#WIPpet Wednesday –

row80-2So I did a thing on Sunday night. I deleted my July 2014 Camp NaNoWriMo story from the site (obviously I kept the words). There is so much about the story that I need to figure out before I can continue with it, and I would rather not write waffle for three weeks and then fix it. I would prefer to research it and plan it properly, and then sit down to write it, knowing exactly what I am doing.

With that in mind, I’m returning to my old ROW80 goal of working on WIPs in theory for one hour, two nights a week. Sometimes it ends up being more than that on several nights a week, sometimes it’s four half-hour periods over the week, sometimes it’s something else… I don’t really mind as long as I feel I’m doing some solid work each week.

I was on the info desk at work yesterday morning, but everyone seemed to pretty much know what they were doing, so I brainstormed a few things that need considering for Unicorn Love (the title of which is likely to change now that the story has, but I’ll keep referring to it as that until I come up with a replacement) and I actually ended up with something resembling a plan. Well, the first part of a plan. There are still some aspects I need to work out. But yay, plan!

In other writing-related news, I’ve finally got Edy proofreading A More Complicated Fairytale for me! Okay, so he’s only done three pages so far, but he’s being very ruthless (I was a little horrified at first by the amount of red on page 2), so I’m rolling with that. I shall continue to be a naggy girlfriend of the “Oh, you’re beading? You could read some more. Oh, you’re knitting a beanie? Why don’t you read another chapter?” variety [yes, he does both these things], until it’s finished, but at least a start has been made. He tells me that as he is not working Friday, he will do a blitz then.

wednesdaybannerI think that’s about it for a ROW80 check-in, so onto WIPpet Wednesday. You may remember the square-jawed lad mentioned in last week’s excerpt. He and Lexie, my MC, well, neither of them will admit any feelings for the other, so there’s that, but they are also the two oldest in a group of street urchins living on Sydney’s streets in the 1890s. When David is arrested after an alleged robbery, Lexie lies to save herself from also getting in trouble, and David ends up with a prison sentence. (This will probably change slightly, as in my new plan, she’s not actually at the trial and he’s pissed at her for other reasons, but this is what I have written for now).

In this scene, she’s sneaked into the police station where he’s being held overnight (the desk sergeant is old and drunk and thus asleep) to apologise for not being there for him.

Her eyes were beginning to adjust to the dim light but she still grasped the handrail and took her time on the stairs. There was no use ending up with broken bones from a nasty fall. That would help no one.

She reached the cells, and cast the lamp light over the nearest couple. They were empty.

“Who’s there?” David’s voice came to Lexie from the third cell down.

“It’s me,” she said, walking the rest of the way.

David was standing up in the middle of the cell, about a foot away from the door.

“Oh,” he said, and Lexie stopped when she heard the disappointment in his voice. “Come to get your knife back, then?”

“My what?”

“The one you stabbed in my back.”

“What was I supposed to say? ‘Oh, yes, your Honour, I was there, I was his accomplice?

“You could have thought of something that helped me as well as you!”

Poor Davey… If it makes you feel better, she’s going to attempt to change the course of history so you don’t end up in prison for six months…? Aphrodite is still hanging about in the new version of the story, though I’ve switched to calling her Venus, because for some reason in my head, Aphrodite = vain and vacuous but Venus = glamorous and elegant, and that’s what I need now.

Anyways, this post has taken me way too long to type. I’m going to head off now, finish my glass of Baileys and try to have an early night. If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date (today mine was 16 sentences for the 16th) and then link up with us here. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. ROW80 (the writing challenge that knows you have a life) is the brainchild of Kait Nolan and you can read more about, and link up with fellow paricipants, here.




31 thoughts on “#WIPpet Wednesday –

  1. kathils says:

    Oooh…the knife in the back line…yeah. Nice. You can feel the emotion swirling around here.

    I haven’t forgotten I owe you a response to your e-mail. It’s been…argh! Like that. I will have a reply soon. I promise.


  2. Sirena says:

    If I might, if it’s just six months, he would serve it in county jail. Prison is reserved for those with sentences of 12 months or more. That’s the difference between a misdemeanor(punishable with 12 months or less) and a felony(12 or more). Other than that, the emotion here was great and I really felt their tension.


    • Emily Witt says:

      Well, this is colonial Australia… We don’t have counties (each of the colonies became a state at Federation but that wasn’t until 1901) and as far as I’ve been able to gather so far, there were only two operating prisons of any sort in Sydney at the time, so you were sent to one of them regardless of sentence length.


  3. Ruth Nestvold says:

    Here’s hoping Lexie really can help Davis somehow! One note: I understood “the nearest couple” to mean that there was a couple in the nearest cell. Just so you know there’s potential for misunderstanding.

    Thoroughly understand going back to the brainstorming phase. I only produce train wrecks when I try writing by the seat of my pants. 🙂


    • Emily Witt says:

      Ah, thanks for pointing that out. I changed it from “few” when I realised Davey was in the third cell, but I might just change it to ”the nearest two” to be clearer.

      It feels good to oe really plotting like this again! Much more productive!


  4. Amy says:

    You’ve put nicely why I don’t like doing NaNo (of any sort). I did it twice and wrote absolute garbage that needs a complete overhaul. Then last year I used the time to mostly finish a novel I’d already started. I’ve never done Camp NaNo. I prefer to have a basic idea of the plot, write the beginning and end, put things in between that seem useful as they occur to me, and then fill in the details last, changing/rearranging as needed. We all have our own process. 🙂

    Great excerpt—love the line about the knife.


    • Emily Witt says:

      I’ve been able to manage it before when I’ve actually put some thought into what I’m going to be doing prior to the event, but this one was a case of being sick of not writing and picking a plot from the “Adopt a Plot” forum two days before the event and rolling with it. It had the desired effect of getting me writing again, which is good, but now I do want to make the writing good! Camp NaNo does now have the advantage of letting you decide on your format (script, revision, novel, etc) and your word count, but even 500 words a day is tough when you don’t know what you’re doing!


  5. rachelalsowrites says:

    Another great excerpt!

    I totally get what you mean about NaNo. I think the only reason I could do it last year (and will hopefully do it this year) is because I already know vaguely what I want to write, and I just need something to push me to do it. Life is so busy these days, I couldn’t bear to spend 30 days working on something and get to end and and be disappointed and left with a pile of rubbish to clean up!


    • Emily Witt says:

      Thanks! 🙂

      That was my trouble with this one, I just picked something from the “Adopt a Plot” forum a couple of days before Camp started and jumped in with no clue what I was actually doing. And it worked for a while, but then I got stuck. I haven’t done anything with my first two NaNos, but one of the ones I worked on last year (I rebelled and did two shorter stories) will be the sequel to the one I’m hoping to publish soon.


  6. AmyBeth Inverness says:

    Planning vs plotting is a personal thing. 🙂 I still haven’t properly hybridized the two. I love pantsing and I usually get great results, but my typing can’t keep up with my brain and I HAVE to plot or I lose what I was working on.
    Have a great week!


    • Emily Witt says:

      Yeah, I’m still working on finding a good combination. I’m too impatient and want to get writing straight away, but I know that I really need to nut things out a little more before I do that.


  7. shanjeniah says:

    I was a pantser until Rock Your Plot, which gave me just the perfect amount of open-ended structure, and allows what I need most- for things to change when the characters step in and take over. I’ve used it to partially plan the two WIPS I started last July; and they’re still chaotic and untidy, but less so than the ones that came before.

    Last October, I spent a good part of the month to plan and plot my NaNo novel, King of Shreds and Patches. I wrote 122k in 30 days – and it’s BY FAR the best first draft I’ve ever created. I could feel the cohesion and flow, and I even worked in details and subplots that usually occur to me well after that rough draft is done.

    I decided then that I am never writing another novel without doing that level of planning. It got me thinking about things and making connections that gave me a huge jump on the story. For me, time constraints are apparently irrelevant, so long as I have a basic sketch to guide me along.

    That being said, I do believe there’s more ways to go about writing a draft than there are writers. Here’s hoping it comes together for you! =D


    • Emily Witt says:

      Oh, wow, that’s amazing! I think I need to try something like Rock Your Plot (I’ve seen it mentioned a few times, because my approach to planning tends to be fairly haphazard and I’m also way too impatient and tend to leap into the writing before I’ve finished planning. Part of that’s because usually when I start out, I have a few scattered scenes that are really vivid in my head and I want to get them down while they’re still raw (there’s one scene about two thirds of the way through AMCF that I wrote on Day 3 of writing and it’s barely changed from draft to draft) but then I get too into the writing and leave the planning behind until I get stuck again.


      • shanjeniah says:

        I also get those vivid scenes. I used to write them quickly so that I wouldn’t lose them.

        I’ve found lately that if I let them be, they eventually spread out and leak into other scenes. The planning used in Rock Your Plot seems to feed that, for me.

        And I love those scenes that come whole and all but perfect! =)


      • shanjeniah says:

        I see that you gave it a positive review. Glad it’s offering food for thought. I figured it was worth the risk at the price, and I am so glad I bought it. I went back and bought Rock Your Revisions, too.


      • Emily Witt says:

        It didn’t necessarily tell me much I didn’t already know, but it put it down in a nice order for me, which is good, because in my brain the process is all over the place.


      • shanjeniah says:

        I had a similar experience, although there were a few light-bulb moments in there. Mostly, though, it was the idea of starting with something as a simple as a premise, then testing it, and then building up from there.

        I’ve found that this process gets my subconscious and imagination churning together, and, rather than just those tantalizing scenes that pop into my head all but whole, I’m also getting chunks of plot, themes, and character arcs.

        When I’ve used this system to write backstory, I’m getting biographical scenes, too. Some of them are so involved that I may go back at some point and pull them out as a short story collection…hmm….now I’m thinking of that as a potential A-Z challenge theme.

        At any rate, I have gotten a LOT out of that book for the $2.99 price tag! I’ve spent a lot more on other writing resources, to get a lot less.


  8. Eden says:

    Interesting that you see a difference in the character of Aphrodite/Venus based on the name… Guess it comes down to the writers of the original myths.

    I feel or Lexie. Sounds like she’s in a tough place too, and David just can’t see it for his own misery.


  9. John Holton says:

    From what you’re saying, Edy has put a lot of effort into the three pages he has done.

    I never thought about it, but yeah, Venus sounds better than Aphrodite. For that matter, Vulcan sounds better than Hephaestus. But Zeus and Hera sound better than Jupiter and Juno…


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