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Work In Progress Wednesday

Nonfiction project
I now have the first drafts of three chapters almost written.  And coming soon -- exciting information about my nonfiction project -- plus, ways you can help me with it!  (I know, that would be more exciting if you knew what it was.  Don't worry, more info soon.  Stay tuned!)

Contemporary fantasy/paranormal romance
I'm starting to get antsy about not having sent my manuscript back to the agent who requested the rewrites.    The agent requested rewrites back in January; I wrote frantically in January and February, and then started finding readers to help me out. Elana's edits helped me a great deal, and now I am anxiously awaiting two other readers' thoughts to see if I got the characterization and so forth working again.

Do you think I should be getting antsy, or am I just being paranoid that too much time is passing?

NaNo novel
I've been slowly editing my NaNo novel, and I have the feeling I know what part of my problem is.  My characters are fairly healthy, angst-free people.  They have problems, sure, but their problems are external.  These are not characters tormented by things they are or have done. 

What do you think I should do?  Start creating tortured backstories?  The characters do get...well, mistreated as the story goes on, so I think it's going to gain momentum for me.  Maybe I should wait and see if that happens before I get out the thumbscrews.  Try something new and all that...

So dear Reader, what are you working on?  Are you using psychology in your project?  I'd love to hear about it, either way!


  1. mand said...
    So far i'm nearly 40,000 words in, which is just over five chapters. I'm giving myself motivation/stamina by IV, aka blogging about it!

    My biggest surprise has been that my characters' emotions are less prominent than i expected. I thought i was good at angst-ridden qualms and so on. I imagined the 'murky depths' of the soul would be the main feature of my novel - they often are in my short fiction - but it's coming out as a romp through a series of bizarre situations, far more light-hearted than i envisaged.

    Maybe light-hearted will turn out to be the way to go with this one. Maybe i'll be able to deepen it later, in the way i know i'll be able to tighten the dialogue and strengthen the structure to make the surprises more surprising and the climaxes more, er, climactic.

    I've read about novel-writing for so long that it's wonderful and fascinating and thrilling to find how different it is from the brochure, now i'm on the journey for real.
    Elana Johnson said...
    Coolness! I don't think it's too long to wait on revisions. It's just been a couple of months.

    BTW, I have a psychology question...maybe I'll shoot you an email.
    Annie Louden said...
    Yikes, I'd better get reading on your book. I keep forgetting your agent is waiting on you!

    Am also excited to help out with your nonfic project. I can't wait till that book comes out.
    Kate Karyus Quinn said...
    That is great that you are making so much progress on your nonfiction book! I cannot imagine writing a book sized fiction project, the closest I've ever come is my 40 page undergrad honors thesis.

    I would imagine that if an agent asked for significant rewrites that they would understand if it takes you a couple months to get through them.

    Hmmm... characters with pyschological problems. Yeah, I think my MC in my WIP has those. Her father was a serial killer, so I think that might qualify:P
    Kathryn Hupp-Harris said...
    Do you think I should be getting antsy, or am I just being paranoid that too much time is passing?

    That's a tough one. I'm struggling with whether or not to start querying. I just don't know yet.

    What do you think I should do? Start creating tortured backstories? .

    Always. Conflict= good.

    Are you using psychology in your project?
    Is there any other way to write?
    Anonymous said...
    Just wrote a neat little suicide scene (I probably shouldn;t say "neat", huh)...lots of fun emotion with that one. The rest of my stuff is swimming right along.........
    Carolyn Kaufman | @CMKaufman said...
    Mand -- wow, congratulations for your journey into being a writer. And wow, that is a scary toad!

    Kate -- yes, I think a serial killer father qualifies as psychological!

    Christine -- For some reason, knowing you're a therapist makes that comment not seem weird at all...
    mand said...
    I'm fond of my toad! Took the pic myself. 80)
    Carolyn Kaufman | @CMKaufman said...
    I figured that might be a friend of yours. He (or she) is so BIG! :-D
    Jewel Allen said...
    Hi, found you through query tracker. What a great post-idea.

    Yeah, a backstory, even a little taste of a character's vulnerability, always spices things up in a plot, I think.

    My WIP is going well. I'm towards the last push and shove of revisions on a YA historical novel set in 18th century Philippines. Can't wait to finish so I can do some edits and then query.
    mand said...
    He or she (i didn't presume to ask) was barely 3" end to end (not always easy to tell ends apart on a toad) and was very shy. I did think to apologise for pointing a torch at him, or her.

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