Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My WIP and a HUGE thank you!


I want to thank all of you with your thoughts in my last post—about whether or not it’s important to label yourself as a writer. It was pretty split—everyone definitely having their own opinion on the matter. But it *did* help. I now know with clarity the angle I want to take with my WIP.

Though I don’t want to go *too* fantastical, I’ve decided my WIP will be a modern day twist on the Phantom of the Opera—but Ballet style. So I can take the realistic edge I’m drawn to, but still have the ghostly element my soul craves while writing. I’m stoked!

I’m also dabbling my hand at present tense, which is actually quite refreshing. So all in all, I think the majority of your opinions are spot on. It’s important to create what your inner self is screaming at you to write, but to try and switch it up—make a challenge for yourself whether it’s changing tenses, POV, how you approach the story, or even genre.

Because I’m so excited, I wanted to share my first draft page with you of my WIP:

I lift my leg higher, wincing at the burn in my lower back. Shoulders down. Stomach pulled in. Head tilted. I bring my leg around, focusing on my standing hip, until my working leg is in front of me, inches from my face. With an excruciating push that I am all too familiar with, I stretch my limb higher until I descend it to the ground.
The music tinkles to a stop and I lower my arms, finished. My heart hammers in my ears and sweat clings to the inside of my leotard. An itch tickles in the middle of my back, but I hold frozen, waiting for permission to move. The judges scribble behind their clipboards, the sound grating along my bones.
I slide my eyes over to Beth. She nailed it. Just like me. Her eyes stay fixed in front of her, but the corner of her mouth twitches so I know she’s aware of me. Dozens of other girls stand alongside us, not including the hundreds that have auditioned across the country.
“That will be all,” the judge in front says. He has dark, thick-framed glasses that look more like an accessory than for actual use. Kind of like the pencil behind his ear.
The room seems to breathe at once as we quietly head over to the sides of the studio where our bags are located. Pointe shoes click on the Marley floor and the air is hot and sticky on my skin. None of the judges watch us depart, like we’re not human beings who would cut off a limb to be part of their program. If we didn’t need the limb to dance in the first place.
We are only clinical objects to them. How long are our legs? How defined is your arch? Can you add an extra turn to your pirouette? Or most important: How much do you weigh?

***

A few posts back I talked about how I didn’t feel the “magic” with my previous WIP. Which is interesting. I love the story, but didn’t feel the huge excitement like I did with my first novel. The magic is back. I know this current story is one I’m supposed to write and I can’t wait to get to it.

What are you working on now? Is it different from what you normally write? Do you have that spark of excitement as you have with past projects? 

Red. Head. Out. :D

44 comments:

  1. My current WIP that I'm writing is a contemmporary YA, like the others. I love that spark, urging you on to work. My problem is I get too many sparks and although I finish writing one story, I tend to move onto another story without finishing revisions. Therefore I have many projects waiting to be revised.

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  2. Love the excerpt, and I'm very pleased you're feeling the magic!!

    I might be embarking on a new project soon - a joint one - so my head is fuzzy with ideas, and I am still polishing my WIP! :D

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  3. (Gah... I had a comment and the site deleted it...)

    I LOVE the *spark*, and I love this draft! First person POV works for you, Morgs. My favorite line is the last one: How much do you weigh? It's so true in the dance world, everything is based so much on physicality rather than just the ability to move.

    I'm looking forward to spending some time with my re-writes this week, since I've been editing a lot for other people lately. I LOVE editing, but my WiP needs some lovin' this week :-)

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  4. Glad you're excited about this one! So it will all take a supernatural turn? Cool.

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  5. Ballet with ghosts? Love the idea! Great start too!

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  6. Sooo good Morgan! The concept is intriguing, and you'll bring a whole new element to it all! I'm excited for you!

    **Also, random side note - did you see my tweet today about Galley Cat? They mentioned you too in the article :)

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  7. I really like "THE PHANTOM OF THE BALLET" feel you are giving your new work. Isn't it fun working on a WIP that fires your muse?

    Right now, I am at the part of mine where the military in New Orleans is at DEFCON 2, the city is an hour away from being nuked to stop an inter-dimensional infestation, and only a rag-tag group of high school students and teachers can save the city -- if they are willing to die to do it. Betrayals and sacrifices ensue. Fun stuff ... if you're not the students and teachers, that is!

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  8. This sounds AWESOME, Morgan! I've never been a dancer, but as long as I've been able to regret things, I've regretted not begging my parents to put me in dancing. I'm fascinated by the dancing world, and particularly ballet. Also, inspired by PHANTOM?! So awesome! :D I love the segment you shared too. You can tell that you're speaking from personal dancing experience, which I find fascinating. :)

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  9. Nice, Morgan. Can't wait to see where you go with this.

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  10. Morgan, I really liked the piece you published. It seems like it's going to tackle some cool, dark stuff. Who doesn't like the competitive world of ballet with a Phantom twist!

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  11. WOW. This sounds like an amazing idea. And I love your little snippet. I want to know if she made it!!

    I am working on 2 things right now. One has dragons and the other is a sekrit and has cowboys. Yeehaw!!

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  12. Your first page here is really good. I think the present tense works really well here because it puts you in the head of the character. Great job Morgan

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  13. What a great excerpt! Thanks for sharing :)

    And I love that feeling! I love feeling like I am on the right track again. It feels great doesn't it?

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  14. Your project sounds fascinating! I'm not a huge fan of present tense but I liked your opening. Hope you write more fast.

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  15. I loved that you found your magical muse! Congrats. I liked this piece. Wonderful job. :)

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  16. Hey,

    I'm a six-foot-two, bald white guy who *can't* dance, and you had me feeling like I was the one up there on the stage in front of the judges...:)

    Loved it, Morg, and can't wait to read more (sign me up for an ARC already :)

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  17. I love this excerpt. Nice writing, Morgan. And it's cool that you now know where you're going with it. I'm struggling to find time to write these days and am itching for more time and energy to get back to it. Babysitting FT wipes me out. Yep, am getting my butt kicked each day by 8-month-old grandbaby! It's a rewarding tired and I love it.

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  18. Oh wow- Modern day Phantom of the Opera with a ballet twist? I LOVE the concept, loved the excerpt too. I can't wait to see the finished piece! Ooh-er, I'm even visualising covers here... Too soon for book covers?...

    :)

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  19. Best. Feeling. In. The. World.

    Fab start.

    This'll sell FAST.

    I have two "high-concept" books that are written, just need polishing, but I'm not IN LOVE, so it's hard to put that final (and hardest) part of the work into them.

    Sigh

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  20. This sounds awesome! Phantom of the Opera is my favorite musical. I can't wait to hear more about your twist on it.

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  21. Love Love LOVE THIS!!!!! Must read more....you are too kind to trifle with me.....give me MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  22. *Hi five* Love this!! I'm don't norm read Contemp, but this drew my right in, and your writing is so clear and smooth. Best of luck! Can't wait till this sells and I get to shout about it =D

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  23. Super read already! Can't wait to see where you take us with this. You know the feeling you get when you just know something is going to be great...that's what I got reading this. It's going to be awesome!

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  24. *sigh* You know what I think already, Morg! Can't wait, and I'm so glad the excitement, magic, passion whatever you want to call it is back!! And Phantom? Eee!!

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  25. Yay for the magic, Morgan!!! That excerpt made my feel teary-eyed because it's so YOU, writing what you know. You're gonna rock it, girl. Love you.

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  26. You're so right, Morgan. We have to challenge ourselves. And besides it's fun. The feeling of pride when you know you pushed yourself a little further and it was okay. I'm doing that with each of my WIPs, and my enthusiasm is contagious. Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

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  27. I love being excited with storywriting. And the first draft is my fav. =) Great post.

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  28. Lovely post!
    I like your use of the present tense here. It thickens the atmosphere. I could see the judges with their monocles and arched eyebrows :)

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  29. So far I love this. It works well in present tense, but I'm biased because I write in present tense too. I was nervous about it at first, but it came so naturally to me. Now I'm not sure if I could write in past tense. :)

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  30. *SQUEEEE!* Girl, you are so amazing! Like, SO AMAZING! And I love the angle you've decided to take with the WIP. It's fantabulous! I love what you've shared. I'm so excited for you!

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  31. I love the excerpt, Morgan! I'm so excited for you. :D

    As for me, I'm working on something a bit darker than what I usually write. Here's to hoping it works out!

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  32. This is so awesome Morgan! You can totally tell you're an expert. I LOVE when I read a book where I learn something, but that something is not jammed down my throat. This book would totally give me a glimpse into a dancer's world.

    The WIP I'm polishing up right now ended up being a lot more related to my 'day job' than I ever realized. Many science aspects with it, and since my background is in engineering, it works nicely :)

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  33. You have a lot of great commenters on your blog. They should come talk to me. :D

    But I love the new idea you have. Good luck with it! x

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  34. A phantom of the opera style ballet story? What's not to love! And no one better to write it - seriously :)

    (*waves to Tyson above* Memories of authonomy abound ... )

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  35. What a fantastic insight into a ballerina's mind. The ballet world can be ruthless, can't it? I'm so happy you've found your story's niche. Always thrilling when that happens, isn't it?

    I'm super-excited about my current WiP. I've been sitting on the plot for YEARS, but wrote ORACLE instead first to have it released in time for the 2012 Olympics (which is the setting of the book). I'm eager now to get back to this one, whose story has evolved so much after numerous outline changes and discussions with editors and literary agents.

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  36. Exciting! Looking forward to hearing more about this new WIP. And I like present tense :-)

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  37. Wonderful excerpt! I hope your MC's last thought was a rhetorical question. I'm not likely to tell you how much I weigh, especially not at the moment. Ha!

    Glad your WiP is going well, Morgan. :)

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  38. It's wonderful, but that taste is not enough! Hurry up:)

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  39. "a modern day twist on the Phantom of the Opera—but Ballet style."

    I must read this book. I volunteer as an Alpha reader! :)

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  40. Yay for getting the magic back!! How wonderful! And I love what you're doing with your current WIP.

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  41. That was beautifully descriptive! So glad you're feeling the magic with it! I'm afraid I won't for a while and that fear is what's keeping me from trying something new. I'll get there though, I know it :)

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  42. Oh, wow, Morgan. That's awesome! Go for it!!! :D

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  43. I am glad that you feel your magic is back Morgan, but I believe you have magic in everything I have seen written of your work! You have a bright future in front of you, I am sure.

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  44. I'm late to the party because I took a week off, but omg, I LOVE this! I'm so glad you found that magic, and that you found it here!

    Hope it keeps coming in waves!

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