Work in Progress Wednesday

What great timing. Just as I sat down to write this, the mail lady delivered a package to the door. My order from Writer's Digest arrived with the 2009 Writer's Market, The Pocket Muse and The Little Red Writing Book. They were having a great sale, plus free shipping. Who could pass that up.

My WIP1 is going slowly but surely still. I still haven't started typing anything up again yet. I really would like to finish writing the story first, but I know at some point, the desire to start typing and editing will catch up with me. I do go back and reread what I wrote the day before, add or expand, then continue going. Do you ever have the problem where you can't read your own writing. I go from a from legible scrawl to tiny scribbles by the end. Plus starred bits and lines pointing elsewhere and put this here notes, etc. I've been writing everyday, except did take the weekend off since we were traveling and visiting with family. Monday my brain was mush and completely blank. However, I did have an epiphany over the weekend over something that has been in the back of my mind for quite some time.

When my mother in law died, we came across her notebooks of a historical romance story she was writing. I didn't understand why there were several notebooks with the same story rewritten several times. Now I get it. They are her drafts of the same story. Unfortunately, she didn't date anything so we don't know which edit is what. For now, they will continue to reside in a box in the garage until we find the time to decipher her notes, lists and versions.

So, this morning I'm reading "A Writer's Book of Days" by Judy Reeves and the word for today is Kiss Your Frogs. She says "it happens to every writer: sloppy, rambling, unintelligible, boring writing that is going anywhere but where you want. It's the frog-kissing phenomenon of creative writing and it happens to the best of us, even to seasoned pros. If you write at all, know that you're going to produce some stuff that's way to the left of good, lopsided and croaking on some withering lily pad." Which is why I'm getting the desire to start typing up what I've written the past couple weeks. I want to improve upon, edit it, make it sound better. But in essence, this is a first draft since it's a 95% rewrite, so I'm resisting the urge. Get it out there and then edit it. It is much better than the first, since I'm listening to my characters. Well - most of the time - we have had a few tug of wars.

The tip of the month from Amy Hempel is "instead of moving horizontally on the page, stay with the one moment or revelation and go down-down-down, vertically, deeper into complications, keep going down and uncovering harder things to say about the same thing." I've been skating the surface with Benjamin so far, not really giving an indepth look into his character. So this sounds like a good idea, because they are at the part where he and Jacob are discussing why Jacob didn't tell he and his brother about Samantha. Jacob is the typically younger brother in which he feels his brothers were always trying to interfere and tell him how to do things, even as a adult. He needed his brothers to see him as an adult, and he had a bit of growing up to do as well. Plus going back to my last WIP Wednesday when I was trying to decide on Benjamin's background, I decided to make him a retired detective and the scenario occurred, much like Sam's in which the police were there, but too late to stop her from getting hurt. However, in his case someone died. So, that's where we stand right now.

In purusing "Pocket Muse" I came across this:

"I once heard a college student in Waterville, Maine, ask visiting writer Ron Carlson how one knows if one is really a writer. Ever the showman, Carlson delivered an entertaining riff about the distractions writers put in their own way, all day, all the time: leaving the room to get coffee, check the mail, get coffee, walk the dogs, go to the bathroom, get coffee, look something up, get coffee. Then, dead serious, he summed up the whole enterprise in a line I have never forgotten: "The writer is the one who stays in the room."

Be the one who stays in the room.

Work in Progress Wednesday is brought to you by the lovely Kate of The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me. To see how everyone else is progressing, go see Kate.


  1. Oh, I love the excerpts that you've included with the writing tips - they are always so great!

    And I understand your problems with reading your own writing, I have been entering my paper revisions into the computer and it is a tedious process - sometimes it takes some serious translating to figure out exactly what and how I wanted something changed!

  2. THose books look great. I like the "kiss your frogs" encouragement. :)

  3. I definitely get what you're saying about making sure that you know that every word you write won't be gold. And that we need to accept that that is perfectly okay. Once writers do that, I think writing becomes easier--as well as more enjoyable. Great post!

  4. Oh my gosh, this reminded me of when I was in high school and subscribed to the Writer's Digest Book Club. Each book was such an exciting promise of great writing to come!

    I like what Amy Hempel said about going down-down-down. I always gloss over the hard stuff. It's so hard! But I know it'll be awesome if I just stick with it and go deeper.

  5. I can't write legibly for more than a few lines. It cramps up my hand so badly. (This is why my lightweight laptop is my friend.)

    You always make such lovely points in your WIP posts, Robin. And it always makes me want to talk about my own writing a little more. ^-^ (But then I chicken out again since the story Does Not Cooperate. Gah! It'll cooperate when I figure out where on earth the problem is!)

    *huggles* And I'm glad to hear you had a good weekend. *tackles two posts at once, yes* ^-^

  6. I love it how you are so motivated about writing and in every piece of your Writing in Progress, your enthusiasm shines. It is contagious even for a person like me who does not write.

    Thank you for your very kind words and prayers sent my way. I hinestly had no idea that they would do me any good, but boy oh boy, did they ever! I am very grateful for your warm thougths and words. Thank you.

  7. I love that saying.... thanks for posting it.

  8. Sometimes I can't even catch the language errors in my own writing because I over-read them so much!

    Anyway... good post.



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