Saturday, 28 June 2014

#WIPMarathon Update #5

Last report wordcount and chapter count/scene count: After finishing my last draft (yay!), I was writing a YA contemporary fantasy draft and had reached 20K. I'd also just finished a mega-revision of my MG fantasy, The Clockmaker's Key, and was ready to send it to beta readers.

Current report WC + CC/SC:
I'm almost halfway through my draft (35K). Not amazing, but I had a few distractions this month...

I wrote a short story of around 6000 words, which I'm currently debating what to do with. So my word count total for June is 21K. My worst month this year, but still progress!

On the other hand, I've received feedback on my MG fantasy from some lovely readers, and WOW! :D I wanted to wait until I heard from everyone before I started my second big revision. So, that's next month's task! (And I'm thrilled to bits with the feedback! *bounce bounce bounce*)

I also worked on my outline and some planning for some possible future WIPs, because I just can't stick to one project. :P

WIP Issues this month: Having to take an enforced break from my draft due to a horrible viral infection. I found it really hard to get back into my WIP afterwards, especially as I'd just entered the Evil Middle of the draft!

Four things I learned this month in writing:
  • You can never do too much planning. Last month, I mentioned Rachel Aaron's tips for making lists of exciting things about each scene before writing it. Susan Dennard talks about Magical Cookies in this post about what to do when you're stuck in a draft - and it really helps! If every scene excites you, it'll excite the reader, too! And that's so important in the middle section of the book (which is where things always go wrong for me...).
  • Obviously, one of the most important things for writers to do is to read a lot. But I've been making a more active effort to read as a writer, and learn from every book I read. I'm a fast reader, but I'm trying to slow down and make notes on how the author controls the plot, develops characters, weaves information into the narrative naturally. By taking a close look at what works (and what doesn't work!), you can apply the lessons to your own writing.
  • I learned (or re-learned) that insecurity can be a good thing, even if it doesn't automatically go away when you're published!
  • Do not challenge the universe to distract you from waiting for beta feedback. Or it'll give you the be-careful-what-you-wish-for Plague. o_O Lesson learned.
What distracted me this month when writing: The Plague, which stopped me writing for over a week! I've not gone so long without writing a single word in about 2 years. I know taking days off wrecks my productivity, so I take my netbook on holidays and trips,  and I'm well-practised in writing through stubborn inspiration blocks! But this time, I physically couldn't even pick up a pen. I was very sad. *cries*

Goal for next month: To complete the next revision of my MG fantasy and send it to a second round of readers. I was also hoping to finish this draft, but with editorial emails and various other things coming up, I've decided to change this goal to mid-August. My MG fantasy deserves my full attention! :) It's not an intensive revision this time, but there are lots of little tweaks and changes which should hopefully make the story really shine! And then, one more revision to go before my self-imposed deadline of August. 

Last 200 words: Things are in flux with my draft at the moment, so let's backtrack to Chapter 3!

Her eyes flickered back to the painting currently trying to ooze off the page. Garish yellow, not remotely like flowers anymore - but she couldn’t tell what exactly it was. Only that she could see it, and so could Dorian.

Dorian, whose mouth was twisting into a smile.

‘I knew it,’ he said.

And suddenly she was angry. That self-satisfied tone, after everything that had happened….it ignited the rage that had been buried under her confusion.

‘You don’t know a thing,’ she said. ‘Shut that book. Now!’

He did, and the smile slid from his face. ‘Sorry. Saffron. I thought…’ He cleared his throat. ‘Wait. Here.’ He pulled something from his pocket - at first she thought it was a pen, then she realised it was a pencil crayon, the type artists used. Blue, sharpened to a point.

‘Found this over by the display…’

He pressed it into her right hand and fished a notebook from his pocket, which he held out to her. Saffron stared, not taking it.

‘I just want to show you something,’ he said. ‘No tricks. Honest.’

She narrowed her eyes, her fist clenching around the pen. ‘You’d better not be messing with me. What do you want?’

‘Just draw something on the paper.’

Her eyebrow shot up. ‘You’re kidding me.’


  1. 21k is your worst 0.o ?? Wow, totally in awe of your wordage and congrats on all the great feedback from betas.

    I love that your character's name is Dorian. In this excerpt, with the mention of the painting, I immediately thought of Dorian Gray ;)

    Hope The Plague stays away next month and lets you write all the words!

    1. Heh. That may be intentional. ;) Or possibly, I just suck at subtlety - I'm not sure whether it works in the book or not! Ah, first drafts...

      I hope so, too! :D

    2. Anything Dorian is awesome. In fact, my Shiny New Idea is totally Dorian Gray related ;)

  2. Echoing Suzanne...21k is your WORST month?! Oh my gosh, you're a machine! I'm saving those posts, especially Susan's, so I can reread them before I start my next project. I know from my last project that it really does help when you're excited about something specific in the scene, assuming you know where the scene is going. :P But I get wrapped up in plotting and forget stuff!

    I'm so glad you recovered from the plague! I'm also really sad when I can't write. :(

    Ooh, Dorian! Lots of personality in such a tiny amount of space! *jealous*
    So enjoyed The Clockmaker's Key. ^_^ Good luck with revisions!

    1. Haha, it's just this year. :P But Susan Dennard's blog is so helpful!

      Thank you! :D And thanks again for reading! ^^

  3. Your "worst" month is indeed pretty impressive! ;) Sorry to hear you were so sick for a week, though! I hope you're much better! Best of luck in July~

  4. I really like that post on insecurity. Also, I definitely agree with reading like a writer. It's not only helpful to notice what the author does well, but also to think about ways the book you're reading could be improved. On the same token, sometimes it's also important to write like a reader.

    1. So true! That's why I always ask my beta readers to tell me how they reacted to things as a reader - it's sometimes hard to do that objectively if you're really close to the book! :)