WIP Wednesday & Row80 Aug 28th

Woot! Wednesday. Week half over. I could really use a weekend, soon. The last few days I haven’t been able to edit as much as I would like. Stupid life keeps getting in the way. That’s probably a good thing though. Much as I love writing and editing, I know it would all get dull if I didn’t participate in the human experience occasionally. 😉

The Goals

1. Read at least 10 more Anton Chekhov short stories to add to my progress starting from 50 of 201. No new progress. 60 of 201. Read his stories here free!

2. Finish reading both The Fire in Fiction and On Writing. No new progress.

3. Submit Trick or Tree to another writing contest. Finish Dog Shy and write at least one other short story, all to be submitted to contests. No new progress.

4. Write a flash fiction story. 2 flash fiction stories written so far.

5. Do at least one thing every week that increases my fluency in Spanish and Japanese. I frequently listen to Spanish music via Pandora, so sort of check! I dropped the ball on this yesterday. Crazy life happened. 😉

6. Finish feedback edits on SHADE and get it queried. Still in the midst of editing. Got to another part of the book where I’m having to take a time out and see if it’s the direction I want it to go in. When you make changes you have to follow the strings you cut and see where it broke connections within the story. Sometimes you can see it right away, other times you’ll bump into it and it will take a while to untangle. Way it goes.

Bonus Goals. I’ve been taking Clemmings to my writing group and have been getting positive responses and some helpful feedback. I really have no idea where this story is going in the long term. If it’s short enough I may enter it in a contest. I know how I could make it novel-length, but I wanted it to be more of a novelette. Who knows?

I’ve also made some headway on outlining for Shade’s Book 2. I may try and write this for NaNoWriMo. Does it count if I’m borrowing old parts from my previous draft of Book 2? Since I changed Book 1 so much, a lot of things have to change. What do you guys think? It’s not exactly a fresh write. Does it count? I may still do it anyway.

WIPpet Wednesday

Another Wednesday, another excerpt. I haven’t quite finished Chapter 3 yet, and wish I could pull from a Chapter 4, but alas, maybe I’ll go back to Chapter 1. Let’s see… the math. Meh, I’ll just post whatever I want. 😉

“Jade Simon.” I take her hand, but can’t catch her eyes. It’s like she’s watching me out of the corner of them.

“So…I guess you’re new?” She walks away from me down the hallway, then glances back.

“Yeah.” I hurry to catch up to her, grasping the strap of my bag. “My family just transferred here.”

Alice presses her hand against the wall. A panel opens. A glass full of grape juice materializes in the dispenser. She takes a sip. “That’s why you don’t know.”

“Know what?”

“That you shouldn’t be hanging out with me.” She takes a big gulp, nearly polishing off the glass, and leaves a purple stain on her cheeks as though someone drew on an extended mouth with a purple marker. “That’s the rule.”

I laugh. “The school’s rule?”

“Close enough. It’s Mercedes’ rule.”

The rules. The thing I love most about rules is breaking them. No one ever cared because I always got results. It’s even better that it’s Mercedes’ rules I’m going to break. But Alice still waits for my reaction. A snort is probably the most appropriate. I fold my arms and lean against the wall. “So?”

Alice grins. “You certainly talk tough. A lot of people do when they’re new.” She sighs and turns around. “But they all change their minds in the end. Mercedes always gets her way.” She walks down the hall.

Do any of you know if there’s even a market for novelette’s outside of contests? Do publishers even bother with them? Do agents ever bother to represent them? I know there’s always the Amazon upload route, but I’m still not feeling like self-pub is the way just yet. Let me know what you think.

Okay, so I didn’t meet a lot of my Row 80 goals. How are you doing? Do you find Row80 still helpful even if you don’t meet your goals all the time? And you WIPpeteers, thanks for all your support. What’s your favorite thing about WIPpet Wednesday?

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33 thoughts on “WIP Wednesday & Row80 Aug 28th

  1. Great excerpt! Good luck with your WIP and meeting your goals. I’m really looking forward to the weekend. These last two weeks have been way too busy for me (with stuff I don’t want to do).

    • It all depends on whether you want to do trad pub or not. The thing I’ve heard from agents and at conferences is if you self-pub and it flops that’s a black mark you may never escape from if you want to do trad pub. That may change in the future as more people try out self-pub, but I worry too much about burning the trad pub bridge. I don’t know, maybe things have changed.

  2. I think most novellas are tied into short story anthologies of an author, but I haven’t seen a recent case of this in a long while (not counting self publish of course). I know in most cases it is just short stories in magazines and such. Hope it works out for you! Sounds exciting!

  3. For the Novella/Novellette, look into indie and small presses, especially those that have a focus on electronic sales. I’ve seen bigger publishing… I think Harlequin for a while was doing something like Nocturn Bites if I remember the name correctly, not sure if they still do it though. It is definitely something you need to hunt down to find. Using a site like doutrope (which became not free when I wasn’t looking, but I found http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/Search.aspx which might be as good?) is a good way to gage it.

  4. My kids get that extended mouth look from sandwiches. We call it Joker face.:)

    I find reporting for ROW80 keeps me motivated, even if I’m not accomplishing much. It’s the gentle kick in the butt I need. 🙂

  5. Sounds like I’d be right there trying to break Mercedes’ rules as well. 😉

    Novella’s are hard to find homes for. Most anthologies are looking for something between 7-10k. I did publish a 20k novella in an anthology, but that was a special request of the author/editor and I don’t think there are many out there like that.

  6. ” The thing I love most about rules is breaking them” – yup, I know people who fit into that category! Anton Chekov… cool! I have an ongoing love affair with Russian lit. Haven’t read Chekov in a long time though. Have fun!

    • He’s really helped me when it comes to writing short stories. I better understood the rhythm they should have. Some of the stories are really awesome, I can still picture them. Others… well, some things don’t stand the test of time as well. But still good overall. 🙂

  7. You know…, it’s because of you, Jae, that I now have a tab to a page called “201 Stories by Anton Chekhov” open all the time in my browser.

    I’m really weak… love it though.

    This dynamic between Jade, Alice and Mercedes is fun to watch. Though I’m a bit nervous about the explosion I know will have to happen.

    As for novellas and publishing versus traditional… I believe, having read a few editors posting on the subject, that when an author wants to pursue a format that is not easily publishable in a traditional format, the “black marks” are more gray than black. Remember that even the BEST story in the world won’t sell to an editor or publishing house than can’t use it…. publishers know this too, and they’re less likely to disparage any other work by you, if they know they couldn’t have helped you.

    However… self-pub with care if you do. Get good editing, get a good cover… Be professional.

    Stuff like that will matter a lot more than one novella.

    • Good tips, thanks!

      Yeah, I think in Chapter 4 or 5 we see how incredibly devious Mercedes is. It might be too devious. But they say for storytelling to go big, right? 😉

      • Definitely go big. If she’s the “big baddie” in the story, she needs to live up to the part.

        However, she also needs to have some redeeming qualities, imho. I can only speak for myself, but I like to “like” the villains in books I read too. Either that, or they need to be nebulous unseen-but-always-there baddies for me to suspend my disbelief enough (mostly because I can pretend that the invisible bad guy is just not known well enough).

  8. I tend to look at all the challenges and memes I participate in as tools. If I am missing my ROW80 goals, I look at what I am doing in life. Sometimes, the goals need to change, because they aren’t attainable at that moment. Other times, I’m putting something off because it feels tedious or scary, or because I am not in a mental or emotional space that matches the goal…

    I see my goals as a buffet – and I don’t usually try every last item on a buffet.

    My favorite thing about WIPpet Wednesday is that I often share rough passages – something I am not generally very brave about. The feedback is honest, but never cutting, and that helps me to build my confidence – I mean, if the rough draft is good, the polished may just be awesome, right?!=) Aclose second is getting to peep into others’ WIPs, and maybe have a tiny part in their development.

    Speaking of which – I am loving your story. It reminds me of my own high school years, and, at the same time, points out something my own homeschooled children can avoid, if they choose never to attend school…ahh. I think we need more books with homeschooled characters….now i’m thinking!

    As for NaNo….as I said, I treat these as tools. I see no problem with using existing bits. Some people plan in great detail before beginning. This seems something like that (I’m guessing that some of it,at least, will change as the story evolves).

    My guess is that you will find yourself moving toward those goals, more swiftly, in the coming weeks, as you deal with the life stuff. =)

    • Hey, never a better person to write that homeschooling story than someone who’s right in it. I think it would be a fascinating read in so many ways. You could dispel stereotypes and show others that perhaps this is an alternative they want to look into.

      And thanks. The life stuff keeps compiling, though one problem is resolved-ish. One day at a time, right? 🙂

      • All my homeschooling stories end up as fantasies! =)

        It may happen, someday…Till then, I hope my blogs and pictures dispel a good many stereotypes and offer an alternative to traditional education, although, with all the back-to-schooling going on now, it could easily seem like gloating.

        Sometimes, it’s one breath at a time….glad to hear that something is resolved-ish. May more follow!

  9. What’s your WIP about?
    I should participate in that WIPpet Wednesday. Sound fun!
    For some bizarre reason, I’ve not been receiving the usual emails about your posts. So, for that, I apologise.

    • Interesting you should mention that. I too am lacking in email notifications. I switched everyone over to daily emails hoping at least that much would come through, but neither instant notification nor daily has been working for me. Perhaps we should let WP know about it.

      • Hmm, yeah. I was already following you on daily, so I don’t think it’s type of notification. I’ve lost notifications from everyone.

  10. It’s interesting how those school hierarchies just pop up and no one’s quite sure how they got there but EVERYONE obeys them. I look forward to Jade breaking Mercedes’ rules!

    I’m in the same boat as you regarding novellas. My most-finished WIP is 37k, and while that did increase from 22k on the second draft, I don’t think there’s much room for fleshing it out much more. I’d like to go trad-pub with it, though I guess self-pub is there to fall back on if all else fails.

    • Really? To be honest, I’ve never had an issue with more words to add. I could add a whole other level to this, but I so wanted it to end on a certain note. But I guess it makes for an interesting pivot if I continued on. *sigh* A writer’s job is never easy, is it? We’ll always run into trouble one way or another.

  11. Oooh, this excerpt drew me in. It reminded me a little of a movie called “Bridge to Tarabithia” (okay, so it was a book first, but I never read it), where there’s a school bully that the two main characters don’t like. I’m really curious why Mercedes doesn’t want people to hang out with Alice. More please!

    • We find out at the end of Chapter 2 why it is that Mercedes hates Alice. I should watch Bridge to Tarabithia one of these days. This past weekend was a great movie catch up weekend for me, but I ended up watching a bunch of films set in Japan—not that that’s a bad thing. 🙂

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