Belated WIPmarathon Check-in No. 10

Last month I missed the check-in by a day. This month I’m late by almost a week with the WIPmarathon update. I’m blaming boxes and packing and general chaos in my life. Here are the stats…

Last report WC for WIP: 0 – I started something brand new for NaNoWriMo

Current report WC for WIP:  29, 369

November was a total bust. During the very first week of writing, I switched my insufficiently plotted YA fantasy for an NA m/m story inspired by an unused short story. The writing was actually going great until I discovered we’d be immigrating in less than a month. Cue the panic, packing, hysteria and writing drought. This past week I’ve managed to get back to writing and added a good 4k to the ms these past couple of days. Alas it’s too little too late to come anywhere close to winning NaNo.

Situation with I Heart Robot: Revisions and edits are done and dusted! The book is going into production phase and I am ecstatic!

Short story debacle: I finally finished the thing and not only that, but my writer’s group really enjoyed it and I sent it off to my editor feeling pretty good about it so I guess November wasn’t a total bust after all.

Writing Issues This Month:

Stress. Again. This time because of the imminent move from Finland to Sweden. Who knew there’d be so much admin when we’re just popping across a narrow gulf?

Four things I learned this month in writing:

1. Seize the moment and write whenever you get the chance. I never used to do this and always needed time to get in the zone, psychologically prepare myself, set the mood with appropriate music etc. Nope. This month has taught me to make the most of every opportunity and that’s the only way I’ve managed to write so much amidst the chaos.

2. Fantasy is hard. I do desperately want to write the YA fantasy story that’s floating around my imagination but it’s going to take serious work, a much more detailed outline and a lot better knowledge of my world before I jump into the ms again. Now is not the right time either. My mind is too busy to conceptualize a fantasy scape so I’m going to leave the idea simmering in my subconscious for now.

3. Write what excites you. It’s so much easier to write scenes I’m excited about and excited by. If I’m excited to write the words, chances are the reader will be more excited to read them too.

4. As soon as you stop trying to come up with good lines, the good lines happen. The more I stress about my prose being prosaic or character quotidian, the more prosaic and quotidian they become. The instant I stop thinking about it and just write, these little nuggets pop onto the page and moments between awesome characters just happen. I think I need to hand over the reigns to my Muse more often.

What distracted me this month while writing:

Packing. Boxes. Packing. Admin. Packing. Stress!

This is our third international move in 7 years. The husband and I are getting used to country hopping but it doesn’t mean there’s any less work or stress involved in the process.

Goal for next month: Survive the move. Survive Christmas alone in a foreign country without family or friends. Write whatever whenever I can and embrace the adventure of change.

Last 200 words: The last 200 are way too spoilery so here’s 200 from an earlier chapter where we get to know more about my protagonist Milo…

Dawn crept over the tops of the trees huddled between the buildings, oaks and maples wearing fire-engine red, so unlike the tangled kudzu and weeping cypress he was used to. Sometimes Milo missed the bayou, the buzz of insects and the eerie calls of loons across the water, but he didn’t miss the life he’d had there. And there was no way he’d ever go back. He’d got out just in time, a narrow escape he thanked his lucky stars for every single day.

Armed with caffeine, Milo settled among his paints before the unfinished canvas. The painting was dark, like all his work, but this one was different. The figure in the painting was supposed to be a nameless model he’d found online, but the more he’d tried to paint a stranger’s face, the more the face had become his own. The guy in the picture was crouched at the bottom right of the enormous canvas, bound at the wrists and cowering from the razor-blade pinions extending from his back. Every jagged feather was a painting unto itself, coiled nightmares spawned from the poor bastard’s own mind. It was a little too much like looking in a mirror and seeing all the ghosts of his past chained to his back. 

So that was it for November. May next month be better…

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