Sunday, March 1, 2015

#WIP Marathon Report (Or Lack Thereof) - February

Yeah, that pretty much sums up my month. But for prosperity's sake, I'll still do my report. Here goes:

Last report count + chapter/count/scene count: 2,354

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 2,367

Woo hoo I've added thirteen words! That's, like, one word every three days. I'm going to invent a writing challenge opposite of NaNoWriMo and then I'll officially be winning.

WIP issues this month: No issues. It would actually take WRITING in order to have some issues.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 
  1. Magic needs rules: I recently struggled with a book in which the MC was struck with extraordinary powers (healing, invisibility, turbo-speed) with no clear explanations offered as to why she suddenly had these powers. This made me realize that even within the realm of fantasy, magic needs to work within the parameters of established rules in order to be believable. I think many authors use the "fantasy" genre as an excuse for lazy writing, and I want to be really careful to avoid this dynamic myself.
  2. Books in a series should stand alone: At least, to a degree. Spinning from #1, I think some authors also use SEQUELS as an excuse for lazy writing (and far too many people accept this!). Just because a book is part of a series, this shouldn't give the author leeway to be overly vague/obscure about what is happening in the story. There's a difference between being purposely mysterious because you want to keep your readers in suspense versus being overly vague because you yourself have no clue what direction your tale is going, or why your MC is suddenly a paranormal being from another realm. Falling back on your sequel to resolve these problems seems like a cop out, especially given that more often than not, the sequel doesn't end up accomplishing this. 
  3. Color thesaurus: It seems like such a small thing, but I swear when I was writing Chasing Echoes, I kept running into problems with Stryder's eye color. His eyes are gray, but not wanting to keep describing them as "gray," I found myself running out of options (Steel? Charcoal? Chrome?). Well....this awesome writer created a Color Thesaurus to help other writers choose the exact shade they're looking for. Check it out--it's pretty handy!
  4. 10 ways to cover up a murder: I found this awesome infographic* on Pinterest, perfect for the writer of mystery/suspense whose WIP features a diabolical sociopath! Black Lilies features a minor character who happens to be a serial killer, but sadly I don't think this infographic will help me much given that my murderer lives in 1876 (i.e. DNA was an unknown back then, and fingerprinting didn't start until 1892). *If you're a serial killer please don't click on this infographic.
What distracted me this month while writing: Ugh. I don't even have a good answer to this. Just my own writer's block and laziness. It doesn't always take the fantasy genre or the promise of a sequel to be a lazy writer...sometimes it just takes a lazy person to be a lazy writer (aka: Me). The second edition of Chasing Echoes was just released (for eBooks only, paperback is still in progress), which took me away from writing. I also did more research into 1876, and with Clint's help I brainstormed the backstory for Kade (my MCs love interest), so I'm feeling like I'm almost at the point where I can write this damn thing.

Goal for next month: Same goal as last month--I want to start, and finish, chapter 2 of Black Lilies. 

Last 200 words (I tried to make it big so my 13 words would seem like 200):

I turned to face it. It was slinking its way toward me again.


  1. KADE! *faints* Love that so much. Why didn't I find that when I picking out names for my last story! The guy's name is Caden. Fine, but come on, KADE!! *swoons*

    Okay, I'm fine., I SO needed to read your lessons learned this month! I mean, I don't write sequels, yet, I'll file that away in my brain. But #1, like SO much. Sometimes I just want to be like, "It's fantasy! It JUST IS!" and be done with it, but I can't. *cries*

    I do like your 13 words. ^_^
    But really, you've been doing research and stumbling upon what has to be the most perfect chart ever: the color thesaurus!! I've been needing that like I've been needing someone to install a start button into my spine. I have no reason why I've been dragging my feet so much other than I just want to crawl into a black hole. Although I suppose I'd just get sucked up in it. Probably wouldn't be fun...

    By the way, I got one of those aqua note pads last week! It's only a little bit smaller than the one I keep by my bed. This is very exciting. Lol!

    1. Glad you love the name Kade, Krystal! His full name is Kade Oaks, which I just adore. Somehow coming up with names this time around is so much easier.

      It's funny because I just gave that advice about books needing to stand alone (even if a sequel follows), but then last night I read a book which SO does not follow that advice. It brings up question after question without answering ANY thing, leaves on a total cliffhanger, completely relies on its sequel to fix EVERY thing, yet I loved this book! So now I feel like throwing everything I said yesterday out the window. Or maybe into that black hole that's sucking you up.. :P

      You got aqua notes? OMG! Now I MUST GET AQUA NOTES!

  2. It's so hard to find time to write, but especially when the BLOCK beats you down. Ugh. The. Worst. Feeling. Ever. I hope it passes super quickly and that you can get over this fear of writing about the past. It seems daunting, but I bet you will do it phenomenally.

    The murder infographic? Totally sweet, Jo. lol!

    Miss you, <3 Mel.

    1. Yeah, this is a massive block's been in my freakin' path since summer. I know once I start actively writing it'll feel like second nature again, but right now it feels so unnatural to write anything. Really forced. I AM finally warming up to 1876, so that's a plus.

      The murder infographic....Right? ;-D I felt a wee bit guilty posting it on Pinterest because I was thinking "What if some twisted psycho takes it seriously," but then I decided that twisted psychos probably aren't browsing through Pinterest writing boards for morbid ideas.

      Miss you too Mel. Xo

  3. So, I'm way sick, right, so I haven't done mine. But I keep thinking "why bother, my progress was abysmal." But you just kind of made me feel better--thanks! I'm going to try to get around to it tonight... Maybe.

    Color Thesaurus is AWESOME!!! I'm bookmarking it so hard right now. If she put that together as an ebook and sold it, I might even buy it. I love it, thanks for sharing. I did find it funny that "tortilla" is a cool of brown. Could you imagine.. "She looked deeply into his beautiful tortilla eyes" Bwahahahahaha! <3

    Also, murder infographic is awesome. Just sayin'.

  4. Yeah, unless you only wrote 12 words, you WIN. But either way, abysmal progress is when you ESPECIALLY need to post because misery loves company (translation: us other writers wallowing in our lack of progress despair need to feel better about ourselves, lol). I'll check tomorrow to see if you got around to doing your pitiful report (haha).

    Now that you mention it, I would totally buy the color thesaurus as a book too. It would just be a fun thing to have on my office shelf, and for whatever reason, I am so intrigued by all those colors. Though it's hard to write this given how hot and bothered you've got me by that whole beautiful tortilla eyes bit. (I'm seriously dying).

    Feel better soon Kristyn!

  5. Hahaha... I love that you increased the font size. And I love that image at the top... it's so true, every time!

    I hear you out on books with sequels and standing alone. I don't mind the cliffhangers between books if it feels as though the author's planned it out. What I can't stand is when a series or trilogy feels like it was just a money-making, career-extending ploy, and the author chucked random open-ended ideas at the first book with NO IDEA where it would eventually go (and to add on to that, that's fine if that's how they roll, as long as it FEELS planned ;). I was on the edge of my seat at the end of DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, for example, but I got the sense that Laini Taylor knew what was happening, and it wasn't all just to get us to read on. There was intention. The Hunger Games felt like a ploy, to me. I hated the way those books ended (though I really enjoyed reading them, for the most part).

    Love the colour thesaurus -- thanks for sharing! :)

    1. I agree Cheyenne. There's a big difference between a well-executed cliffhanger that is headed in a solid direction, versus a vague cliffhanger designed to draw out the series as long as possible so the author can make more money. My favorite types of series are the ones where the main conflict is resolved in each book, with one larger conflict/thread spanning the entire series, but that kind of series is hard to find.

      I love that Color Thesaurus more every day! I think its inventor should expand it and turn it into a REAL book. My shelf wants it. :P

      Hope all is going well with you Cheyenne!


  6. Hahaaa!! You had me at " issues. It would actually take WRITING in order to have some issues."
    (and maybe that laughter was a bit mirthless as it hit quite close to home".

    Black Lilies?!! A 19th century murderer??? Sounds like something I would love to read!

    Thanks for sharing the link to the color thesaurus! Pinned it! I used to do this thing where I would type up "shades of *insert color*" on google and look it up on wikipedia. They have a nice chart there as well. But this thesaurus definitely saves more time.

    Hope you've been getting some writing done so far! And yay for spring break! :)

    1. I was going to ask you if you would do the huge, ginormous honors of CPing for me again Ifeoma, but I came across two potential problems:

      1. You are REALLY busy. I mean, even busier than you were when you CPed for DoT!
      2. Long story, but I am writing the "odd" chapters first (chapters 1, 3, 5, etc...) and then going back to write the evens. That could make for a jarring read.

      Still, if there's a way to see past these issues (ha!) DM me 'cause HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS WITHOUT YOU?

      I like your Wikipedia idea and might default to that if I need even more options.

  7. Wow! Thank you so much for the heads-up on the color thesaurus! I have the same troubles, and am so thrilled to have this as a resource. Definitely bookmarking it.

  8. Hah! That bigger font definitely works ;)

    Love the color thesaurus - thank you! And you're absolutely right about the 'magic needs rules' thing - something I'm still figuring out in my own fantasy story even though I'm pretty much at the half way point. Yeah, I should really figure that stuff out :/

    Happy writing this month! You can do it!

    1. I'm so glad that bigger font was convincing Suzanne--I was worried all of you savvy writers might see right through that one. ;)

      Also glad you can use the color thesaurus. I think I need to go personally thank the creator of it and send her a link to these comments.

      Don't feel bad about needing to figure out the whole 'magic needs rules' thing in your WIP...I'm right there with you! It's so easy to say "what I've learned in writing" every month, but applying it is a whole different ball of wax.


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