Writing is always a Work In Progress

I’ve been fairly lackadaisical over the past week or so with my writing goals. I have managed some, but not others. Yet, occasionally, it pays to have some time away and refocus my mind.

One of the better outcomes of this period of rest has been the growing belief that I can finish my current Work In Progress before November if I can focus on it throughout October. As this is what I intend to concentrate on for the next month – along with some preparations for NaNoWriMo – I thought it would be a good time to remind myself a little about the aim of my current novel and what it’s all about. Fortunately, Vickki over at The View Outside, tagged me in a fun challenge that will help me do just that.

So: here is my WIP Challenge response.

1. WHAT IS THE TITLE OF YOUR BOOK/WIP?

It was originally titled ‘Waste of a Life’ but I’m beginning to think I might need a new one because the overall atmosphere of the novel isn’t really what I had imagined when I first named it.

2. WHERE DID THE IDEA FOR THE WIP COME FROM?

It came to me when I was doing a mundane task – driving home from the supermarket – and I remember trying desperately to hold the concept in my mind so that I could write it down before I lost it! Oddly, it was the character that inspired the story – Madeline arrived almost fully formed into my head and the biggest struggle I have is to determine the reasons why she does things.

3. WHAT GENRE WOULD YOUR WIP FALL UNDER?

General Fiction. It might be classed as experimental – as despite having a very strong protagonist the reader is not privy to their thoughts: so although I have to understand Madeline the reader doesn’t ever get an insight into why she does some fairly unforgivable things.

4. WHICH ACTORS WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO PLAY YOUR CHARACTERS IN A MOVIE RENDITION?

Oooh – I haven’t thought about this before. It needs consideration. Madeline is seen at four points in her life – as an eleven year old, a seventeen year old, in her late twenties and then early forties. If it were possible I might suggest Kirsten Dunst throughout the ages – as she played her child vampire character amazingly well and she’s done some great stuff since then: though she’d have to keep her red hair.

Perhaps Emma Watson for the 17 year old and maybe Ginnifer Goodwin for the late twenties. Or Natalie Portman. And definitely Meryl Streep for the later years.

No, I can’t decide on one, it’s too difficult: there is no-one like Madeline in this world, that’s her entire allure.

Other characters  are a little easier and they include the Dr. treating Madeline in her forties – so totally Tom Selleck in his Friend’s years – Penelope is completely Helen Mirram and Cecelia (grown up) might be suited to someone like Nicola Kidman or Jennifer Aniston.

5. WHAT IS THE ONE-SENTENCE SYNOPSIS OF YOUR WIP?

Madeline is dying, and as she does, all those she has wronged during her life appear to seek the reasons why she wanted to ruin their lives.

6. IS YOUR WIP PUBLISHED OR REPRESENTED?

No. It’s not finished and certainly not in any state to be read by an outsider just yet!

7. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE?

I started one part of it in May 2011, then wrote the bulk of it during November 2012. The first draft should, I hope, be complete by the end of October 2012.

8. WHAT OTHER WIP’S WITHIN YOUR GENRE WOULD YOU COMPARE IT TO?

I’m not sure. There is a book called Fallen Angels by Tyra Hyland whose main character, Fanny, is not entirely sympathetic, which is how I envisage Madeline. I also liked Daphne Du Maurier’s, My Cousin Rachel – for the atmospheric doubt she creates about Rachel and the way the reader never truly comprehends her motives.

9. WHICH AUTHORS INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS WIP?

Erm…I’m not sure. Is that bad? I really love Louisa Alcott’s Little Women and Colleen McCoullough’s The Thorn Birds.

10. TELL US ANYTHING ELSE THAT MIGHT PIQUE OUR INTEREST IN THIS PROJECT.

Madeline’s character does a number of terrible things: at eleven, lies about her friend’s father abusing her: at seventeen she leaves her new husband and tells him that she has aborted his child: in her late twenties she blackmails a socialite couple into fleeing the country and then, confesses all this to her palliative care Doctor who doesn’t know what to do with the knowledge of her sins!

Don’t you want to know how it all turns out?

~~~~~

So, now I have to tag a couple of people to try and complete the challenge on their own WIP.

Brinda Banajee, also known as Modern Scheherzade

Sarah Grace Logan over at A Slice of Imagination

Dan Bracewell 

Scribbling Advocate

Looking forward to seeing if they respond and what they’re all up to!

~~~~~

Completing the challenge has certainly helped focus my mind on what it is I’m trying to achieve with the novel and where it is I wanted it to go. Now all I have to do is finish it.

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11 responses to “Writing is always a Work In Progress

  1. Thanks Cat — I will post my response this coming week – like you, this challenge prompted me to get some thoughts in order so it’s helpful! Also – your protagonist sounds VERY interesting, and I;m not sure this is right but as I read your synopsis Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace came to mind — the stories are not similar at all but the characters and the mystery of the character’s motivations might be close – check it out. Good luck with NanoWriMo!

    • Oooh, I love reading suggestions. Thanks! Need a new book to immerse myself into, will get myself to the bookshop tomorrow with that in hand.
      I’m glad that the challenge is helpful: am looking forward to seeing how your own WIP pans out: I found the movie characters Q quite hard – now I keep shouting out ‘She could play Madeline’ in the middle of movies (like I did in the Avenger’s movie last night when I saw Scarlett Johannson with red hair!).
      Keep writing! Take Care, Cat

    • heheh! You’ll have to keep checking in to see how it’s going and *shoo* me more often: I could do with the discipline!
      Thanks for the feedback, Cat

  2. Pingback: My work in progress « a slice of imagination

    • Thanks: it is quite an interesting concept, with Madeline at the forefront as my protagonist arranging events for her benefit and amusement. Sometimes it’s so easy to get lost in your own novel, it’s good to hear someone else finds the basic thread of it interesting. I’ll try not to disappoint!
      Take Care, Cat

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