Monday, September 5, 2011

Our Labors of Love

Hello WIP Madness peeps and tweeps - I realize it's only been four days since we stated our goals, but I thought Labor Day was a perfect place to start our weekly check-in's. I know from watching on Twitter that some of you made word count progress, there were race-to-the-end challenges, and some frustrations.

I'm knee deep in what has thus far been the ickiest part of the job to me - revisions - but I'm faring well with mixed feelings. Marks of a Horseman, my upper MG adventure, is really becoming strong thanks to incredibly insightful critique partners with spot-on suggestions and observations. I should be able to get that first 50 pages sent to my agent by the end of next week and I'm really excited to hear what he says. Unlike the other things I've written, MOH falls on the commercial end of the spectrum and in today's market that makes me hopeful. I still have another 200 pages to revise, but it's a start.

My other manuscript, my YA LGBT book - CAST IN GOLD - is also in revision stages based on some of my agent's suggestions. But here I'm faced with uncertainty and doubt. Are the motivations clear? Is there enough of an axis for the novel to spin around? It is contemporary and somewhat quiet - there are no demons to slay - so the revision is more difficult. An uttered phrase here, an interjection there, it is the tiny points that will make or break this one and it is terrifying. I adore my main character and I want to give her the best chance possible to be introduced to readers.

So, did anyone get any work done since last Thursday? I'm done for the day and am actually going to spend some time in a darkened movie theatre this afternoon. I've been angsting to see THE HELP and today's the day. Loving my three day weekend!


  1. Your doubts about Cast in Gold sound pretty normal to me--and also like you may be converting to the revision loving team ;)

    I'm still brainstorming my WIP. I've got a beginning I can work with for now, an end, some scenes and I'm spending today learning about more about my mc. Soon writing will start in earnest.

    If you need fresh eyes to go over your first 50 feel free to send them my way.

  2. I actually love revising. That's where I really do my "writing". Early drafts all feel like construction projects, just getting the frame up.

    Since last week, I've revised... three chapters, and I'm going to get through another one (hopefully two) this afternoon.

  3. I've gotten a bit of work done -- ironed out some character histories for my main project, and rewrote my way through a few scenes in my short story. I think I'm pretty much on target.

    Sounds like you're making good progress. I love seeing things come out better after rewrites, but I hate that feeling of wondering whether it's better enough. Good luck! Sounds like you have a great support crew that will help you steer through.

  4. I'm with Lily. I do my best writing while revising. My first drafts really suck, but I like writing them because I do it fast and there's no pressure to be perfect. After that, each draft is just one more draft closer to THE ONE. And boy, is that good motivation to make it through the toughest revisions. Good luck with yours!

  5. CAST IN GOLD sounds just riveting. I love subtlety in novels like this and I agree--such subtlety will make it or break it. But. The sweat'll be worth it. And don't worry too much about whether things are clear even at this stage. Go with your gut, and your second-round betas will take care of the rest.

    Finished my WIP today with Angelina!!! Erm. Now to make a new goal.

    Let's see: This month 1. get it clean enough for betas. And 2. plot out a short story.

    So this week is finish reading two anthologies to get my ss brain back in gear.

    See you around, #wipmadness lovelies!

  6. 1,200 words done. Allowing myself some free time now. Congrats to everyone who wrote today! Yay for the two who completed wips!

  7. Awake from the post-finishing-WIP-mind-recovering nap. Now let's see. Tomorrow I will start back into my teen vs. wild novel AND will star working my way through all of those comment bubbles I left in the historical WIP, most of which say, "RESEARCH THIS".

    Thanks so much for all the cheering. I was a week late getting the draft done, but yay to Lora for helping me with today's goal.

    Congrats on all the progress and happy revising, JRo.

  8. I dove into revisions this long weekend and got lost in But tomorrow it's back to the day job, so my progress will probably slow.

  9. I wanted to get more done than I did. The weekend was exhausting. But I did have some realizations about the WIP and I think it will help. I too am knee-deep in revisons, but I think I'm closer to being done than I first thought. Keeping this response brief because now I suddenly feel like I need to get back to it, rather than talking about it.

  10. Not much of anything done so far this month, thanks to the day job, but I should have time this evening -- hoping to write one of several missing scenes.

    Happy writing, everyone. Enjoy the madness! :)

  11. I'm so impressed by all of you! I had a moment of being in the cheering section of our peeps Lora and Angelina today as they raced each other toward the end - and of course, they are both winners!

    Made it to the movies and saw THE HELP - great adaptation. I love the character of Celia Foote and too much of what I saw was eerily remniscent of my own childhood in Alabama. - had to drive home in a torrential downpour courtesy of the tropical depression that's been making its way up the coast.

    And now Shari, I too must return to the day job schedule until my next writing warrior weekend.

    Have a great week all!

  12. Ha! I found you and your blog! And now I'm a follower. Anyway, I did my agents edits last week, now knowing there is such a thing as TMI--even in a memoir. Yes, I cut two chapters, among other things. Good luck with your revise! Rooting for you...

  13. I got nothing done over the weekend :-(. BUT, one sure sign that I'm closing in on that goal is that I have already started working (in my head) on the next YA novel. That usually means that things are starting to crystalize in the current WIP and now I have a carrot dangling out there to spur me towards home.

    Here we go...

  14. I have nothing to report either, but the day job morphed into an ugly beast. That doesn't mean I'm not thinking and plotting though, which is good. And I agree, Jay, I adore quiet books. I understand the pressure you might feel, but we're rooting for you!

  15. Gaaaaah, I am late to check in again! I skipped out of town for a couple of days, but I was busy writing even from away. I'm on a 15-page-a-week plan, and I was mostly drafting last week but I just got fresh feedback on my other WIP so it's back to revising for the rest of this week. Getting ... so ... close ...
    In the meantime, congrats to everyone on the great progress, especially Angelina and Lora for finishing your drafts!!!!


Hey, do you ever wonder why they call it 'your two cents?'