Saturday, 11 January 2014

#WIPMarathon Check-In #6

Last check-in word count: Last time, I was at 32,000 words of the WIP.

Current WC + CC: Now I'm at 45K! I'm thrilled that I've got 2000 words most days this week, especially after having so much trouble with motivation in the last couple of weeks of 2013. But if I keep this up, I'll be done with my draft by sometime in February - I've set myself Valentine's Day as a deadline. :)

WIP issues this week: The usual first-draft woes - not enough detail, repetition, telling not showing, overuse of the word 'was' (my mortal enemy!), etc. I just have to shut off the inner editor and concentrate on getting the story down. Also, I worry about not being able to categorise this WIP. It's post-apocalyptic, set in our world but with a fantasy/sci-fi-ish element (advanced humans fighting monsters from another dimension) - not sure whether it leans more towards sci-fi or fantasy! I don't make things easy for myself! :P

What I learned this week in writing: That, with this being the eleventh (!) first draft I've written, I think I'm s-l-o-w-l-y learning how to incorporate lessons learned from editing my other books to writing a first draft. Normally, my first drafts are short and insubstantial, and I have to add in a lot of scenes and details to flesh out the characters and plot. But after editing so many of my own books and reading a TON of writing articles along the way, I find that my first drafts are starting to become longer and more detailed, with (hopefully) less things that drastically need changing! (Maybe I'm actually getting better at this. Who knows?)

What distracted me this week when writing: 

Getting my second set of editorial notes on Darkworld Book 2! wasn't devastating. Though if I have to reread that final battle scene one more time, I may scream. (note: I have to reread it at least three more times for more edits. Fun times!)

Also, #PitMad. And querying. *bites nails* *refreshes inbox*

Last 200 words: ...and we're entering spoiler territory here. Let's backtrack to Chapter 3!

I want to ask where we’re going, how he and Cathal defeated the fiends, but my mouth isn’t working properly, and my head hangs limp. Consciousness fades in and out, pain followed by numbness followed by more pain. During one of the bursts of pain, a screech cuts through the buzzing in my ears, telling me the fiends are on our trail again.
That should strike me as important. But I’m too tired, too numb. I drift off again.
Next time I wake, Nolan is yelling at Cathal. I can’t make out the words, but I catch a blurred glimpse of Cathal’s face and he looks angry. The trees have thinned out, and the sky above blazes, as though reflecting my pain, the moon a mocking eye staring down at me. The world is painted in angry red-and-black stripes. My companions’ argument forms a background noise.
A screech jolts me to full awareness again. Somehow, I’m in Cathal’s arms, not Nolan’s. I blink up at him, confused, as he hisses at me through clenched teeth. I catch the words, ‘Don’t ever tell anyone about this.’
I think I nod. I can’t feel my head at this point. My world is a haze of pain. I can’t breathe.
Next thing I’m aware of is that Cathal’s holding a knife over me.

*evil writer laugh*


  1. Nice excerpt - like the last line a lot! I want to keep reading!

    You know there's this genre called science fantasy, right? :P Sounds like your book might fit nicely into that one where science and magic blur.

    Good luck with querying and edits! :)

    1. Thank you! :) I've heard of it, but I'm not sure whether this MS falls more on the fantasy side than believable science...still, it sounds more accurate than pure sci-fi!

  2. Congratulations on a great week!

    I second the science fantasy. I have a story on hold that's like that. Genre blurring makes for a great story. :)

    Ooh, cliffhanger! Your MC is going through a lot in this story. ^_^

    1. Thanks! :) Yep - this pesky project defies genre, but is so much fun to write!

  3. I love your excerpt! And your MC's awesome voice. :-)
    Congrats on getting so much written this week!

  4. Wow, 13,000 words? And post-apocalyptic with scifi/fantasy elements sounds cool.

    1. Thank you! I didn't intend the genre to end up so confused, but this WIP has a mind of its own! :D

  5. Wow, that excerpt was intense! I want to know more! :)

    I also sometimes struggle to categorize my books ... It can be hard especially to choose between sci-fi and fantasy. If it's post-apocalyptic I think I would lean more towards sci-fi (since it takes place in the future) but ... I don't know, sounds like it might go either way!

    I'm working on my tenth first draft right now, so I know what you mean about getting a bit better at it over time. I've actually had the opposite problem, where in the past my rough drafts have been far too long and full of boring parts and useless rambling--so I've been slowly learning to just skip the boring parts and focus more on the action/dialogue.

    Good luck with your writing/revising/querying! :)

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  7. Glad you enjoyed it! Yeah, I think the genres become a bit blurred when it's post-apocalyptic but still recognisably like the real world.

    I think most writers either overwrite or underwrite to some degree - the trick is recognising when you're doing it and learning to compensate - like I try to add in details when before my scenes would have been quite sparse. :)

  8. Congrats on hitting 45K! Love the excerpt and the evil writer's laugh!

  9. Wow, you did great this week! Your excerpts are always great, and this one is no different. Love how intense it is!

    --Amanda Shayne

  10. Congrats on all you're accomplishing (so impressive!) and I wish you the best of luck with queries and with Pitch Wars. These days it seems like everyone's on the lookout for genre mashups that keep readers engaged and on their toes, so I think your combination sounds fantastic :)