Thursday, April 7, 2016

Writing Corner: My WIP

This is a new monthly post I'm going to try out.  It'll be a way for me to check in, tell people about how and what I've been writing, and also hold me somewhat accountable to keep writing.

I've wanted to be a published author since I was much younger, but I've always had trouble finishing stories that I've started.  My friend and I did finish writing a novel one time (though we both agree it's best to leave that one locked away since it's not very good) but on my own it's hard to keep up the momentum.

The project I've been working on, which I've named Sand and Storm (SaS for short), is one that I've been working on for eight months (I originally had the idea in August of 2015).  It's gone through several iterations in its time.  Sand and Storm is a fantasy western where it hasn't rained in hundreds of years (they get their water from oasis'- sources provided by the gods).  The main characters, Will (short for Willow) and Short (a translation of his name), accidentally awaken the goddess of the storm, who has some revenge in mind for the world.  With her they also awake the trickster god, Coyote, who must play an integral part of taking her down.

Here's how I got the idea:

I was lying in bed thinking about how there aren't enough western's in YA literature and decided I should write one.  I quickly realized the amount of research (by that I mean watching and reading westerns, a genre I'm not too fond of) was overwhelming and would take away from the fun experience of actually writing the novel, so I couldn't actually write a western.  It then came to mind that it could be a fantasy world set, pretty clearly, with roots in the stereotypical version of the Old West, with the major differences being the magic system and the pantheon of gods.

I started writing it shortly after this idea came to be and was keeping it on a flash drive.  It was coming along well, though I had the novel starting around where chapter three is located now.  Which was fine, but a little rushed now that I think about it.  Then, my flash drive wiped itself.  All my work was lost.  Forever.

The next day I decided to start over, completely, rather then let it get to me.  But instead of writing, I planned out the first couple of chapters in rather large depth.  And in this planning I decided that it wasn't going to be a YA trilogy anymore, but an adult duet (possibly trilogy).  So I started writing it as if all the plot I had for the first three novels would be built into one.  I also started the novel several chapters ahead of where I start it now with scenes that don't exist anymore (and won't exist, ever again).  I realized quickly that the story was becoming something I didn't want to tell and that I wasn't connecting with the characters at all.  So I scrapped that and started again, with my original plan.

Which was going fine for several chapters, but around chapter ten the plot completely stopped, the motivation was strange, and I was still having a bunch of trouble connecting to one of the main characters.  It was a struggle to write and I had no idea where anything was leading, so I stopped for a month and made a big decision.  I would give the novel one more go before I put in a drawer and worked on another project for some time.

I tried starting chapter one a couple more times, once or twice on my computer, where I quickly realized it just wasn't flowing, and then again handwritten.  This was working for a while, but I was writing during class when I should have been paying attention, and both the novel and the grades were suffering for it.  So, deciding none of these were my official "last go at the novel" I bought myself a writing pad, decided I should give myself two or three days per chapter, and began writing again.

This version, which will be my last Rough Draft before I take a break to focus on something else that might actually flow a bit better (I've never given myself so much dedication to one work before; normally if a problem arises I try to fix it once and if that doesn't work, I go on to something else), is very similar to my original ideas, but has the bonus of all the internal development I've created for the novel from the point of the first version to this one.  I've already written two chapters and a prologue, which amounts to around 12 pages handwritten (or 3k words, which is shorter than I originally wanted, but when I transcribe it to my computer I'm fairly certain it will get much longer).

I hope to keep you guys updated.  Maybe I'll write my next post when I get through about half of the novel.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Oh it's awesome reading about other people's struggles in the writing world. My first actual novel I started in 2011. But it's so bad it's forever trunked. Do you have critique partners read your work? I've never had any luck with them.

    1. I have a couple friends who I sometimes ask to read my work if only to make sure I continue writing- if I know someone's holding me responsible then I'll be more likely to continue. But, no, I've never really had someone to critique my work

    2. Well, I haven't had luck with critique partners as of late. But if you're ever interested I'd be happy to try it out. I hear it's a good idea, but like I said--I haven't had any luck. I get so confused sometimes with what I need to do to revise. I can't see the problems.

    3. That would be wonderful, thank you! I've been handwriting, lately, so perhaps when I transfer it onto a typed copy? If you ever want me to critique your work as well, please let me know!

  2. I really like the sound of Sand and Storm - I would definitely read it!

    1. Awe, thank you! (I'm blushing :) )


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