Wipmarathon Check-in No. 12

First WIPmarathon report for 2015! January has continued to be a busy month as I navigated the reams of red tape involved with becoming a fully fledged member of Swedish society. I did, however, get quite a lot of time to write and it has been a rather productive month. Here are the stats…

My plan for January was to finish the M/M WIP, research the SNI and write a synopsis, and plan for a major rewrite of an older work. I’m glad to report I accomplished one of these πŸ™‚

Last report WC for M/M WIP:Β 35, 899

Current report WC for WIP: Β 31, 765 – it needed some reworking and despite losing words, it’s much tighter and better. I plan to finish it just as soon as my Muse co-operates.

As for that beloved older work, I managed to rewrite the entire third act and edit the whole manuscript this month, expanding from a measly 73k words to a more respectable 85k. It is done and has been shipped off to my agent. Woot!

As for that SNI – this idea got usurped by the YA fantasy idea I’ve had kicking around in my head for a while. In a whirlwind of inspiration, I went oldschool with pen and paper and re-plotted the entire thing. And I am super excited about this story!

Last report WC for YA fantasy: ZERO!

Current report WC for YA fantasy: 2, 779 – not a lot but I only started writing on Tuesday

Writing Issues This Month:

Nothing really. I managed to get a lot done and stayed motivated despite working on multiple projects, which usually causes me to lose focus. I’m getting better at jumping between works according to the whims of my capricious Muse.

Four things I learned this month:

1. Work on what excites you when it excites you. If that means stopping mid-sentence on one book to write a scene for another because the characters won’t shut up in your head, so be it. Writing is writing and any writing on any project is fantastic.

2. Seize the moment. I managed to write about 500 words on a lunch break between classes and those words weren’t half bad.

3. Don’t be afraid to let the brilliant books you’re reading inspire you. I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy lately – very different from the kind I’m writing – but it has kept me excited about my own project and that’s pretty cool.

4. Get up early. As much as I hate to admit this, changing my schedule so that I’m up around 6.30 every morning has actually been fantastic for my writing.

What distracted me this month while writing:

Job interviews, starting work, residual red tape, the allure of the snow-soaked world outside. It’s actually been a pretty good month.

Goal for next month:

Write words. I have no idea what February will be like since I’ll be working part time and attempting to fit 20 hours of Swedish language classes into my week as well as 8 hours of climbing. I’m going to write whenever I can on whichever project strikes my fancy at the time.

Last 200 words:Β The last 200 won’t mean much without the broader context so I’ll give you the first 200 of the YA fantasy I’ve been working on. This project excites me because it’s set in a mythical South Africa and draws from African mythology and South African culture. It’s a return to my roots in a way, which is why I think I’m loving it all the more. Here we go… (note, this is totally un-edited, unpolished word vomit)

A single feather fell from the bruised sky, speckled with blood.

Taryk plucked the white pinion from the air before it reached the tiles. Dots of red marked the vane: one for an apology, two for a kiss, and three for a promise. Tonight, Zenza had stained the feather with three dark splotches. Taryk’s heart pounded like a prayer drum behind his ribs; it had been almost a week since they’d seen each other.

Lightning sliced through the clouds gathering above the city and Taryk smiled as he slipped the feather into the pocket of his kurta. A blast of wind tore across Sukhmandyr, bringing with it the smell of evening meals: saffron and cinnamon, chili and tamarind. He whistled for his aardwolf, busy chasing ants along the edge of the balcony.

β€œShe’s going to be heartbroken when you leave?” Akila sashayed across the mosaic in slippered feet and draped herself across the balustrade, long hair whipping in the wind, her gaze on the aardwolf.

β€œIf I leave.” Taryk rubbed his pet’s long ears and scruffled the striped mane on her neck. β€œAnd Shani will go with me.” They couldn’t force him to leave everything behind. He would already be losing his home and family, and Zenza.

That’s it for January, how did you do?

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  • Emma Adams

    Congrats on finishing that manuscript, and yay for YA fantasy! I find reading in the same genre as I’m writing is inspiring, too.

    I love the excerpt! Best of luck juggling everything next month! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you πŸ™‚

      I always used to avoid reading the genre I was writing in, but I actually find it helpful now.

      Yay! πŸ˜‰ And thanks again.

  • Amy McNulty

    My problem with switching to projects that call me is the other one gets neglected forever! But I know what you mean.

    Wow, you have a lot going on! πŸ™‚ I was just thinking about how I want to see more fantasy not set in Europe-type places!

    • Yeah, that might happen for me too but if it does, then so be it. Life is too short to force a project when the inspiration is lacking.

      πŸ˜€ Glad to hear it!

  • Jessica Gunn

    Yay! I’m glad you were able to get the YA fantasy started. I’ve started reading in the same genre as I’m currently writing, too. I’ve found it does help a ton. I’ve been jumping projects, too, so I also found that if you write what you’re excited about, everything gets better.

  • Ifeoma Dennis

    Yayyyy! I’m so excited about anything with “YA Fantasy” on it! And draws from African mythology??? Go SNI!!

    And what a beautifully written excerpt! With a great first line!

    Seems like February would be a busy month, but glad you’re settling in great and multi-tasking excellently.
    Here’s to hoping that your Muse co-operates with you in February!

    • πŸ˜€ I’m excited about this one – hope I can do it all justice.

      Aw thanks. *blushes*

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

  • Krystal Jane

    I totally agree about getting up early. I did that a couple of years and it really helped me out. I got a lot more done. Really need to work on doing that again.

    Language classes! Yes! Busy, busy, but everything you’re doing is so totally worth the time. Best of fun with the juggling of everything!

    Oh my gosh, you are a master at description! There’s so much personality in the new story already. *cries* I don’t know what an aardwolf is, but I still feel like I’m starting to see it.

    • I am not a morning person, but coffee makes all the difference and I love having more hours for writing.

      Hehe, yeah, I think so. Just got to knuckle down and get stuck in.

      Oh wow – thank you for the kind words. I’ll tweet a pic for you of an aardwolf – they’re awesome, secretive creatures.

  • Yael_Itamar

    I love the excerpt! Good luck with this story.

  • Good luck with the Swedish language classes! I hope you pick it up quickly! It sounds like you’re adjusting to your new home incredibly quickly, which is amazing. Hope it continues to go well!

    As for waking up earlier to get more done, I’m trying this right now. I’m a bit of a weirdo in that I prefer daylight, but my body has always wanted to stay up late and hates early mornings. Sunday I had to get up at 4 to take my husband to the airport, so I managed to compromise by getting up at 7-7:30 every day this week and go for a run (I was somewhere pretty but I’m not usually). And you’re RIGHT! My writing on those days was so much more inspired!!

    Lovely visuals in that opening sentence, btw. That’s gorgeous πŸ™‚

    • Thank you – we can already read quite a bit thanks to knowing Afrikaans. Just got to get to grips with pronunciation πŸ˜‰

      As soon as the snow goes, I think I’ll start my day off with a morning run too – if my pooch is up for it. Exercise always seems to get the creative juices flowing.

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

  • Hi there! I’m new to the WIPMarathon starting this month. I’ve really enjoyed reading what everyone is doing. The first 200 of your project sound really interesting!

    It’s interesting that getting up early is helpful for you. I’m not at all a morning person, but I find writing in the morning is most productive for me. Which, I realize, makes no sense. But there you have it. So, I try to write in the morning when I can, because the closer I get to the end of the day, the harder it becomes for me.

    Good luck with your goals for February! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Kristyn and welcome to the gang πŸ™‚

      This is me exactly! I’m thinking it might have something to do with that first pot of coffee in the mornings πŸ˜‰

      Thank you – you too!