WIPMarathon Check-in #4

Last Word Count & Chapter Count:

WC: 84,296
CC: 30

Current WC & CC (or SC):

WC: 90,211
CC: 31

WIP issues this week:

I had to write a pretty painful scene this week where two characters die. They weren’t very major characters, but I still found it difficult to write. And I’m still trying to finish the scene and cover the aftermath of these two deaths, etc. I haven’t been able to write in a few days––partly because I’ve been really busy, but also because it’s been emotionally difficult.

What I learned this week in writing:

That writing the aftermath of a death is possibly even harder for me than writing about the death itself. I think it’s really difficult to capture the reactions to the death––how the other characters respond, how they experience grief, etc. So, that’s a challenge I’ll have to face a lot this coming week. (And even more after that because so many characters die in this book … gahh!)

What distracted me this week while writing:

My college semester started on Wednesday, and I came back to campus on Tuesday––so I was busy with coming back and unpacking, hanging out with my friends again, going to new classes, doing homework, etc. But hopefully I’ll quickly get back into the flow of things and I can figure out some good writing times in my schedule.

Last 200 words:

(I’m not going to post my last 200 words because of spoilers, but here’s a little something from an earlier scene:)

Gavin is still pointing his rifle towards the choking Mort on the ground, and doesn’t seem to be aware of the other one coming up behind him.

“Gavin!” I cry out. I’m already dashing forward with my gun raised, just as he looks up in surprise, just as the Mort is about to stab him in the back and … oh no, I’m too late, I’m too late …

BANG.

The Mort screams suddenly, dropping the weapon she was holding moments ago. She clutches at her hand, which I can see is pouring blood. On the floor below her are two small, bloody objects which I quickly realize are fingers. I shot some of her fingers off.

The creature is still in shock, which gives Gavin the time to turn around and shoot her in the chest. She drops to the ground soundlessly, already dead. The first Mort is still crawling on the ground, trying to get up.

I wonder if Gavin is going to kill her, but he’s not even looking at her. He’s staring at me, wide-eyed, as if he still can’t register what just happened. I’m starting to think maybe I should finish the Mort off myself …

Nina!” I hear a voice scream. Juliet’s voice. Coming from across the store.

Oh, no.

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Teaser … Thursday (Teaser Tuesday #2)

Hello lovely followers! I realized I completely forgot to post a new teaser on Tuesday. I just got back to my college campus on Monday and my classes started yesterday, so everything has been pretty crazy. But, here is another little excerpt from I Chose the Monster (even though it’s two days late). Enjoy!

“So … Nina.” He kind of squints at me as he says it, like maybe he’s not entirely sure if that’s my name. “Tell me about yourself.”

“Oh,” is all I can manage to say. I didn’t expect this command to come out of nowhere, and now I don’t know how to answer. Tell him about myself? “Well uh … I’m not sure where to begin. What do you want to know?”

He shrugs, taking a few paces until he reaches the lamp post. He puts a hand against it. “I don’t know. Anything.”

“Anything?” I let out another awkward laugh, wrapping my arms around myself. “Um, okay. Well. I’m sixteen. I … am an only child. Both my parents are alive––as far as I know, anyway. They’re in a safe area.”

I stop, because I know if I continue talking I’m just going to get to the painful stuff.

Gavin has his hand wrapped around the lamp post, and is circling around it slowly. “Is that it?”
“I don’t know.” I rub a hand against my arm, bite my lip. I find that I actually do want to keep talking. It’s been hard to keep it all inside, and just to have someone to spill it all out to––even if it’s someone I don’t know very well––feels like a big relief. Besides, what is there to lose? I’m sure I’m not the only one with a painful story.

“I mean, no. That’s not it. I …” I hold back for a second, not sure how to explain it, how to put it all into words. “I was supposed to go with them,” I say, at last. “I didn’t find out I was infected until I was already there. We had to do blood tests, and … I didn’t pass.”

Gavin stops circling around the lamp post, and faces me. “And then they sent you out here?”

“Yeah.”

“Damn.” He scratches the back of his neck. “I’m sorry. That’s awful.”

I just nod, because I don’t trust myself to speak. I’d probably just end up crying. Even now, a lump is swelling in my throat and I can feel the threat of tears stinging at my eyes.

“I’m sorry,” Gavin says again. “I didn’t mean to, you know, bring up anything too painful.”

“It’s okay.” I hastily wipe the back of my hand across my eyes. “It’s kind of hard to avoid, for all of us. Remembering the painful stuff, I mean.”

WIPMarathon Check-In #3

Last Word Count & Chapter Count:

WC: 79,804
CC: 29

Current WC & CC (or SC):

WC: 84,296
CC: 30

*Ashamed face* Acck I know, I didn’t do that great. Hopefully I can step it up in the next few weeks because I want to get this first draft done soon …

WIP Issues this week:

Obviously motivation was a problem for me this week. I haven’t written in like … three days, and I don’t really have a good excuse. I’ve just been feeling really discouraged and overwhelmed lately, but hopefully I can get over it.

In particular I think I’ve been worrying a lot about how likable my characters are. I think the problem is that I know a lot about my central characters but it’s hard to get it down on paper without info-dumping and whatnot. I also have a lot of secondary characters who I don’t know that much about and I’m afraid they’re going to come off as boring and/or unlikable. I know I can always go back and flesh them out more later, but I’ve still been stressing out about it.

What I learned this week in writing:

That I need to stop worrying about all the tiny details when I’m still on my first draft. One of my biggest writer-flaws is that I always think ahead too much … Even when I’m writing a rough draft I put too much pressure on myself to make it perfect, when I know that’s impossible. I know there are a lot of flaws in my WIP, but that’s something I can face when I’m in the revision stages. At the moment, the most important thing is to get through this first draft––especially because it’s been taking me so long!

What distracted me this week while writing:

Mostly stupid things on the internet like Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, CuteOverload … Haha. I’ve also been stressing out a bit about my upcoming college semester, and when I get stressed out I start feeling kind of anxious/depressed which makes it harder for me to feel motivated. But after angsting for a few days, I feel better and I think this semester is going to be fine … And I also feel a bit more confident about getting this draft done, so hopefully it’ll only take me a few more weeks or so.

Last 200 words:

I seem to have settled into a state where I barely allow myself to think or feel anything anymore. Whenever I start to worry, I just squash it down into the recesses of my mind and try to forget where I am and what’s happening. The reality is just too difficult to accept.

A few minutes pass, and I find myself going into an almost meditative state. My eyes look forward but don’t see anything. The silence fills my ears until it’s a loud roar that seems to fill my skull.

Then I hear something behind me––the door opening. When I quickly turn around, I see it’s Gavin coming out of the store. I immediately straighten up, as if I don’t want to be caught looking lazy, although I don’t know why it would matter.

“Sorry,” Gavin says, smiling as he walks towards me. “I didn’t mean to scare you or anything.”

“Oh, you didn’t,” I say, crossing my arms again. “I was just … you know, thinking.”

He stops next to me, surveying the parking lot. When we’re standing side by side, it makes me realize just how tall he is.

“I hope I’m not bothering you,” he says.

Teaser Tuesday #1

This is something I used to do on my old blog. (And by “used to do” I mean I did it like three times and then stopped because I sucked at updating … but hopefully that won’t happen this time!) Basically I’ll just be posting a short “teaser” from my WIP once a week (on Tuesdays) and … that’s it. Pretty simple!

So, without further ado, here is this week’s snippet from I Chose the Monster:

 

“Ha!” I hear a voice say behind me, out of nowhere––a liquid cry of triumph. Someone clutches at the back of my shirt so roughly that their fingernails scrape my skin.

I bite back a scream as I turn my head to see my attacker. My eyes fall on the horrible mask of a face––dark skin wrinkling at the corners of black eyes, mouth stretched into a menacing grin. The Mort is much taller than I am, and as she stares down at me I suddenly feel as small as an insect. I try to wrench myself away, at the same time the creature pushes me …

We’re on the ground, her hands at my throat, nails scraping at the skin on the back of my neck. Dark spots fly across my vision and I don’t know what’s happening or what I’m doing––just that I’m screaming, kicking and struggling with all the force I have in my body.

The woman is frail enough that I’m finally able to push her off me and roll to my hands and knees. As I look up again, I see her in an animalistic crouching position, glaring back at me with bloodthirsty eyes. She cries out in rage as she pounces for me––and I don’t have enough time to defend myself before the weight of her body slams into mine and her hands are clutching for my throat again. The force of the impact pushes me backwards, and the back of my head cracks against something hard––a gravestone, probably. Stars burst in my eyes and for a horrible moment my mind seems to be torn from my body … my limbs are numb … I can’t move …

 

[Insert suspenseful music here: DUNH DUNH DUNHHH.]

WIPMarathon Check-In #2

First of all, I realize I’ve changed the theme of this blog like five times in the past two days, but I think I’m finally satisfied with this one. Probably no one noticed anyway, but I wanted to apologize in case anyone cared.

Anyway, this is the first #WIPMarathon post I’ve put up on this blog. If you don’t know what #WIPMarathon is (and/or what my WIP is about and you want to know) you can read this post from my Tumblr. And you can read my first update here.

Now, on to today’s update!

Last Word Count & Chapter Count:

WC: 72,323
CC: 27

Current WC & CC (or SC):

WC: 79,804 ((almost at 80k! Hooray!))
CC: 29

WIP Issues this week:

This week I’ve worried a lot about feminism in relation to my writing. (In fact, I’ve been planning to write a whole blog post on the subject. That will probably come soon.) Having been part of the reviewing community for the past few years, I’ve become a lot more aware of how female characters are portrayed in books. And as a lover of YA, it concerns me how many books in the genre focus around romance and about boys swooping in to save/change girls’ lives, etc. That doesn’t mean such books are bad, necessarily … It’s just so present in so many books I’ve read.

For the past few years, I’ve really wanted to write something that didn’t have romance in it, especially because I can’t think of very many YA books that don’t include some kind of romance in them. My current project mostly focuses on two girls who are friends (during the zombie apocalypse) … but recently I’ve gotten to a part where they join a group of people which is being led by a man. And now that I’m writing this part I’m afraid it’ll just seem like they’re letting a guy take control and whatnot, and that’s not what I wanted to happen.

This guy is an important character so I don’t plan on taking him out of the story or anything, but I’ve just been struggling to work my way around this issue. So, what I’m working towards is that his leadership kind of comes into question and gradually they all work more as a group––rather than him bossing everyone around, if that makes sense. So yeah, I’ll deal with it somehow. (Hopefully!)

What I learned this week in writing:

This past week, I’ve been trying not to rush myself too much. I tend to get so obsessed with just writing as many words as I can that I’m not really engaging myself in the story as much as I could. I still love word sprinting with people online, and it’s a great way to motivate myself to write––but lately I’ve been trying to tell myself not to focus so much on trying to cram as many words as I can into a sprint. In the end, it’s about the quality and not the quantity. And what’s more important is really engaging myself in the scene I’m writing, slowing down and letting the words come naturally.

In the past few projects I’ve worked on, I feel like I focused way too hard just on writing a lot in a short amount of time––and ultimately, I ended up hating those projects because they felt really rushed and cluttered and I didn’t feel connected to my characters. With my current WIP, I’ve been going more slowly and I feel so much more connected to the story and characters––which is a really great feeling, after I’ve gone through a couple years feeling like I’d never get out of my writing slump!

What distracted me this week while writing:

I don’t have much of an excuse this week because I really had nothing to do at all. (I’m still on break from college and I still have a week left … gahhh!) So I’ve been trying to really throw myself into my writing. But I’ve still been distracted by a lot of things––Facebook, Tumblr, reading, starting a new blog, etc.

Last 200 words:

“Dad?” Audrey says.

Logan is lying with his hands clasped on his stomach, his baseball cap pulled over his face. “Hmm?”

“We’re gonna go watch the sunrise, okay?”

“All right,” Logan says. “Just, you know, be careful out there. Bring your guns.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

The three of them turn around.

“Wait,” I hear myself blurt out. It barely occurs to me that I’ve said it until I see Audrey, Evan, and Maria all staring at me. “Can I … Can I come with you guys?”

They exchange glances, before Audrey shrugs and nods. “Sure.”

I get up from the floor, even though I suddenly feel really self-conscious. Hopefully these guys don’t think I’m being annoying, just tagging along with them. I try to determine from their faces if they’re annoyed with me, but they don’t appear to be. They could be hiding it, though. Oh well. I figure I can at least try to get to know them or whatever.

They don’t seem to be waiting for me, since they’ve all turned around again and started walking towards the store’s exit. I follow them, staying a few paces behind.

New Year’s (Writing) Resolutions!

I know it’s already a little more than a week into 2014––but I didn’t start this blog until yesterday, so … Happy (belated) new year, everyone!

I thought it would be a good idea to come up with some writing resolutions for the year, especially because I didn’t get as much accomplished in 2013 as I might have liked to. I did finish the first draft of one manuscript, but I’m not sure if I’m going to continue with it because I didn’t feel much enthusiasm for it. However, I did start my current WIP, I Chose the Monster, which is one thing I’m happy about.

But anyway, on to the things I hope to get done yet:

– Finish my first draft of I Chose the Monster. I wrote the short story version of it back in 2012, and started the novel version sometime in the spring of 2013 I believe. So, it’s been quite a while. But in the past month or so I’ve been making a lot of progress on it, and I’m hoping to get the first draft done soon-ish––maybe before the end of March or so.

– Revise, revise, revise! After I finish my first draft of ICTM, I’m hoping to start going over it and rewriting it … then sending it out to a few beta readers for feedback, revise some more, etc. I tend to eventually give up with this process, but I’m hoping that with this book things will be different.

– I’d like to at least start drafting a query and synopsis for ICTM. I kind of doubt I’ll be ready to start querying by the end of the year, but I would like to at least start thinking about it.

– Start my first illustrated novel! My college has this process where, during our fourth year, we work on independent year-long projects of our choice. So, I’m planning to write and illustrate a book for mine. I’ve never really illustrated my own work before, so I’m really looking forward to it. I won’t officially be starting this project until September, but I will start planning it soon!

– At least attempt NaNoWriMo, even though I’ll probably be extremely busy when November rolls around. But I’ve won for six years in a row, and I would love to keep my streak going! But I think for NaNo ’14, I’ll be slightly less ambitious than I was for NaNo ’13 … This past NaNo, I put too much pressure on myself to write something awesome and I ended up hating what I was working on, so hopefully that won’t happen again.

I think that’s about it! Hopefully during 2014, I’ll be able to finish at least some of the above things. Hooray!

Anyone else have writing resolutions for 2014?

Oh hey, it’s a brand-new writing blog!

Hello there and welcome to Brigid Writes Things (Sometimes)!

I’m Brigid. At the moment I’m a 21-year-old college student studying creative writing and visual arts. I’ve written a bunch of books which are mostly terrible and none of them have been published––but hopefully I will write something publication-worthy someday.

I mostly write YA fiction, although I like to explore a variety of subgenres. I tend to lean more towards sci-fi/fantasy although I sometimes write realistic fiction as well. Currently I’m working on a YA sci-fi about two girls with very different personalities trying to survive the zombie apocalypse together. (Kickass female characters––hell yeah!)

I’ve done some blogging in the past, but I thought I’d give myself a fresh start. When I was 16-19 I had another writing blog, but I didn’t really know what I was doing and was horrible at updating it, so I ended up abandoning it. I then started a writing blog on Tumblr––which is fine and all, but I’d also like to have a blog where people can actually comment on my posts and whatnot.

With this new blog, I hope to regularly post writing advice, plus post snippets of my own writing and keep an update on what I’m doing. Plus it will be a good way to meet more writers!

So thanks for checking out my introduction post, and hopefully this will be fun! 🙂