Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday #12

Do you know that every time I type the word "Wednesday" (and I've been typing it a lot lately for these posts) to make sure that I spell it correctly I have to say it in my head as "Wed-ness-day", instead of the way I say it out-loud, which is: "Wendsday".

This is turn makes me think about the Final Jeopardy question from Monday night (it also just so happened to be the first night of the College Tournament aka my third favorite tournament. My first two being Celebrity and Champions) which was: The state that made a law (or proclamation, or something. I don't remember the exact wording) stating that the spelling of it's name would be different from it's pronunciation. Do you know? I'll put the answer at the end of this post. And don't forget to give your answer in the form of a question.

Okay, so onto the actual WIP part of this post. I was actually kind of stalling because I am still in the waiting for beta reads stage, and despite all my optimistic plans about being productive during this time writing short stories and working on my query letter - I have instead done a whole lot of nothing.

However, on a brighter note, I have been carefully tracking the progress of one of my favorite beta readers also known as my husband, Andy, and he is very close to finishing!

Now, I know the whole thing about not having friends and family crit your work, and I think that really it just depends on the family member or friend. And in the case of Andy he is especially great because we actually began our relationship working together on creative projects when we went to film school together. We were both enrolled in the Film and Television Production emphasis at Chapman University, which for the most part focused on writing and directing. Although Andy is much more into movies than books (in fact pretty much everything I write, I know that he's mentally casting it and deciding which scenes won't make it into the movie) the basics of storytelling are the same.

Even though as writers we have very different aesthetics I know that Andy is as much of fan of my style of writing, as I am of his. He has a definite Indie drama vibe, while I lean more towards comedic, character driven material. While all parts of writing is subjective (I touched on this a bit in my last post when I talked about The Godfather and Lord of the Rings), humor might be one of the most subjective. For example, while I would say that American Pie is mildly amusing, I find the scene in Bridget Jones' Diary where she is drunk and singing "All By Myself" to be the totally hysterical.

Andy though, gets my sense of humor. You could even go so far as to say it is what made him fall in love with me. You see, usually when people ask how we met, we tell them that Andy was the TA for one of my classes, or that he was the DP (guy who handles camera and lighting) for my first film (and all my subsequent ones too). And while this is all true - it is how we met and got to know one another better, it is not what first led to us being together.

The truth is that I had a crush on Andy from almost the first moment we met. It was just like, BAM - "I really like this guy." Meanwhile, for him, the first time he saw me his first thought was, "That girl dresses kind of weird." (For the record I do not believe that I dressed weird, and on that particular day I was wearing a very cute little sundress over jeans, and I quite possibly also paired it with a very cool knit scarf that I was very into at the time.)

So what was it that made my husband stop seeing me as a girl who dressed weird, and as a girl who he might potentially marry and have children with one day? Well, after he agreed to be the DP for my movie (which I was very freaked out about since it was my classes first real shooting on actual film movie) I sent him an email expressing some of my anxiety and also sent along my script.

According to Andy (btw, if you are wondering how I know all this, I obviously grilled him endlessly after we started dating in the hopes of hearing a Some Enchanted Evening, love at first sight, story from him. Clearly, I was disappointed in this.) it was that email that made him laugh and for the first time think I was not only funny, but also a cool and interesting person. He also liked my script, which certainly helped.

Of course, not knowing any of this at the time I ended up buying new cute clothes and getting blonde highlights in my hair, (incidentally those highlights were done by a hairdresser who the whole time he was foiling and cutting my hair entertained me with stories about the porn stars that he usually did hair for - so that was interesting.) when I could have just saved my time and money, and just sent some more emails instead.

At any rate, to have my first beta read come from Andy is actually pretty great, because not only is he a tough critic, but he also always comes up with tons of ideas to fix the problems that he found. Already we've started to discuss some of the different ideas he's had and some of the things he's really liked and disliked. In some ways it's more of an ongoing dialogue rather than a straight-on crit, and being able to talk things out like this just helps me get things out of my head and understand them better.

So, that's my WIP week. Less about my week in progress, and more about my life in progress, I guess. But enough about me - how has your week been? And do you have a beta reader who you find particularly helpful in critting your work?

And if you want to participate in WIP Wednesday, simply post your own WIP Wednesday entry on your blog and leave a link to it in the comments below. Or if you don't have a blog, feel free to report your progress directly into the comments box.

For more detailed information concerning what all this nonsense is about please consult the original Work in Progress Wednesday posting.

Feel free to also make use of the lovely little WIP Wednesday logo as well!

And don't worry I didn't forget. The Jeopardy Answer: What is Arkansas.


  1. My husband is a great critic as well. He can see ten steps ahead (and impossible to beat at chess) while I'm still two steps behind. He amazes me! He's honest and definitely better with punctuation! Whew! I'm so lucky to have his help! By the way, it was fun to read how you met and got together! :)

  2. Bridget Jones' Diary is one of my ALL-TIME fave movies! Yes...I love that scene too. Ugh...I am her!

  3. I'm still in the waiting on betas stage, rowing along with ya!

    I'm happy you're WIP is coming along great and that your hubby can help you. My husband helps me a lot too.

    Your husband sounds like a great guy! Good luck on planning your stages. It's a fun part of the process, I think.

  4. I was thinking it might be, What is Illinois?

    And I totally think "Wed-ness-day" every time I write the word, like, since I learned how in grade school.
    I love your post. I love how you write and all the tangents. And that is awesome your husband is such a great crit partner.

    My husband is the exact opposite. In college when I was working on my first novel (and a few months after we met), I let him read a scene I was particularly proud of, and he told me that it reminded him of an episode of Roseanne... And if he had understood my goals as a writer and what I loved to read, he would've known not to say that. I even wondered, does he understand me at all? I told my friend in my writing class, and she asked, "Is this a deal-breaker??" I almost thought it was! But, I have just learned never to show him anything, and not really to talk about anything either. He and I have very similar tastes in movies, but stories, not so much. But, he is supportive of my writing dreams all the same, and that's fine with me!

    I'll be posting my progress later tonight.

  5. OMGosh. what a great story. I love great stories... *sigh* I met my hubby in college, too. We worked at the switchboard in the student union. I did the night shift--don't ask me how. I was young and vibrant, then! LOL He managed though, while I just answered phones. I crushed on him right away because he was a handsome devil. :D

    okay, okay. i know, this post is about WIPs. I'm not sure I'll get around to posting today, so I came over to cheer you on instead.
    Have a great day. Enjoy life.

  6. Nisa - Isn't it wonderful to have a husband who is a partner in writing too? I feel very lucky to have the help of my husband as well.

    Litgirl01 - LOL, I have had my Bridget Jones moments too - that is probably why I think the movie is so funny - because I can totally relate to it!

    Lady Glamis - Is all this rowing making your arms tired yet? :) My hubby is a great guy - from what you've told me yours sounds pretty special too!

    Annie - Yeah, Illinois was my husband's guess too. Your "is this a dealbreaker?" moment is too funny. If it makes you feel better I don't think the Roseanne comment is terrible - it is a classic sitcom.

    Bethanne - Oooh, working the night shift together - that is totally romantic! I think there's a book in there too;) Thanks for the cheers too!

  7. I think that is so cool that your hubby can read your work and crit it. IMHO that's totally ligit! Glad you're making progress with the editing!

  8. That's a good hubby!

    PS. Check your e-mail. :)

  9. You? Dress weird? Totally don't believe that. And I couldn't guess Arkansas. Le sigh.

  10. I would have guessed Illinois too.

    My post is up:

  11. My ninth graders are reading "Romeo and Juliet" right now ... you cannot believe some of the pronunciations we've come out with. That's the first thing your post made me think of.

    The second thing was my own experience with mispronunciation of words. I read texts that were at a higher level than most conversations that went on around me, so I had a lot of words sounding wrong in my head because I'd only seen them, never heard them.

    There was a lot of fascinating stuff on this post, but that's what I got stuck on.

    Thanks : )

  12. My hubby hasn't read any of my work - but he DOES come up with amazing titles!!! (cool, considering he doesn't read my stuff....)

  13. Jody - Thanks! I think it's legit too:)

    Jennifer - He is a great hubby and thanks for the email!

    Elana - Well, I actually did go through a weird-dressing faze, but that was in the early 90's when everyone dressed weird. *shudders* Horrible neon clothes.

    Sandra - You would've guessed Illinois too? Weren't you on Jeapardy too? Actually, I think only one of the contestants got it right.

    KLO - OMG, I still to this day pronounce words incorrectly because I have only read them in books and not heard them aloud. It never gets less embarrassing.

    Christine - A hubby who can come up with good titles is a goldmine! I have a terrible time with titles, so I am very jealous about that.

  14. Thoroughly enjoyed reading about how you and your husband. I have a hard time with my hubby reading my wips because he analyzes everything and asks lot and lots of questions, which after 15 minutes drives me crazy. So I don't think he'll be reading my wips until I feel like they are truly done.

    My post is finally up here

  15. I so would have guessed Illnois, too!

    I think your "life-in-progress" post was great, because life will always influence the WIP. Thanks for sharing your story about you and your hubby!

    Here's my WIP Wednesday post.

  16. Great post. I love her dearly, but my wife is bit suspect as a critic of my work. She tries to be objective, but it rarely works out. Still, its nice to have someone telling you you're an awesome writer all the time!

    My day-late Wednesday WIP is finally up.

  17. Robin - My husband asks lots of questions too, but when I feel myself getting annoyed I just remind myself that he's only trying to help.

    Liz - It's true the life progress and writing one, are too entwined to ever separate them.

    Matt - Yes, I think every writer needs that one non-critical cheerleader who believes in your writing no matter what.

  18. I don't let my husband read my stuff at all. The last time he tried, he gave me ideas on how to turn my WIP into a scifi piece.

    That would have been okay, except I write women's fic.


    I guessed What is Arkansas!

    My hometown has a separate spelling/pronounciation too. It's spelled Norfolk but it's pronounced Norfork.

    You can always tell the foreigners.

  19. Whooo, way to go Kat - your the Jeapardy champion!

    And that is funny that your husband tried to change your novel into sci-fi from women's fiction - I would have loved to have heard exactly what those suggestions were!