#WIPpet Wednesday – In which Emily offends all her professional sensibilities

Apparently this is my 175th post. Go me.

Also on the subject of Go me, this is what my print out of AMCF currently looks like. I finished scribbling/highlighting/post-it-noting on Saturday evening.

amcfmanus

So, um, now I just have to psych myself up to act on all those post-its. Some of them will be easier to fix up than others. I was hanging out with my writer’s group on Thursday and I was saying that each of those green post-its indicates either a new scene that has to be added or a scene that has to be reworked, and it’s tricky getting to this point and having to sit down and say “All right, this scene needs these characters in this location and they need to talk about this.” There’s a bit less room for flow, which makes it hard, but it’s necessary.  I’m thinking I might tackle it by picking a green post-it each morning and at least bashing out some words for the scene during the day, and then tidying it up at night. Because getting the words out in the first place tends to be the hardest part.

In less Go Me kind of news, my brain gave me a horrible plot bunny yesterday. Horrible in that it would be really awesome, but is set in the AMCF universe and would require killing of Prince Felipe at about age 35… At that point, his eldest daughter would be about 14, and I would honestly love to explore her having to take on a lot of responsibility way before she’s ready… but at the same time, killing Felipe off before at least the age of 100 would kill me… okay, period setting, we’ll say age 60, but still. Maybe I can convince my brain to just write the other AMCF-inspired stories I have swimming around and make this one about a completely unrelated princess.

(Related: If you’d told me a couple of years ago that the stories I end up writing and publishing are practically Disney movies, just without the awesome Alan Menken music, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But knights and princesses are fun, y’all!)

Anyway, it’s Wednesday, which means I need to share a WIPpet. Today’s date is the 12th of the second month, so I’m subtracting 2 from 12 to give 10 lines. This is a new scene (one of the green post-its) that I was writing at work today, in which it has occurred to Prince Felipe that maybe there are things aroun the palace that Cait would like to see, rather than just keeping her cooped up so he can talk to her. In this bit, he’s pulled out a 400-year-old copy of their main religious text. Personally, I spend the whole scene annoyed at them because I work in the musem/library/archive sector and they are handling this document with their bare hands, but I did at least catch myself before Cait started talking about “engaging with the collection” (I did almost write that, though; Cait will need to be made less of a curator when I type this up properly). Anyway, enough with the talk, on with the WIPpet.

“This is handwritten,” Cait murmered in quiet awe.
Prince Felipe nodded. “It pre-dates our earliest printing presses.”

“I’m scared to touch it.” Cait removed the hand she had had on the cover, but then plucked up the courage to carefully turn the page. On the following one was a beautiful illustration of of the Goddess creating a sprawling oak tree, her hair and her long skirt billowing behind her. The page was lined with a gold border which glinted in the light above.

I should note, I’m still working on developing their religion. In the first two versions, they simply didn’t have one, but it always felt a bit empty to me without it and a couple of my beta readers made similar comments. At the moment, I only have the very bare basics, but I’m trying to come up with a creation story and a few relevant rituals at least.

If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow correlates to the day’s date, then head on over to the blog of our fearless leader, K. L. Schwengel and click on the linky. I’m going to head off because it’s past my bedtime (it always is when I post these lately), and I’ll see you all soon!

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16 thoughts on “#WIPpet Wednesday – In which Emily offends all her professional sensibilities

  1. Amy says:

    I can picture the lovely illustration on the cover of the religious text. Makes me want to know what it means.

    Plot bunnies like to hide under my bed and attack me at night. They also multiply like…er, bunnies. I had an awful one come to mind about my MC recently. Like you, I just couldn’t bring myself to kill him.

    Like

    • Emily Witt says:

      A friend and I were trying to explain the concept of a plot bunny to another friend the other day. We basically used the exact description you just did, lol! He looked very confused.

      Like

  2. Ruth Nestvold says:

    Well, what if that plot didn’t involve Felipe’s daughter, just another princess in your world? There’s more than one country / culture, right? It might be a great opportunity to expand the world-building a bit!

    I understand Cait’s reaction in this snippet completely.I have a copy of “A Room of One’s Own” from The Hogarth Press (Leonard & Virginia Woolf’s own press). It’s only like a fifth edition, less than 100 years old, far from pristine (I got it a flea market), but it still fills me with awe. 🙂 If I ever have oodles of money, I would love to spend it on rare books.

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    • Emily Witt says:

      Hmm, that is an interesting thought! One of the countries has a constitutional democracy, but I the rest are all monarchies, so that could totally work.

      That is so cool! I don’t have any old tomes, apart from my Commonsense Cookery Book which was printed in 1945 or sometime around then and is adorable in its quaintness.

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  3. kathils says:

    Ooooh, I want to be Cait right now, touching that tome, feeling the binding, my nose pressed into the pages to inhale….

    And speaking of tomes–that editing copy is quite impressive! Good luck getting everything hammered out.

    Like

    • Emily Witt says:

      Me neither! There was an exhibition at the National Library here a couple of years ago called “Handwritten” and it had medieval manuscripts right up to letters and essays written by people like Charles Dickens and Nietzsche and some original Beethoven manuscripts as well. I was flailing all over the place.

      Like

  4. Eden says:

    Print envy… serious case of print envy here. I would so love to be in Cait’s shoes right now (albeit with white gloves on). Still, you’re highlighting not only the marvel of the book and these characters but how perspectives towards the old and rare item has changed. You’re giving the story a real sense of placement in history itself (and if you want it more modern, you can easily have some curator come in and see the two of them and hurry them into gloves and a sterile room).

    And so glad you’re bringing in some semblance if religion. Though, as someone who uses a Goddess-based religion in her stories and yet has at least one seriously patriarchal society going… you may need to develop a good reason for that. Unless they have a host of gods and goddesses (which would be really fun to write!).

    Like

  5. Adrian says:

    I love sitting and staring at old books. And the smell!!! maybe, if I were to critique anything, it’s add in something about the smell. It’s often a long forgotten sense when it comes to writing.

    Like

  6. shanjeniah says:

    Emily,

    The quiet awe is perfect for Cait.

    I love old documents. I hate the feel of gloves on my hands. I long for the texture of old, old pages (yes, texture is a BIG thing for me!).

    I second Eden’s curator, and that delicious smell. I’m glad you included that. =)

    Now I’m wondering if their old paper feels like our old paper….hmnnn….

    Like

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