WiP Wednesday 5/25 — May 25, 2011

WiP Wednesday 5/25

Wow, that time of week again, huh?

Updates:

Lodestar/When the Star Fell:

Still in total title flux.  Can’t decide on anything in this regard.  I’ve finished and printed my revision outline for the next round of revisions.  That will happen after the book comes back from beta.  (For more on my process of revision outlines, see this handy post compiling all such items on outlining.)

Truth or Dare:

Well, it’s finished.  I’m still not sure I’ll ever revise it in earnest and submit it anywhere.  Not necessarily the genre that I want to start my career in so we’ll see.  Maybe someday with a pseudonym and different title.

How are your WiPs going?

Lodestar Soundtrack — May 24, 2011

Lodestar Soundtrack

I’ve posted about soundtracks before.  I’ve even posted a soundtrack for Lodestar.  (Or When the Star Fell. We’re still in title flux over here.)

Looking back over that soundtrack, and thinking about the soundtrack as it stands now, I’ve realized something.  These soundtracks aren’t so much what you’d hear if the books were turned into movies.  These are tracks that when I hear them I think of one of my books or of a character.

So here’s the updated soundtrack for my contemporary fantasy, Lodestar.

“In Her Eyes” by Josh Groban (pretty much how the MC thinks of his predicament and of how one character views him)
“Untouchable” by Taylor Swift (whenever I hear this song, there’s one scene in my book that comes to life in my head as I sing the song, so vividly I sometimes want to cry)
“This Time” from the August Rush soundtrack (the first lines evoke one of the scenes at the end of the novel for me, the chorus evokes some of the internal conflict for the MC)
“You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban (basically how the MC feels about being thrust into this world he had no idea existed) *slight pause in soundtrack building to get lost in Josh Groban’s voice*
“So Close” from the Enchanted soundtrack (pretty much every interaction between the MC and his primary love interest as there’s a physical reason they can’t touch, not even to hold hands)
“To Where You Are” by Josh Groban (evokes really the way the MC feels about the primary love interest, and a little bit of the emotion toward the end of the book) *pausing again for that gorgeous voice*
“Open Your Eyes (to Love)” from the Lizzie McGuire Movie soundtrack (there’s a scene between the primary love interest and another character that is basically this and I think about this scene when hearing this song)

WiP Wednesday 5/18 — May 18, 2011

WiP Wednesday 5/18

I FINISHED MY LATEST WIP!!!!!!!

Ahem.

It’s far too short to be a book.  (Even a category romance.)  But it’s done.  It shall now sit on my hard drive waiting for me to decide whether I actually want to revise and polish it to a publishable state.  Maybe I just want to leave it in the drawer as good practice at my craft.

As for When the Star Fell, well that’s going to get a new title one of these days.  (Or maybe I’ll just go back to the original title because it really worked so well for it.)  While I wait for the latest beta feedback, I’m working on a new detailed outline from which to revise.  (A process I’ve detailed before.)  I’ve received some feedback on the first chapter and first few chapters that will also influence the next set of revisions.

How are your WiPs going?

Background and Setup — May 17, 2011

Background and Setup

How much is too much when starting a book?

In my contemporary fantasy, When the Star Fell (or whatever I end up titling it), I have a bit of a dilemma.

Draft 2, which is the first complete draft of the book, takes until chapter 6 for the status quo upsetting moment to occur.

Draft 6 has that moment occurring in chapter 4.

I’ve tried to start the book with that moment, but it doesn’t work for me.  There are relationships to set up which are actually key to that moment having greater impact.  (At least in my head the way I’m looking at the manuscript.)  And I really have tried to start there.  I wrote a new beginning, which still ended up in this current draft, just in chapter 4 not chapter 1.  I hated it.  It didn’t grab me at all when I got to that upset moment.

I’ve recently received some feedback on the first chapter that has me absolutely waffling.  This reviewer wanted more setup, more descriptions, more scenes happening in the start location.  I haven’t told this reviewer yet about the fact that two chapters of it got cut in revisions.

So at what point do you find the balance?  How much setup is too much?  Is it instinctive?  Is it an inherent part of an author’s style and voice, whether they start with a bang or ease into it?

For me, I really do prefer easing into it, both when I’m reading and when I’m writing.  I can get engrossed in either form of opening.  It just depends, for me, on whether the action heightens the tension and helps to draw me into the character or if I need to see them in their normal life for a bit to feel the impact of that status quo upsetting moment the way I should.

Rick Riordan’s books are a prime example of this.  The Red Pyramid starts a little slower.  The two narrators show you a bit of what their normal is.  Then he gets to the action and the upsetting of status quo.  The Lost Hero jumps right into the crux of one character’s arc.  The kid has absolutely no idea where he is or who he is.  This tension would be gone if we’d seen any bit of his normal reality.

Tolkien started off showing you how hobbits celebrate birthdays and what the Shire is like.

Jane Austen jumped right to the meat of it, a mother who wants nothing more than for her daughters to marry well, and one such opportunity has just moved into the neighborhood.

Kiersten White showed just how not normal Evie’s normal is before turning her world on its ear.

I could go on, but I won’t.  I think what these examples are showing us is that, yes, it is instinctive and dependent on the story being told.  I believe it is part of an author’s voice, but more to do with the unique perspective an author brings to any story they write rather than a critical component of that voice.

What about you?  Agree or disagree?  Which do you tend to favor, jumping straight in or easing in?

WiP Wednesday 5/11 — May 11, 2011

WiP Wednesday 5/11

I’m still working back into a good writing flow.  Which will not happen today most likely.  (Dismal and dreary weather seems to do that to me.)  On to the updates.

When the Star Fell:

I’m debating my title, once again.  I love this title, but I don’t know if it’s the right title for this book.  I might have to hang on to it and use it for a different book from the same mythology that I developed for this one.

I’ve sent it off to another beta and have been getting some feedback on the first few chapters.  Just what this means for the next round of revisions, I have no idea.

Truth or Dare:

I’ve added maybe 1600 words to this in the last few days.  I want to finish this by the end of the month and I’m thinking it might happen.  But I also think the story itself is going to fall far short of my word count goal so I’m thinking of scrapping the goal all together and just writing.

A very scary thought, I know.

That’s it for updates on this glum Wednesday.  (Seriously, it rained all night and the sun still doesn’t want to show its face.)  How are your WiPs going?

And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for part 3 in my Twitter Basics for Authors series!

Daring to Be Different — May 4, 2011

Daring to Be Different

We interrupt our regular WiP Wednesday post for something that has been bothering me of late.

All right, here’s the deal.

I’m very devout in my religion, very firm in my faith.  I have my own personal beliefs on angels.  I know a lot of people have very very specific views on angels.

Guess what?

That doesn’t mean you have to conform to that in your writing, if you choose to write about angels.  A couple of years ago, I had the idea in my head to write something paranormal.  I started researching all the different paranormal elements that I knew of.  I narrowed it down to three, based off of what I read.

There was one idea on angels that I read that just stuck with me.  It steamrolled and steamrolled until I had the basis for all my mythology of the book.  There’s a rich mythology that I’ve developed for this.

And it has come under attack a couple of times.  Simply because it’s not the standard view of angels.  Yes, I pulled a very obscure description of angels on which to base my mythology.  Yes, this view is not the same view I have on angels.

But you know something?  I don’t care.  Does it mean that I might not sell this book?  Probably.  But I would rather be different than conform because two people screamed and shouted at me over my supposed lack of research.  Because you don’t know how much or how little research someone has done.

WiP Wednesday 4/27 — April 27, 2011

WiP Wednesday 4/27

I have absolutely no progress to report this week.  This is because I have taken a break from writing.  Sure, my stories are still up there wandering around.  And I’m definitely thinking about them.  So I’ll share some thoughts I’ve been having about them and then we’ll be done.

When the Star Fell.  Okay, so I posited a question to some writer friends about picking a POV character.  One came back with the advice that the MC should be the one who has the most to lose and knows the least.  Well, poop.  The one with the most to lose might be the character I’d switch to.  The one who knows the least amount though is the current MC.

I’ve also had the thought on this one that I’m trying to put it into the wrong genre.  That it should be a straight-up paranormal romance.  But then I’d lose my villain scenes.  And those are some of my favorite scenes/chapters.

Truth or Dare.  I’m still stuck on this one.  I’m not getting much by way of inspiration and I think that it’s going to come out way too short to be even a category-length romance novel.

Poetry is still on the backburner.

How are y’all doing with your WiPs?

WiP Wednesday 4/20 — April 20, 2011

WiP Wednesday 4/20

I have a severe lack of progress to report at this point in time.

When the Star Fell: This one is going on the backburner.  I’ve been thinking about it, and it needs an overhaul.  One thing thought that had kept coming up in my head, even as I finished that first draft a long time ago (not in a galaxy far, far away, though) was that the book needed to be focused on a different character.  The MC is currently Derek, my normal, non-paranormal character.  The MC needs to be the main paranormal character, Alnair.  Corollary to this change, the book needs to be the third in a series.  Each book would have its own standalone plot, its own character arc for this character, but there would be an overall emotional arc for her.

Truth or Dare: Boy is this one giving me issues.  Who knew it would be so difficult to write?  It’s going to need a lot of added wordage when I get to “The End.”  But I’m not going to worry about that one until I get there.  I am enjoying it, mostly.  When I can get some writing time.  I’m trying to find that balance right now between all the real-life things demanding my time and my writing.  It’s an on-going struggle.  That just became less of a struggle because of some factors not in my control.

Poetry: Nowhere fast.  I go through phases, I guess, where I’m really motivated to work on it.  Then the muse vanishes and it sits untouched for ages.  Failed attempts at getting any of it published probably have something to do with this.  I write poetry from my own experience.  I don’t write about war or politics or weighty issues.  I write about loss a lot I suppose.  But I’m okay with this.  I may someday decide to self-publish my poetry just for kicks.

WiP Wednesday 4/6 — April 6, 2011

WiP Wednesday 4/6

Oh, hi!

Progress report:

When the Star Fell


Back from beta.  The weekend will be for going through the comments and such.

Truth or Dare


Massive wordage added to this.  Since Saturday I’ve added 11,027 words to this WiP.  I have an advantage though.  So far, I’ve been able to cut and paste a lot from the short story this is being adapted from.

The short story it’s from was all from the FMC’s perspective.  So the challenge is a)finding the passages from her perspective that work best and b)making those blend well with the switches to the MMC’s perspective.

That said, I’m now at a point in the story where I have to add in a lot of stuff that wasn’t there originally.  So wordage progress may slow significantly for a while.  I’ll have to write fresh both the MMC and FMC perspectives.  Nothing to copy and paste for a few months of narrative time yet.

Those are the only projects for which I have any progress to report.

How are your WiPs going?

WiP Wednesday 3/30 — March 30, 2011

WiP Wednesday 3/30

Um.

Well, uh.

Yeah.  I have some sort of Writer’s ADD.

Experimental romance short?  Not liking it any more.  So I’ve stopped working on it.

…Futile updates

This is a poetry collection of mine.  I’ve got four going at the moment.  This one is my sort of pet project.  I really want to get this one completed.  I’m aiming for it to be a book-lenght collection.  (Meaning it’s minimum 50 pages.  That’s at least the average I seem to see when looking at contest deadlines.)  I’d love to see this one published.

And suddenly, I’m considering self-publishing for it.  I know, I’m talking crazy now.  I’m not making any decisions.  The collection is nowhere near complete.  I did add a poem to it over the weekend, but then I deleted one from it.  I moved one poem from section 1 to section 3.  I tweaked wording on almost every poem in the collection and even gave two of them new titles.

Musings updates

This poetry collection (aiming for chapbook length, so 16-24 pages) is at a standstill.  It’s a collection of tankas (think a haiku with two additional seven-syllable lines at the end) and haiku.  It’s entertaining sometimes to try my hand again at the short form, bending the rules of each form while still talking mostly about nature.

Milepost updates

This collection is probably going to go by the wayside.  So far, all the poems are crossovers with …Futile and so I’m not terribly in love with it.

Migrations updates

This is by far the least developed collection.  It has 5 sections, one for each place I’ve spent a significant amount of time.  But it only has I think 3 poems.  Very very rough.  And it might not ever get off the ground.

Truth or Dare (tentative title for a romance novel I’m adapting from a short story I wrote) updates

Started it.  I’m just over 1100 words in at this point.  It’s entertaining, trying to bring out both voices and make internal and external arcs for the characters.  When I wrote the short story, there wasn’t much room for more than the events that brought the FMC and MMC together, drove them apart, and reunited them. I’ll be interested to see how this experiment goes.

But my track record shows that I don’t do so well with experiments or adapting a short story into a novel.

So, yeah, can you say I’m avoiding the real issue at hand?

When the Star Fell updates:
Considering a start-over rewrite.  Basically, characters and main events would remain the same, but all new words.  I’m not really sure of this and I hesitate to do anything drastic with so little feedback on the work as it currently stands.  But I’m feeling rather like a hack at the moment.