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.