A WIP and A Short Story #amwriting

If you’re looking for a Book Review Tuesday post, it will be back next week. I have several book reviews to share, but I thought I’d do something different today. It’s been a while since I popped in to chat writing—so here I am. 🙂

I still haven’t cracked open my current WIP, but I’m starting to feel the siren call. Before I wade in, I need to restudy the story and characters. It’s been a while since the pages have graced my screen. Right now, I’m envisioning this work as a stand alone, but it has series potential if I decide to expand it. Like most of my books, the genre is mystery/suspense, but the folklore elements are rooted in an old legend rather than the supernatural.

I started walking and jogging during our shelter-in-place time, which has been great for thinking through plot entanglements. I also had a new character pop up during a stroll. He’s been waging a campaign for inclusion, and even though the details are vague, I think he’s going to win.

Desk with an open notebook with writing, old books stacked to the side

While the WIP is currently languishing, I did finish my short story submission for a murder mystery anthology. Once more, I’m doing something a little different. No supernatural threads. Surprised?

Instead, I drummed up a Medieval setting, a winter gala attended by multiple members suspects of the nobility, and a puzzling murder.

A Winter Reckoning is a rework of an unpublished novella I wrote in the mid 90s. The original word count came in just under 32K. The core of the story was a murder mystery, but there were also a lot of unrelated plot entanglements. I cut everything that didn’t tie to the murder plot and reduced the word count by half. What’s left is the guts of the story. My critique partners have provided feedback, I’ve tweaked a few things, and it’s ready to send. I did what I’d hoped was a final read through over the weekend, but I ended up doing more fine tuning. Mostly word choices and some phrase restructuring. That means I need to let it sit for another week or two and take one final look.

In the meantime, I’m going to focus on my WIP. I had such a clear vision of this book before becoming sidetracked by NaNo last November, when I took a detour to work on a different project. That book is still singing a siren call as well, both competing with the other. I need to figure out how Craig Boyack manages to work on two stories at one time and maybe that would solve my problem!

old typewriter with sheet of paper that reads Write Something in large text

That’s the latest from me. I wish you happy writing—and happy reading. Look for more book reviews next week, and a few guests authors to pop in later in the month. As much as I love doing my book reviews, I thought I should mix them up with something different for a change. Eventually, I may get back to a semi regular blogging schedule, along with the return of Wednesday Weirdness!

45 thoughts on “A WIP and A Short Story #amwriting

  1. I know what you mean about getting reacquainted with the story and characters, Mae. That’s what’s been happening with me and my WIP that I started during NaNo. Glad to hear yours are also jabbering at you to get started, lol. I love medieval settings – what a challenge to write a story set during that period! I doubt I’d have the patience for the research. Looking forward to reading it!

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    • Characters jabbering is a good way of phrasing it, Teri. They’ve definitely been doing that. Glad to hear I’m not alone in that respect, LOL.
      I’m pretty pleased with the way the Medieval mystery turned out. There’s something I really enjoy about writing dialogue from that period (or even the Victorian era). I think it comes from my love of epic fantasy which was my chosen genre for a very long time when I was younger 🙂

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    • Jacqui, that 1990s story has stuck in my head for ages. A lot of it was dreck, but I was liked the murder mystery part of it. It’s amazing what you find knocking around in old trunk stories when you stop to think about them 🙂

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    • I admit I did minimal research, but that’s because the story takes place in fairly limited setting and I used to read a lot of medieval stories. But clothing was one of the things I did spend time researching, LOL! I’m glad you’re looking forward to it, Jacquie. Thank you!

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  2. Looking forward to new projects from you. I’m about to take a sabbatical. I’m going to spend my time storyboarding so that when I’m ready, I can fly through the stories. Two at once isn’t that hard, but adding in a short story kind of gummed things up. I never thought I could do it, but it’s nice to jump from project to project whenever I get stuck. Instead of hand wringing, I get to be productive on the other story. For some reason, that always helps resolve whatever I got stuck on, then I jump back.

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    • I’m starting to wonder if I should give it a try. The system works really well for you and I’d like to experiment with it. I think I need to do some extensive storyboarding on the NaNo project, because the plot I originally envisioned is a dud. I need to take the characters who are salvageable and give them new life in a new setting.

      Wishing you lots of inspiration for your storyboarding. And I know you’ll work the short story out.

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  3. Finished your short story, rework your novella… It sounds like a wonderful progress on your writing, Mae. I know some people are good in sticking with the writing and blogging schedule, but making adjustment is needed for many.

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    • When I had publisher deadlines hanging over my head, I was much better at sticking to a regular writing schedule. The last year has disrupted that, but I’m thrilled to be focusing again. 2020 has been a bad year for so many of us. Like you said, Miriam, adjustments have been necessary!

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    • Hi, Emily! Great to have you visit. Those walks and jogs have been wonderful for working through plot points and character issues. I’m glad you like the sound of A Winter Reckoning. I’m so happy I’ve been able to salvage something so old!

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  4. Oh, the murder mystery sounds intriguing! I know what you mean about a WIP – I’m starting to feel the nudge in that direction myself. And would you beleive it’s suspense/mystery with a bit of legends and folklore?

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    • Hi, Robbie. Yes, it’s set “somewhere in Medieval England” as I note at the beginning 🙂 I was deliberately vague about the setting and exact time period so I didn’t have to do a ton of research. I used to write high (epic) fantasy back in the day, so this really wasn’t a stretch for me. I enjoyed it!

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      • It sounds like a great concept, Mae. You will still have to do some research. You know how it goes, you have your character seated eating his lunch and you suddenly think, bother, what utensils did they use in the 14th century and were the ale mugs made of pewter, wood or horns.

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      • Absolutely. Fortunately, I use to play around writing in this time period back in my younger days. I think I have this one ready to send off. One more read through for typos should do it. I’d forgotten how much I missed writing in this era!

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  5. Am I thinking of the right WIP? I thought you had at least two (if not three) stories planned. Regardless, if you’re writing it, I’m reading it.

    Excited about your mystery short. Can’t wait until that is released. Best wishes with all your projects!

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  6. It’s nice to hear what you’re working on, Mae. I know that feeling of getting off track and needing to reconnect with the story and its characters. My muse has informed me that once my current project is done, it will be time for a stand-alone, as a breather. It’s such a distracting time that another series seems like too hard a project. Wishing you a happy return to your WIP! Take care and enjoy the creativity.

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    • Hi, Diana. Thanks for the well wishes. I’ve had some situations crop up recently that have kept me from writing (or even being online), but I hope to get back into the swing of things shortly. I couldn’t imagine doing a series right now, but I know that whatever you write, it’s bound to be exceptional!

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