Work-In-Progress,  Writing Journey

#WIPMarathon Report #14 (March)

In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb…

To clarify all of this since I had so much going on, I wrote “Raven” in November and December of last year. “Whisper” is a story I started last fall and got about 16k in before realizing that the plot wasn’t working. I put it on hold since I didn’t know what to do. “Painted Chaos” is a new idea I’ve been outlining. And “Discord” is a story written and queried last year that I had gotten a revise and resubmit for.

Last report wordcount + chapter count:
Raven = revision notes organized
Painted Chaos = 37 chapters outlined
Whisper = made some notes for a rewrite
DISCORD = new revision notes drafted

Current report WC + CC:
Raven = added a few more notes
Painted Chaos = brainstormed…that’s something, right? >.<
Whisper = transferred to a shiny new notebook and made even more notes
DISCORD = Revision DONE! Revision SENT! ^_^

WIP Issues This Month:
It was a good month. Of course I say this having spent the first week of the month in happy depressed people land. But then the metaphorical sun came out, and the rest of the month has been great! Then again, I say that, and just about everything BUT the revision for DISCORD has been…what’s the word: le crap? Like, I can’t finish my outline for “Painted Chaos” because I ran into a plot problem, like the kind that ruins everything. I started reading patches of “Raven” and it is in TERRIBLE shape, like the kind of shape that needs to be rewritten from scratch. And then “Whisper” is a giant, jumbled, foggy mess, through which I can barely see the end of my nose in. But no worries.

What I learned this month in writing:
1* Spending so much time combing through DISCORD for stuff has helped me see that just because I think something is super clear and obvious and maybe even TOO obvious, doesn’t mean it is.

2* I don’t take my depression flare ups seriously until I literally can’t function anymore. There goes my whole theory that if I ignore it, it will go away. kicks wall

3* The hardest part of any project is just getting started. It’s the thought people! Just the thought of all that work!

4* It is really hard to decide which parts of the story to change and which parts to keep the same, but like, explain myself better, you know.

What distracted me this month while writing:
Just the crazy. Once that was out of the way, I focused all of my creative energy on my revision of “Discord” until it was finished. I’m happy with the work I’ve done on that, but I did work myself up into tears one day over my other projects. I think I’ve come up with a solution, though. These weren’t easy decisions. Pretty much the deciding factor was how clear the stories were in my head. My sister likes to give me these off the wall examples when I’m being crazy. But sometimes, like the other day, it’s actually really helpful. She said to pretend like my stories were cakes, and I was going to enter them in a contest: which recipe did I have the most confidence in? So, I thought about it and came up with the following:

Plan Of Action #1: Scrap the “Raven.” I don’t like it enough to see if I can fix it. To be honest, I didn’t want to finish this story to begin with. I don’t even want to look at it. So I’m not going to. And I know it’s the right decision because when I think about not working on it anymore, I just don’t care.

Plan of Action #2: Set “Painted Chaos” aside. The different elements in the plot are just not working together in my head right now. The more I tried to explain it, the more confusing it got. Whereas with “Whisper” I just came right out and explained it. End of story. No drama. No cringing. No apologizing for it being super weird and not making any kind of sense to the poor people who love me enough to listen to me ramble. I’m scared to death to write it because I’m afraid of messing it up, but at least it’s working.

Plan of Action #3: My outlines are messing me up. I don’t have everything figured out, but I know what needs to happen. I know how the stories end. And that’s just going to have to be good enough. I’m going back to pantsing my outlines like I’d been doing for the last four years. I thought I was just being lazy, but maybe that’s just what works best for me.

Goal for next month:
Start rewriting “Whisper” from scratch and just stop worrying about it. It’ll either work or it won’t. The bad news is that I have no idea what I’m doing. The good news is that this always happens, and I feel strongly enough about this story to try anyway.

♣I hope everyone has fared well. Yay, Spring! ^_^
(Though you wouldn’t know it where I am right now, it’s freezing!)♣


  • suzannevanrooyen14

    Sorry to hear about your depression – but I’m glad the sun came out for you. Definitely need to take care of yourself *hugs*

    Scrapping a project is so hard! But sometimes setting one aside is exactly what’s needed in order to focus properly on the others. Maybe you’ll revisit Raven one day and fall in love with the story idea all over again 🙂

    May April bring you all the words!!

    • krystal jane

      Thank you. I always need more hugs. ^_^
      I certainly hope so. I love the idea of the plot. I’m hoping a fresh spark of inspiration comes along one day. Nothing ever has to stay shelved forever.

  • Emma Adams (@ELAdams12)

    I have a tendency to ignore depressive phases until they knock me down as well. Glad to hear it’s improved!

    I’ve scrapped one of the manuscripts I wrote last year for the same reason. I just don’t care enough about it to rewrite it from scratch! I tend to do better with a vague outline than a detailed one, because some things just naturally come together when I write.

    Good luck with the rewrite!

    • krystal jane

      Thank you, me, too!

      I most definitely do better with vague outlines. It keeps me on track while leaving my characters more room to grow and surprise me. 🙂

      Thanks, I need luck for this. Lol!

  • Amy McNulty

    Best of luck with that R&R! 🙂

    Aw, I’m sorry to hear depression got you down. I suffer from anxiety and it can be overwhelming, and I have loved ones with depression… I’m so glad you were able to work through it and get so much done!

    Oh, no, you’re scrapping Raven? Well, I agree–do whatever you need to keep that passion for writing alive. I really SHOULD think of some of my projects as scrapped, but I just tell myself they’re “shelved for now” and I intend to come back to them. Maybe. Someday. XD

    • krystal jane

      Thank you!! 😀

      I tell myself I’ll come back to some of my “set aside” stories someday, too. I have a futuristic fantasy I refuse to scrap. It’s going on it’s third year of being “on hold”. I really want to find a way to write it. I mean it! ^_^ I’m not going to look too hard, but if I can find a way to rewrite Raven that I can be excited about, I’ll totally do it!

  • Michelle A (@SunflowerRei)

    Isn’t depression and anxiety fun, said no one ever? I have my flare-ups, too, and I was having one pretty recently. But I’m getting into the second half of the novella and I’m really absorbed by it, so I’m working on that and put the novel to the side for a minute. I was hitting some rough patches in that one.

    So thrilled you finished your R&R!

    • krystal jane

      I know right. I hope your flare up is all behind you now.

      I think it’s always helpful to have something else we can work on when we stall on something. I’m so glad her story is going well!

      Thanks! I am, too! Lol! I really enjoyed reading over it again. ^_^

  • Jessica Gunn

    The hardest part is definitely getting started. But I’m glad you did, and congrats on finishing that revision! I’m sorry to hear about your depression. I tend to take the same approach with mine, hoping it’ll go away, then it doesn’t. If you ever need to reach out, you know where to find me! 🙂 Good luck with Whisper next month!

  • Yael Itamar

    Congratulations on finishing the R&R!

    Going with the story you have the most confidence in and are the most passionate about sounds like a great idea. As for a story where the different elements don’t seem to fit? Sometimes if you put it aside and pick it back up a few months later, you realize which elements you like the most and which elements aren’t necessary. Even if you don’t end up writing/rewriting that particular story, you can use the elements you really liked to inspire you to write something else.

    • krystal jane

      Thank you! ^_^

      I hope so! I had the most confidence in the main character for that story, so I’m determined to find something that will work for her. The idea is still relatively new, so I’m hoping with some more time, it’ll come together. Or yeah, if nothing else, maybe it could inspire something great for her!

  • Kristyn

    I sympathize about the depression. When I’m depressed, nothing gets done at all. No writing, no cleaning, nothing. It’s pretty terrible. I’m glad you’re feeling better.

    I am so glad I’m not the only one who sees places I need revisions and have no idea what to do with them. I’m sure you’ll figure out what you need to do there to make it work and get “Whisper” going again. You got this! 🙂

    Congrats on the DISCORD R&R!!

    • krystal jane

      For real. Signpost number one is always the dishes spilling out of the sink. I feel better knowing I’m not the only one who feels like I don’t know what I’m doing sometimes! Thank you so much! ^_^

  • Michelle Tran (@michelletwrites)

    Good to hear things are getting better! We all have flare ups, but in a way it’s a good thing, because it lets us know we are discontent with our current state of life and allows us the time to dig down deep and figure out what to do better.

    Never give up! And yeah. I try outlines, but they never work for me, ever!

  • Cheyenne Campbell

    You are not alone… I suffer from generalised anxiety, and 2014 was the worst year yet for it. And just when I started to feel I was getting on top of my thoughts and not letting THEM control ME, out of nowhere they can push me down again. But the sun is always there, even if we can’t see it above the clouds. I hope April brings you sun bursting out of every corner!!

    And…you’re in TN, right? I used to live in Nashville. It seemed like there was a lot of sun happening there, but this winter has been crazy, eh? It certainly doesn’t look or feel like spring outside here in the UK right now, barring the occasional bright half hour every other day 😉 Sucks.

    And yes, starting is the hardest part of any project. I never understand why it’s so for projects we WANT to do, especially. I guess the secret is to maybe not think of all the work and just think of the first step? Best wishes for a productive April, and fingers crossed for your R&R!!

    • krystal jane

      It really does come out of nowhere, doesn’t it! I’m in the Nashville area. The weather likes to swing from freezing to warm every couple of days, but it has been gorgeous out! I feel you though, we had less than 5 days of sunshine last December.

      I’m going to try only thinking about the first chapter. No, the opening paragraph. ^_^

      Thank you so much! Have a great April!! 😀

      • Cheyenne Campbell

        Right on! One of my best friends still lives there and we Skyped last night. She was wrapped up in a blanket and I was like, really? Wow… I would’ve expected it to be a bit nicer by now, consistently! Hope it warms up soon. I miss Nashville loads. I think we may have already talked about this 😉 I lived at Belmont, then in HIllsboro village, then near the airport, then Bellevue, then Franklin. LOL. Such a pretty part of the world!

        Opening chapter (heck, even opening sentence) FTW! One step at a time 🙂

  • Ifeoma Dennis

    I’m so sorry to hear about your depression. And I’m thankful you got out of it. I’m currently somewhere between anxious and depressed, and I just want to cover myself under the sheets this weekend (and I’ve been looking forward to this weekend my whole week so I can write o.O)

    I think writing a book you feel strongly about is a good idea. I didn’t love my first WIP enough to rewrite it the 3rd time, and even years later, I have no urge to go back to fix it. So it’s okay you don’t care about Raven. Set it aside and work on Whisper 😉

    Congrats on finishing your R&R!
    And happy writing this month. x

    • krystal jane

      I hope your weekend gets better. I totally understand! I feel like if I let it sit long enough, I can at least figure out why I don’t like it. There are a couple of parts I really like. Of course that’s not enough.

      Thank you, thank you! ^_^
      I hope your exams went well!

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