#WIPjoy Day 8

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Welcome to #WIPjoy! This is week 2, where I discuss relationships in the book.

Day 8: Who’s your protagonist’s best friend?

My protagonist, Zephyr, has a twin sister named Dwyn. They’ve been close since they were babies and they’re, frankly, the other’s only close friend. Having a sibling as your best friend is different from having just a best friend, though. The two share more than interests and good chemistry: they share DNA and life experiences.

#WIPjoy Day 7

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Welcome to #WIPjoy!

Day 7: Tell us about YOU and your work!

Well, I’m Coryl. I’ve been writing for a long time, but only started taking it seriously in 2010. Almost all of my writing deals with one of the following themes: identity, death, and failure. …And most of my writing is tragedy rather than comedy.

I haven’t really published much. I’ve been in a few zines in university. I’ve written poetry and short stories, and have been writing novels on the side. Poetry definitely feels easiest to write, but novels are my main goal.

#WIPjoy Day 6

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Welcome to #WIPjoy!

Day 6: Which character is hardest to write?

Imani is definitely the hardest character for me to write. She’s a black woman who lived in a small, isolated community. Her character arc in the story comes from her trying to find her missing younger sister—who she’s cared for over the past few years after the rest of her family drowned. Imani is difficult because of the community she’s grown up in (think “small town” but also “xenophobia,” “revolution,” and “generation gap”) and her relationship with her younger sister. These are two core elements to her person that I have no experience with whatsoever. She’s truly out of my personal understanding, so I’ve worked to get as much insight into these situations as possible.

#WIPjoy Day 5

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Welcome to #WIPjoy!

Day 5: How easy is this WIP to write?

Considering I started it in the summer of 2013, have rewritten it three times now, and I’m only (on this draft) getting it to a place where it looks like a good story… it could be considered difficult. But it’s also the first book I’ve seriously tried to write. When it comes to the actual writing—the outlining, plotting, character building, drafting, revising—I’m having quite an easy time with it. The story flows, and it’s been hard work trying to get to the point where it continually flows.

#WIPjoy Day 3

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Welcome to #WIPjoy!

Day 3: How do you get to know your characters?

I’ve personally gotten to know them over the past few years through writing them into so many drafts. But in the story, we get to know the characters through their interaction with each other, as well as their families. Zephyr has a twin sister, Dwyn, and their family bond is important. Imani has a younger sister, Ayesha, who goes missing—and she’s the only family she has left. Gabriel leaves his family after they prove themselves to be inadequate in supporting him. So through all the troubles the characters go through, the role of their family tells us about them.

#WIPjoy Day 2

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Welcome to #WIPjoy!

Day 2: Why does your protagonist pull at your heartstrings?

My protagonist, Zephyr, pulls at my heartstrings because, well, he’s a part of myself. He’s anxious about change, and wants to know about every possibly variable in a plan before he makes any decisions and takes action. He truly wants everything to be right and good, so my heartstrings get yanked because he has to come to terms with that, and then shift his entire perspective. He learns the hard way that, no matter how badly you want something—whether it’s moral, tangible, or emotional—there’s no guarantee you’ll get it.

#WIPjoy Day 1

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Welcome to #WIPjoy!

Day 1: Introduce your WIP

The Pilgrimage is a high fantasy novel featuring a set of twins, a trans man, a woman and her lost sister, and a student hell-bent on success. There’s magic and mermaids; friends, family, and foes; and teenagers realising the world is a cruel, harsh place—and the systems they live in are bigger than they could have imagined.

#WIPjoy in February

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WIPjoy is a series of questions and prompts are from Bethany A. Jennings (on Instagram, Twitter, and her website)  for writers to answer about their work-in-progress. I was late to the January party, and I don’t want to wait until the next one, so I’m doing the first 28 prompts through February!

The WIP (work in progress) I’ll post about is The Pilgrimage. I’m well on my way to having the draft done and ready for intense revisions, so I figure now is the perfect time to shout my love and joy for this project. I’ll be posting daily, but they’ll be very short posts!

Week 1: Introductions

  • Introduce your WIP.
  • Why does your protagonist pull at your heartstrings?
  • How do you get to know your characters?
  • Share a line about your premise!
  • How easy is this WIP to write?
  • Which character is hardest to write?
  • Tell us about YOU and your work!

Week 2: Relationships

  • Who’s your protagonist’s best friend?
  • How did the main characters meet?
  • Anyone suffering from a broken heart?
  • Share a line about love or hatred.
  • What was your antagonist’s past like?
  • What’s a message about relationships in your book?
  • Which characters get along the worst?

Week 3: A Few of My Favourite Things

  • At its best, my WIP’s dialogue is…
  • I love how I describe things when…
  • I love how I depict characters because…
  • Share an example of your best prose!
  • I love my world/setting because…
  • The relationship I root most for is…
  • I’m most impatient to hear reader reactions to…

Week 4: Character Takeover (Roleplaying!)

  • Describe yourself in five words.
  • One thing you’d change in your past?
  • Favourite way to relax?
  • A line you were proud to say.
  • Tell us about where you live.
  • Do you sympathise with (or relate to) the antagonist?
  • What are you self-conscious about?

Writing Wednesday: October Goals

For this week’s Writing Wednesday, I’m sharing goals for the upcoming month instead of posting some of my creative writing. I figure it’s time I get a bit more transparent and permanent with what I want to achieve. Call it accountability, if you want; I’m calling it a reminder.

I love October. It’s my favourite month of the year. I love the way it’s written, the linguistics of the word, the change of season, my birthday in the first week, Thanksgiving in the second week (#Canadian, don’t forget), the chance of frost in the third week, and Halloween in the fourth week. It isn’t a December mess with Christmas and New Year’s fighting for a week.

So it’s only natural my biggest goal is a terrifying one. I have to counterbalance the wondrous ambience of this month, aye?

Word Goal 1: 70,000 by October 7

I have to reach 60,000 by September 30, and then I can do the 10K in the first week of October. I’m behind on my word count (and scene completion) goals right now, but I have a good feeling about this weekend and my writing.

Word Goal 2: 80,000 by October 15

The deadline for this goal falls near the end of a week-long break from university classes, so I’m confident I can achieve this one.

Big Goal: Finish this draft of THE PILGRIMAGE

I want to have this done by November 1. That deadline might cause some trouble, since it’ll come very quickly. I write by scene and have yet to complete approximately half of the story. I don’t know how word counts will reflect the completed scenes, so I can’t set a word count goal. My original goal for this story was 70,000, but once I reached 35,000, I knew that was too low. We’ll see how this goes!

I have pinpointed 4 struggles.

  1. The keyboard for my desktop finally wore out under my 110WPM fury. I am stuck with my laptop and its terrible keys that are much too slow for my fingers. I’ll be replacing the keyboard in the second week of October when I’m back up north with my family and have access to decent electronics shops. Until then, however, I’m left with this aged machine.
  2. It’s midterm season for university. My time management skills have improved, so the second and third weeks of October will be a test of those skills. Luckily, I don’t have many tests this semester, which means I won’t have to stressfully study as much.
  3. I’m trying to maintain relatively good grades and progress with readings in my courses. A lot of my time is spent reading and re-reading material for class, and I read unfortunately slowly.
  4. I want to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, but I also want to edit THE PILGRIMAGE during November. I’ll see if I can balance writing something for the heck of it and editing something I take seriously. There’s no shame in giving up one. (I’d be giving up NaNoWriMo, as is my tradition.)

I’m going to do what I can: manage my time carefully, remember to look after myself and my Self, and wake up earlier. I can function more easily by waking up earlier instead of staying up late. (The quiet mornings also give me a good space in which to meditate and do yoga.)

I’m shocked at my own motivation, to be completely honest. I won’t question it. I’m going to embrace the fiery in my ribcage and get this story told.

What are your writing goals for October?