Working To Completion: Celebrating a Work-in-Progress

September has been a month long celebration of my current work-in-progress through the Twitter #hashtag game, #WIPjoy. There is a prompt for each day to share a bit about the novel I’m working on. The month is over, but that doesn’t mean the celebration needs to end.

First, let me say a huge thank you to Bethany Jennings (@simmeringmind) for hosting this event. She has put together a great list of prompts that get me and other writers thinking about our current work and allows us to get excited about what others are working on. There are a lot of really exciting projects going on right now! Apparently there were over 400 writers participating in the event this month.

WIPjoy has been incredible fun, and more importantly, has renewed my excitement for this story. NaNo is approaching rapidly, and I’ve been in full-on prep mode. It can be too easy to lose sight of the fun.

In the spirit of sharing this fun, here is a compilation of my September 2016 WIPjoy lines. I hope you enjoy it. And don’t forget to check out all the amazing writers on Twitter! #WIPjoy

Intro Week
1. Tell us about your WIP!
#WIPjoy D1 – With the empire on the brink of war, it falls to Cypriano, a bard, to uncover the true enemy and restore peace to the realm.

Here’s my “official” blurb as it currently stands:

The empire is on the edge of civil war. A foreign army stands poised to invade. The Prince has been assassinated and the Princess kidnapped. It falls to Cypriano, a simple bard, to guard the realm’s most treasured secret, uncover a hidden traitor and restore peaceful rule to the realm.

2. What stage are you at with this project?
#WIPjoy D2 – My WIP is in first draft stage. It’s at 72k + about 75k that needs to be completely rewritten. I’m within 30-50k of “the end.”

You can read more about the history of this project in my post, Unfinished.

3. Describe your WIP with 5 verbs.
#WIPjoy D3 – My WIP in 5 verbs: Betray, redeem, sing, protect, restore.

Background Week – Settings and Backstories
4. What emotions do you evoke with your setting?
#WIPjoy D4 Setting is still a work in progress. Opening scenes should evoke a sense of despair & determination. #amwriting

5. Share a line with a detail about your protagonist’s past.
#WIPjoy D5

“Were we ever that innocent?” Tomas asked with a wry grin as they watched the boy play.

Innocent? Don’t you remember? By the time I was his age, I was already plotting against your grandfather.”

“Ah, right. Cypriano, the evil traitor.”

6. What does your antagonist love deeply?
#WIPjoy D6 – Duke Cyril has a deep attachment to his family heritage, to what he believes is his by birthright – power, wealth, immortality.

7. Which two characters have the most interesting history?
#WIPjoy D7 – Besides my protag: Darla, war refugee turned lady-in-waiting. And Kel, a blacksmith with a dark secret.

8. Name something experienced with each sense in your WIP.
#WIPjoy D8 Kel’s forge. Sweat glistens on thick arms. Heavy hammers clang on anvils. Coal smoke so thick in the air you can taste it.

9. Is any part of the backstory inspired by your own life?
#WIPjoy D9 – That would be a no. Unless you count reading books by Tolkein, Brooks, Williams, Jordan (and more!) as inspiration?

10. Share a line you love about a setting.
#WIPjoy D10
bard_wipjoy10-setting

Protagonist Takeover Week! (All answers must be in your character’s words!)
This week was so much fun. Both tweeting from my characters voice and reading those of other writers.

Bonus Question: Introduce your protagonist for Character Take Over Week:
#WIPjoy Bonus: Cypriano, bard. Exiled from the imperial city, he’s been living a dual life for too long. It’s time to take back his city.

11. Share a deep regret.
#WIPjoy D11 – I regret that I never told my father the truth of that night.

12. How do you really feel about a character closest to you?
#WIPjoy D12 – The boy? No, I don’t like the boy. He’s- He’s too much like his father. Good and brave, and… Well, I just don’t like him.

13. Weapon of choice?
#WIPjoy D13 – Weapon of choice? My lute. I’m a lover, not a fighter. I do keep a few daggers close at hand though.

14. How do you feel about romance?
#WIPjoy D14 – Romance? What a ridiculous question. How does one feel about breathing? Romance is just as natural and necessary.

15. How do you feel about your author?
#WIPjoy D15 Author? She killed my best friend. Forced me into this mess. Ripped away from me the only woman I’ve ever loved. Need I go on?

16. Any words for future fans of yours?
#WIPjoy 16 Future fans means I will have at least some success turning this disaster around. So, thank you. Thank you for believing in me.

17. When alone, do you make faces in the mirror? ‘Fess up.
#WIPjoy D17 – Any orator worth anything at all practices his delivery before the glass now and again.

Deep Stuff Week
18. Share a line that hints at your theme.
#WIPjoy D18 Theme is still in development. But I have this line from a recent “interview” with my character that has potential.

themequote

19. What’s one big reason you’re writing this story?
Reason #1:

mayaangelou_quote

Reason #2:

franzkafka_quote

#WIPjoy D19 – Why write this story reason 3: The character, Cypriano, came to me and won’t let me rest until I tell his story.

20. What kind of reader desperately needs this book?
#WIPjoy D20 – The reader who needs this book is the one who prefers her epic fantasy a little on the dark and roguish side.

21. What’s been your biggest challenge with this WIP?
#WIPjoy D21 – My biggest challenge with this WIP thus far has been to simply finish it! Only then will I be free to move on to the next one.

22. Represent your WIP with a single image.
This one was really hard. I spent an entire day distracted with searching for an appropriate image. I wish I could draw. Ultimately I chose to share this picture. Here is My MC, Cypriano:

cypriano_portrait
Artwork by: bisart.deviantart.com

23. What aspect of the book is the most unique?
#WIPjoy D23 – The most unique aspect of this book is that I’m writing it. No one else can tell this story the way I can.

24. Share a line that’s a fantastic example of your writing voice.
#WIPjoy D24 I don’t know if it’s fantastic, or even an example of my writing voice, but I’ll go with it.

bardvoicequote
Community Fun Week
25. If you could choose any other book to mashup with your own, which would it be?
I started to answer this prompt thus:

#WIPjoy D25 If I could absorb some of the richness and incredible detail of the #RobertJordan #WoT books into mine, that would be awesome.

I’m no where close to this level #worldbuilding, but a girl can dream.

But I ended up writing The Great Literary Mash-up instead.

26. Shout out to this WIP’s most encouraging fan!
#WIPjoy D26 My sisters are my best fans! Without them, this book would’ve fallen by the wayside long ago. @seekingredress @tlynnejohni1122

Seriously. They keep pestering me to work on this book. All the time. They get a little pushy sometimes when I get distracted with other ideas. Thank you, sisters! Oh, and get to work on your own books, would you?!

27. Does your WIP contain any inside jokes?
#WIPjoy D27 There are no deliberate inside jokes in this WIP. Though I don’t think that means it will be humorless.

28. Share a line that made someone feel FEELS.
#WIPjoy D28 It took me way to long to find the perfect line. I don’t know about perfect, but this will have to do:

bard_wipjoy28feels

29. Shout out to writer friends who inspire you.
#WIPjoy D29 Who inspires me? My local writer’s circle – they keep me pressing forward. And the amazing Twitter writing community! #amwriting

Again, I found this one harder than it should be. There are so many writers on Twitter that have shared their amazing stories. I am alternately inspired and terrified by their talent. I’m still trying to find my place in this Twitter community, and I’m hugely grateful for everyone’s support.

30. Remind us all what your WIP is about. Now everyone RT/share your favorites and state why you love them!
#WIPjoy D30 To all appearances, Cyp is an ordinary bard. Selfish, womanizer, lazy. Why then, does the fate of the empire rest on him alone?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey with me at least a little bit. I’m excited again about this story and my characters. I’m anxious to finish their stories.

I’m super grateful to @simmeringmind for hosting this event. And to the online writing community, thank you for your interest and support.

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