Tuesday, February 7, 2017

WIP-Of-The-Month: Of Cynics And Cinnamon Rolls

January's WIP-of-The-Month... Still unfinished...

Those who saw my Writer's Resolution blog post at the beginning of the year, when I would normally announce any resolutions (if I have them) are aware that, in an attempt to keep myself focused, accountable, and to improve my record of "actually finishing something", I listed out the six WIP's I have yet to finish, and I resolved to focus on each one for a month in the hopes of actually bringing that first draft to completion.

It is now February, and I have not finished a bloody thing.

January was an almost complete bust. I had 3 chapters left, in The Commander's Courage, and a whole month in which to finish it (not to mention quite a few unexpected snow days I could have spent knocking it out in a relatively short amount of time!) and just how many chapters did I manage to finish?

One. Just one stinking chapter, and every phrase was about as easy as a headache.

At the advice of my "Motivational Team" (it's up to 5 people, now! And at least ONE of them checks in regularly, which is exactly what I need!) I went ahead and set aside January's WIP to move on to February's.
February's WIP-of-The-Month (KartheyM is my Wattpad username, which is where this story can be found)

Yeah, this is going a lot smoother.

I just have one question nagging me:


Why is the new one so much easier? What was getting me so stuck on the Commander's Courage that I just never felt compelled to write it? One would think I would have had an easier time with that one, since it's basically already written and pretty much the only thing I ought to be doing is making it longer and more wordy (something I've never struggled with)... But no, the words just would not come.

I was reflecting on this last night, as I was drumming away at my phone (where I do pretty much all of my writing), plugging away at the next chapter for The Water-Man--

I think it's the characters.

In "A Writer's Tale", Laura tends to be pretty cynical about these amazing worlds, the characters she's interacting with tend to be kind of "downer" folk, especially at this point in this particular installment, there aren't any more "fun" scenes or endearing characters--those happened earlier in the book. She's getting reamed right now by the arrogant Commander, and she's trying to outsmart a particularly devious enemy who has hitherto operated entirely under the radar--but how to expose this impostor, when the impostor holds literally all the cards? And how to do so in a way that doesn't feel forced, rushed, contrived, or obvious? How can I, the writer, make this believable and compelling? No clue.

In "The Water-Man," however, I left off at a really good part. The main character, Celian, is finally getting to develop a relationship with Agatha, something he's waited a long time to do, things are falling into place and once I set things up like a row of dominoes in this chapter, it's going to be really fun to watch them all tumble down in the next chapter which will be full of feels and awesome--but also, Celian has been described by a reader as "a precious cinnamon roll." (For those unfamiliar with the term, here is the definition according to Urban Dictionary: "Someone who is very sweet and innocent, yet has bad things happen to them. Often used in reference to fictional characters.") I couldn't agree more; this is exactly where I was going with this character, and I am very pleased that he has won the hearts of my readers.

Cinnamon Rolls are easier to write than Cynics. Come to think of it, they're also a LOT more fun in general, as real people. The Cynic is the one questioning EVERYTHING, the one who short-circuits if they don't know ABSOLUTELY EVERY TWIST heading their way, the one who just picks apart the people and circumstances around her till everybody's at an equal level of miserable.
By the same token, however, the Cynic is also quite relatable, because--let's face it, there is a Cynic in all of us. We criticize our surroundings, we analyze and judge the differences in people around us, we get uncomfortable with the unconventional. That's Laura; I guess I'm sort of disenchanted with Laura--I could really use something to give me back the mojo for that one, if only just to finish it so I can move on to the next one in that series. I'm ready for a change of tone, of scene--and I'm ready for more Cinnamon Rolls! (Just thinking about it now, there are more Cinnamon Rolls in this series, they just somehow didn't make the cut in this particular installment...) Maybe Laura was who I was a while back, but I've done a bit of maturing and changing since then. I'm only just beginning to realize that now!

Meanwhile, I am pretty confident that I can whip out the next couple chapters to finally finish "The Water-Man" and bring that lovely little fairy tale to a close before the month is up. Celian is quite the Cinnamon Roll! We enjoy having those kinds of people in our life: the ones that perpetually find good and maintain a level of calm in the most chaotic situations, the ones that can watch a tornado rip through their lives that would leave the Cynic catatonic on the floor, and just blink twice, laugh and say "Well... that is a thing that just happened." Most of all, the best Cinnamon Rolls are champion "Triers." They try to find the good, they try to do right, they try to stay sane. And you want to know the key ingredient in EVERY CINNAMON ROLL? Cinnamon. Spicy, kicky, warm cinnamon. While Celian isn't your typical "spicy" personality, he's definitely cute and endearing and Agatha can be the Cinnamon to his precious sweet-fluffy-glazed roll-y self! She's definitely the spicy one, and I love it!

ALSO, I am going to be more proactive about these check-in posts! I completely dropped the ball last month (probably would have helped... maybe) so from here on out, I'll be better at letting you all in on my process!

As always....

Catch You Further Upstream!