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Work In Progress Wednesday 4/1/09

Well...I didn't do much with my nonfiction this week except tell stories about how great my tour of the psych ward was last week. (How funny does that sound?) But...I know I mentioned last week that I need to do another interview with someone who has experience working in inpatient facilities. This time I need someone who works in a state institution, because state-run facilities are different from private facilities.

I posted on a social networking site to see if any of my friends, acquaintances, or colleagues had a connection to Twin Valley, our local state facility. And you know what? One of my friends was supervised by a guy who did his postdoctoral work at Twin Valley. So she put us in contact with each other.  (Katie, you're the best!) He and I have emailed back and forth a few times, and we're going to meet next Thursday to talk. 

I'm pretty excited because he's a forensics specialist. He does things like evaluate whether someone is competent to stand trial, and whether they were "sane" or "insane" at the time of an offense. He's been very enthusiastic about helping me out, and I know I'm going to come out of that interview loaded with lots of great information. (I'm actually wishing I'd set aside a whole chapter just for hospitalization information at this point.  I didn't because it was the one area I was weak on.)

So by now you probably know the drill...if you have questions about anything that has to do with forensic psychology, especially as it pertains to hospitalization, ask in the comments and I'll see what I can do about getting answers.

Let's see, what else can I tell you about my visit last week. Well, I know I told you how they'd suicide proofed everything. One thing they had done was use piano hinges on the doors instead of regular hinges. Regular hinges -- especially on big, heavy institutional doors -- stick out (see top picture at right), and someone could loop a sheet or something over it and hang themselves. (Hanging seemed to be the big concern.)   There's no way to loop something over a piano hinge (see bottom picture at right), and the hinges go from floor to ceiling, so there's no gap between the door and the jamb, either.


I'm working as steadily as I'm able on the edits my friend Mary gave me on ToM.  They're really good -- I keep thinking they're like what an editor would give you.  I do have a problem, though.  As I cut out scenes that aren't adding anything to the story, and trimming other things, the story is getting shorter...and shorter...  Normally I write things that are too long, but this novel has always been short (relatively speaking, of course), and I'm well into the red zone in terms of length.  Like, I'm at 66,000 words.  That's just not enough for an adult contemporary fantasy.  Eighty thousand would be good, but there's no way on this earth that I can figure out how to add that many words.

Occasionally I feel like giving up on it completely.  Not on writing, just on this particular novel.  But I keep telling myself that I know there's at least one place I need to add a scene, and I'm hoping it will get longer.  (Like one scene is going to fix my length problem?  Ack.  You can see why I'm having thoughts of digging a hole and burying the damn thing.)

Join the Fun!

Want to post your own WIP Wednesday?  Please do!  Kate explains how it all works here, and you're welcome to snag the logo she and Lady Glamis put together (at the top of this post). are your WIPs going?  Post a link to your own WIP Wednesday in the comments section, or just tell me how it's going there!


  1. Anonymous said...
    Sounds like a good week overall. I am sure you'll find someway to lengthen your fiction WIP.

    Congrats on your NF piece. I am looking forward to reading it one day.
    A.L. Sonnichsen said...
    WIP Wednesdays are a great idea. Good way to stay accountable. And it's good to read other writer's WIP Wednesday posts too. It's fun to get a glimpse into how others operate. Really? Lady Glamis wouldn't mind me snagging her lovely piece of artwork there for my own WIP Wednesday post? Yikes. I feel like I've just committed myself to accountability!
    Elana Johnson said...
    Interesting about the hinges. Cool. And don't you dare dig a hole for ToM!
    Kate Karyus Quinn said...
    Maybe once you finish with the cutting of your fiction WIP you will find some holes to fill that will lengthen it out. Maybe you do just need to backburner it for awhile and let your unconscious chew on it to find the solution.

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