Tuesday, February 4, 2014

WIP Marathon [Pre] Report

My awesome critique partner and friend, @ifeomadennis, runs a great event for writers known as a #WIPMarathon. The way it works is for one full month, participants write as much as they can on their current work in progress. Once a week they post an update on their blog, letting their followers (and other participants) know how many words they were able to write, some of the challenges they faced that week, their goals for the following week, and so on. What I love most about this particular writing marathon is 1. You start with your current WIP (unlike NaNoWriMo, which requires you to start with a brand new project) and 2. You do not have to reach a certain word count (unlike NaNo, which requires 50K). It's all about setting goals for yourself and working at a motivated--yet realistic--pace.  

The bad news (for me) is I already missed the last WIPMarathon, and the next 'official' one won't take place until August. The good news is I can still participate in a WIPMarathon report once a month, starting on March 1st. Here's how it works: A Not-So- WIPMarathon-Goodbye.

So, to get the ball rolling, I'm going to do a quick pre-report. My rationale for this is if I don't record where I'm at right now, I won't be able to see my growth come March. Here we go:

Last report word count + chapter count/scene count: None (since this is my first report)
Current report WC + CC/ SC: 80,283, 394 words into chapter 25.
WIP Issues This Month: I can't seem to budge even an inch passed my last paragraph. I think I'm struggling because I'm not a crime-fiction writer. Seriously, I don't even watch crime shows on TV, like Bones or SUV or SVU or whatever. But now I have to flesh out this scene involving a restaurant-shooting, and of course I want it to be convincing and believable, but I feel like everything I add sounds cliche. To make it worse, I'm squeamish about hurting my characters. I need to get over this, fast. 
Four things I learned this month in writing: FOUR? Okay, I've got this. How about...did you know that playing music can be a cure for writer's block? Other cures include a change of scenery, skipping a section, and my personal favorite, taking a caffeine nap. There. FOUR. 
What distracted me this month while writing: Pinterest. I discovered so many awesome writing tools and articles available on Pinterest and spent hours compiling a board of my favorite stuff (including the writer's block tidbit listed above). I wouldn't say it was a complete exercise in futility, because now I have a one-stop-shop for all of my writing needs, but it did get to the point where...well, here. This says it all:

I like it that he called me sweetie. 
Goal for next month: I'll settle with getting past this restaurant scene.
Last 200 words:
  His body convulsed. Get a grip, he willed himself. He forced his clenched, white knuckles to stop shaking and drew in a deep breath. There was plenty of time to suffocate in his own guilt; plenty of time later to confess. Right now he needed to save Grace. It was the only way he could even come close to atone for what he did. He couldn’t go back to last spring and erase this horrible mistake. He couldn’t keep himself from going to that party; from getting behind that wheel. He couldn’t do it.
   But he could change this. He could save one little girl. He could save them all. 
   With a newfound sense of resolve, Stryder looked Joe straight in the eye. “I’m going to get us out of here.”
   “You two, enough jabbering!” Jason, looming over them, bellowed. He pointed the 38 fixedly at Stryder. “You cause any more trouble, I’ll blow your damn head off.”
   In a different world Stryder might have called the gunman’s bluff. But knowing what he did, he nodded and clamped his mouth shut. 

That's actually my last 183 words. I tried to add the prior sentence but then I was pushing 220.

Anyone want to keep this baby going since I'm stuck here? Anyone, anyone...? No...?