Thursday, January 5, 2012

WIP It - Excerpt Enclosed

I'm sure I'm not the first one who has figured this out, but the acronym WIP (Work In Progress) makes me laugh sometimes. Because, really, how much does your WIP actually relate to it's homophone, whip? (Okay, not an actual homophone since WIP isn't an actual word, but go with me. And, of course, we can't talk about whips without a picture of Indiana.)


Whips/WIPS can be really cool. You can do cool tricks, make people feel excited, fearful, etc. But, if you're not careful, your whip/WIP can bite you, draw blood, even leave scars. It can be something that excites you one moment, disgusts you the next, then cause you to fear even picking it up. Let's not forget how tangled we can become in our whips/WIPS.Sometimes, even though you think you know how to use your whip/WIP, it doesn't do what you ask and you suddenly doubt you ever knew how to work it in the first place.

My current WIP hasn't bit me too hard - yet. It has been through a long process. It started out in a different genre before settling into YA, then it was a matter of pinning down exactly what it was. It took me almost a year to get from idea to something to work with, then another long stretch to write it. And now it's time to re-write.

I haven't touched the thing (much) since last October. I thought I had the right direction in mind, then a couple really good critiques had my head spinning. Never doubt the power of a good critique. I have beta readers, but never before this did I have anyone who knew writing the way I needed them to. I was thrown for a loop and I just kept spinning, trying to pin down exactly where to start again.

This past week, I did just that. Pen and paper style, I scratched out as many words as I kept while rewriting my first chapter. And, not surprisingly, the changes made create entirely new facets in my characters. This translates in to a lot of other changes ahead, but the guts of the piece will pretty much stay the same.

Last time I wrote this book I had a word-count goal along with everything else. This time, I'm going to use that material to add some more depth without worrying about filling in the extra 300 words that didn't make it into this chapter, hoping that the combination of techniques gets me to where I want to be. I am counting the words I write, though, as a way to mark my progress. For example, in the last 3 days, I wrote a whopping 1500+ words.

But, oh, the words I wrote! They aren't magically amazing, or finished yet, or polished. They are words I have been looking nearly 3 months for. That in itself is fantastic. Writing in sequence as I do, it feels great to have finally broken the ice and be back swinging the ol' WIP. (See what I did there? Swinging the WIP/whip ...? Oh, fine.)

In celebration, I have decided to share my words, this new beginning of a story done, but not. Please follow the link. It's read-only so you are welcome to leave any comments / questions here. If you can be kindly in your criticism, I can be kindly in my denial of it. (Joking! Note above where I mention I loved the critiques.)

So, here it is, the link to Beautiful Lies, WIP.