A New WIP | Novel Progress

Okay, so I know it’s been a little while! I apologize for the absence. If you’ve been keeping up with blog, you’ll know that I had to kick up the job search again and recently acquired a part-time job that I actually started Tuesday (the day I’m writing this post). I wanted to do Novel Progress updates, but I didn’t feel like I had anything of value to say.

I have some big updates to share today. I don’t want to linger too much on the past, though so I’m going to try and make it snappy. Simply put, I decided to put Come, Beasties aside after talking to my writing buddy on Sunday.

It was not something I had been contemplating up to that point. I had actually sent my most recent outlines to her and received some feedback. We’d talked in depth about my story for the first time in a long time, and I felt bad thinking that I’d asked her to waste her time looking over a story that I felt like stepping away from. But she was so supportive and confident that I would be just fine returning to that WIP after some time away.

The New WIP

I decided look through an old desktop folder where I’ve collected most of my previous writing attempts. I didn’t have an immediate new ideas, so I wanted to scour old documents. I found past NaNoWriMo attempts, ambitious plans for short stories, and lists of story ideas that never came to fruition. I found two stories that really spoke to me.

The first was four single-spaced, polished pages of a introduction that has since evolved several times. It had actually been reworked to become the beginning of a story I had been working on prior to Come, Beasties, which had unintentionally started to develop a classic Victorian horror story vibe.

The second was my NaNoWriMo 2016 attempt. Looking at it after almost two years was really surreal. I remember my inspirations and writing while I house-sat for a professor of mine during the infamous 2016 election. I even remember why I stopped writing, how the story had begun to take a stereotypical turn I did not like. But I didn’t remember how much I had loved the story’s beginning and ending scenes.

These scenes did not have much anything to do with plot, but in my mind they were so visually stunning in a way that I am impressed that I could’ve written them at all. These scenes reminded me why I thought I could become a writer.

I’ve decided to give this “new” WIP a new title (the old one doesn’t seem to fit anymore): Troubling a Star. It’s actually the title of a lesser-known Madeleine L’Engle book that I read (and reviewed) earlier this year. I’m comfortable borrowing it, because I know the final draft will have a title I want to keep to myself. I just feel like this title evokes something that I’m going for with this WIP.

Plot Development

I feel like I always start writing with a character and living situation in mind along with a very vague idea of how they need to change by the end of the novel. The trouble is I struggle coming up with the meat of the novel, the story, the fun and games!

I entered this new project with a plan to keep the story very simple from the outset. I knew who the protagonist is and her problems, but I needed to figure out who the antagonist would be and what form the plot would take. I didn’t want to be too ambitious. I wanted to follow a tried-and-true story structure, adapting it for this story and fantasy world.

I had a list of four ideas, ultimately deciding on the first one. I had reread Vassa in the Night earlier this summer and it’s remained on my mind as a shining example of the kind of novel I’d like to write. I like how it’s a modern adaptation of a Russian fairytale and is so vibrantly envisioned when I read it. I decided could see Troubling a Star having a witchy villainess with whom my protagonist needs to spar to survive (external conflict) and grow as a person (internal conflict).

Other stories that come to mind as inspirations, including The Little Mermaid and Howl’s Moving Castle, but I won’t tell you exactly how I see these works relating to my own yet!

Going Forward

Next week I’ll share more details about how I’m plotting along with more general update on how the writing is going. I want to start officially writing pretty quickly, so I expect things to move along pretty quickly as I draft this novel.

To a certain extent, I don’t want to get hung up on mismatching scenes or messy writing. I find it inspiring to edit as I go, because I find it easier to write when there is “proof” of what the story can potentially become once the first draft is complete. At the same time, I want to write a short first draft and then be able to expand it in future, adding the layers I have trouble juggling in the plotting stage.

Ideally, I would like to finish this draft before November, because a part of me would really like to be able to participate in NaNoWriMo successfully this year with a completely new story, maybe within a genre I’ve thus far left uncharted (e.g. contemporary or historical fiction). I think it would be really beneficial as a writer to write something that is out of my comfort zone and that would require a different kind of preparation.

I’m going start making notes of news stories or historical events that might be fun to imagine fictionally. Maybe that will become a future blog post!

❧ ☙ END NOTE ☙ ❧

I could blabber on and on about more of what has happened since Wednesday, but I don’t think it’d make for a very reader-friendly post. Even if I take a short break from writing these posts, know that I do love writing them. I just don’t want to degrade them by writing anything incoherent and ultimately unhelpful for any of my writer friends out there!

I know these posts are most fun when they are short and sweet. ^_^

Thank you for reading!
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5 thoughts on “A New WIP | Novel Progress

  1. Kat @ Novels & Waffles

    I really enjoyed reading this post! It’s beautifully written and makes me want to look back at my old writing attempts. You say that you have trouble coming up with the meat of the novel, and I totally understand that! I have the same problem! I get these wonderful characters in my head, I know how I want it to start and end….but the middle? No clue. Haha. Good luck with your writing going forward!

    1. Lori @ Betwined Reads

      Thanks, Kat! I really appreciate your sweet comment. I love writing these posts and getting across the story of how I’m writing my story so I’m happy to see when they reach people and inspire others to keep chugging along on their own writing journeys too ^_^

  2. Cailin @ Rose Petal Pages

    Love this post!! I haven’t sat down to really work on my WIP in a while, but I’m constantly thinking about it and brainstorming in my head. I’m having the same problem–I want to write a fairly long series, and I have a general idea of how the series begins and how it ends and some major events in between, but I don’t have the heart of the story yet. Hopefully, it’ll come to me the more I actively work on it.

    1. Lori @ Betwined Reads

      Best of luck! It’s definitely hard. As helpful as plotting can be, I think there’s a point where you just have to start feeling the story out by writing things down seeing where the story takes you ^_^

      I’ve started trying to write at least one scene a day in Scrivener. Sometimes they feel like a complete waste, but they’ll help me stretch my writing noodle to figure out what alternatives would be better!

      P.S. I did see your question on my other post! I’m about to go to work, so I’ll respond when I have more time to answer in depth!

  3. Pingback: OctoWriMo | NaNoWriMo Prep – Betwined Reads

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