#WIPpetWednesday: 4/6/16

Hey guys! I’ve decided that for the month of April, I’m going to skip my usual #WIPWednesday post and just stick to posting my #WIPpet for each week. Why, you ask? Because I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo, so I figured that I’d do the same kind of weekly update that I posted during NaNo in November. Tomorrow marks the end of the first week of Camp NaNo, so stay tuned for more updates on that!

If you didn’t know already, I’ve decided to take a month-long break from I Chose the Monster to work on The Resurrectionists for Camp NaNo. So this week, my WIPpet comes from the latter.

#WIPpetWednesday is a meme started by Emily at A Keyboard and an Open Mind. The rules are simple: every Wednesday, post a snippet from your WIP, with the word count being related to the date somehow.

Today is 4/6, so here is the first paragraphs of chapter 4. (The 6th paragraph should probably be like 3 paragraphs but lol oh well, I’ll leave it for now.)

It was another minute or so before Matthias felt as if he could breathe again––and even then, his chest still ached as if a giant stone had been crushing him.

At last, Henry gave a low whistle and interrupted the silence. “Can you believe that?”

“I’m not sure if I do,” Gabriel muttered. He had been rather quiet during the whole ordeal, and now he nervously adjusted the hat on his head. “She could’ve been lying.”

The other two said nothing. They all watched as Lena disappeared into the shadows. Not long after, a light appeared on the hill––a lantern in the near distance, which seemed to be her indication to them that she was still there.

“At any rate, she knows all our names now,” Henry said. “No matter what, she has the power to turn us all in if she wants to. So … I don’t know. I suppose we might as well finish this if she is, in fact, going to let us get away with it. What are you thinking, Matt?”

The question caught Matthias off-guard, and he shook his head. “I …” He looked down at the shovel, which he had dropped at his feet. He looked at the meager hole he had started to dig. Again, he looked back up to the top of the hill where he could see Lena’s lantern flickering in the distance. The rational part of him argued that he should go after her and tell her that they weren’t going to go through with this after all. It was a terrible idea. It was wrong. Besides, he didn’t even know if Cyrus was sane, or if he was truthful. Maybe the professor wasn’t working on anything miraculous. Maybe he wasn’t going to pay them as well as he’d promised to and Matthias would have nothing to repay Lena with. But on the other hand, he felt like it was too late to turn back. And if it was all true––if Cyrus really was working on something important, if he really was going to pay them handsomely, if there was really a chance of this becoming something significant … he realized he didn’t want to give it up.

How about you guys?

  • Are any of you also doing Camp NaNo? What are your projects/world goals?
  • If you also posted a WIPpet, please link me to it!
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#WIPWednesday: 3/30/16

Hey everyone! So … this isn’t my usual #WIPWednesday/#WIPpet post because well, I don’t have much to report this week in terms of progress. But I still wanted to post a brief update, anyway.

Basically, I’ve decided I’m going to take a short break from editing I Chose the Monster. I haven’t been making much progress, and I feel like maybe I dove into revisions a little too soon. I think I need to put more focus on restructuring the plot and fleshing out the characters, and doing minor edits wasn’t helping me much––considering I probably won’t be keeping a lot of the scenes I had started to edit. It’s kind of a huge complicated mess, but that’s the gist of it! I will get back to revising it soon, but I need to rethink a few things first.

However, I’ve decided I’m going to attempt Camp NaNoWriMo! I haven’t officially signed up yet, and I’m not sure what my word goal is going to be. But, I just really miss writing and I think it might help me make a bit of progress after a long dry-spell. As for what I’m writing, I plan to keep working on The Resurrectionists a bit. I’ve been doing some brainstorming this past week, and I have a few ideas about how I’m going to continue it. So, fingers crossed that it will be fun!

Oh, and I still need to finish that BPL writer-in-residence application. *ducks* I’ve still barely started it so … I need to do that.

I’m not posting a WIPpet this week, but anyone who posted one: feel free to link me to it! 🙂

#WIPWednesday: 3/16/16

Hey guys! I must admit, WIPWednesday almost totally slipped my mind today. I’m having kind of an off day––I have this weird cold/allergies (not sure which) thing going on. Basically I have a terrible cough and my throat has been killing me, and I barely got any sleep last night, so I feel a little scatterbrained. But anyway, enough with the excuses and on to the WIP stuff!

WIPWednesday is a weekly meme started by yours truly, which I use to update my progress on my WIP(s). Anyone is free to join, of course!

WIP: I Chose the Monster

Writing or Revising: Revising

Progress Since Last Week: … *crickets chirp* Did not get much done on ICTM. I did a little brainstorming for it, but that’s about it. I did, however, finish re-reading The Resurrectionists, and I started to outline my book proposal for my BPL writer-in-residence application!

How It’s Going: 

ICTM – *shrugs* Things are still kind of up in the air. I’m still doing some light edits and getting a bit of feedback from CPs, but at this point I’m still not sure what changes I want to make, especially the big ones.

The Resurrectionists – As I mentioned last week, I’m considering working on this one a bit for Camp NaNo, but I still haven’t really decided. I finished re-reading what I’ve written so far, and while it’s definitely all over the place right now, I think it has some interesting stuff going on and I look forward to returning to it.

 

Goals For Next Week:

  • Edit at least one chapter of ICTM.
  • At least start my book proposal for the BPL application. I also have to submit a short book synopsis, so I should probably work on my synopsis of The Waters and the Wild as well.

WIPpet

#WIPpetWednesday is a meme started by Emily at A Keyboard and an Open Mind. All you have to do to participate is share a snippet of your WIP––and the snippet has to be related to today’s date somehow.

So, since today is 3/16, here is 3 paragraphs from Chapter 16 of I Chose the Monster.

Just as I start to follow her, she reaches the edge of the platform––and jumps. I watch as she disappears over the edge, and a second later I hear the thump of her feet––hopefully––hitting the ground. “This way!” she calls out.

The sound of her voice echoes through the empty station, and I go tense as it disrupts the silence. I look quickly over my shoulder, even though I know there are no Morts behind me.

I approach the edge of the platform and see the tracks a few feet below me. Juliet is already running along them, towards the pitch black mouth of the tunnel. I hang back, shuddering. No way in hell am I going in there. … On the other hand, I don’t think I can let Juliet go in there by herself, either. I’ve already been responsible for one death, and I don’t think I could bear to have another on my conscience.

Thanks for joining me for another WIPWednesday! Feel free to link to your own WIPpet if you posted one. 🙂

#WIPWednesday: 3/9/16

Hey guys,

Sorry things have been a little slow around here lately! I know I haven’t been posting much besides weekly memes, but hopefully I can get up some more writing advice posts soon.

Anyway, it’s time for #WIPWednesday and my #WIPpet post!


 

WIP: I Chose the Monster

Writing or Revising: Revising

Progress Since Last Week: Edited two more chapters. Re-read a few more chapters of The Resurrectionists.

How It’s Going:

Not much to report, really. I’m still just trying to focus on light edits for now, and planning for bigger edits.

I’m also re-reading The Resurrectionists because I’m thinking about working on it for Camp NaNo. But I’m not sure yet. I’m also considering doing some other things for Camp, so … we’ll see.

Oh, and another thing! I am applying to be a writer-in-residence at the Boston Public Library. The application just came out and I’m hoping to get to it soon! I was a finalist last year, so I’m really keeping my fingers crossed for this year. 🙂

Goals For Next Week:

  • Edit two more chapters of I Chose the Monster.
  • Finish re-reading The Resurrectionists, maybe start thinking about what I might add to it if I decide to do it for Camp NaNo.
  • Start my BPL application. I’m pretty sure I’m going to enter with The Waters and the Wild as my proposed project again––so I should probably look over that, too, since it’s been a little while.

#WIPpet

#WIPpetWednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Emily at A Keyboard and an Open Mind. Participating writers share excerpts of their WIPs every Wednesday; it just has to be related to the date somehow.

Since today is March 9th, here are 9 sentences from a part I recently edited in I Chose the Monster.

The bus is parked by the side of the road, next to a chain link fence. Beyond the fence is a basketball court, standing between two apartment buildings. Many of the windows––especially the lower-level ones––have been shattered, and shards of their remains glitter on the sidewalk.

A dark green car is parked haphazardly at a slight distance ahead of us, positioned diagonally to the curb. Its back windows have been smashed, leaving behind jagged glass teeth around their frames. One of the front doors hangs open, and one of the seats is torn to shreds and bleeding yellowish stuffing. A dark stain splatters the pavement next to the car, and the sight makes bile rise to my throat.

Everyone around me has started to stand up, and the people at the front of the line shuffle their way to the front of the bus and down the stairs.

I rise to my feet, despite the violent trembling in my knees.

How about you guys?

  • Any progress to report on your WIPs? Goals for the week?
  • Post a link if you also shared a WIPpet!

#WIPWednesday: 3/2/16

#WIPWednesday is a weekly meme I started to update on how my WIP is going every week. Anyone can join if they want to!

WIP: I Chose the Monster

Writing or Revising: Revising

Progress Since Last Week: Edited one (very short) chapter. Did a couple more pages of brainstorming.

How It’s Going: 

I just posted my #WIPMarathon post a couple days ago so I guess there’s not much to update since then. I was kind of freaking out last week, but at this point I’ve calmed down a little. Right now I think I need to just focus on doing some light edits and getting my chapters out to my two CPs, who have been very patient and honest with me!

As for the heavier edits, that’s what I’m still brainstorming about. There are some major changes I want to make to the story, but I think I’ll save those for later. For now, I think I should focus on the smaller things and continue from there.

Goals For Next Week:

  • Edit another two chapters or so.
  • Continue brainstorming for future rewrites.
  • Finish re-reading The Resurrectionists (my NaNo ’15 novel)––I’m thinking about continuing it sometime soon, but I need a bit of a refresher. 😛

WIPpet:

#WIPpetWednesday is a meme started by Emily at A Keyboard and an Open Mind. Every Wednesday, writers share an excerpt from their WIP that relates to today’s date somehow.

Today is 3/2/16. 16 = 21, so here are 21 sentences:

Back to the window. My parents are gone, and the only person who remains is the man in the white uniform. The glare of the white room is reflected in his glasses, erasing his eyes. His mouth is set in a straight line––unmoving, unfeeling.

Distantly, I hear myself still screaming. The cries for my parents give way to a torrent of curses. Cursing the man on the other side of the window. Cursing this place, these people. No insult is strong enough. Nothing releases the worsening knot of pain in my chest.

Exhausted and breathless, I crumple to my knees. The knuckles on my right hand blaze with pain, and dark bruises have already begun to form on the ridges. The world narrows, until the ugly blemishes consume my vision.

Bruises––like the ones that must be forming on my spine at this very moment. Like the ones that appeared on Eve’s back, one month before she died.

“I’m sorry,” the man says at last. “I know it’s an impossible choice. But I must ask you to make a decision.”

Fire runs in my veins. Flames thrash inside my skull. The answer is lodged in my throat––a lump I can’t swallow.

How about you guys? 

  • How are those WIPs going? Any progress this week? Any goals for next week?
  • If you also posted a WIPpet, feel free to link me to it!

#WIPWednesday: 2/24/16

#WIPWednesday is my own weekly meme for discussing how my WIP is going. Anyone is free to join!

WIP: I Chose the Monster

Writing or Revising: Revising

Progress Since Last Week: Finished the outline of my first draft. Did a couple pages of brainstorming. Unfortunately, I did not get any editing done.

How It’s Going:

animated-rampage

Well, I think that about sums it up!

But seriously––I’m in a bit of a panic. Remember last week when I said editing was going okay and that I felt fairly confident I could get it done? HAHA, FORGET THAT. I have no idea what I’m doing. 

After editing the first few chapters, I started to have serious doubts. The pacing is weird. The characters aren’t interesting. The world-building is practically non-existent. The plot is repetitive and there’s still not much of a central conflict. There is so much to fix, and I don’t even know where to start.

*Takes deep breaths* I’m trying not to lose my mind. I know if I worry about everything at once, I’m never going to finish editing. I need to keep reminding myself that I won’t fix everything in the second draft. Or in the third draft, or maybe even the fourth draft. I’m going to need to go through this manuscript over and over again, and each time I can focus my attention on a couple things at a time.

I needed a bit of a break from physically editing, so mostly this week I focused on outlining and brainstorming. I finally finished my outline of all the scenes I wrote in the first draft. It’s eight pages long, which is pretty succinct considering the manuscript is currently like 380 pages. That’s probably a sign that most of the plot is not all that important right now.

As I outlined all the scenes, I also noticed how redundant a lot of them are. The plot seems to follow a formula of: “The characters go to a place. They get attacked! They escape. They go to a new place. They get attacked again!” Errrm so yeah, I need to work on that.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can improve the plot, and in the past week I’ve come up with some ideas that might help. So … I don’t know. I might have to rewrite a good deal of the book after all, but I guess that’s fine with me as long as it makes it better!

Goals For Next Week:

  • Edit & send a couple more chapters to critique partners.
  • Keep brainstorming for new draft.
  • Maybe try rewriting the first chapter or two and see if it works better … ?

WIPpet:

#WIPpetWednesday is a meme where writers share snippets of their WIPs. The only rule is that the snippet has to be related to today’s date somehow.

Today is 2/24/16. 2416=8. So, here is a snippet from Chapter 8 from Part of ICTM.

There’s a searing pain in my forearm as his teeth sink into my skin. I hear a long, piercing scream and I realize it must be coming from me, but it seems to come from somewhere else. It’s all around me, echoing off the walls of the alley.

BANG.

The explosion of a gunshot cuts off my shriek. At the same time, as I’m staring at the Mort still biting my arm, one side of his head explodes. Dark matter gushes from the wound, and I feel his jaws go slack before he slumps to the ground. I can’t even think or move before there’s another BANG, more wetness splashes against the back of my neck. I hear the Mort behind me let out a choking noise, and her grip on me also loosens as she also falls to the pavement.

I’m finally free, bending over and breathing hard. I clasp a hand around my arm where I’ve been bitten, and I see my own blood spilling out from between my fingers. I can’t even register what’s happening. How did … ? Who … ?


Thanks for joining me for another #WIPWednesday/#WIPpetWednesday!

How about you guys?

  • How are your WIPs going? What are your goals for this week?
  • If you’ve also posted a WIPpet, please link me to it!

#WIPWednesday: 2/17/16

Hi, everyone! It’s time for another #WIPWednesday/#WIPpetWednesday!

WIP: I Chose the Monster

Writing or Revising: Revising

Progress Since Last Week:

  • I’ve edited up through Chapter 4.
  • I continued working on my outline of all the scenes I wrote in my rough draft, and I’m about 75% done with that.

How It’s Going:

Things are going okay. Now that I’m starting to get in the swing of editing, it doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming. I’m also getting feedback from a couple other writers, and it’s really helping me. Some of their suggestions have confirmed some of my worries––which is good, because it makes me feel more compelled to tackle those things. But also they’ve pointed out things that never even occurred to me, and that has been really eye-opening.

Getting some feedback and starting my outline has made me feel a little more confident. A week ago, I was seriously considering chucking the entire first draft and starting from scratch. I was really overwhelmed with the work I had to do.

Now I’m thinking a lot of the story is actually salvageable. There’s a ton I need to rewrite, flesh out, add, and remove––but I’m trying to tackle it one thing at a time. If I get too caught up in trying to fix everything at once, I’m never going to get it done. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m starting to feel like I can do it.

Goals For Next Week:

  • Finish the outline of my first draft.
  • Edit at least two more chapters.
  • I’m still struggling a bit with figuring out what the central conflict of my plot should be, since right now it’s all over the place. I’ve been thinking maybe I need more of a concrete villain, since right now I don’t really have one. If I had a character to kind of embody the conflict (if that makes sense), I feel like that might help. So, at least I’m going to think about that.

WIPpet:

#WIPpetWednesday is a weekly meme where writers share a snippet of their WIP. The only rule is, it somehow has to be related to the date.

Today is 2/17, so this WIPpet is 17 lines from page of the chapter I most recently edited.

“Your parents are right here.”

He barely finishes the sentence before my parents stumble into view. My mother’s dark hair is in disarray, and she frantically brushes the strands from her eyes. Her face is pale, while my dad’s face is flushed.

“Nina?” my mom cries. She presses her hands to the glass.

I’m in a dream, as I lower my feet to the floor and move to the window. Now my dad’s hands are also on the glass. I put my hands up too. One of my palms against each of theirs. But all I can feel is the hard coldness that separates us.

Tears finally swell at the corners of my eyes and spill down my face. My parents’ eyes are red, their faces streaked with wet trails.

“I’m sorry,” I choke out.

“No,” my mom says. “Nina …” She sobs, leaning her forehead against the window.

Whatever she was going to say, she doesn’t finish saying it.

Suddenly, I’m thinking of all the stupid arguments. The screaming matches. The times I’ve said I hated my parents just to use it as a weapon against them. All the things I’ve said and done just to hurt them.

God, I wish I could take it all back.


 

How about you guys?

  • How are your WIPs going? Are things going well? Are you struggling with anything?
  • If you’re a fellow #WIPpetWednesday participant, feel free to link me to your post!

#WIPWednesday: 2/10/16

So, I’ve decided I’m going to combine #WIPWednesday and #WIPpetWednesday and just kind of lump them together as the former. Sorry if this is confusing at all, but hopefully from now on it will be pretty straightforward!

Anyway, I HAVE VERY EXCITING NEWS TO SHARE!

Wait for it …

I finished the first draft of I Chose the Monster. FINALLY!!! 

It took me three years and it’s massively long, but I got through this draft at last––and hopefully this is the worst it will ever be. It can only go uphill from here, right? *Laughs nervously*

Anyway, on to #WIPWednesday/#WIPpetWednesday!


WIP: I Chose the Monster

Writing or Revising: Revising???? Although I haven’t really started yet.

Current Word Count: 154,347

Progress Since Last Week: 3,200 words

How It’s Going:

As I’ve already said, I FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT. So, I’m really glad that’s finally out of the way. It took me a ridiculously long time, and a lot of starting and stopping along the way thanks to life/college, but I did it at last.

That said, I’m not going to let myself dwell in this accomplishment for too long. The current draft is a total mess and I need to tackle edits.

Honestly, I’m really overwhelmed by how much revising I need to do. I’ve tried to edit my own manuscripts in the past, but it’s always been kind of a bust. I get too frustrated and I’ve always ended up giving up.

To be fair, I wrote all but one of my previous manuscripts during high school––so I was quite inexperienced with editing, and I didn’t have much of a thick skin yet, so I was a bit resistant to make changes to my work.

Now that I’ve graduated college, I have a bit more experience/knowledge under my belt. I’m much more willing to “kill my darlings” and start things from scratch if need be. Hopefully that will help.

This is the first time I’ve really taken revisions seriously, so … wish me luck!

Goal For Next Week:

I’m currently making a list of all the chapters/scenes I’ve written of ICTM and starting to think about which ones I’ll want to keep and which to toss.

My other main problem is, the story doesn’t really have a central conflict right now. At the moment, I think it falls into the realm of “episodic storytelling” which I really don’t want. I want to keep a lot of the same characters and themes and whatnot, but the whole thing needs to be fleshed out more and have a more coherent plot. So, I want to start tackling that––or at least brainstorming about what I should do about it.

I also hope to still be doing some writing this week, even if it’s just a little bit. I started re-reading The Resurrectionists (my NaNo ’15 novel) this morning, and I’m thinking about continuing it from where I left off.

If I feel like I’m stretching myself too thin, though, maybe I’ll just focus on revisions. Guess I’ll just play it by ear.

WIPpet:

This is my first time participating in #WIPpetWednesday and hopefully I understand the rules correctly! From what I’ve gathered, I think you’re supposed to post a snippet from your WIP that’s related to the date somehow.

Since it’s 2/10: I went to a random page, skipped the first 2 lines, and I’m posting the 10 lines that come after that. (It might not be 10 lines on WordPress but it is on Scrivener, haha.)

A heavy weight crashes into me from behind, knocking the breath out of me. Fingers dig so hard into my shoulder that I exclaim in pain.

“Nina …” It’s Juliet, slumping against me, gripping onto my shoulder. Her other hand is fixed against the back of her neck. Her breathing is labored, her eyes glassy.

Ice-cold panic runs through me. I have one arm around her, but it’s not enough. She suddenly drops like all the life has rushed out of her, and I only barely manage to keep her head from hitting the concrete.

“Juliet?” I shake her. Nothing. “Juliet?”


How about you guys:

  • How are your WIPs going? How has your progress been this week?
  • Do you have any advice to share about revising? (I desperately need it!)

WIPWednesday: 2/3/16

Hello lovely followers! I’ve been thinking about starting a new weekly meme: WIPWednesday. I already do WIPMarathon, a monthly writing progress meme. But lately I’ve been thinking it would help me to do a weekly writing progress post as well––partly to motivate myself, and partly to keep you all more updated on what I’m working on. And of course, anyone is free to join. I’d love to hear about everyone else’s WIPs!

So, here goes: my first WIPWednesday!


 

WIP: I Chose the Monster

Writing or Revising?: A little of both. Mostly I’m trying to finish the last couple chapters of my first draft. But I’m also starting to take notes on things I want to revise. Hopefully I will be deeper into revisions by next week!

Current Word Count: 151, 147

How It’s Going:

It’s going pretty well! I’ve been putting off writing until late in the evening, and I should probably stop that. At least I’ve been writing almost every day for the past week or so.

Right now I’m working on the very end of this draft. I thought I was on the last chapter, but it turns out I may have to split it into a couple more chapters (ugh). I really think I can finish this draft within a few days if I stay focused, though!

Goal for Next Week:

I hope to write every day this week, at least until I finish this draft. And then I want to start revisions!

An Excerpt From This Week: 

I’ve heard about the light at the end of the tunnel, but it doesn’t look how I imagined it. It looks almost florescent, as it dances in front of one of my eyes, and then the other. Too bright. Too false.

And then I start to realize I’m not dead, after all. I’m …

“… Alive,” a voice says. Not a voice I recognize.

My teeth are chattering. “Juliet?”

I can hear voices around me, murmuring something, but I can’t make out any of the words. It sounds almost like I’m submerged in water, and the sound keeps fading in and out … in and out …

I’m floating. … No, wait. Something––someone––is lifting me off the ground. Through my hazy vision, I catch sight of a woman’s face. And a man. Both of them in some kind of dark blue, baggy uniforms.

I want to scream at them, kick and fight, demand where they’re taking me. But I can’t seem to even make my voice work. My vision is going black again, just as I see a nearby vehicle––some kind of large van––and realize they’re about to put me into it.


That’s all, folks! If anyone else wants to participate in WIPWednesday, just let me know! Or you can just tell me about your WIP in the comments. 🙂 What are you working on? What are your goals for the week?