Posted in Writing, Writing: Help

WIPMarathon Check-In #4

Last Check-in Wordcount + ChapterCount: 72,956 words and 28 chapters (first draft completed)

Current WC + CC: 73,226 words and 28 chapters (still editing)

I surpassed my overall goal (“get as much of the first draft done as possible by the end of the month”), so yay. 😀 The marathon has been motivating and a lot of fun to participate in. When I started writing this one in early July, I really didn’t feel like I could finish before the end of the year. Earlier this month I became more determined to finish, but I still thought it would take me another few months. So this was beyond awesome.

WIP Issues this week: Despite totally kicking my goal’s butt this month, I actually barely scratched the surface of the goals I set for myself for this week once I’d finished the draft: Edit it all–just a typo-check and minor continuity changes at this stage–AND write the outline for my next project, the shiny new idea that came to me last week. I didn’t get as far with editing as I’d like, mostly because I was busy, and I didn’t even start the outline.

A good thing, though, because the outline for the shiny new idea continues to evolve in my head. It’s important it evolves and becomes something a little different because it’s dangerously close to some been-there, read-that vibes from other books, I think. It’s how I execute it that I hope sets it apart and makes it worthwhile. (It’ll be my first attempt at a straight-up contemporary, no supernatural involved, so that’s why I was unsure I could make it unique enough. Also… I’m actually going for NA instead of YA this time, which I never thought I’d do.)

What I learned this week in writing: I can actually miss writing/editing on days I’m stuck doing work writing instead. ;-; (I’m usually so tired of staring at a computer screen on those days I don’t miss it.)

What distracted me this week while writing: Work. I also beta read 20 chapters of someone else’s work, which was a pleasant distraction. 😀

Plan after the marathon: Finish the first edits, do the beta process, hopefully get it off to my agent, and meanwhile also outline the next project and dive into it soon!

Last 200 words: I can’t share the last 200 written or edited due to spoilers, but I guess I’ve steeled myself and am ready to share the very first 200 words of the book if you guys want to see it.

I’d lived only five winters the first time I saw an infant drowned.

I felt Father’s hand on my shoulder as the horse jostled us slightly, shaking her head and whipping the tips of her silky black mane across my eyes. Father noticed the instinct that took over, the mere moment my eyelids closed despite the how hard I’d fought to keep them open. “Watch, Rohesia. Burn the moment into your mind.”

The shrieking woman held aloft by two soldiers kicked her legs, sending her skirt upward. I noticed the mud that collected among the hem, the strands of straw-colored hair that escaped her kerchief and swung wildly across her mouth. The hair blew with each shriek like curtains in the breeze, the skirt a gale that tore through a field of wheat, the woman the only source of movement beyond the scuffing hooves of the horses beside me.

“The child, Rohesia. Not the mother.”

The soldier by the river tossed the tattered cloth that had wrapped the baby on the ground and held the crying infant as far out in front of him as his stocky arms would allow. One gauntlet supported the baby’s head and neck, the other gripped the child’s body loosely, and I saw one impossibly small leg kick upward vainly.

–Oops, beta reader, I read this over again and changed a few words yet again if you noticed a difference, but yeah…


Author of YA speculative fiction and cozy paranormal mysteries.

20 thoughts on “WIPMarathon Check-In #4

  1. Congratulations on all the progress you made!
    I wanted to do more this week too, but once I finished I just sort of deflated. Lol!

    Oh wow. That’s awful they’re drowning that baby! WHY? It’s very engaging though.

    1. Thank you! 😀 You do feel less of the pressure once you finish a draft!

      I know, right? Sorry. XD It’s a pretty dark story. I wondered sometimes where I got the violent stuff from, but it’s a pretty violent story. ^^;

  2. Congratulations on beating your editing goal!

    Very intrigued by the excerpt and seems like an effective way to open up a story, I am already hooked and want to read more.

    Good luck with the rest of your edits and in working out more of your shiny new idea. I think it often feels like stories have been done before, even when you think you’re writing something very original but I agree that it lies more in the telling and probably the characters than anything else. I’m sure whatever the idea is, you will easily make it your own 🙂

  3. ” “The child, Rohesia. Not the mother.” ”
    That part got to me! Love how you handled it and the tension in your first 200 is sooo thick. *trying not to run back and re-check mine for tension*

    Congrats again on finishing your first draft and good luck with your edits!

    Hope you’d keep updating your progress too 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so glad to hear I got the tension across. And thanks again for organizing everything! It was fun!

      I’ll definitely be squeeing online when/if I finish edits and start the new one! 😀

  4. Congratulations on crushing your goal! That’s awesome. Yeah, something happens when we hit a mark, right? We relax a little. But I think you set really high standards and I’m sure you’re going to accomplish everything you put out there. What a great month! I hope we all keep in touch!

  5. Well done on reaching that goal! Super impressive! 😀

    “I’d lived only five winters the first time I saw an infant drowned.” <—- woah! Amazing opening line. So shocking and poses so many questions all at once. Hooked me in immediately. Nicely done!


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