WIPMarathon: February 2016

I realize I’m double-posting today, but hopefully no one minds! Today marks the end of February, which is the shortest month––and yet it felt really long to me. Maybe it’s because the weather has been so nuts. A couple weeks ago the temperature was getting into the negatives, and today it’s 62˚ (Fahrenheit that is, but still)! But I’ve also been really busy with writing and editing this month, so I have a lot of stuff to talk about for my WIPMarathon post this month!


 

If you’ve been following my WIPWednesday posts, you probably know this already, but I FINALLY FINISHED MY FIRST DRAFT OF I CHOSE THE MONSTER. It took me almost three years, but I finally wrote those beautiful words “The End”.

… Of course, now comes the worst part: Editing. But I’ll get to that in a second.

Last WC/CC: 150,258 words / 54 chapters

Current WC/CC: 154,339 words / 56 chapters

And before anyone says “Wow Brigid you know that’s way too long, right?” … I KNOW, I KNOW. I’m not insane enough to ever pitch a book that long, haha. 😛 My first drafts tend to be extremely long––it always happens. After a few rounds of edits, I’m confident I can get it down to a reasonable length.

WIP Issues This Month:

Besides the obvious “oh god my manuscript is ridiculously long”––a bunch of things. Obviously I am glad that I finally finished the first draft of this monster (pun totally intended). But I only felt good about it for about half a day. As soon as my head hit the pillow that night, the worries started bursting in my head. I don’t even know where to start, but just some of the major issues:

  • There’s not really any central conflict. The first draft is very “episodic,” with the characters pretty much doing the same things over and over.
  • At the moment, the characters are not very fleshed-out. I think I’ve only scraped the surface, and the characters need a ton more development.
  • The world-building also needs a lot of work. The story takes place in the future, but it doesn’t feel very different from present-day. Also I think the Morts (the zombie-like creatures the characters are facing) need more defined characteristics, since it’s pretty inconsistent right now.

I can complain all day about all the things I have to fix, but the more important question is: What am I going to do about it? Well … I’m trying to get it together, and to try to tackle all these things one at a time.

This month, I started by making an outline of all the scenes I wrote in my first draft, and I’ve started brainstorming and taking notes on some potential changes to the plot in the next draft. I may need a bit of a break before I really start on the next draft, but at least I’m still keeping the ideas rolling.

What distracted me this month while writing/editing:

I did a lot of reading this month––which isn’t a bad thing of course, but it did cut in to my writing and editing time a bit.

I also felt a little burnt out after finally getting to the end of the first draft, and I was torn about whether I should get into edits right away or not. I’m still kind of torn about that, so … I don’t know. Guess I’ll just go with the flow!

Goal for next month:

Hmmmm, good question. I feel like it’s kind of up in the air right now, but I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing––in other words, doing some light edits on ICTM while brainstorming bigger changes for the next draft. By the end of March, I would like to have at least tried to rewrite a scene or two, though. We’ll see. But I’m also considering giving it a bit of a rest for a couple more weeks and maybe working on The Resurrectionists instead. So, I don’t quite know––it’s a surprise, woohoo!

Last 200 words:

Well, obviously I’m not sharing the last 200 words of the book! 😉 But I’ll go with an excerpt from a chapter I’ve recently been editing:

Aim. Shoot. Miss.

The target glares from a distance, judging me with its critical red bullseye. Bullet holes pepper its surface, but that’s more from other people practicing on it than from me. I’ve only made a few weak dents at the corners.

Crack.

The weapon jerks in my hands again, and the bullet bounces off the edge of the target with a faint ping. I let out a long sigh, lowering the gun.

Across the training ground and through the fence, the wasteland beyond shimmers in the heat. An occasional tuft of grass dots the ground, but most of it is barren and dusty. Barbed wire curls around the top of the fence, glinting menacingly.

This place feels like prison, but I don’t know why they bother trapping us here. If someone were to escape this place, where the hell would they go? There’s nothing out there.

How about you guys?

How are those WIPs going? Comment and let me know! 🙂

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6 thoughts on “WIPMarathon: February 2016

  1. Congratulations on finishing up your draft!! I wish I could write something that long! It’s so much easier for me to cut things than add.

    Figuring out what the problems are is the hardest step, I think. You already have that figured out! I’m always a little burned out when I finish a draft, too. It varies from a few days to a few weeks.

    Fun excerpt! Best of luck with edits! Happy Leap Day! 🙂

    1. Thanks! Haha well unfortunately it’s not just a matter of cutting––there are a lot of things I want to add too, so somehow I’m going to have to find the balance. I’m changing things around a lot though, so hopefully it won’t be too bad.

      That’s true, at least I’ve pinpointed what some of the flaws are (although I’m sure there are a ton more that I haven’t noticed yet, haha). Now it’s just a matter of tackling them all!

      Thank you! 😀

  2. Same crazy weather here in southern Michigan.

    You can plan a month ahead? I’m doing well to plan for tomorrow — and stick with it. I can’t even imagine revising and editing anything as long as yours. I start out bare bones and build up from there. My longest book so far is about 94,000 words. I hope I’m never inspired to write a longer one.

    1. I know, the weather has just been very strange this winter! But I’m grateful it’s nothing like last winter. I don’t know what Michigan was like, but last winter was horribly long and extremely cold! I couldn’t walk between classes without slipping on ice, haha.

      Well, yes and no. I like to have a few goals for myself for the month, but I stay pretty flexible about them. I usually don’t meet every goal I set, but I also tend to accomplish things I didn’t expect!

      I hope someday I get the hang of writing shorter first drafts. I think my problem is that I’m always worried that there’s not enough story, so I end up adding too much filler and repeating myself too much. I’m trying to get out of that habit, though!

  3. Intriguing excerpt. Makes me wonder why they’re imprisoned in the first place, and why are they training? are they being forced to train? nice.

    Hey, I applaud your ability to plan. I started trying to plan in Nov b/c I was SO OVERWHELMED simultaneously editing all 3 books in my series. So I focus on one book per month. So far it’s helped tremendously, but other than that kind of planning, I haven’t been sticking to the other ‘goals’ I jotted down. And this one will definitely take longer than a month. I only have so much time to write and that is not likely to improve.

    As for my current editing project, it’s still going…I was able to rewrite quite a lot last week. Yey!! I’m having to really rethink the male protag’s goals and motivations. I didn’t count on having to do so much rewriting but it’s not surprising as this has proven the hardest out of the 3 in my series, to put together. I need to keep track of how much I add word count wise…it’s hard when I’m rewriting.

    Oh yeah, my WIP excerpt for this week is here. https://authorswilliams.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/wippet-wednesday-march-2nd/

  4. Pingback: #WIPWednesday: 3/2/16 – WordFare

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