Thursday, February 28, 2013

(Work-in-) Progress Report: Bonnie

Word count (to the nearest thousand): 65,000, maybe?
Status: Constructing the second draft
Attitude: Still smitten

I'm not sure about the word count because I'm literally constructing the second draft from scratch*, copying and pasting scenes into a blank document, writing new ones as I go (sometimes on the backs of random scraps of paper). I think I've mentioned this before, but I'm usually a VERY LINEAR writer, so this is new territory for me. And it's EXCITING.

It also helps that I am completely, one-hundred-percent in love with both the concept and the characters. This is my first attempt at YA contemporary since I was in high school, and so far, the thrill hasn't worn off. I described Bonnie a little in my interview with Kate, so I'll repeat that here in case you missed it:

My current work-in-progress is a YA contemporary told in alternating time frames. In the first chapter, seventeen-year-old Karina stops a boy from jumping off a bridge; the second chapter flashes back to the day fifteen-year-old Karina found her older sister dead after she swallowed a bunch of sleeping pills. The front story moves forward and the back story backward from there.

Blending the time frames has been tough, but it's also stretching me in ways I haven't stretched for a long time. I still have a long way to go--it's very possible these time frames only make sense in my own head--but I'm excited about the journey. And that's something to blog about.

So where are you at with your works-in-progress? Are you smitten, energized--or ready to poke your eyes out with a spoon? I'm sure we can all relate to both:)

*I know you rabid Apple folks are going to tell me to try Scrivener, and I do plan to check it out someday. But since I'm usually, as I said, a very linear writer, I've never found a need before.

14 comments:

noellehenry said...

OOh...you've joined the Contemp YA dark side. ;) Bonnie sounds very intriguing! Best of luck with it!

Right now I'm in the brainstorming/outlining/getting-to-know-my-characters phase of my WIP. I'm finding it easy and yet not, and I think that's because I'm very aware of pitfalls and trying very hard not to fall into them! But I'm excited about getting started on the actual writing. (And like you, I'm a very linear writer. Can't seem to do it any other way!)

Alison said...

I find both your process and concept to be very intriguing! And any time a writer is truly in love with her work, I know the end result is going to be a winner. Can't wait to see it!

I admit that I am trying out Scrivener. So far it's been a great distraction for actually avoiding writing. :) After finishing a MG and the first in a chapter book series, I'm now working on Tiny Shrines for Dead Flies. And I'm still trying to nail the exact voice.

Shallee said...

Yay for progress! I love when you're writing a story that still holds a thrill, even when you're so far in. Good luck with it! My progress is...progressing. ;)

Kathleen said...

I just started a YA contemporary with historical elements. I write linear and can't do it any other way. I tried to do a NaNoWriMo by cut and paste and it was and still is a mess.

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

Please please please let me be one of the first readers! *falls on hands and knees*

Kathy Sloan said...

I am at the point of poking my eyes out with my WIP. I did, as you are,created a second draft by cutting, pasting, and writing new. I just got it back from a beta who found two holes (which are an easy fix) so I'm hoping this is it!

good luck to you!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Good luck with the brainstorming, Noelle! Is this your first project after FACE THE MUSIC?

Alison, there's so much truth to that. I think passion for a project really shines through in the writing (or really doesn't if it's not there). And good luck with your WIP!

Thanks, Shallee! And I'm looking forward to hearing more about your progress;)

Kathleen, I think the thing that's helped me branch out with this manuscript is that it's not a linear story, so it's easier to cheat. I normally force myself to write in order because I know if I don't, I'll write all the fun scenes first and never get back to the others:)

Amy, your comment made me laugh, because OF COURSE I want you to be one of Bonnie's first readers. Not only do I put a lot of stock in your opinion (especially in a category and genre I consider you to be an expert in), but I also know you won't make fun of me if this manuscript is, uh, less awesome than I think it is;)

Wow, Kathy, that has to be a relief. Good luck to you, too!

Kelley Lynn said...

Wow, that sounds really tough to write from 'scratch'. I'm a linear writer too so this sounds plan scary.

Glad you're finding it exciting :)

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Well, Kelley Lynn, it's not COMPLETELY from scratch:) I mean, I do have a first draft that I'm borrowing heavily from. I just opened up a blank document to construct the second draft instead of making changes to the first and saving them as the second.

Myrna Foster said...

Your description of Bonnie reminds me of Pivot Point (the jumping around, not the plot), which I absolutely loved. Have I mentioned lately that I'm dying to read this one?

As for TBW, "if you can't say something nice" . . . well, you know. The two of us are spending quality time with each other tomorrow, though.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Ooh, I've been looking forward to PIVOT POINT! And you'll always be on my list of readers, Myrna;)

So how did the revising go?

Myrna Foster said...

It was rocky, but it's gone much better today. :o)

Ben Spendlove said...

Well, I wasn't going to mention Scrivener, but since you brought it up...there is a Windows version.

So my WIP isn't quite linear. I had all the "now" chapters and a few the "back-then" chapters, and I printed them all out, stapled as chapters, and went through them one at a time. At the end of each now chapter, I stopped to consider if it was a good place for one of the back-then chapters, and I was able to get them into an order I'd never considered when just looking at them all as names in a list in Scrivener.

That said, it was really easy to get them into the new order with Scrivener. *wipes rabid foam from mouth*

And I will PAY you to let me read Bonnie before Amy and Myrna.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Happy to hear it, Myrna!

If you hadn't included a shining endorsement of Scrivener, I'd have been worried, Ben:) And I'm glad you're still interested in reading Bonnie. I know life is crazy for you right now, but I really value your opinion, especially on a topic like this.