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Work In Progress Wednesday 4/29/09

I'm back to working steadily on my Writer's Guide to Psychology manuscript. Four chapters are going to be devoted to disorders, and I've started work on the first one. Rather than rehashing the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), I'm focusing on what it's really like to have the disorder, facts most people are missing, and on myth-busting for each one. For example, many people think that Indiana Jones has a phobia of snakes when in fact he's not nearly terrified enough to qualify for a phobia diagnosis.

This first of the disorders chapters addresses mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder/manic-depression), anxiety disorders like OCD and phobias, and psychotic disorders like schizophrenia.

I'm almost done with it; next I think I'm actually going to work on a chapter about medications and biological treatments. A psychiatrist I know has graciously agreed to be interviewed, and it's easy for me to see the holes in my knowledge when I work on the chapter in question. So I'll write a rough draft and list my questions, then go back and fill in the blanks with what she shares with me.

I'm really enjoying the interviewing. It's nice to have another expert helping me make sure the information in the book is up-to-date and accurate. Plus, psychological professionals just have interesting jobs!


I finished the edits Mary gave me on ToM. I'm really pleased with them; alas, the manuscript is still too short. I sent my revisions back to my fantastic writing buddies Mary and Elana and asked them to look them over. Maybe I'll get lucky and they'll see some places to add, like, 5000 words. Ha ha.

In the meantime, I'm working on my NaNo novel again. I'm liking it more and more. I'm still on the fence about what genre ToM falls into, but I think the NaNo novel is an urban fantasy -- with lots of sexual tension. My hero and heroine are natual enemies, but that doesn't stop them from being outrageously attracted to each other!

Want to Do Your Own WIP Wednesdays?

I'm going to snitch from Kate for a little more info on WIP Wednesdays:

"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. Anonymous said...
    Great progress on your NF book. As for your fiction...gotta love good sexual tension!!! Makes for a great read.

    Good luck with everything...sounds like you are making wonderful progress all the way around!
    Danyelle L. said...
    Your non-fic book sounds fascinating! My favorite things in the mind to learn about are neurological disorders, but mood disorders are fun too! You're other book sounds great too!
    Elana Johnson said...
    I'm glad you're going on your NF again. Can't wait to read that one. I really am going to find somewhere to say "add 10K here." Really, really.
    Robin M said...
    Your nonfiction book sounds fascinating. I'm rewriting my first nano story and I have no idea what genre its going to end up in. We'll see when its done. Its such a mixture. Have a great week. My wip post is up now.
    Kate Karyus Quinn said...
    Oooh, the mythbusting part of your NF books sounds especially great. I love little bits of info. like the Indiana Jones stuff!

    Good luck with your fiction novel too - I am sure you can find 5K words to get the length you need!
    Kathryn Hupp-Harris said...
    Your NF book sounds right up my alley. My MC in my fiction book suffers PTSD which leads to all sorts of bad things.

    Fun, fun...

    Keep pluggin' away at ToM, something will come to mind to fill in the blanks.
    Windy said...
    A day late, but I have been trying to stay on top of this WiP Wednesday on my blog and it's really helped keep me motivated.

    Good luck with the books... and the NaNo one sounds like a great read!
    Joanna Penn said...
    I'm very interested in your Writer's Guide to Psychology book. I have a degree in psych but would love to see how you have related it to writing about these disorders. I agree on Indy's "phobia" - no way he has one!
    Please let us know when the book will be out! (will it be an ebook?)
    Thanks, Joanna
    Annie Louden said...
    Your NF book sounds so great. I love that it will be what it's really like to have the disorder as opposed to a list of symptoms.

    I'll also try to figure out how to add some words to ToM. Thanks for letting me read it!
    Carolyn Kaufman | @CMKaufman said...
    Hi Joanna -- Is your degree bachelor's, master's, or doctorate? Always love meeting people with psych degrees at any level!

    It's actually going to be a traditional book. I have a contract with Quill Driver Books, who have published many other writers' books, probably most famously "Damn! Why Didn't I Write That?" :-)

    My deadline for the book is the beginning of October; once QD has approved the final draft, I'll get a publication date -- which I'll be sure to share on the blog!

    The book will also talk about things like how therapists REALLY do therapy (including questions different types of therapists ask...because "How do you feel about that?" gets old pretty quick), what makes a good villain, psychiatric medications, how psychologists handle emergencies, what it's like to be hospitalized...and more!

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