#ROW80 Update: taking a break from one thing and picking up another (also WIPpet Wednesday

row80Where have the past 9 days even gone? This current round of ROW80 has now been going for a week and a half, and I’ve barely done any work on my goals. Unless thinking about them counts, in which case I’ve done a reasonable amount… I’m just not feeling it right now, you know? Perhaps Cait and Felipe are annoyed at me for deciding to give them some more drama and angst in the second draft of A More Complicated Fairytale and are withholding inspiration. But it’s plot-furthering drama and angst! Would they prefer that their story be boring?!

Anyway, so yes, I’ve managed to write maybe 1000 words on a second draft of AMCF in the past 9 days; I just haven’t been able to get back into it. With that in mind, while I was in the shower this evening, I decided I would concentrate on Operation Sugarplum for a little while, see if that helps at all. I’ve really only worked out the first… maybe third of the story there if I’m lucky, but I figure I might just see where it takes me. Basically, I’m going to scrap the part of my goals where I specified which stories my writing time would be divided around, and instead just say that as long as I get two to three hours of writing done in a week, I’m good.


With that in mind, my WIPpet for this week is the first ten lines that I have written of Operation Sugarplum in honour of it being the 10th of April. I’m not yet sure whether this will actually end up as the opening scene or later on, but for the moment I’m working on it being the opening. The first four lines I wrote at work yesterday, and the other six I composed in my head also while I was in the shower this evening, so it’s very new. This story is a modern retelling of the Nutcracker; basically I was listening to the Pas de Deux from the ballet one day a few weeks ago and was thinking, “This is about the most romantic piece of music ever… but these characters are about twelve. Someone needs to fix this.” So I decided I would.

You know that bit where Clara (or Marie, if you’re familiar with Hoffman’s original story on which the ballet is based) watches as the Nutcracker fights off the rat army and the seven-headed rat king? This is the beginning of that scene. Instead of a toymaker, I have an app designer/creator and instead of an actual nutcracker, I have an online/in-game alias. I… think that’s all the background you probably need for this to make sense. Hopefully.

sent at 5:03pm:

Clara! Are you around?

thenutcracker sent at 5:04pm:


thenutcracker sent at 5:05pm:

I need to talk to you! I think you might be in danger.

“Excuse me! Sorry! Excuse me!”

Employees concluding their day at work ducked out of the way of the young man dashing down the corridors. He was the boss’ nephew after all, and clearly on a mission. He seemed to be barely paying attention to his surroundings; he was staring intensely at the phone in his hand as he ran, as though hoping it would ring, or at least give him an alert from one of the many, many apps no doubt installed on there.

There you have it. I would usually say something nice and conclusive at this stage of a post, but it was a long day at work today and it’s now past my bedtime, so I’m going to just sign off and say more constructive things in comments on people’s blogs and responses to this in the morning. Join in the WIPpet fun over here and… there appears to be now ROW80 linky for today at time of posting… well, you can check via the ROW80 blog. It might be there by the time you’re reading this.  Goodnight all!

~ Emily


25 thoughts on “#ROW80 Update: taking a break from one thing and picking up another (also WIPpet Wednesday

    • Emily says:

      Thanks! I figured if it’s going to be set in a gaming company, I want as many references to new technologies as possible. I’m hoping to have a reasonable amount of the plot happen through texting, IM conversations, descriptions of games, etc.


  1. Alana Terry says:

    Emily, I LOVE your revamping of the Nutcracker. We hear it so much at Christmas that we really do forget how beautiful it is! I hope you expand this and show us more next week. (O, and thank you a TON for buying a copy of The Beloved Daughter!)


    • Emily says:

      Thanks Alana! It is such a beautiful score. I have already already written more of the scene from this post and I have another in my head, so there will definitely be more in coming weeks! I’m in that “Ahh, new story, so excited!” mood at the moment, so hopefully that’ll last a while!


    • Emily says:

      Thanks Kathi! I’m pretty excited to explore the idea.

      I think everyone loves the worm. If I ever change the layout, I’ll have to somehow code in an equivalent bouncy thing.


  2. Lisa says:

    What a wonderful inspiration for a story! I’m going to have to go and listen to the music now. 🙂

    In the past I’ve found that working on two WIPs at once is very productive. When I came to a halt in one story, I had the other one to move forward with.

    Project Sugarplum is off to a great start and I’m looking forward to more WIPpets (snippets?) to come.

    All the best.


    • Emily says:

      Thanks Lisa! I’ve always used music for inspiration in one way or another, my characters or lead couples always have theme songs and I have playlists to represent certain parts of the plot, but this is the first time a score has inspired the plot completely.

      You’re so right, it’s good to be able to take a break when something’s not working and come at it with fresh eyes, but still have that opportunity to be doing something productive while you’re on that break.

      There will definitely be more to come! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!



  3. Leslie R. says:

    Hi Emily! I love that you’re doing a modern retelling of the Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s still one of my favorite composers – even after going to music school and learning about lots of others (when I was a kid, I had these story tapes with readings of Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and the Nutcracker, with Tchaikovsky’s ballet music as background – he was really the only classical composer I could reliably identify at that point).

    Wishing you luck with your revamped goals, and looking forward to hearing more about Clara and the Nutcracker!


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