week of school, but then I practically stopped. I'm so close to being finished that the idea of publishing this thing might actually become a reality, but I don't know if I'm ready for that reality. I love writing, but I also like being able to write at my own pace. It has taken me years to write this novel and I don't know if I can finish the next one in a matter of months. I won't have the time to write every day, and I rarely have the capacity to write more than one chapter in a single sitting. I also don't know if I can keep up this level of perfectionism, because it's really overwhelming.

However, the nice thing about not writing for a really long time is that eventually, you get sucked back in.

Things I learned this month:

1. I found a really good resource on complex regional pain syndrome caused by gunshot wounds.

2. If I love a book enough, I am willing to ignore minor logical inconsistencies or overly-convenient plot coincidences.

3. When it comes to making plans, I really want to show my character's thought process. That means letting her weigh the options and reasoning through bad ideas before settling on something that works. It does not mean getting a brilliant idea as a result of some other character's unrelated throwaway comment. Intelligence isn't just about knowing what works--it's also determining what doesn't work. (Not saying that all of my characters' decisions are intelligent, but I at least want them to arrive at those decisions in a believable manner.)

Distractions this month:

School. Reading scientific articles and emailing researchers. Tumblr. (I don't have a tumblr, but I follow a lot of people.)

Books:

Finished and loved:
-Dark Places
-Blue Lily, Lily Blue
-Some Girls Are

Currently reading:
-The Lowlands (audio)
-Charm and Strange


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