#WIPjoy June 2016: A Month of Celebrating Our WIPs (and a Collection of Tweets & Excerpts from Mine)

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed my #WIPjoy Tweets during the month of June. This meme is a month-long challenge led by YA sci-fi and fantasy writer Bethany A. Jennings; and for every day of the month, writers answer a specific question and share bits about their current work-in-progress (WIP). Participants can also take the meme to Facebook, their blog, and other social media outlets they haunt use.

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The “index” image for #WIPjoy June 2016, courtesy of Bethany A. Jennings. Click to view a larger version.

This  was my first time participating in #WIPjoy, and it was a lot of fun! It especially gave me a chance to learn what other writers are working on, get a taste of their writing style, and cheer them on as they work on their drafts. Now I’m even more excited to read some of those stories when they’re published someday!

And what I did I share for #WIPjoy? The Keeper’s Curse, of course! (It IS my only WIP at the moment. *lol*) So, I thought I’d share a collection of my #WIPjoy Tweets here with you. This post doesn’t contain all of my Tweets from the challenge – but it does feature some of my favorite questions / answers, and several of the excerpts I shared. Feel free to share any feedback in your comments, or “like” or “retweet” any of the linked Tweets. 😉 Enjoy!

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Chronicling The Craft: How to Identify and Cut Down on Lengthy Descriptions

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Chronicling The Craft is a series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, which is now in its third draft. These articles alternate between a) progress updates and fun “TKC-related” content, and b) revising / editing tips. Today’s post is the tips-oriented post to celebrate 20% completion of Draft #3.

Going into the WIP’s third draft, I was aware that one of its lingering weaknesses was overdescription. I tend to overwrite in general, but it’s most noticeable when I’m describing character appearances, setting, and action. So, one of the major questions has been, “How do I use fewer words to convey the same meaning or paint the same picture?”

Today’s Chronicle will focus on answering that question. I’ll share strategies that can help you identify overly descriptive areas in your manuscript, as well as tips for shortening descriptions as you edit. I’ll also explain it’s more important to make your own decisions as to how much description is enough, rather than following specific word- or sentence-length recommendations.
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Chronicling The Craft: Draft #3 – 20% Progress Report

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Plus, Five Film Soundtrack Pieces That Are Featured on the WIP’s Novel Playlist

Chronicling The Craft is a series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, which is now in its third draft. These articles alternate between a) progress updates and fun “TKC-related” content, and b) revising / editing tips. Today, to celebrate 20% completion of Draft #3, here’s the first progress report and a reveal of some of the songs on TKC’s novel playlist.

Yep – it’s update time!

Mark Watney Martian gif

Well, I haven’t been blowing things up like Matt Damon / Mark Watney was in The Martian… But I’ve reached the 20% mark in editing Draft #3 of The Keeper’s Curse! That means it’s also time to unveil the “revamped” version of the Chronicling The Craft series.

Based on readers’ feedback, I’m splitting each Chronicle into two separate posts. The first one (i.e., this post) will feature a progress report and a few tracks on TKC’s novel playlist. The second post (scheduled for Saturday, May 21st) will focus on tips for the editing process. So, whether you prefer “fun stuff” or “writerly stuff,” you can now choose which one you want to read – or, you can read both posts at different times. 😉

So, how have things been going with Draft #3 so far? Let’s see…
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What Is a “Kagende”? (A #TheKeepersCurse World-Building Post)

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When writing a fantasy novel, the story’s world-building is just as important as the characters you’re creating. I’ve shared bits of the world for my WIP The Keeper’s Curse before; and one detail that’s piqued readers’ interests is the kagende (plural: kagenden), the dwelling that TKC’s Fei race lives in. In fact, two readers in particular (and they know who they are *winks*) asked if I’d write a post about it.

Today, I’m excited (and stomach-turned-upside-down terrified) to share with you what a kagende is! I’ll discuss how I came up with the idea, how this dwelling is structured, and what kinds of rooms you’ll find. I’ve also created a couple collages to help you imagine what a kagende looks like. Ready?

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Chronicling The Craft: Draft #3 Begins!

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A Quick Update, Plus Upcoming Changes to Future Chronicles

Chronicling The Craft is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, which is now in its third draft. These articles alternate between a) progress updates and fun “TKC-related” content, and b) revising / editing tips. Today’s installment marks the beginning of Draft #3 (edits and minor revisions).

As the great and wise Rafiki once said during The Lion King

Rafiki It is time animated

If the subtitles are tough to read… “IT IS TIME!”

Yup! About 4 weeks after finishing Draft #2 of The Keeper’s Curse, I decided that I’d spent enough time away from the story. I wouldn’t say I’ve been impatient about starting Draft #3. (Welll… maybe a teensy bit.) Instead, now feels like the right time, rather than a week or two from now. The plan is in place, all of the necessary documents have been printed – so, why not?

Since a new draft is beginning, I’ll recap my approach and goals for Draft #3, then reveal how this next round of Chronicles will run. Plus, I’ll let you in on a Tweet-y way you can follow my progress. Ready?

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Chronicling The Craft: Draft #2 Is DONE!

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What’s Next for The Keeper’s Curse, Plus a Final Excerpt for Your Feedback

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, starting with the first draft and now into revisions. Each article contains a progress update as well as writing / revising tips and excerpts from the updated draft. Today’s installment celebrates finishing Draft #2 of THE KEEPER’S CURSE.

Well, the title gave it away – but guess what happened this past weekend?!?! 😀

I’m still stunned. When I sat down to work on revisions last Friday, I was convinced it would take two more weekends, bringing me to Saturday, March 12th / Sunday, March 13th. But that was before the “end-of-WIP” adrenaline rush kicked in… and on the last day of Draft #2, I plowed through the entire final chapter. My initial reaction? “Uh… Did I really just do all that in one day?!”

But hey, I’m not complaining. This story is another step closer to where it needs to be. That calls for a celebration!

Hogwarts Hats

So, what’s the final word count for Draft #2 of The Keeper’s Curse? What are my plans for Draft #3? And, how can YOU help shape the next round of Chronicling The Craft? Plus, I’ll share one more set of excerpts for your comparison and feedback. Let’s start with…

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Chronicling The Craft: Draft #2 Revisions – 80% Complete

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Revising for Deep Point of View, Plus Another Excerpt from The Keeper’s Curse

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, starting with the first draft and now into revisions. Each article contains a progress update as well as writing / revising tips and excerpts from the updated draft. Today’s installment celebrates 80% completion of Draft #2 of THE KEEPER’S CURSE.

Well, this Chronicle is a bit overdue. XD I had hoped to post this when I reached the 70% percent mark for Draft #2. But between the December holidays, my 2-week blogging hiatus, and delays in drafting this post, we’re celebrating not 70% or 75%, but 80%. That’s not such a bad thing, though… because you know what it means, right?

Yes... I think I see it, too, Jack... :D

Yes… I think I see it, too, Jack… 😀

Yes. I’m on the home stretch. I’ve reached the point where I can safely say, “I’M ALMOST DONE – AGAIN!!” (*fistpumps*) Honestly, the thought of closing in on the finish sends thrills up and down my spine… Yet it’s also overwhelming, because it means I’ll need to start thinking about Draft #3 soon.

Wow. I think I just deflated my own balloon of happiness. Anyways…

Considering how close I am to the end, I think this will be the second-to-last Chronicle for this go-round. So, the next time you see a Chronicling The Craft post, Draft #2 will be FINISHED. 😀  In the meantime, let’s get to the 80% progress report, followed by Today’s Tip and a new excerpt for your feedback.
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Chronicling The Craft: Draft #2 Revisions – 50% Complete

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Tips on Killing Off Reducing Your Cast of Supporting Characters, Plus a New Excerpt from The Keeper’s Curse

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, starting with the first draft and now into revisions. Each article contains a progress update as well as writing / revising tips and excerpts from the updated draft. Today’s installment celebrates 50% completion of Draft #2 of THE KEEPER’S CURSE.

First things first: Draft #2 is halfway done!!!!

Wall-E Fire Extinguisher

I still can’t believe with how quickly the revision process is moving. That doesn’t mean it’s had its challenges – and it certainly has – but let’s compare it to the drafting process. I started Draft #2 about 6 months ago, just after Easter. At my current rate, I could finish it in April 2016, for a total of 1 year – half as long as it took me to write Draft #1 (about 25 months, or just over 2 years).

Of course, one never knows what can happen in 6 months time. But the point is, things are moving along, and I’m pleased with how much closer Draft #2 is getting to where this story deserves to be. That’s what counts most. 🙂

(Just a reminder that my thank-you giveaways end at midnight EST on October 31st! Click here to find out how you can win free tea, a free book, or a critique of your WIP’s first chapter.)

Let’s start with a progress report, then get to today’s tip and a new excerpt of TKC for your feedback.
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Chronicling The Craft: Draft #2 Revisions – 30% Complete

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Six Steps to Saving Your Self-Edits for Later – Plus, a New Worksheet and Another Excerpt from The Keeper’s Curse

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, starting with the first draft and now into revisions. Each article contains a progress update as well as writing / revising tips and excerpts from the updated draft. Today’s installment celebrates 30-percent completion of Draft #2 of THE KEEPER’S CURSE.

Huh? It’s been 2 months since the last Chronicle?? *blinks* I guess that shouldn’t surprise me. Summer tends to be my slowest writing season, since I’m more motivated to get out and enjoy the nice weather. But that’s OK. It prevents me from becoming a hermit, right? 🙂

Originally I was going to post updates for every 20-percent milestone (20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100%). However, since gaps between those updates might be lengthy, I’m changing the frequency to every 10-percent milestone. Here’s what I’ve done since mid-June:
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Chronicling The Craft: Revisions 20% Complete

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Practicing Patience with the Revising Process – Plus, an Excerpt from The Keeper’s Curse!

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, starting with the first draft and now into revisions. Each article contains a progress update as well as writing / revising tips and excerpts from the updated draft. Today’s installment celebrates 20-percent completion of Draft #2 of THE KEEPER’S CURSE.

I’ve missed this series! It’s been 2 months since the last Chronicle, when I began revising The Keeper’s Curse (TKC). But since May was insanely busy, this gap between postings meant one less thing on my plate last month. Now I’ve reached the 20-percent milestone in Draft #2, and I’m thrilled to have an update for you. 😀

This new round of Chronicles will feature a similar format as the Draft #1 round. I’ll start with a Progress Report, covering what I’ve worked on since the previous Chronicle. Next will be Today’s Tip, where I offer craft-related advice on novel revisions. Finally, the new third section… well, I’d say it’s a surprise, but the subheading sort of gives it away. 😉  Continue reading