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.

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12 thoughts on “WIPMarathon Check-In #2

  1. You’re absolutely right. Quality over quantity. With my first draft, I was more interested in getting to the finish line but once I started this second draft, I knew I couldn’t push myself to write so many words in a day. Some days, I’m lucky the words come and they’re mostly not crap, other days, I can only manage half of a scene…or nothing at all.
    Still, you made great progress this week!

    I also faced the same issue with you this week! My MC got recently saved by a boy (because it’s very relevant to the plot), but she has to make it clear to him she calls the shots, not him. She isn’t physically strong but she sticks to her guns. So crossing my fingers it would work!

    Good luck next week! And yayy for shiny new blog! 🙂

    1. Exactly! I feel like with a lot of my first drafts, I’ve been way too focused on just getting to the end, and that has made me lose track of actually developing the plot and characters.

      Yeah, I read your post and saw we were facing similar issues this week! I also worry about boys saving girls in my stories and whether that’s sexist, but I think it’s okay as long as the girl sometimes saves the guy as well. 😉

      Thank you and good luck to you too!

  2. I’ve been messed up a few times from rushing. It’s not the speed I write, insomuch as how impatient I am with a difficult scene, but yeah, I’ve never liked anything I wrote when I’ve done that.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the feminist issue. I believe stories have a way of working things out for the better. I do know where you’re coming from though. I forget sometimes since I tend to see the exact opposite because that’s what I gravitate towards and grew up with. (i.e. Buffy and Xena) ^_^

    Good luck with everything next week! 🙂

    1. Impatience is definitely an issue with me. I’ve often set unrealistic goals for myself and then I end up just being disappointed and also writing things I don’t like; so I think it’s better that I either just go with the flow or set goals for myself that are more reasonable. I’d rather take a long time to write something I like than to get something done quickly and hate it in the end.

      Yeah, I think it will work out somehow. I also try to seek out things with strong female leads (and don’t get me wrong, there are definitely a lot of amazing fictional women out there), but I’ve also encountered so many books that represented women poorly and/or set women against each other. Anyway, I think as long as I’m conscious of it, it won’t end up being a problem. 🙂

      Thank you and good luck to you too!

  3. I absolutely agree that we need more books without romance. I hate that it’s essentially become a requirement in YA–to the point where most love interests are basically carbon copies of each other. I get that a lot of people enjoy romance, but it isn’t necessary for a good story.

    Good luck with your writing!

    1. I know, right? So many books have a killer premise, and then they get overshadowed by some forced and cheesy romance like the author thinks it needs to be included. I enjoy a good romance if it’s executed well; the problem is that so many romances aren’t executed well at all. I’d love to see more YA books that just focused on friendship (or generally, subjects other than romance).

      Thanks! 🙂

  4. catyorkc

    Your site looks great! Don’t apologize for changing it. This is your turf!
    I love that you’re writing a zombie apocalypse with two female leads!!! We need more of that out there. There’s not enough of it. Aside from CODE NAME VERITY, I can’t think of one YA book I read last year that was more about girl bonding than romance. Go you!

  5. I really admire your mission to write a book without romance in it. I never ever write romance into the short stories I write, but for some reason, I haven’t yet come up with a single good book idea that didn’t involve an element of romance. I’d like to try at some point, but for now, I think I just get too many kicks out of it. 🙂 But I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how females are portrayed in YA lit as well, and I really hope I do my female MC justice with my finished story.

    So good luck with yours!! Great excerpt, too!

    1. Now that I think about it, I never include romance in my short stories either … Huh, interesting. Maybe because there’s not really enough room to develop a romance? Haha. Actually, my WIP was originally a short story that I decided to expand.

      Thank you!

  6. I like reading WIP updates and seeing what everyone is up to! I also liked your issue with romance or not. I think I’ve finally come up with a plot with the balance between romance and the main plot.
    Came across your blog today and am looking forward to reading more. =)

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