Happy February! Welcome back to WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY, hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. To learn more about it, you should really visit their respective pages. I use it to keep me writing, to make myself think about writing, and to force myself to think positive and find things to look forward to. I know the Northeast is covered in snow, but the DC area hasn’t been able to accumulate more than an inch (it seems), so this weeks’ WUW sidebar is a little idealistic.
What I’m Reading
Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. I started it ages ago, re-started it last week. I love Michael Chabon and wanted something to immerse myself in, but so far it just seems like a white dude’s mid-life crisis. But I’ve barely begun so I’m reserving judgment. Summerland was one of my favorite middle grade books and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is a masterpiece, so I’m cautiously optimistic.
On the non-fiction front, I’m reading The Great Cat Massacre by Robert Darnton. It was on the required reading list in a college course (Enlightenment Europe) and I finally have the time to sit down and read more than the few assigned sections.
In retrospect, I should have planned my book-pairing better because they both feel ‘adult’ and serious. Because, as I’m learning, everyone was too busy working themselves to death in 17th century France to have a little fun and frivolity in their lives.
What I’m Writing
That Golf Story – Kate and Bailey finally received Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 is off to, well, a start. The last couple of chapters had kissing, and drinking, and a lot of music but only a little bit of golf. So now I get to write a lot of golf. All of the golf. But in a fun way. Good news, though: I’m officially working on the final third of the draft.
Delia – Delia is what I’m calling the project I finished last summer because the main character’s name is Delia and I’m truly abhorrent at naming things. And she’s not getting written so much as getting revised. But that’s a part of the writing process, so she still counts. Poor Delia is a stagnant first half tied to an action-packed second half right now, but I promised myself that when I finished applying to grad schools I would start to revise her, so here we are.
What Works for Me
Outlining (apparently). That Golf Story is the first time I’ve outlined a story in its entirety before I began writing it. I wrote an overall outline for plot. Then I broke the plot into three sections and made sure there was rising action, and conflict, and resolutions. Which worked in that I found an organic way to split the draft into sections. Then I broke down chapter-by-chapter scenes. And sure, some stuff has been cut, characters have been added and others have merged; there’s a lot of stuff I hadn’t originally anticipated. Overall, though, having a guide has been a blessing. It’s easier for me to brainstorm. I can play with structure now that I actually have one.
This is all a far cry from Delia. She’s a hot mess. I developed my main character and had a vague idea of what I wanted for her, but I pants-d it. When I did outline, it was as I wrote. And I kept the outline in the same document as things that I cut and ideas that didn’t quite fit. So poor Delia’s all over the place, and the mythology struggles because of it. Revision will be harder because of it and that’s not really an exciting prospect as a first-time reviser.
What Else I’ve Been Up To
It was my birthday recently, so I planned myself the perfect day (and executed it pretty flawlessly). Let me just say: Wine jell-o shots are my new favorite thing. But before I drank, I got my first tattoo! To balance out all the fun, I’ve been productive – I’ve already filed my taxes, completed my FAFSA, and am officially done applying to grad schools! Now it’s just a waiting game.