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 🙂

Last report WC for M/M WIP: 35, 899

Current report WC for WIP:  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: 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.

“She’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.

If I leave.” Taryk rubbed his pet’s long ears and scruffled the striped mane on her neck. “And 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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