Excerpt,  Work-In-Progress,  Writing Journey

#WIPMarathon Report #8 (September)

Wow, this month went by super fast. Like, how is it check-in time already?!!

Last report wordcount + chapter count:
Whisper = Baby Outline Done, 6801 words, Chapter 3
Phantom Silence = 10 Chapters into the Outline, 11,013 words, Chapter 7
Between Ashes and Ice = 5 Chapters into the Outline, 7286 words, Chapter 2

Current report WC + CC:
Whisper = New & Improved Full-Grown Outline 100% Done, 6865 words, Chapter 3, 64 new words courtesy of a new opening paragraph!
Phantom Silence = Baby Outline 100% Done, 16,375 words, Chapter 10
Between Ashes and Ice = Current Miniature Outline in Shambles, 11,972 words into the draft, Chapter 3
The Raven = Full Rock-Star Outline 100% Complete!!

Monthly Total:  10,112 words, 4 chapters, and 3 outlines done. ^_^

WIP Issues This Month:
Okay so, I’m feeling SO MUCH better about “Whisper” now that the outline has been redone. But all in all, I feel like this was a pretty craptastic month. “Between Ashes and Ice” is in danger of being scrapped, to be honest, and I’m having a serious crisis of confidence with “Phantom Silence.” Like, horrible, paralyzing fear and the worst case of performance anxiety I think I’ve ever had. I just kept thinking about how bad I want these stories to be the best things I’ve ever written. I kept looking at my outlines and wondering why they FELT like outlines. (Yes, I’m serious.) So instead of drafting, I kept tinkering with my outlines. Yes, I felt better and excited and energized when they were done, but then I felt HORRIBLE because I had barely written anything. Then I felt like a failure. Then of course, I started feeling like I couldn’t write anymore. Like I’ve lost the ability to form a story out of words. How did I ever do it before?! Then I spent far too much time looking at my to do list and feeling stressed. And there is seriously only 4 things on the to do list.

Ah yes #writersareSOstable m/^_^m/

What I learned this month in writing:
1* The outline is NOT the story. If the outline feels bare bones, that doesn’t mean the story is going to be bare bones. The outline is just my guide. It’s not going to have all the crazy emotional arcs and tiny, tiny details that make the story world so incredibly rich. I have to write those things.

2* Writer’s Block is real. And it’s not pretty.

3* It’s really okay for me not to edit my opening chapters 1000 times before moving on with the rest of the story. The world will not melt into oblivion for failure to do so. I’m hoping if I say this enough times I’ll start to believe it. 😉

4* Confidence issues happen, so I’m trying really hard to cut myself some slack until this lastest bout passes me by, because if I’m forcing words out, it shows on the page and that causes more stress. Maybe it’s because I didn’t take a long enough break last month. Maybe I’m just putting too much pressure on myself again. Whatever it is, I’m just going to calm down.

What distracted me this month while writing:
“The Raven” took up a LOT of brain space, which is why I went ahead and started the outline and kept going for hours until my brain started to melt on me. However, my MC wouldn’t shut up, so I baby outlined the rest and tried give myself permission to call it done, after all, I had an EXACT map for how it ends. But this STILL wasn’t good enough for her and I spent two weeks fighting with myself about it and being nagged by my MC to finish it already, so I finished that up last night!!!!! And it is SO freaking good. Lol! Until I caved though, I was ready to call myself a disgrace to the title of writer. (Okay, fine, I was already calling myself that.)

Despite the imminent danger of being poked into insanity, I had no plans to sit down and try to finish it until I saw Ifeoma’s tweet about how she was getting some words in before the check-in and my character was like, “She’s writing. pokePOKE I know your brain is tired, but you don’t have to think at all, just listen to me talk and write it down.” So I did. And she was right, it wasn’t taxing on my brain at all! And now I’m on a story high even though I’ve technically only written the opening paragraph so far (and that was only to get the tense and POV down).

All this to say, distraction via uber-persistent blot bunny. I’ve even forgotten about being in the query trenches for the better part of most days. Yay, plot bunnies! ^_^

And I have to wonder if this is what’s been causing my concentration problems for the last two weeks!! EEP! Cause right after I finished my outline, I rewrote my opening paragraph for “Whisper” and I had been staring at that blinking cursor all month.

Goal for next month:
Yeah, while I’m hoping whatever funk I seemed to have slipped into will pass with a weekend full of relaxation and reading, I’m not going to make any definite plans for fear of stressing myself out and prolonging the situation. Reverse psychology! Lol! By the way, anyone gearing up for NaNoWriMo?

Last 200 words:
From the current chapter of “Phantom Silence” – Chapter 11, before I gave up.

Rosemarie sits just inside the first corridor to the left, silken, navy skirts billowing out around her small frame. She holds a broken chalice in hands spotted with blood, and broken pewter pieces litter the rug before her.

She looks up as I approach and mutters an unfeminine oath under her breath as she rolls her eyes to the side.

Dark purple bruises mar the right side of her face and travel down across her collar bone. I kneel down before her and lift a hand to her face. Though I touch her lightly, she winces and draws back.

“I’m fine,” she says, her voice a growl. She forces herself to meet my concerned gaze and presses an uncomfortable smile onto her face.

Until Next Month!
May the Plot Bunnies never disturb your slumber. ^_^

Check out the wipmarathon #hashtag here!


  • Jessica Harvey (@xomiragexo24)

    Hey, we’ve all been there. But you know what? Once you’re out of this rut, you’re going to skyrocket through chapters like you wouldn’t believe. And first chapters are tough :/ I’ve rewritten the one for my current project probably– honestly– almost 30 times, from small changes to major overhauls. I don’t know what the secret to writing a fantastic first chapter is, but can we agree to share it with each other if either of us figures it out? LOL

    Good luck in October! Feel free to drop me a DM or email if you want to bounce ideas or want a fresh set of eyes on anything 😀

    • krystal jane

      Thank you! I will totally feel free! Lol!
      It’s almost paralyzing sometimes, trying to get that first chapter right. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done this much outlining up front. It has me quite excited (and a little intimidated!) Fingers crossed that skyrocketing will happen! #feelingpumped

  • Emma Adams (@ELAdams12)

    Yep, I’ve been there – the moment before you start, when you just have an outline, is always nerve-wracking! Just remember you can edit later. 🙂 Reverse psychology works wonders, too (I often tell myself “It doesn’t matter, no one’s going to read it… and then end up producing my best work!).

    I know what you mean about new stories being the best distraction – I keep forgetting I’m in the query trenches, too! I might do NaNo, but I’ve already started my next draft because it wouldn’t leave me alone. 😛

    • krystal jane

      Right?! It’s like, “How am I going to write all this?!” But it’s true, this will not be the only draft. Knowing I don’t have to get it right the first time does take some of the pressure off. 🙂

      It really is nice when stories want to be written so bad they bug you half to death. ^_^ Right now, the tentative plan is to use NaNoWriMo energy to fuel myself to the end of something.

  • Amy McNulty

    You’ve accomplished so much this month, especially considering you were feeling blue about it! Never listen to that little voice if if tells you to give up entirely. ;-; You can fix manuscripts and outlines and get back to feeling confident about your writing. I’ve got some projects in limbo,but I’m not going to shelve them just yet.

    And yes, outlines are just guides! Twice now I’ve written off of one and totally changed a few things, but I still feel better having that guideline in place! *hugs* Hope you’re feeling less stressed this month!

    • krystal jane

      Thank you. 🙂 Little voice has been in high swing this month! It does help to have something down on paper that’s working though, even if I don’t follow it completely. I’m hoping October brings confidence and words for both of us. ^_^

    • krystal jane

      Lol! I don’t know. I guess they all have their little files in my brain somewhere. ^_^ I figure NaNo will most likely be finishing something up. If perchance I actually get a significant amount of writing done in October, then I’ll either skip it or use awesome NaNo energy to get a nice push on something else. 🙂

  • Ifeoma Dennis

    Haha! So glad I inspired you! But wait a minute, how do you juggle so many projects at the same time? One is even a bit too big for my brain to handle!

    I know what you mean about putting so much work into writing an outline and then seeing it’s not even sufficient to carry you through your WIP. Let’s just say, it’s from a multiple-time experience. But just hang in there, keep brainstorming and you would get your answers!

    I so need to repeat your #3 too a billion times? Maybe then i would start believing it because right now, it’s still a HUGE problem!

    All the best next month!

    • krystal jane

      I think having so many projects going is why I’m having to outline through everything. It gets the story organized in my head. Streamlines it so it’s not a great big mess up there.

      It seems answers never come when you just sit there and wait for them. Lol! Dude! I can *almost* believe that #3. Perhaps another week will do it? ^_^

      I hope apartment hunting goes well for you!

  • Suzanne van Rooyen (@Suzanne_Writer)

    You’ve got a lot going on! I’d also start feeling overwhelmed and bogged down trying to juggle so many stories and characters.

    I feel your pain regarding writer’s block and the need to edit first chapters a gazillion times. Don’t let the doubt and fear of failure stop you from writing though. I find what helps me in these moments is to get back to what I love about the story, what it was that first made me want to tell this story with these characters. I’ve reclaimed inspiration/motivation that way before.

    May October bring you much writerly awesomeness!!

    • krystal jane

      Right?! It’s hard work organizing all those stories. That’s great advice, to go back to what made me so excited about the stories in the first place. I think we get so wrapped up and in the crafting process that we forget that sometimes.

      Thank you! 🙂 I hope October brings more awesome your way!

  • Tonja Drecker (@TDrecker)

    Even if you were feeling blue about writing, you got a TON done! Congratulations!!! I find it amazing that you juggle so many stories at once. I can’t imagine what it’d be like having all those characters chat in your head and poke at you at the same time.

    Ignore that writer doubt. It hits us all. I’ve been trying to whack him with a broom this last week too. But you must have him pretty well in grip to still be that inspirated. Yeah, for plot bunnies!

    • krystal jane

      Thank you! I don’t feel like I got so much done, but outlining is tough work! I should give myself more credit for that. For the record, having that many characters vying for attention makes you crazy. 🙂

      I guess I only made any kind of progress at all because I’ve had to work so hard to organize everything so I can think! I do love the idea of personifying the doubt monster and whacking him with something! Yep. This will be fun. ^_^

    • krystal jane

      I often feel tired after I finish something. Reading binges are a great remedy! I’m reading a lot right now while my energy builds back up. But yeah, I really need to give myself more credit for the outlining because that was hours and hours of work right there!

  • Jodi

    Yay for another awesome month Krystal! Your WIP Reports ALWAYS pump me up. I mean, though your progress pales in comparison to my whole 11 words that I accomplished… 😉

    Lover your excerpt. Seriously, heart-palpatating love.

    • krystal jane

      Aw, stop it. Lol! Revising is tough work though. Sometimes you can work SO hard and the difference barely register in your word count. Cheers for a super amazing October for the both of us! ^_^

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: