Tuesday, July 20, 2010

WIP it good: share your reading and writing adventures

WIP it good! Or not.

What are you all working on? What's your WIP (Work-in-progress, for the uninitiated)?

Our brand-spanking-new critique group, aptly named Operation Awesome, just kicked off yesterday. I'm really enjoying reading the work of some fabulous upcoming writers. It's a breath of fresh air to read somebody else's imagination! I think it's something that benefits all writers, no matter our career stage. Reading somebody else's stuff does three things for me:

  • Cleanses my palate from my own stuff, which is all starting to sound like peanut-butter-mouth.
  • Teaches me skills others have mastered, like twisty, layered plotting or vivid characterization.
  • Allows me to join society, whether it's the community of aspiring authors or the collective voice of the reading world. This is one of the biggest things for me. In a critique group, I have a chance to give back. If I'm reading a published novel, I have a chance to participate in the discussion, both in spontaneous book chats with friends, and on the blogosphere. 
So what are you working on? If the answer is "umm, I'm sort of working on [ ] but I've been busy," I suggest you take a break from writing (as you might already be doing) and do some fun reading instead. 

Read that manuscript you promised to beta but never got around to. 

Read the sequels to WINGS and EVERMORE, if you haven't. 

Read LITTLE WOMEN or ANNE OF GREEN GABLES for the umpteenth time.  

Read OF HUMAN BONDAGE just to make your 11th-grade self honest at last (getting an A doesn't justify not reading a classic, I'm told).

And then, get back to work-in-progress.

Please post your WIPs and TBRs in the comments. I'll start:

I'm writing a young adult paranormal romance about a boy whose personality changes after his first heartbreak, and the girl who's tasked with saving him. 
I'm also re-reading and playing with an old science fiction manuscript of mine (see Movies That One-Up Me: Inception).
Critiquing for three other truly gifted authors.

To-Be-Read or Currently Reading: 
SOULLESS by Gail Carriger
SPELLS (sequel to WINGS) by Aprilynne Pike
BLUE MOON (sequel to EVERMORE) by Alyson Noel
LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott
PARANORMALCY (okay, so it's not out yet, but I'm dreaming about it) by Kiersten White


  1. Your WIPs sound interesting! And I love your reading list. Some books can never be read too many times *cough* *Harry Potter* *cough*.

    My WIP is a YA science fiction romance, but I still haven't figured out how to summarize it without giving too much away.

    Right now I'm reading "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett.

  2. Thanks, Liz! And yes, HP rocks! I could read it a gajillion times.

    I'm not one for giving away my high concepts until the book is written and ready for submission, so I purposely left out the paranormal hook. In a good book, there's a hook aside from the paranormal or supernatural--like heartbreak and new love in my case. Figure out what your "everyman" hook is and you won't have to give away your high concept hook.

    And I love YA sci-fi! Looking forward to hearing more about your book someday.


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