Friday, July 15, 2011

#WIPMADNESS July Check-in Number 3

It's Harry Potter day at last!  I'm not sure how much writing I will get done today, but I am outta here at 2:00 to meet Ghost Son for our standing HP date.  Aside from that distraction, it has been a pretty decent WIP week, especially since I broke the 44k mark and am officially building the climax.  I continue to have little epiphanies along the way (yay!) as well as those moments of doubt.

Ah yes, those moments of doubt.  With Harry Potter stalking me in the background and my rabid reading of the Hunger Games series, I find myself making far too many comparisons which is completely counter productive.  I keep thinking, why can't I write like that?  Or, I'm doing it wrong. My style is so different and that gestational stage of my WIP has me feeling bloated, unattractive, and downright cranky at times.

I keep telling myself that what I'm reading is a finished product that has gone through its share of fits and starts and revisions, not to mention the number of books Suzanne Collins wrote before this and all her television work.  What I'm writing is still in its prenatal state.  It's bound to be a little wrinkly and funky-looking. It might even smell bad at times.  I'm not sure that pep talk helps, though.  In the end, I feel like a teenage mom compared to all these wonderful writers I know and read.  Everyone is staring and pointing and judging, dismissing me as unworthy to bring life into the world because I don't even know what it means yet.  As uncomfortable as that analogy is, you know what I'm talking about.  Then I realize, no...that is not everyone...that is ME.  I'm judging and pressuring myself to be something else. I'm the one ready to dismiss myself as a kid who has no business bringing this life into the world because I couldn't possibly have what it takes...yet.  

I think I need a Moonstruck Cher to smack me in the face and say "Snap out of it!"  When I go back and read some of the earlier chapters of my WIP, I realize that there is a plan here, a voice, a style.  It's just not like the dystopian stuff I'm reading for fun, nor should it be.  After all, I'm not writing about teenagers fighting to the death in some crazy post-apocolyptic world.  I'm writing about ghosts and life in 1850 and a teenager kicking some pre-Civil War ass.  It ought to look different.  Right?

So what has been your biggest personal challenge with your writing this week?


  1. Keep reminding yourself of your own wise words, Mary Ann.

    All in all, the WIP is progressing well. Hit 30K this week! My biggest challenge this week was not getting sucked into spending too much time doing research. I had to remember the sage advice from my lovely agent. "Don't get caught up in researching something that may not survive revisions. Just write the story and fill in those details later."

    So instead of passing many hours trying to find photos or descriptions of Giverny in 1941, I used a comment bubble that said "Research this". I've been using those comment bubbles a lot lately.

  2. I can totally relate to that feeling of not being like one of the adults. It is so easy to fall into that trap of self-doubt. But I can't let it happen. I *know* I am capable!

    My biggest personal challenge has been getting over the beta feedback. It's my own fault, though. I *was* warned about making my character too harsh and unlovable.

    I *am* over it, but rewrites this week have been hard. How do I maintain my character's core self while softening her up a bit? I think it's working, though. It's good for me. Balancing change and challenge with authentic self. I can do this.

  3. I have done that so many times, Angelina. I'm trying to discipline myself to keep moving forward and pick up the facts later. But that little bonus nugget of inspiration that I never expected is always so tempting!
    Hurray for the 30K!!

    L.S., character growth is a hard one. It has to be consistent but still evolve. I like a flawed character. It makes her more human. more like the audience. I tend to hold my breath for the Beta feedback...

    And yes, you can do it! You are bright, you are capable, and gosh darn, people like you! ((SmalleyZen))

  4. Oh how appropriate your post is for me. In fact, I just finished writing a blog post about having a case of the Head Monkeys myself. In my writing class, my classmates got excited about a subplot which yes, would make a good storyline, but it's not the story I want to tell for this book. So I left class and couldn't write for two days all bogged down by their thoughts and comments. In the end, I'm sticking to my guns, and that thread does remain but I hope that the overall tapestry will be enough so that it doesn't outshine the rest.

    I broke 25k this morning on the WIP, think I'm actually at 25.6K and wrote a scene that made me cry. I had hoped this book might hit 50K but it's feeling like maybe 45k right now - though that could change. My goal for this next week is to get to 33k by our next check-in. Fortunately, my pages aren't up for workshopping at class this week.

    Way to go everyone on setting goals and making progress!

    Oh,and I've got place holders on research too, I need snippets of old Appalachian ballads that have dog lyrics. I'm thinking maybe Library of Congress? Any good sites?

  5. I am having a really tough time with revisions this week too. Still plugging away, and still hoping to meet my self-imposed end-of-the-month deadline for finishing this version and sending off to my next beta. But it's been a tough battle this week, that's for sure.

  6. I'm having trouble moving beyond a certain chapter without rereading/revising. Come Monday, I'll be fast-drafting! I need to focus on getting everything down before I try to fix things.

  7. Amen, Dawn! I get caught in that trap, too. In fact, I've spent way too much time on this chapter and I may just have to join you in some serious fast drafting next week.


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