WIP Joy – Celebrating a Work-in-Progress

This past month I participated with a number of other writers in a Twitter #hashtag event known as #WIPjoy. Hosted by @simmeringmind, #WIPjoy gives a daily question/prompt to answer about your work-in-progress, or WIP. Here I’ve compiled in one place my responses to the daily prompts. I didn’t always post a line for each story, so this compilation includes some bonus material (shown in bold below).

Because I’m never happy unless I’m super busy, I currently have two novels in progress. One is a middle grade adventure story I hope to turn into a series. The other is a fantasy novel I started a couple years ago and keeps haunting me.

Here are the daily prompts:

WIPJoyJune2016

First up, the middle grade novel. The Curse of the Anne Venture, a Silver Compass Adventure.

Intro Week:
Day 1 – Tell us about your WIP!
Three boys go back in time to a ship bound for the American colonies. To get home they have to break the Curse of the Anne Venture.

Day 2 – Introduce your protagonist’s awesomeness!
Mike,age 11, has more sisters than is good for anyone, two of the best friends a guy could ask for and a compass that takes him through time.

Day 4 – Share a line about one of your WIP’s main emotions.
WIPJoyCurseDay4

Character Week:
Day 5 – The character you relate to most, and why.
Elijah is the youngest of the three boys. A bit awkward and nerdy, he’s often misunderstood by others.

Day 7 – Did you base anyone off a real person?
Not precisely, but each of my three main characters are named from the first initials of my own sons: M, T & E.

Day 9 – Which character/s would you want to be roommates with?
I’d have to choose Mike. Of the three boys, he’d be the most well-rounded roommate for tidiness and sharing.

Day 11 – A minor character with author-headcanon you adore.
AJ, Mike’s twin sister, has a not-so-well-hidden crush on Tommy, the wild, adventurous friend.

Beginnings and Endings Week:
Day 12 – Share a chapter beginning you love.
So, you think you can tell a good ghost story, eh?” Tommy said to Kira.

Day 13 – How do you want readers to view the protagonist at the beginning? And at the end?
(1/2) To start, Mike is a petty, self-centered 11yr old boy, too wrapped up in his own grief to see the pain of his friends & family.

(2/2) By the end, Mike is humbled & learns he can trust his friends, even with his deepest feelings.

Day 15 – What grabs you about the premise?
This story is about friendship, fun & adventure. I get to be a kid again & do things I didn’t have the courage to do.

Day 17 – At the end, how has your protagonist made you proud?
I am proud of the way Mike turns his grief around into action, and restores his faith in his friends.

Random Fun Week:
Day 19 – Does your WIP have a contagonist?
Tommy is Mike’s best friend, and they’re in this together. But Tommy has his own ideas of how to get home.

Day 20 – Share a line that mentions food.
Mike looked at the rations they’d been given. Something was wiggling in the hardtack. Elijah was already turning green.

Day 21 – Does the weather or nature act as antagonist at any point?
A late summer squall blows in over the Atlantic, making the boys’ escape from the Anne Venture all the more difficult.

Day 23 – Is this a kissing book?
Nope. Definitely no kissing. Strictly danger, fun, adventure. And friendship.

Day 24 – Tell us something your character would hate for us to know (mwahaha).
Mike still keeps a toy bear from when he was small alongside a ticket stub from the Mariners game he went to with his dad.

Day 25 – Do your characters feel like your… Friends? Kids? Both? Something else entirely?
Mike, Tommy & Elijah are three boys I’d like to think could be the friends of my sons. As a mom, maybe I should worry.

Encouragement Week:
Day 26 – What keeps you working on this WIP?
What keeps me writing this book? My three boys and six nephews, these adventures are for them.

Day 27 – What threatens your writing joy? How do you combat it?
I thought it was fear, but I’ve discovered self-doubt is far more crippling. My goal is to work through both one day at a time.

Day 28 – What do you want the future book cover to be like? (If you already have one, share!)
I see an old sailing ship, and in the foreground my three main characters hovered over the silver compass.

Day 29 – What’s the best thing people can say to you about this WIP?
I couldn’t put it down! When does the next book come out?”

Day 30 – What are you planning for your next WIP after this one?
The next Silver Compass Adventure, of course! Space adventures, prehistoric adventures… the possibilities are endless.

And for my fantasy novel, Beast (working title):

Intro Week:
Day 1 – Tell us about your WIP!
(Because one book isn’t enough) Assassin fails to take out his mark,instead finds a connection to a past he’s forgotten.

Day 2 – Introduce your protagonist’s awesomeness!
Torq d’Amman is a slave turned assassin. But is he the cold-hearted killer he appears?

Day 3 – Share a line showing your WIP’s atmosphere.
City buildings rose three, four stories high in a ramshackle array that seemed ready to collapse at a sneeze.

The tumble of buildings extended outside the walls of the city, a death trap holding far more people than had any business living in one place. (More of the line that just didn’t fit.)

Day 4 – Share a line about one of your WIP’s main emotions.
With a vicious roar, Torq slammed shut the part of his mind where his humanity resided. He couldn’t afford that sort of distraction now.

Character Week:
Day 5 – The character you relate to most, and why.
Ardys, a young lady of 14 is forced into the limelight as heir to the throne of Dyfedd but she is shy and insecure.

Day 6 – A character who shares a flaw with you.
Torq’s tendency to erupt in anger first before fully sorting through the situation.

Day 8 – Share a line that shows a character’s sense of humor.
What about dogs? Do you hurt dogs?”
Dogs?” Torq felt a tickle of amusement. “No, I don’t hurt dogs.”
Then you can’t be that bad.”

Day 9 – Which character/s would you want to be roommates with?
(1/2) I wouldn’t room with Torq. There’d be the constant fear of having my throat slit while I slept.

(2/2) I would room with Enyd, however, a spunky grandmother type who lives above her herb shop.

Day 10 – Share a line that makes you want to hug a character.
Cora searched for a familiar face. Her gaze found the burning ruins of her home & truth slowly dawned. “Mama!”

Day 11 – A minor character with author-headcanon you adore.
Enyd is more than a simple herbalist. She’s a historian in hiding, and she knows more than she’s telling.

Beginnings and Endings Week:
Day 12 – Share a chapter beginning you love.
Torq’s gaze never left the old man’s eyes as the light faded away and the body slid slowly to the ground.

Day 13 – How do you want readers to view the protagonist at the beginning? And at the end?
To start, Torq is a hardened killer, intent only on his own interests. By the end, he is… *spoilers*

Day 14 – Share a line where a character tries something new.
I don’t do rescues, damn it!” Another time, Ellisa might have found the man’s tantrum amusing.

Day 15 – What grabs you about the premise?
I love my MC, an assassin, the ultimate bad boy. But he’s redeemable. Hopefully.

Day 16 – What sticks with you about the ending?
What sticks with me about the ending? I’ll let you know when I get there.

Day 17 – At the end, how has your protagonist made you proud?
Torq finally accepts his destiny and learns to embrace his past in order to move on to his future.

Day 18 – Share a chapter end you love.
Well, well. It appears the reports are true. The mighty Torq d’Amman. What vanity to return to Glamorgan.”

Random Fun Week:
Day 19 – Does your WIP have a contagonist?
Just about everyone who comes alongside Torq is a contagonist, trying to direct his path regardless of the direction he wants to go.

Day 22 – Share a line about a smell.
The roar of the crowd, the rank odor of fear, the pounding of his heart,& again he was the beast they’d created.

Day 23 – Is this a kissing book?
My WIP was inspired by the image of a kiss, so yeah, this is a kissing book, with fighting, torture, escapes…

Day 24 – Tell us something your character would hate for us to know (mwahaha).
When he retreats from the life of intrigue and assassination, Torq has an orchard where he grows olives and plums.

Day 25 – Do your characters feel like your… Friends? Kids? Both? Something else entirely?
My characters are the voices in my head that won’t leave me alone. They are the parts of me no one sees.

Encouragement Week:
Day 26 – What keeps you working on this WIP?
This book is for me. I love the characters, and I just have to see how things turn out for them.

Day 27 – What threatens your writing joy? How do you combat it?
I thought it was fear, but I’ve discovered self-doubt is far more crippling. My goal is to work through both one day at a time.

Day 28 – What do you want the future book cover to be like? (If you already have one, share!)
I haven’t figured this out yet for this book. But it will be beautiful. Epic!

Day 29 – What’s the best thing people can say to you about this WIP?
Maybe something like: “I couldn’t breathe! I laughed out loud, or cried. I wanted to crawl inside the book and become part of the story.”

Day 30 – What are you planning for your next WIP after this one?
This WIP is intended as a stand-alone, but I have so many other ideas to pursue!

Thanks for reading. I have never done anything like this before. When I encountered this opportunity, I thought I wouldn’t be able to complete it. But there it is. It was great fun, and I look forward to trying it again another time.

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