WIP Report for March 2013

NAF WIP Mar 2013
In case you didn’t see the new weekly lineup, we’re trying to keep things fresh here at NAF. Another area of improvement is adding a little more personality to our monthly reports. We have some really exciting news this month, so read on and share your thoughts!

Avily Jerome:

Biggest encouragement is I’m doing a lot of writing-related things, even though I haven’t done much with a WIP. I’m working with Splickety Magazine (http://splicketymagazine.com/) to launch their blog, so that has taken a lot of groundwork and time from me, but it’s shaping up nicely and I’m excited about my part in what is going to be a great resource and outlet for writers.

Biggest discouragement is that I never seem to have the time or energy to devote to a WIP. So many other things (not the least of which is Splickety Magazine) take up my time and distract me that I rarely set aside time to just sit down and write or edit. Her latest blog post, “Trudging On” would fit nicely in this category. Have a read.

H.A. Titus:
Forged Steel
Draft 2 rewriting
Current word count:
Total word count: 60,000Finish date: 3/15

Biggest encouragement: I’m almost done with my rewrite…I only have 1 new scene to finish and several old scenes to go through.

Biggest discouragement: while the story is much better, I still have quite a lot of editing to do. I’m all excited for the story vision that’s in my head, but then I look at the amount of work left and the enthusiasm melts out of me and turns into a puddle of sour goo.

Will Ramirez:
Soul Yearning
Draft 5 Polishing
Current word count: 105,000
Total word count: 100,000
Finish date: 3/14

Biggest encouragement: I received a contract offer from OakTara for Soul Yearning a few days ago! So, on cloud nine at the moment.

Biggest discouragement: I had just started forming a habit of writing everyday when I got the offer and was churning out some serious pages for Sky Calling. Not much of a discouragement, but I want to make sure I get back to writing everyday as soon as this polish is finished. I find it easier to edit a little everyday than to write part of a first draft everyday.

Kristen Stieffel:

Title: Hope and Pride
Condition: Editing
Current Word Count: 108,000
Projected Total: 110,000
Projected Finish: Sometime this year

Biggest encouragement: I received a four-book contract from OakTara for my fantasy series, The Prophet’s Chronicle. No release date yet for book one, Alara’s Call, but I’m hoping it will be in time for the Realm Makers conference.

Biggest discouragement: When I pitched my contemporary novel Hope and Pride to editors at the Florida Christian Writers Conference, they all said it’s too hard to build brand across different genres.
Why I’m still encouraged: Publishing in fantasy, literary, and suspense hasn’t hurt C.S. Lakin any.
Quick link: Book Designer Joel Friedlander put out a new design guide as a free e-book: ow.ly/hXp8R

Ralene Burke:
2nd draft (editing)
Current Word Count: 0
Total Word Count: 90,000
Deadline: April 30th, 2013

Biggest Encouragement: I did a read through of Aletheia this month–it wasn’t quite as awful as my mind had made it out to be. Yes, it needs work, but it has potential. Go me!

Biggest Discouragement: This month, my editing business took off, so I’ve been struggling with balance. Editing, writing, blogging, homeschooling, cleaning–it’s a lot to handle if I don’t stay on task. Good thing I like lists!

Ren Black:
Title: Secrets of the Dragon Seal
Condition: limbo
Current Word Count: same as before
Projected Total: same
Projected Finish: misplaced

Biggest encouragement: I’ve actually started re-drafting the opening and am definitely liking some things about it. My Husband and I have talked a bunch about the empathetic complication, though that’s still a struggle. Part of me is convinced that once I nail that issue then the book will practically “write itself”. When I said that to my Husband I was half joking but he heartily proclaimed, “Exactly.” I’ve also ordered a jewelry making book for some immersion fodder to help me get into Sagon’s life and world in Jeweler’s Son.

Biggest discouragement: Life. Lately my mind has been so much on home stuff. The clutter of my life has really been getting to me.

Why I’m still encouraged: In all honesty, “still discouraged” would be accurate, to the point of denial even. Yet perhaps it ought to read “Why I’m still discouraged but refuse to let go:” For months I’ve struggled, caught between so many “should”s and escaping through digital entertainment.I haven’t managed to isolate and defend any true focus time on my writing except for night time when I feel too tired to focus.

So why not take a break? Because it’s not a break. This isn’t fixing itself and is not something that I can outwait. Meanwhile even my Husband has noticed my irritability. When I don’t make any progress in my writing I feel at odds, a hypocrite to myself and who I am – especially when I’m supposed to be writing regular blog posts about my “successes”. It’s miserable.
So I numb that dissatisfaction by beating a game app or washing dishes late at night while surfing netflix. Thus the downward spiral begins continues.

But, if anyone is interested in an addictive strategic game app, try Bloons Tower Defense game by Ninja Kiwi. Online or app. Get yours today! … but as a warning, it will never compare to the satisfaction of finishing writing your own stories.

Timothy C. Ward
Title: Kaimerus
Condition: 5th Draft editing
Current Word Count: 90061
Total Word Count: 120960
Projected finish: 6/1/13

Biggest encouragement this month: I’m still going. The goal in this draft is adding description and removing narrative summary, and I’m doing it, slowly but surely. I keep an excel sheet tracking my progress, and though I’m not hitting my original goal of 1%/day, I am punching this thing in the mouth each day (except Sunday).

Biggest discouragement this month: I’m not thrilled about the ballooning word count. I took a step back from the novel for a morning to assess the fact that I was at 90k and still had at least 30k more to add. I tried to see if the action in that last fourth could be cut out, and I’m afraid it can’t.

Why I’m still encouraged: I get another draft to polish. Beta readers may help me show what can get cut, or say they enjoy the epicness to this story. I’m growing as an author! Every punch in the mouth is improvement from the last punch, and I often see this as part of my 10,000 hours anyway, so future novels shouldn’t take three+ years to finish.

Quick link: Michael J. Sullivan purchased a picture from this artist, Andreas Rocha, to use on his new blog, and I found one for my desktop that inspires me not to slack on the epic image I have of my scenery.

It took a few days to get this post together, and since then I’ve been on a roll. I’m at 81% now, and have a goal to progress .8% a day to finish by April 19, then have two weeks to polish it up before DemiCon here in Des Moines on May 3-5. I don’t know what agents are there or even if I want to go the traditional pub route (leaning toward yes), but it’s a doable goal and I’m shooting for it.

About Timothy C. Ward

Timothy C. Ward is a Hugo nominated producer for Adventures in SciFi Publishing, who has been lost, broke and surfed with sharks on the other side of the world. He now dreams of greater adventures from his keyboard in Des Moines, Iowa. This summer he released two novels: his second Sand Divers book, Scavenger: A.I., where two parents use an ancient technology to fight a reproducing A.I. while trying to resurrect their deceased infant; and Godsknife: Revolt, an apocalyptic battle for godhood in the rift between Iowa and the Abyss.

8 comments on “WIP Report for March 2013

  1. I just realized why OakTara looked familiar, because it is Will’s publisher, too! I can’t say it enough, congrats you guys! I just read this like the fifth time and I’m still really pumped up about it. I hope you’ll both be able to be on the podcast next month so we can chat more about it.

    Btw, last night I crossed the 100k mark. This has been the best week in months. I hope it’s because I’m nearing the end of Act II and all the knots I untied along the way mean I have a clearer path to the finish.

    Seriously, we need to find some way to celebrate these book deals.

  2. Wow, you guys are all so busy! I’m going to look into OakTara, since I haven’t seen them before. I’m right on the cusp of querying around–my life’s kind of a joke right now and I need things to settle down first.

    Also, are you guys ALL writing high fantasy?

    • I’m writing a science fiction that’s around 120k. Firefly crashes on Avatar and wakes up 28 Days Later is my pitch, to give you an idea.

    • You could say my “first love” is fantasy, but I’ve dabbled in branching out. I have story ideas in some stage that cover futuristic earth, dimension jumping and even contemporary fiction without any speculative stuff(never thought I’d see that day, lol).

      And as a supportive note, Kristen, I’d never let someone tell me to not write other books I have. Whether or not they sell, that’s always a risk that we as the authors must face, and no one can predict for sure. But my “platform” does not run me. I’m not the type to conform on that level.

  3. Yes, a big congrats to Will and Kristen. I’m so excited for you both.

    I like this new style. I think it is fun–and much more interesting.

    Kessie, my current WIP is a fantasy, but I also have some supernatural suspense in the works as well.

  4. Kristen, thanks for the mention. I was encouraged when I first started and got a lot of flak about writing multiple genres. Then my author friend James Bell told me of some author friends he had who were very successful writing two main genres, alternating between them, which is essentially what I’ve been doing with a dozen novels. I feel you should always first write what is in your heart to write and what you are passionate about, unless you (not you specifically, but any writer) only want to make money. I have given up the big branding money-making possibilities by doing this and not writing strict genre (none of my book are), but I love all my novels and would never “give them up” to trade for writing genre just to sell. I hope more writers write with passion and tell amazing stories instead of writing just to make a buck. I wish you all the success and joy in your journey.

    Ralene, if you can figure out how to balance the editing biz and writing, let me know. I work full-time as an editor and writing coach and never have time to write! I have a novel due last month I haven’t even started!

    • Thanks, Susanne! You’re so right about passion. That trumps all the “branding” advice, in my book. Roy E. Disney’s comment about it still resonates with me: “Branding is for cattle.”

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