Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 23: End of Year

I already did an end-of-the-year and goals-for-next-year writing update here, if you’re interested.

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA SUSPENSE:  53,965 words,  16 1/2 chapters


NA CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: Thought of, but not outlined at all yet

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

YA SUSPENSE:  58,546 words,  17 1/2 chapters  — SHELVED

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: Outlined completely; 10,704 words,  4 chapters

NA CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: Outlined completely

WIP Issues This Month: Coming off NaNoWriMo “failing” (even with 25,000 words) and just not feeling the love at all for my YA SUSPENSE, I struggled in early December. I wrote every day (until I FINALLY took one day off), but it was often just 100 words. I’d been off-outline for a while with this book, but I just wasn’t loving it at all. But at the same time, it was already my second take at this (having thrown out the vast majority of the 50,000-word draft from 2012!), and I was worried I’d never finish it if I didn’t keep moving forward. (Also, I didn’t finish a single manuscript this year.) Plus, I’d worked on it EVERY DAY since early September, forcing myself to write even on insanely busy, tiring and stressful days.

But I just I knew it might mean I’ll never finish it, or maybe I will come back to it someday. (It’s near the end and I have a vague idea of where it’s going, but it probably needs another 10-20k I’m not up for.) I wondered if I should give it up and work on my next project, which I pictured as the first of four books in a NA contemporary romance series I intended to straight-to-self-pub, but at the same time, I did want some finished YA manuscript to try to get an agent with again. (Coming up on two years without one soon!) Then I got a shiny new idea–finally a fairy tale retelling like I’ve always wanted to do that I think hasn’t been done before. (The fairy tale has been, but not this aspect of it–it’s more of a prequel with some of the same elements. Also, it’s not even one of the more popular fairy tales among YA retellings.)

So I got my love for writing back by telling myself it was okay to give up on the YA suspense. I outlined the new idea for a week while I tried to keep going with the YA suspense and finally decided to turn my attention to the new idea instead. And I’ve written a lot more per day so far, so I’m hopeful… I just hate being back at square one with a manuscript practically. ;-; Oh, but I also outlined the entire first book in the NA contemporary romance series in my downtime when on this writer’s high, so I feel like this had been a good decision for me.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. Shelving a manuscript might sometimes be the best thing. (I’m just hoping I don’t get to 58k with this new one and think the same thing…)

2. It’s hard to tell the difference between the “this really should be shelved” and the “this is just you struggling and you really should finish it” feelings.

3. Writing is just… always hard!

4. Ideas hit you during the strangest most unexpected moments.

What distracted me this month while writing: I haven’t gone on any day trips this month, but I’ve been busy with work. (And Christmas! Yay!) Oh, and of course I saw Star Wars and felt like a kid again, and I’ve seen a few other movies.

Oh, fellow WIP Marathoner Suzanne van Rooyen and I have our books I HEART Robot and NOBODY’S GODDESS up for a Month9Books Readers Choice Award until December 31st! Throw either of us some love and vote or comment?

Goal for next month: I’m hoping I’ll finally get the edits for the second round (perhaps final instead of expected three rounds?) of NOBODY’S LADY revisions for real in January. There was a hiccup and I expected them back in October and each month since, but… I think now they’re for sure on their way. I’d love to get a lot more done in the YA fairy tale retelling. I don’t think I’ll want or need to start the NA until I finish the YA. I could start outlining the other books in that series, but I’ll probably wait until I’m focusing on that manuscript.



Author of YA speculative fiction and cozy paranormal mysteries.

10 thoughts on “WIP Marathon 23: End of Year

  1. So sorry that you had to devote a lot of time to your YA project only to lose the consuming love you had for it 😦 Hopefully, that doesn’t happen with your new project. I’m with you too, wish I had a way to know too if a project is better off shelved or not, but the best thing to do is probably to go with your guts.

    Congrats on all the dreams you achieved this year, and hope next year is even more successful!

    1. Thank you! I wish I had been working on THIS project the whole time instead, but I hadn’t even thought of it. Oh, well… And like you said, I hope it doesn’t happen again! XD

      Thank you, you too!

  2. Yay!! I’m so glad we’re both back on track!! I’ve been rooting for you! I haven’t finished anything this year either, outside of some edits. Sometimes shelving something really is the best thing to do. If a project becomes a burden, even after a break from it, setting it aside is the best thing to do. Both for our creativity and sanity. And I’ve been through this alot, in the last year especially. I know how hard it is, so major kudos for having the strength to set it down. Seriously!

    All the best with the new project! I’m looking forward to watching your progress with it! The right project makes all the difference in the world. ^_^

    1. I think you pinpointed exactly why I had to set it aside: for my creativity and sanity! Although I worry it’ll just happen again with the next book, I feel more at home with this one, so I hope it doesn’t. I’m sorry you’ve had to make this decision a number of times… But glad to know you’ve always pulled through it!

      Than you!

  3. It’s hard to set aside a manuscript––I’ve definitely had the same dilemma where I wasn’t sure if I should just take a break from something or give up on it entirely. But either way, sometimes it just has to be done. In a while, you might have a burst of inspiration and want to go back to it, but it’s also okay if you don’t! Good luck with your new project. I love fairytale retellings, especially ones of lesser-known stories. 🙂

    1. Yeah, you keep hearing advice to keep going even when you don’t want to, but it’s hard to know!

      Thank you! The story is relatively well known, I just can’t find many YA retellings. (I.e., it’s not Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid. 😉

  4. Urgh, I know that feeling with a project you’ve fallen out of love with :/ Sometimes shelving it, even for a while, is exactly what needs to happen. It’s what happened several times for me with Scardust over a 2.5 year period until it finally came together 🙂

    Thank you for the MNB shout out!

    Here’s to hoping 2016 is a spectacular writerly year for us!!

    1. I didn’t realize you’d shelved Scardust more than once and now it’s about to be out in the world! That’s amazing! Yeah, at least I’ll be able come back it. If I want to!

      No problem. Same to you! 😀


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