Ringing the WIP.

I’m working on something right now, something I started during my horrific cold the last few weeks. I’m purposely taking a bit of a break from AGC (no worries, Alderpod listeners; I have plenty of chapters yet to read, so y’all won’t notice the difference) to work on this WIP, which is a project I’ve actually been contemplating since I started my undergraduate career a decade ago (how did ten years pass?!). At that point, I’d written thousands of pages of writing, but had yet to complete a novel; that came years later, with the end of the YA novel, Peter of Windbourne (unpublished… may never see the light of day, but we’ll see). The current WIP is pure, unadulterated fantasy, except when it itsn’t, and for the first time ever, it’s told in the first person.

With The Aldersgate, of course the challenge is juggling so many voices. Six-to-eight in the first novel, getting tone right, etc. But it’s all third person, as is Pilgrim of the Skies, so there’s still a comfortable distance. However, this WIP is not. It’s an uncomfortable proximity. I’ve written short stories, and even poems like this, but I’ve never undertaken a whole novel.

What gets me is that she follows me around all day. It borders on creepy, but I’ve been spending so much time in my protagonist’s brain that I can’t just turn her off when I want. I’m in the shower, she’s talking; I’m trying to sleep, she’s illustrating her opinion like some old radio station that I can’t quite get in clear. Never have I had a single character so invade my daily doings, prevent me from sleep, and snap me into moments of “huh?” so frequently.

This is also the fastest I’ve ever written a novel in my life. When her story starts going, I can’t write it fast enough. I literally had a snap of revelation the other day in which all the major events of the novel unfolded in front of me in a brief and frenzied burst of energy. Everything. Down to frightening detail. (Not that I had no idea where it was going, but I did have some pondering to do on some subjects…)

Unlike the other non-Aldersgate novel I’ve worked on in the last few months, the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo, nothing feels forced this time. I’ve gone back and tried to read bits of Pilgrim of the Sky, and some of it is good. But plenty was me just sitting, spinning my wheels, contemplating my navel, and trying to churn out the daily word count.

Yesterday, my WIP stood still. The line went dead.

So today, I’m dragging my feet, hoping for the call. I’ll be ready.

Anyone else ever experience this sort of thing? Or am I showing signs of the crazies again….

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One Comment on “Ringing the WIP.

  1. I call it the “Creative Suckerpunch”. That unexpected moment of clarity, where it all just sort hits you and you cant get it out of your head and onto the paper fast enough. I’ve had a couple of these myself, and one of the worst things is to have it while sitting in at your desk, during an 8 – 5 office job.

    …And like you described, it fades kinda quick. Think of it in terms of seeing stars or your ears ringing after the punch; eventually it wears off.

    So, two bits of good news: You are NOT crazy (or in danger of it), and eventually it WILL hit you again…

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