Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday #13

Another week, another Work in Progress Wednesday.

This past week has been one of those where I feel like nothing has been accomplished, but then when I look back and really reflect on it, I realize that some important steps have been taken.

The biggest of those steps is that I've gotten crits back from three of my beta readers. Their feedback has already given me a lot to think about, or as Elana would call it some "major stewage".

Now I need to switch gears and start putting those ideas to paper, because when my fingers hit the keyboard the thoughts never come out quite the same as they did in my head - so that is the true test.

As far as concrete work accomplished, one of my beta readers suggested that I start my story at a slightly earlier point in the action. My problem with beginnings is that I always want to start at the latest possible point in the story (this applies to beginnings of chapters and scenes as well), but this often puts me in a position where I need to backtrack and flashback to fill in gaps.

Of course, as all you writers out there know, beginnings are a BIG HUGE DEAL. To state the obvious it is where your readers (whether they be a potential agent, publisher, or average book buyer) will start your book. More importantly, if your beginning doesn't grab them - it is where they will stop reading your book as well.

But no pressure. Right?

Yeah, right. So, I'm working on that.

There are a few other big things that need changing on my list, but right now for the coming week my big focus is working on the beginning. I'll report back next week on how that ends up going.

Finally, my last big Work in Progress is designing and executing a Cookie Monster cake for my son's birthday tomorrow. He'll be two and he absolutely loves Cookie Monster (I have a terrible feeling this might have been influenced by some of my food choices while he was in the womb.). I will update (with pictures!) and report back on that as well.

So how is your week progressing? Any major stewage going on? Have you been stumped by your beginnings? And for any cake decorators out there - should I go to Michael's for the blue food coloring, or just go with the stuff they sell at the grocery store?

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!

18 comments:

  1. LOL yes, I'm stewing about what kind of stories to write.
    A cookie monster cake? LOL You're so talented! I can't wait to see the pics. Your son will love it!
    :-)
    Good luck with the beginning. :-)

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  2. Happy Birthday to your little monster. The fun has just begun. Trust me. Talk about beginnings. BTW, go with Michaels. You'll keep adding food coloring to the vanilla frosting to get the perfect Cookie Monster blue and after a while, it does impart a (nasty alcohol) flavor. BTDT, Mom.

    A baby's life is just like the start of a good book. (Ooh, I just found my blog entry for the day.)

    I like to think about starting my book as if I'm dropping the characters in from the sky. Bam. Your life. Now go live. Think about it...if you were torturing someone (and that's what we writers do--we torture our characters) you'd wait until just the right point to drop 'em, just to make it interesting. You dangle them over the action...waiting...and suddenly, YES! There! Good conflict! Drop.

    Go torture your character.

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  3. I could go for a Cookie Monster cake right about now. :)
    Because Im dieting I'd probably eat it like Cookie Monster, too. LOL

    Good luck on your beginning.

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  4. I'm new to reading your blog and stumbled on it via a friend's blog. I love the WIP Wednesdays and thought it'd be a great way to help myself be a little more personally accountable for my writerly progress. :)

    Beginnings can be very rough. None of my current projects have had difficult beginnings, but one WIP I've shelved has given me no end of trouble with it. Sometimes it's best to just forget about how much weight the start carries and put something down to test the waters. Good luck working it out :)

    And I've got my first WIP Wednesday over at my blog.

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  5. Love cookie monster.
    Love your beginning, too.
    It's where the action starts...the story. If you ask me.

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  6. Ahhh! You're so creative. I bet little man will love his cake...can't wait to see the pics:)

    I always struggle with where to start my mss. Wish I had some words of clarity to motivate you. Good luck:)

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  7. Yes, I'm totally stewing this morning over some feedback I received back on my WIP. I just want to sit down right away and try to fix it all and make it nice and tidy! But it seems like such a mess, like how could I ever find a way to make it all coherent! I'm sure after I stew some more I'll figure it out!

    I've always used regular food coloring for my kids' cakes. The only trouble I had was trying to make frosting red and having it turn out more of a dark shade of pink (even after using almost an entire bottle of red food coloring)! Have fun!

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  8. Kate, you are copying my week! I just posted on the beginning of my story and the struggle that beginnings always are. But I am getting through it and have made some good progress.

    And...my nephews birthday is coming up. We are creating a Star Wars cake for him for the party this weekend. Welcome to the world of writers and cake makers!

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  9. Jessica - Stewing about what stories to write is huge. Once I finish my current WIP I'll be stewing over that as well.

    Cyn - I like the analogy about a baby's life being just like the beginning of a book. I know there is definitely similarities in the amount of conflict;)

    Jennifer - LOL, I know I get the Cookie Monster cravings as well.

    Voilet - Welcome to WIP Weds! And yes, I agree sometimes we just need to write something down and make it work.

    Bethanne - Thanks for the positive thoughts on my beginning - I'm still trying to figure out how drastic I want the changes to be.

    Chelle - I think we all struggle with where to start - like I said, there is so much pressure to get it right.

    Jody - Yes, I feel the same way, like I just don't know where to start.

    Cindy - How funny we are both have beginning trouble type weeks. I'll definitely be stopping by to read your post about it.

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  10. I forgot to mention earlier that Fangs, Fur & Fey has "How do you find the beginning of your novels?" as their Topic of the Month for May. I've read a lot of the (very helpful!) responses so far and I think they all transcend genre and story length. :)

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  11. I'm seriously going to get to your MS next week. Srsly. I'm almost caught up with betaing! Sorry it's taken so long! And I love stewage. It's one of my favorite things to do in the shower or car. Yay!

    And I love making cakes for my kids' birthdays. I'd go to Michael's for the food coloring. It's just got that professional touch, yanno? Last year I made a Spongebob cake and it was awesome! Can't wait for the CM pics!

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  12. I'm thinking the cake might be a good break from working on your beginning. Yes, beginnings can be tricky.

    I have my WIP Wednesday #2 up on my blog. http://jaimetheler.blogspot.com/2009/05/work-in-progress-wednesday-2.html

    Week #1 wasn't so realistic, since I got my goal done by the end of Wednesday afternoon. But this week is much trickier, as I'm getting to know my characters and finding out how that develops my new story.

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  13. Oh, cake decorating...TOO FUN!!! I kinda miss those days...now that the kids are a little older, we do things like "a smoothie bar"at their parties (I know, a little too CALIFORNIA, huh!).

    Beginnings of stories ALWAYS stress me out!!! Good luck - and I can't wait to her about your progress.

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  14. Violet - Thanks for the link - I will definitely check that out!

    Elana - No worries on getting back to me - I know your plate is very full and just appreciate you taking the time at all:)

    Jaime - I think the cake will be a great break as well!

    Christine - LOL, smoothie bars are sooo California. Mmm, that also reminds me how much I miss Jamba Juice and their green tea smoothies. Yum.

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  15. Happy Birthday to your son. Yeah!!!

    My wip is up now, a little late but up nonetheless. hereI went back and started my story at an earlier point and it works much better. Great idea to put thoughts to paper first, then type it up. Works much better for me as well.

    I'm off to work and will wander round later to see what everyone has accomplished this week.

    TTFN

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  16. I totally get that about the words being typed aren't the same as the scene in your head. It's hard to find the right words, ha, which I guess is what writing is all about.

    I don't usually have a problem with beginnings until I get to the middle. Then I realize I don't really know what's happening, which means my beginnig could fall anywhere.

    The cake sounds great! Can't wait to see it. And happy birthday to your boy!

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  17. Not only did I embarrass myself over at Natalie's blog where I proudly announced I bought a copy to read her article but I bought the wrong copy lol. Oh well I tried. I guess it's (woman's World) a weekly publication? Congrats anyhow!

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  18. Robin - Better late than never!

    Annie - Yes - my problem is the exact same. I have no trouble writing the beginning the first time, it's only later that I question whether it was the best place to start.

    T.Anne - Yes, Woman's World is a weekly, and they get replaced very quickly like clockwork every Friday. I think you still deserve an A for effort though:)

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