WIP Marathon Monthly Check-In February

Hello! So this is our first monthly check-in, and here’s where I’m at (if you don’t know what’s up, check out the lovely Ifeoma Dennis‘s website):

Last report: Word and scene counts aren’t relevant for me this month, but they will be next time. When we finished the official WIPMarathon, I was hoping to start plotting my new MS but I hadn’t a single idea what story to focus on.

Current report: What I’ve done in that time amounts to not much in numbers, but I bounced ideas off my CPs (love you guys!) and after an entire week of stalling (you know, those FRABs Susan Dennard talks about! Fear Related Artistic Blocks… go read her blog series on this if you haven’t) and feeling like I had no ideas left, I got down a 3-act structure diagram for the WIP, some character details, and a bit of outlining. This also made me do a revised 3-act structure diagram (I swear by these things) for my last MS, realised some major plot points that could be made more intense, and spent a good part of the month doing that. Now I’m ready to start drafting the WIP!

WIP Issues This Month: See above for the FRABs!

Four things I learned this month in writing:

1. This isn’t so much a tip as it is a realisation: established, talented, published writers struggle with many of the same issues I do. While I wouldn’t wish fears and insecurities and annoyances on anyone else, I choose to find it very encouraging that this isn’t a hurdle I need to get past, but something I just need to learn to react to differently. That’s super encouraging, to me. Because I don’t think I could ever escape them completely!

2. Another realisation: I’m beginning to understand that there’ll always be people who want to rain on your parade. If you’re doing what you love and are passionate about, there will always be people, whether friends, family, or acquaintances, who want to try to make you feel bad, or make themselves feel better, via making a joke or snide comment. I get riled up easily by this stuff, but after reading this article from LifeHacker, I felt better. People who do these things undoubtedly aren’t wasting another second thinking about me and my life the second I walk away. So while they may make the same “joke” next time they speak to me, I need to choose to not bother caring. If I’m doing what makes me happy, and they still want to make comments, then I’m inclined to think they’re not doing what makes them happy, and that’s not my problem.

3. This goes back to the 3-act structure I mentioned, pounded in my head during screenwriting classes at uni. If you’re ever stuck, at any stage of writing from early-stage plotting to revisions, I encourage you to do one of these babies. Mark out the inciting incident, the Act I end, a few beats of conflict in Act II, the Mid-Point Reversal, the Act II end, and the climax. When you do this for what you’ve already written, you can easily see where you need to amp up the tension. The best online resource I’ve seen so far for what these points should ideally include is the amazing Janice Hardy. This is a great one but she does some others as well.

4. This is unrelated to writing, but true nonetheless. If you have bronchitis for 2 weeks, go to the doctor before the 3 week mark. No matter what the NHS or WebMD websites say. I’ve had it now for an entire month, and I wish I’d gone sooner. Blech.

What distracted me this month while writing: Bronchitis, which meant not being able to run or work out. Really dragged me down. And today I got nothing done writing-wise because I was at Cardiff Comic Con meeting the lovely John Rhys Davies (“Dwarves are natural sprinters!”) and Paul McGann, so I got to meet two actors in my top two favourite movies (LOTR and Withnail & I)

Goal for next month: Draft #1 of WIP finished.

Last 200 words: Agh! Still nothing for this! But next time 🙂 Instead, I leave you with these:

John Rhys Davies
John Rhys Davies
Paul McGann


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