Today's Friday Fives is one I really can't answer yet.
What are the FIVE ways that get you from the beginning to the end of your WiP without losing all your hair?
Simply put: I haven't yet. But there is one thing I've started to realize about my brand new WIP that sets it apart from the one I've been poking at since last November.
I want to read this book. So...I guess I have to write it first.
A big part of this has to do with genre. I will read the occasional contemporary/realistic MG novel. And goodness knows I read a LOT of them when I was growing up. But, teacher persona aside, just me, as a human being, choosing books? My mix breaks down to about 75% YA--of that, probably 85% is genre fiction, primarily dystopian with some fantasy and historical thrown in, and the rest is realistic/contemporary. Then maybe 15% adult fiction, with much of that drawn from my mother's book club picks (Time Traveler's Wife, Water For Elephants, a whole bunch of Lisa See, etc.) The other 5% is split between MG and non-fiction (most recently Malcolm Gladwell). So, clearly, the new WIP is much more on target for me as a reader.
The other thing I have to sheepishly admit is that the older WIP is--if not exactly based on my life in middle school--then at least drawn from it. I started with characters and scenarios that were real, and then embellished. It was good practice in terms of storytelling and raising the stakes, because it gave me something to measure against. "Well, this is what happened in life--what's the thing that would happen in fiction, instead?" But it didn't have the same element of surprise that my current WIP does.
When I started writing last year, I didn't think I'd ever be able to build a world good enough to sustain a dystopian novel. And maybe I won't be, but I feel like I'm at least making progress. What I do have right now are characters who stay in my head. I'm starting to actually have the writerly experience of learning about my characters, rather than inventing them. It's like a constant, low-grade version of the feeling I get when I'm reading and I want to find out what happens to the character so badly that I skim or skip whole paragraphs just to get to the resolution of a particular conflict. I want to know--and this time, I have to write it to find out.
In other news--
A few awesome ladies are doing some pretty excellent giveaways. But hurry! One ends today!
1) The "Maybe Genius Has an Agent" Contest
Enter to win signed books AND critiques! (BTW, while following her blog is not required to enter, it only took me about three posts to decide this funny, smart lady is someone I want to follow.)
2) Jessica Love's OMG I Have An Agent Giveaway
I'm totally in awe of this fellow HS English teacher who managed to finish a novel AND get an agent--that's the dream, people.
3) Malinda Lo's New Website Giveaway
Ash is high on my TBR list--and with a budget-imposed book-buying moratorium until after the holidays, I'm hoping for a copy to come my way sooner. (And it is a gorgeous new website!)