Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Work In Progress Wednesday #15

Finally, finally, finally I have some actual writing progress to report!

Yea me! Yes, I am cheering and clapping for myself just like my two-year-old son does for himself when he does something good.

So these are my amazing, stupendous, and all-around awesome accomplishments from the past week. Prepare to be impressed.

1. Did extensive rewrites on Chapter 1.

This includes adding an entirely new beginning, and reordering events so they all happen in chronological order (Yes, chronological order, it's so straight-forward. Who knew? Not that it was previously like my own version of Memento, but I did find myself doing quite a bit of doubling back to explain everything that was going on, so I started at a slightly earlier point in the narrative, and voila! order was achieved.)

2. Put together a Word document with all the basic info. on my story and characters.

Since my WIP is Urban Fantasy I found myself having some trouble keeping track of all the rules of my world.

I also needed a place to write down all my characters names, I have a terrible habit of forgetting the names of minor characters, and then when they make a reappearance in the story 50 or 100 pages later instead of going back to remember the name I originally gave them, I'll just give them another name so I don't have to interrupt my flow. As you might imagine, this can get confusing.

I also listed all the changes I needed to make from fixing indiscrepancies in my timeline to adding more world-building details to clarifying the motivations for different characters. There was at least fifteen of them when I was done, and for next week my goal is to start going through them one by one.

3. Wrote a new query letter.

Having decided that my previous attempt at a query letter was pretty feeble, I tossed it out and started from scratch. Like anyone with any kind of sense at all I consider writing query letters to be a special kind of torture, second only to writing synopses. *shudders* Oh, I really hate synopses.

What I really needed to make the whole process easier was a guide, something that would break the whole thing down for me step-by-step. As luck would have it, such a thing exists at the blog. Written by Elana, (who also happens to be one of the best query letter writers around) her soon to be patented technique, took me from the beginning hook all the way through to everything else you need to do in a query - like those pesky bio paragraphs.

There are actually five parts to this series in all, (sorry, I was too lazy to link to all of them) and what I did was start right at the beginning with the hook and write that part of the letter, and then I followed the helpful link at the end of that entry onto the next one where I then wrote that part of the letter, and on and on until I was done.

I'm not going to say that it was easy, but I did not at any point feel the need to grab hold of head and scream at the ceiling, "WWWHHYYY??" And most importantly, at the end of it I had what I think is a halfway decent query letter.

So those are my three big accomplishments from the past week, and as I've previously mentioned I am darn proud of them.

How about you? Are you feeling proud of your progress from this past week?

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!


  1. Great progress, Kate! Thanks for sharing about Query Tracker! I've heard the name around quite a bit but didn't know they were able to help to that extent with a query. It sounds like a great tool!

    Glad you're persevering! Hope you're feeling a bit better these days!

  2. No, I am not feeling proud of my lack of progress. I'm feeling annoyed by my first chapter. LOL I kind of did what you did, started earlier.
    So wow, you accomplished alot! You should be very proud of yourself. :-) Glad you got your query done! Ready to jump in the querying waters? LOL

  3. Great progress! I've been using index cards in different colors to write down character names and traits. Good luck finding a way that works for you :)

  4. Great job this week, Kate. As for me...yeah..not so much! But hey, there is always this week, right :D

  5. Great work, Kate! Definitely a week to be proud of.

    I've only tried my hand at query letter writing once, and (after being lucky enough for the Query Shark to chew on it) know that it's an art I'm not close to mastering. Yet. Practice, practice, practice :)

    I also second a hearty shudder at the thought of synopses. Ugh.

    In my current main WIP most of the characters go by several different names, which change with each POV shift. I think I've got it memorized now, but just for my own sanity I've got a legend on which names belong to whom. It's honestly not as confusing as it sounds (has a lot to do with formal names vs informal names vs nicknames). And I've got my WIP Wednesday post over at my blog :)

  6. Gotta love writing query letters! UGH. I swear I went to every site available, but it still seemed quite impossible. I'm still not sure mine is getting the job done!

    Congrats on all the progress!

  7. I am so happy to hear that you are making headway and that you are happy about your progress! I have mixed feelings at the moment about my dumb book. *goes off to grumble*

    Really, though, at least I've actually started...

  8. does this mean you don't need any more betas? I'm still not in a place where I can beta it, but maybe when you're done with this new version?

    Go you! I'd love to see your Query, too!

  9. Jody - I am feeling better, and Query Tracker really is an amazing tool!

    Jessica - No, I am not at all ready to jump in the query waters! Luckily, I still have a quite a bit of rewrites to get through before I have to face that!

    Debora - Index cards sounds like a great idea, and I've heard that before, my only problem is that I think I would end up misplacing them somewhere!

    Christine - Yes, there is always next week, and also if I remember correctly you got a lot accomplished last week, while me... not so much.

    Violet - Oooh, you are brave to send it to the query shark, I considered it briefly, but then kind of chickened out. Those shark teeth are sharp;)

    Marybeth - Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Yeah, I agree query letters are really tricky, but if you haven't checked it out yet I really do highly recommend the QT blog series.

    LG - Yeah, I often have mixed feelings too! Getting started though is great, that was the hardest for me, making myself dive back into it after being away and inactive for so long.

  10. Wow! Love your organization!!!!! Yay you!

  11. Yay Kate! And your query was totally awesome. I'm so glad you didn't feel like ripping your hair out by following the patented method (hereafter referred to as PM). Ha ha!

    And should I be getting the revised chapter one? Yes, yes I think I should.

    Great progress!

  12. Awesome, Aweseome, Awesome!!! I feel like I should have done more, but still, i did alot... all is NOT lost!

    Love QueryTracker blog. they have some great posts. helpful. :)

  13. Stephanie - I would love if you would beta read after I finish my latest draft with revisions!

    T. Anne - Thanks!

    Elana - Thank you so much - getting your approval on a query is like the Good Housekeeping seal;) And yes, I can totally send you my revised Ch. 1.

    Bethanne - Yeah, no matter how much I accomplish, I always feel like I could have done more too, but I am trying to just be happy with getting anything done these days!

  14. I didn't post my wip progress this week, but I just finished some writing and I'm feelin' pretty proud of myself right now. :)

  15. I finally have some progress to report. Better late than never. Good job on your accomplishments this week.

    My post is up here

  16. Yea, you! It's great when you have something to report, isn't it? I had a character waltz into my head and change things around. But for the better!

    Here's my WIP Wednesday report (which happened on Thursday).

  17. Yes! Send me the spreadsheet. Oh, goodie! I love spreadsheets. Thanks :)

    jaimetheler at yahoo dot com.