#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 16 September, 2015

wednesdaybannerSo… potentially exciting news for anyone who has been following this blog for a good couple of years. Remember Operation: Sugarplum, that modern-day version of The Nutcracker that I was working on for a while, and then suddenly never mentioned again (February 2014 appears to be my final post about it). The reason it faded into obscurity is because I got stuck. But! I was thinking about it in the shower last night (that best of all thinking places), and I’ve decided to return to it. I think the reason I got stuck was I was overthinking the amount of detail that I needed. This is only a short piece. I don’t need to explain the entire geo-political situation between Max’s kingdom and its neighbour. I can just say “there’s a war going on”.

I do need some suggestions, though. In the original story, the Mouse King threatens that he will bite the Nutcracker to pieces if Marie/Clara doesn’t give him her sweets and her dolls. But my Clara is in her early twenties, so I’m trying to think what to translate that to. Blood seems a bit too drastic and dark for the tone of the story (it’s pretty light-hearted) and money makes no sense since the insurgents are from a different world. Any thoughts on what my Clara can trade in exchange for Max’s safety?

In the meantime, here is a WIPpet from it. I’ve added the 1 and the 6 from today’s date and have 7 paragraphs. Clara’s been attacked by enemies of Max’s kingdom and learned that he is in fact a prince all in a very short space of time.

Clara thought about this, and then decided to focus on the small things rather than the huge. “Is he really your uncle?”

“No, but I’ve been calling him that all my life so it’s sort of second nature now. Really, that’s the question you have at this point?”

“Fine, why do you have to save the Kingdom, then?”

Max finished bandaging up Clara’s arm, and sat back. “Because only the firstborn child of the reigning monarch is ever born with magic, and without it, we’re pretty useless.”

“Well, what about your parents, then? Doesn’t one of them have magic?”

“That’s the problem… my father had an older brother who died young. There was nothing anyone could do, but it left the Kingdom virtually defenceless. Thelidon’s small; there’s barely even an army. It relies on the monarch for protection.”

“Wow. That must suck for your dad, then.”

To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date, and link up with us here. Many thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting.

wwwwednesdayOnto WWW Wednesday, which is a bookish blog hop run by Sam. Join in by leaving a comment on today’s post on her blog!

  • What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud, which is the third in the Lockwood & Co. series. It’s still fun, though the Lucy/Lockwood potential romance is a bit more heavy-handed in this than in the previous two books, and so far Lucy (the narrator) has spent an awful lot of time being passive-aggressively bitchy about a new team member. As the series is going to be at least four, possibly five books, maybe this is the equivalent of middle book syndrome for trilogies.

  • What have you recently finished reading?

Lots of things! It’s amazing what a weekend away can do!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab – loved this one! I didn’t really want to leave Kell and Lila. The next book isn’t out until February, though, so I guess I’ll have to be patient.

The Amazing Adventures of Acacia Carlisle by fellow ROW80 participant and blogger, Cate Morgan. This was a short but sweet steampunkish story that made me smile.

The Bright Court and The Twilight Kingdom, books 2 and 3 in the Feyland series by Anthea Sharp. I read the first book about nine months ago and finally got around to these two. This is a really fun YA series that blends sci-fi with fey mythology.

I also rage-quit Insanity by Cameron Jace. After I disliked Splintered so much, I was hoping for an Alice in Wonderland adaptation that I would actually like. This was not it. You can read my ranty remarks about the first 17% of the book here.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I still need to start The Gone-Away World, which I have on loan from a colleague so I should probably get onto that. I also ended up not listening to any audio books while I was travelling, so I’ve still got several of those to get through.

I’m going to head off now and read a bit more of Lockwood before bed! See you all soon!

~ Emily



21 thoughts on “#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 16 September, 2015

  1. shanjeniah says:

    Emily! I’ve missed you! <3!

    I get all kinds of inspirations, insights, dialogue, scenes, and more in the shower. I tell my family I'm going in there to write. When the kids were smaller, they took it literally, and were very confused.

    Could Clara trade gourmet foods? Technology? Knowledge and information? Transportation?

    I enjoyed the snippet, and love that you're back to something that's had you stymied.


  2. L. Marie says:

    Yay! Glad you’re back to this.
    Um you could go the Thumbelina route. Mrs. Toad wanted Thumbelina to marry her son. Perhaps the Mouse King demands that Clara be his companion even for a certain amount of time (like the story of Persephone). Or think of what else Clara has that she really, really values. I can’t recall offhand if you mentioned something in the story. Perhaps something someone gave her that is precious to her (like a piece of jewelry or something irreplaceable).


    • Emily Witt says:

      Those are all good thoughts, and I’m thinking there’s no need for it to be variations on one specific theme. If they’ve got her prisoner or held up or whatever, they can take all sorts of things.


  3. Ruth Nestvold says:

    Loved the last line of this snippet. 🙂

    Shan’s idea with technology is a good one, because then they would also need to somehow disable it, or get it to the other side as well (balance of powers). Good luck!


  4. kathils says:

    Many, many, many good ideas, brainstorming, and plot unravelings happen in the shower. So does some really hellacious singing. It’s always fun to unstick something and start taking it forward again.


  5. ReGi McClain says:

    YAY!!!! *does a happy dance* 😀

    Hmm… In exchange… She could trade her identity, thus allowing him to access medical care, credit cards, whateverness. There’s the old, faithful “be my wife or your lover dies.” There’s knowledge of some kind. I’ve forgotten a lot of the details (sorry!), but I’m sure there are other options.


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