What’s Up Wednesday

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“What’s Up Wednesday” is a fun weekly meme started by my friends Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You’re invited to join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you. If you’re participating, make sure to link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog each week. That way, others can visit your post and check out what you’ve been up to. And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: Still working on 11/22/63 by Stephen King. This is one loooong book, friends. It’s super entertaining, though. Along with time travel and history and conspiracy theories, there’s a bit of romance. I’m moving right along, and hoping to finish before Halloween.

What I’m Writing: I’ve got more than 11K written in the new contemporary YA WiP I’m drafting. Its working title is Stars Like Dust, which is a line I borrowed from a Rumi poem, which is significant to the story for a lot of reasons. Plus, it’s pretty! This new story is challenging me in a lot of ways:

1. I haven’t plotted it. I am usually a very detailed plotter (my last WiP, The Road So Far, was plotted down to the gas station stops my characters made on their road trip) and it’s scary to just write, write, write without a set plan. That said, I know this story’s beginning-middle-end, and I’ve got a good handle on the main characters, so I’m hoping it’ll all work out.

2. One of my two main characters is from another country and while he speaks English well, he speaks it very formally and precisely. Still, he’s a teenage boy and I want his dialogue to flow naturally. It’s a fine line I’m walking.

3. I’m playing with writing small sections of the story in verse. I have never written in verse and it is super challenging. But… I’m kind of loving it. The bad thing? It takes me the same about of time to write 200 words of verse as it takes me to write 2000 words of good ol’ prose. Plus, the verse stuff is requiring TONS of tinkering. I’m still not 100% satisfied with any of it, but I hope I will be…

What Else I’ve Been Up To: On Saturday we went to the Pensacola Interstate Fair and it was so much fun! We rode rides, ate corn dogs and funnel cake, watched a rodeo, and saw Eli Young Band. One of their songs, Crazy Girl, is on my The Road So Far playlist, and seeing it performed live was awesome. And, it just so happens that go to a(nother) country music concert is one of my Thirty Before 35 goals, so I get to cross one more item off the list — yay!

  

What Works For Me: I recently read a post by Kat Zhang (for Pub(lishing) Crawl) about writing out of order, and I found it so helpful. Here’s an excerpt:

When I write out of order, I know “Okay, so I have Fun Scene A here and Fun Scene B here…now I just need to get my characters from Scene A to Scene B as quickly and efficiently as possible.” If the middle parts aren’t “Fun Scenes,” I should probably be either trying to get my readers through them as quickly as possible, or finding out some way to spice them up.

I’m jumping around while drafting Stars Like Dust, and even though my Type-A personality is unhappy about the chaos, it seems to be working. Kat shares some fantastic insight and awesome tips about why writing out of order is worth a try. Definitely check out her article! 

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

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27 responses to “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Great job on the progress! I think some stories just demand to be written a different way – I frequently stray off-outline when my characters take control, and sometimes I’ll be writing a few chapters at once and then linking them together later. Good luck! 🙂

  2. I LOOOOVE that title! My dad grew up leaving a pocket Rumi book of poetry around the house so I am familiar with his poetry. Good luck jumping around – the idea just makes me shudder. I have to write in order, though I don’t outline (that too makes me shudder!). 😛 Good luck and keep writing!!!!

  3. Stars Like Dust is very pretty! And that funnel cake is making my belly rumble(no breakfast yet). =)

  4. Stars Like Dust is a very pretty title. 🙂 Good luck with your WIP – it sounds like you’re having a lot of fun with it!

    Have a lovely week!

  5. Great title – so pretty.

    I may have to check out the “writing out of order” post because my brain always screams “NO!” when I attempt it.

    Welcome to the world of pantsting 🙂

    • Honestly, pantsing is not a world I ever thought I’d be a part of. It makes me so anxious to know that I don’t have a plan in place. But every time I sit down to plan, I end up writing instead. There are worse problems, I guess. 🙂 And yes, that writing out of order post is great — lots of reasons why it’s worth a try. 🙂

  6. I really enjoy novels in verse, and have toyed recently with the thought of turning my past life freeverse poems into a novel in verse, instead of trying to write a straight memoir as Oda.

    I’m like Mr. Sawyer, the physics teacher who served as head of my Creative Writing Club at my first high school, writing in order and discovering all the twists and turns along the way. Although I did start writing the end of my handwritten magnum opus (one of the few computer-generated sections), just so I’d have my protagonist’s death well out of the way and not have to constantly dread it as it got closer.

    • Turning your past life poems into a novel in verse sounds kind of incredible, Carrie-Anne! I’m really enjoying the challenge of verse. I’m only doing very tiny sections in it, though, and I cannot imagine writing a whole novel that way. It’s such a stretch of the brain! Have a great week, lady!

  7. Good luck with the ‘winging it’ writing! I couldn’t plot a book to save my life (which I pay for in editing) but the awesome thing about just writing is learning to trust yourself and your characters! Also sometimes the best surprises happen! I live for those moments!

    Happy writing!

    • You’re so right about surprises, Allie — I’ve already had a few! I do miss the organization of a well-thought-out plot chart, but I can see why some people pants their novels exclusively. Hope you have a wonderful week!

  8. love your title! And Stephen King is…well…the king of writing long books. And sometimes chaos is good for the ‘process’ 🙂

    • Thank you, Prerna! Yeah… This Stephen King novel is probably the equivalent of three or four YA novels, which are what I usually read. Thank goodness it’s entertaining!

      Have a great week!

  9. I usually write in order but sometimes if a scene comes to me, I write it so I won’t forget and then fill in the blanks later.
    Love your title and good luck with a novel in verse!

  10. Great title 😀 Oooh, I may have to pick up that Stephen King book. It’s been too long since I read something by him.

    Enjoy the kind-of-pantsing 😀

    • I’ve heard 11/22/63 is different from most of King’s books. It’s definitely not horror, though there are some intense and rather gruesome scenes. Let me know how you like it if you read it!

  11. Good luck writing in verse. I’m so impressed by writers who have that kind of patience. Thanks for sharing. 😀

    • Yes. Patience seems to be key. I am literally spending HOURS tinkering with 200 words. Just watch — my CPs are going to say, “What on earth is this jumble of words?!” 😉 Have a great week, Leslie!

  12. I loved 11/22/63! But it is lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong. I had to read an eBook because it was too big for subway reading.
    I’m so impressed that you are writing in verse–I love verse, but I can’t write it. And I love your working title–beautiful. Have a great week!

    • I’m kind of wishing I would have gotten 11/22/63 in its eBook version. I checked the hardcover out at the library and I’ve been lugging it around for two weeks! I finally finished this morning, though, and thought it was excellent. Perfect ending. 🙂

  13. Finally commenting for reals, but to reiterate my tweets from yesterday: I love the title (Rumi’s poetry is gorgeous) and I am excited for you to be working on a project that is demanding a different approach. Also, I am excited by your dabbling in verse! I totally feel you on the challenges of verse but am confident you will do great. (And like Tracey (and Katniss), I volunteer to beta!) Oh and welcome to the world of pantsing, lol.

    P.S. YUM, funnel cake!

    • Thank you so much for offering to read, Alice! This little project is a long way from ready, but I will definitely take you up on your generosity when it is. I would love your experienced opinion, particularly in the little verse sections. Also, I hope you know I will be more than happy to return the favor any time. 🙂

      • Ah, I don’t know about experience, but I’ll do my best. 😀 And thank YOU for your offer and for your ever kind words. Your (and Tracey’s) encouragement seriously keep me going every time I start to freak out too much about my writing. 😀