WIP Snapshot: The Blues

Writing Song of the Day: “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash

First off, Happy Fourth of July all!!! We’re glad that you took a moment to stop by the blog! As Pam mentioned last week, we took this idea from Caroline Tung Richmond (remember follow her blog !), who has admitted that she stole this idea from super author Kiersten White. Basically, they both gave details on their current works-in-progress. Just like Pam did here last week, I’m going to attempt to break down one of my two current WIPs.

Ready?? Here goes!

Title: The Blues–I hate titles. Like, loathe them. But there’s a place of significance in the novel called The Blues, plus it pretty much conveys the mood.

Genre: Contemporary YA (with some mystery elements)

Pages: 256 (double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman Font)

Chapters: 22–some are as long as seventeen pages, others as short as five. I might need to fix that…

Word Count: 56,838–I always have the issue of adding more to my work. In Limbo started at 52,000 and after revisions is at 60,334. Hope I can do the same with The Blues.

Draft Time: I started writing the very first version of this September 2010 and got serious about it in December, right after NaNoWriMo. I wrote about thirty pages in third person, and played around with two POVs, then I gave up and worked on In Limbo. THEN, I came back to it in February 2011 and completed the first draft right around March 2011, the second draft at the end of April and I’m working on the third now.

Origin: It all started because I wanted to write a contemporary YA after being in historical mode. Then I went to a conference (Hampton Road Writers Conference in September 2011) and set in on a session about writing an effective mystery. I already had a main character in mind and an idea of a relationship with him and a girl…then I added in the mystery element and started writing from there.

Random Facts:

  • In the beginning of the novel, Blake’s (the MC) history teacher always shows videos. This came from hearing about teachers that do this…and we’ve even enountered teachers who show TV episodes for no apparent reason.
  • Margo’s name (Blake’s love interest) was Millie at first…yeah, Margo’s not that much better–but Millie, really?
  • After reading Ellen Hopkin’s Crank (per Pam’s recommendation) I decided to make crystal meth the central drug in The Blues.
  • Blake and his Ma are Italian mainly because I was trying to teach myself Italian and I wanted to throw in phrases every now and then 🙂
  • Blake is somewhat of a low class computer genius because I like to think I’m pretty handy with electronics, even though I’m not–at all.
  • Blake drives a two door light blue Chevy Cavalier POS (remember this means piece of sh*t)…because I drive a two door white Chevy Cavalier POS.

Okay, there it is. I have The Blues out with two betas right now and can’t wait to delve back into revising it. Just as Pam asked last week, we’d love to hear about your writing. So, how goes it?

***BTW– That smashing new header on our blog? Yeah, that comes from the lovely Jess at Jest Kept Secret. Thanks, girlie–we LOVE it!!


WIP Snapshot: Project J

Writing Song of the Day: “Fake It” by Seether

Okay, so we blatantly stole this idea from the lovely Caroline Tung Richmond (who, by the way, you should SO follow–her blog is incredible!), who has admitted that she stole this idea from super author Kiersten White. Basically, they both gave details on their current works-in-progress. I’ll tackle mine this week–but stay tuned for Quita’s breakdown next Monday. And now…let’s do this!

Title: Some of you may remember me mentioning Project J on the blog. Well, I had to quickly give it a title for an SCBWI novel retreat, and I settled on Faking It. Don’t worry, it’s only temporary.

Genre: Hopefully humorous, contemporary YA

Pages: 283. This is double-spaced with 12-point Times New Roman font.

Chapters: 28–maybe I’ll lose one or two of them during the revision process (which I’m devoting the whole month of July for).

Word Count: A little over 70K. Yeah, I definitely have to ditch a few chapters.

Draft Time: Well, I technically started Project J last summer, but then I hit a roadblock so I went back to my Wants revisions. I had to ask Quita when I started writing it again, and she said she thinks either February or March. I’ll take her word on that. I just know that I FINALLY finished my first draft near the end of April.

Origin: I was inspired by the 80s classic, Can’t Buy Me Love. I knew that I wanted to write something a bit lighter since Wants was so dark (though it does have its light moments, too). I also still wanted to tackle “heavy” issues and underrepresented populations. I haven’t read many stories with gay/lesbian parents, so I found a way to combine the ideas together.

Random Facts:

  • My protagonist’s name is Jonah. I recently went through another revision of Wants and noticed I had a minor character named Jonah. Wants Jonah is a douche–which is the complete opposite of my new protag.
  • Jonah’s mom’s name is Beverly–which I also realized is the name of one of my character’s moms in Wants. I really need to visit one of those baby names websites more often, huh?
  • I’ve written three YA manuscripts so far, and basketball is featured in every one of them. I have no clue why since…well, I have NO CLUE about basketball. Which sucks because Jonah was trying out for the basketball team. Let’s just say I utilized Google and my dad a lot.
  • My story is set in a small city in Virginia, which is pretty much where all of my stories are set. Can you guess where I’m from?
  • Jonah doesn’t use a lot of profanity, which makes this one of the “cleanest” stories I’ve ever written. Hmm, I wonder if that’s why it took me forever to complete the first draft…
  • When Jonah was younger, he was in a school production of A Christmas Carol. His only line was: “Merry Christmas, Mr. Scrooge.” I so stole that memory from my dad.

There you have it–this is what I’ll be working on over the summer. I’m hoping to send it out to betas soon so that I can really dig into the heart of this story. What about you all? How’s your writing going? We’d love to read about your WIPs. 🙂