Look up the hashtag #WIPjoy. It was put together by Bethany Jennings, who’s not only a fantasy writer, but also a Christian and homeschool mom, a lovely person who has inspired me in many different ways. (Check out her blog.) Basically, WIPjoy is answering questions about your WIP, one question per day of a designated month, and it happens about three times a year. There was just recently one in January (which I stopped 1/4 of the way through because I would rather answer them all in a blog post) and the one before that was in September.
So I wrote a blog post answering each question. But I have a friend who was interested in doing the same thing, so I thought, why not make it a tag? I know most of you have already participated in WIPjoy, but for those of you who didn’t have time to do it on your blog or Twitter, count yourself in.
So, without much ado, here are the WIPjoy questions that I’ll answer about my WIP, Fiction’s Lie. There are 31 of them, but I haven’t answered all of them here; I don’t want to make some of them public just yet. Hope you enjoy!
1. Introduce Your WIP! It’s my NaNo novel from last November, and it’s in the process of editing. I hope to indie publish it when finished! Here’s a brief summary:
Ficino is a young writer, minding his own business. But when his characters find out that he’s
ditched a novel he’s been writing about them, they immediately rush to the scene of disaster. Nettled, they reproach their author for abandoning them, causing Ficino to question his sanity as a writer. But in the end, the only inspiration that helps Ficino write again is visiting the very world he himself created.
5. How easy is this WIP to write? This was my NaNoWriMo project, so, of course, writing it was stressful. But my MC is basically me with a gender switch, so it’s a give and take! Plus, the characters and world are pretty much the same as in Netherworld, so that’s made it loads easier as far as worldbuilding and character arcs go.
9. How did the main characters meet? Ficino’s characters pretty much jumped on him when he least expected it. I mean, who expects their own fictional characters to pop into their own reality? They force him to question his sanity. A-gain.
12. What was your antagonist’s past like? I can’t say too much because SPOILERS, but the antagonist is the same as in Netherworld. Summed up, he could see visions of the future and saw that a famine was coming to destroy the whole planet. He loved his people and warned them of the famine to come, but they said he was mad. So he was grieved and bitter and left them to die. He doesn’t come in much in Fiction’s Lie except for the very end.
13. What’s a message about relationships that you have in your book? Just because your friends aren’t real doesn’t mean they’re not real. And I know that sentence made it sound like I had no breakfast today, but that’s what I meant: the main character is an author and the people who changed his life for the better are his characters. His characters aren’t “real” to him, until they actually appear in his reality. They become his best friends.
14. Which characters get along worst? Meo and Meg. Meo is Ficino’s main character (also the main character from Netherworld) and he and Meg are besties, yet they simply don’t get along. Meg is quick tongued, overly talkative, and emotional about everything, whereas Meo is quiet, practical, and opinionated. Oh, and I’m shipping them, if you couldn’t already tell.
15. At its best, my WIP’s dialogue is… I like sticking to the three S’s: Smart, sassy, and snappy, while also communicating actions and feelings. And to be honest, I feel like that’s one of my few strengths in writing fiction.
17. I love how I depict characters because… I describe who they are by the way they say and do things. To me, describing a character’s personality is the best way to introduce who they are to the reader. (In fact, that sounds like a nice blog post idea.)
18. Share an example of your best prose! *gasps and claps hands to face* I thought you’d never ask!!! Here’s something I immensely enjoyed pouring out onto the page.
A lone, dark figure stood on a cliff, overlooking the village of Ahhkstan. The little shops and huts looked diminutive from his bird’s eye view, and the palace like a tiny plastic model from a children’s play set. The wind whipped around him, tearing at the trees, threatening to break them off. The tall grasses lay flat on the ground from the wind, looking like the forest floor could be a stream running through the trees. But there is always an eye in a hurricane. This black cloaked figure was that eye; not even a breeze caused his cloak to ripple or whip the hood off to reveal the face.
This man was the bringer of the storm. Deliverer of the darkness. The wind heard his will and obeyed. The sky heeded his call and blackened. He looked out over the city he had come to trample over and bring under his iron fist. He would rule to control. He would instill fear. For only wayward dominions had gentle, compassionate rulers. The Empress was not tender hearted, nor was she cruel. She was a perfect leader who led people who loved her. But she was not ideal.
Not in Ivel’s eyes.
21. I’m most impatient to hear readers’ reactions to… THE ENDING, ERMIGAWSH. I feel like there are so many emotions and character arcs and plot twists and the whole thing is so bittersweet that I’m wondering if anyone other than myself might actually cry over it. (Now THAT would be something.)
22. Describe protagonist in five words. Disorganized. Thoughtful. Practical. Flustered. Ambitious.
27. Does the protagonist sympathize with (or relate to) the antagonist? Here’s a line about just that.
Ficino blinked as the realization dawned on him. He had seen Zulor as a real person when he was writing. He had felt love and sympathy for this particular character. And in doing so, he had opened up a vulnerable range of emotions that also included certain abilities … including the capacity to have some of the author’s proficiencies; in this case, manipulating the story. And Ficino had never even seen it until now.
28. What is the protagonist self-conscious about? I can’t stand looking like I don’t have it all together. I need to be organized, laid back, and relaxed, and if I’m not, I need to at least appear that way. And being a writer, most of my life is anything but organized, laid back, and relaxed.
29. How long do you expect to be working on this WIP? Not much longer, hopefully! I’ll try to get started on asking for beta readers within the next few months or so after I get feedback from a couple friends and family members. Then it’s off to tackle CreateSpace! I’m so excited, I can’t even tell you.
30. What do you hope touches readers most in this story? The fact that everyone has a story. Even if you don’t necessarily write, even if you hate writing, the main message in this book is that everyone has a story and that each story is special and precious, and should be shared. Don’t be afraid to share it.
Now on to the tagging business! (If you’re interested in doing a WIPjoy blog post too, don’t feel like you have to answer all of the questions either.)
Harley Rae @ SoCal Scribbler
Hannah Heath @ Hannah Heath
Nate Philbrick @ You Write Fiction
Katherine Forster @ Song Beyond Silence
And anyone else who thinks this is fun! I can’t wait to read aaalllll about your WIPs!