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WIPMarathon Check-In #6

Last Check-in Wordcount + ChapterCount (+ scene count if you’re revising):

Agh. This is #6 and I’m still nowhere near on track with my goals on this WIP?

You know what that means? *sigh* After several encouraging suggestions, I’m changing my goals. Thanks to contests, conversations, revising other MSs and life stuff, I have until February 1st to:

1) Finish the read-through of older MS.

2) Implement tweaks that have recently just bopped me on the nose.

3) Send to 3 people awaiting it.

4) Attack space opera-WIP and choose between it and new idea-WIP, and have a completed outline ready to write from by February.

There you have it. Much changed from, “Write 50k on space opera-WIP” but life throws you surprises, and I’ve made lots of great changes on older MS since #WIPMarathon started. And I wouldn’t change any of that — or meeting this great group of talented people — for anything.

Current WC + CC (or SC): 10k on the space opera-WIP, so whether I carry on right now with it or not, I at least have a place to start from 🙂

WIP Issues this week: On the space opera-WIP, basically the idea I was MAD about all summer/fall now feels generic. But I think that might be due to the fact that I haven’t articulated the “cookies” in every scene yet, nor have I punched into the central relationship that’s what started this thing in the first place. Once I get that on board, I may find ways to heat it up. I hope.

What do YOU do if you worry your story is generic? There’s so much going on in mine — a rotating cast of characters, something new for me. Various POVs, but a central problem to solve. I think I need to do more drafting, but would love to hear anyone else’s experience!

What I learnt this week in writing: As always, lots. One biggie: be careful how your opening/query/pitch comes across, because if an agent mistakes the sub-genre for something they don’t rep, that’s no fun. This is why pitches and queries are so, so important, but also maddeningly tricky. You want to convey the stakes and world clearly, and word choice is KEY to making sure you portray it accurately. Every — single — word! This tip brought to you by Giant Salty, the 50″ crab:

Forgive him for using a PC. I was on the MBP at the time.

What distracted me this week while writing: Some not-so-fun stuff, but also our housewarming/fancy dress party! I was excited everyone showed up and made a fantastic effort on their costumes. I was Deanna Troi (again) and the Scotsman was the Tenth Doctor, and our guests came as: a Gameboy and a Tetris piece, a cowgirl, Pikachu, the ghost of Christmas past, 2 Mr. Ts, Edward Cullen, a mini-footballer, Where’s Waldo, Indiana Jones, a fantastic flapper, Austin Powers and his groovy missus, and a kilted Englishman. A roaring success, and a warm house!

Last 200 words: From the space opera-WIP.

“You are absolutely correct, Princ — Sapphira. I acquiesce.”

“You needn’t be so formal. So, what are you? A rebel footman? Wrong place at the wrong time? Delivery man? Some lady-in-waiting’s pre-Court quickie?”

Galen sat still on his heels, fingers laced. “None of those things. I do not work for the Empire; I am my own man. And I do have secrets. I will share them with you in time, if we stay together and gain each other’s trust. But will it be acceptable if I simply tell you for now, I do not intend to turn you in, or make contact with the Empire? I point to my attempts at re-routing the capsule as proof.”

Sapphira considered her own secrets. “You have yourself a deal.” She offered her hand and watched his left eye twitch as he hesitated in bringing his hand to meet hers. Eventually he did, but with wobbly reticence that made her imagine a germ phobia. Then he smiled, for the first time since she’d got her vision back. A warm smile, that made his slightly-long nose stand out even more. Something about it made her feel hope, despite their situation — maybe its vulnerable warmth in an otherwise pale face.

– – –

That’s it — good luck everyone and see you next week (promptly on Saturday this time! 🙂

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