Second WIPmarathon report for 2015 and lucky no. 13 since these check-ins started! February was rather busy given that I got a new day job – teaching music, yay! – and that ate into some of my writing time. Also, procrastination and distraction… sigh…
My plan for February was to write words. Sound the trumpets – this happened! I am going to continue to set realistic goals for myself and then celebrate every small victory. Can there be wine and cake for the completion of every paragraph?
Last report WC for M/M WIP: 31, 765
Current report WC for WIP: 18, 878 – I seem to be ‘unwriting’ this one, but I realized that the story wanted to go in a certain direction and I was fighting that all of January. This month I let the story go where it wanted to which meant axing a point of view character and entire subplot, hence the lower word count. While I cut more than 20k words, I managed to add about 10k brand new words in all new scenes! *pats self on the back*
The SNI has been reworked and now includes a sci-fi element (I seriously struggle to right contemporary stuff) and I’m totally in love with it, but want a proper outline before I dive into this, so for now it’s percolating and has a blurb along with a very rough synopsis. I’m not allowing myself to write a single word until I know how this story ends.
Last report WC for YA fantasy: 2, 779
Current report WC for YA fantasy: 14, 624 – which is pretty impressive considering this story scares the crap out of me because it’s epic fantasy and I’ve never done this before and I feel totally out of my depth.
Writing Issues This Month:
Self-doubt threatened to derail my fantasy WIP every single time I opened the document. I keep thinking no one is going to want to read about this world, that it’s all rubbish and silly, but then I start writing and the words flow and cool things happen and I fall in love with the story all over again, which shuts up that irritating voice in my head telling me it’ll never be good enough.
Five things I learned this month:
1. Writing fantasy is so hard. So much world-building. So many details to create and remember and make plausible. I’m loving it, but it’s seriously challenging. I need to create a support document for myself telling me exactly how the world works because I keep forgetting or making tiny changes that result in the need for substantial changes.
2. Writing fantasy is awesome! I am having so much fun with this – creating my magic system and all the cultures inhabiting my world. I love it!
3. The fantasy novel includes an agender character and I almost gave them a gender just because it would make writing easier being able to use pronouns. But I stopped myself from doing this and am sticking with it even if it’s harder because the default straight, white, male characters shouldn’t populate fiction just because they’re easy to write!
4. The power of pyjamas is totally a thing. This week was a school holiday so I’ve been extra lazy and spent quite a few days in pyjamas. The days I did ended up being my most productive writing days. I think this may become my go-to tactic for whenever I’m feeling creatively constipated in the future.
5. I can juggle two works at a time! I’ve never been able to work on more than one work at a time before but because these two novels are so completely different, I’m managing to share my time between them, working on one and then other depending on my mood. So far, it’s working out pretty well.
What distracted me this month while writing:
The TV show Shameless, which I watch on lunch breaks and makes me want to write my own story about a delightfully dysfunctional big family. Swedish lessons. I’m trying to be diligent and actually study this weirdly idiosyncratic language even though it eats into writing time.
Goal for next month:
Write more words. It worked for February so I’m hoping it’ll work for March.
Last 200 words: 229 words to be specific and these are actually the last 229 words I wrote in the YA fantasy. Not sure it’ll make much sense, but here we go…
They’d taken less than ten steps when the forest fell silent. A chill snaked up Taryk’s spine despite the cloying humidity. Shani whimpered and pressed against Taryk’s legs as the jungle became suffused with a glowing mist, illuminating the overgrown path upon which they stood. The mist brightened as it wrapped syrupy fingers around Taryk’s body and wound golden tendrils about Shani’s legs. She snapped at the mist and it broke apart as if to avoid her teeth, rejoining in golden ribbons beyond the reach of her muzzle. Behind them, the horse whinnied in fear and Taryk’s right hand gripped the saber even though he knew very little about how to wield it.
A low humming replaced the silence, gradually drawing closer. The mist brightened again, the light reflected from the wide staring eyes of bushbabies in the trees and revealing the sleek body of a mamba slung across the branches. Taryk froze, unsure of the new threat yet unwilling to give up so soon.
The humming became a chant, the words indistinguishable, as figures emerged from the mist. They were garbed in pale robes, faces shadowed beneath cowls as their rapid procession continued along the path. As one they seemed to sense Taryk’s presence. The chanting continued, but the figure at the front threw back her cowl, revealing a dark face banded across the eyes with white.
“We know,” she said and Taryk swallowed hard. “We won’t let them get away with this.”
That’s it for February, how did you do?