May 25, 2011

A Breakdown of My WIP

A few days ago, author Kiersten White blogged about her newly-drafted manuscript, which is tentatively titled FLOOD AND STONE. I had such fun reading Kiersten's post that I decided to steal the idea from her. (Bwahaha! Stealing is fun!) So without further adieu, I bring you a breakdown of my work-in-progress!


Title
REVOLUTIONARY

Genre
YA Alternate History with Fantasy Elements

Pages
148 currently. (I wrote the book single-spaced in 11-point Calibri font.)

Chapters
Erm...I have no idea. I stopped writing the chapter numbers because my book kept on shifting.

Word Count
When I first finished the draft, I was around 71K. Now I'm at 75K and I expect the book to grow to 80K by the time I'm done with this revision.

Draft Time
Early February to early May for the rough draft. That's about three months, which is very fast for me. My middle grade sci-novel took me over a year to write. And my YA dystopian...well, let's just say that I started writing that in January 2010 and I'm still not finished. *Shame*

Concept Time
The spark for this novel came to me in January. I had just finished reading The Aquariums of PyongYang, a memoir about a North Korean refugee who spent his teenage years living in a work camp. That's when a Shiny New Idea hit me: "What if I write a story about a teenager living in North Korea? What if this teen is trained by her uncle to assassinate Kim Jung Il?" The storyline has changed a ton since then (the novel is now set in an alternate history America) but I owe a thanks to my husband for recommending that memoir to me.

Random Details From The Book:
* My protagonist, Zara, is named after one of my favorite clothing stores. This is kind of ironic because Zara is a total tomboy whose beauty routine consists of brushing her hair in the morning.
* Zara is half-Japanese. I always try to incorporate an Asian character into my novels...because I'm Chinese if you haven't noticed. :)
* The love interest in the book, Bastian, is modeled after actor Hunter Parrish. I wanted Bastian to have a boyish handsomeness and a charming smile that girls simply swoon for.


* I seriously love Bastian as a character. He's quiet, shy, and soft-spoken. And he has a really big heart despite being raised by his super evil dad.
* I wrote my first ever kissing scene for this novel! That was a ton of fun. Especially since it was Zara's very first kiss. Aw.
* The book takes place in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I wanted a rural setting that was lush and green and beautiful.


Anyway, I really love Revolutionary and, despite a few headaches, it has been a lot of fun to write. This is the first book I've written where the protagonist's voice has come through to me loud and clear. Sometimes I even feel like Zara is living in my head, telling me how she would say a certain phrase or chiding me when I don't get her dialogue just right. (Is that weird? Yes, probably.)

As of now, I'm working on Round 2 of revisions and I hope to complete another round before I send the whole thing to my beta readers. Honestly, I'm kind of petrified of sending my book into the great unknown. Confession: I've never had someone beta read my novel before, outside of my husband or little sister. I mean, I've used my critique groups to offer feedback on the first few chapters of my MG space opera but I've never asked a non-family member to read an entire book of mine. *Cue biting of fingernails*

Ah well. I'll get over my fears, right? RIGHT?

Right!

*Bites nails more*

13 comments:

  1. I just want you to know that I am weeping, WEEPING TEARS OF EMO for you. A whole year and a half on an uncompleted novel. THE HORROR.

    /quietly slides the 9-year-in-progress novel out of eyesight

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  2. I get to beta for you, right? RIGHT?

    Ahem. I'm so excited to read this though! The first chapter was fantastic. And by the time you're done with revisions I should be done with book1 and a way better emailer/beta reader.

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  3. Yay Caroline! Revolutionary sounds awesome and I'm so glad to see you sending pieces off to Jim. I'm sure he'll love it. You still coming to Chi-Town sometime soon?

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  4. YAY ORIENTAL CHARACTERS! And I just wrote my first -- well, not kissing per se, but romantic scene ever, and I'm hoping you did a better job than I am. :P

    Also, I wish I wrote as quickly as you. *sigh* Even a year doesn't sound that bad, for your MG.

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  5. This sounds great! Sending this out to betas will be fine. It'll make your work stronger in the end. :)

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  6. Wow--that is quite a breakdown, and it sounds fascinating. Sending to betas is scary, but in the end, so so worth it. You'll get stuff you never even thought of, and it can really make your work better. Best of luck with it!!

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  7. Ah Caroline this books sounds so amazing! I LOVE it and you know if you need another beta reader I'm here :)

    Love that Zara is named for ZARA :) and Bastian is such a great name too and kissing scenes are so much fun - yaya for kissing scenes :)

    Good lUck with the revisions!

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  8. This sounds AWESOME. Definitely stealing this breakdown idea and using it for future WIPs :)

    Best of luck with yours!!! I'm sure you're gonna KILL IT. *fist pump*

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  9. Sounds great!

    I totally understand your fear of betas reading your work. But they are there to help.

    I am sure it's awesome.

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  10. Such a cool idea for a post--and your characters sound awesome! I live in Virginia, but I'll be able to visit Shenandoah Valley for the first time next month. Can't wait to see how pretty it looks. :)

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  11. Sounds great! I love that you also pick out models for the characters in your head. My main characters *must* have faces before I stop on the rough draft or it doesn't work out well at all.

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  12. I am waiting ever so impatiently you know... waiting waiting waiting. I hate waiting so hurry up!!!!

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  13. Hey, I'll be sending my YA your way like next year (lol), so if you want me to reciprocate, I can do that. ;-)

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