On My Work-in-Progress

A few days ago, Laurie asked me and some other writer friends to complete this little survey about our current WIPs and I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. This is weird for me because I usually don’t share much about what I’m writing — and this is still a fairly guarded summation of what’s going on in my book. Maybe it’ll pique your interest though. Oh, and since I said pique, how about I share that graphic I made once again:

 

Because it cannot be said enough. You can file that under “Proof Elizabeth would have been one of those scary, yard-stick toting English teachers.”

1. What is the title of your book/WIP?

It’s untitled right now.

2. Where did the idea for the WIP come from?

I had the opening image in my head for a while and then it started to flow into a narrative from the point of view of a girl living in Oklahoma in the 1920s.

3. What genre would your WIP fall under?

Young adult — it’s free verse historical fiction.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

My main character is around 12 years old, so it would need to be a young girl, but it would need to be someone with some serious presence. The character goes through a lot and has to handle very difficult situations for someone her age.

This WIP is not one that I’ve really thought about casting, however, I have another WIP about a young wildcatter and his wife that I want Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in SO. BAD.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your WIP?

After the death of her mother and infant sister, a young girl is moved from a lifeless house and into the home of her newly married sister, placing her squarely in the middle of a family that, behind a well-to-do facade, is steeped in abuse and political corruption.

Ha. That was the first time I typed it out like that. I think it’s more interesting than it sounds.

6. Is your WIP published or represented?

Nope, but if anyone is interested…call me 🙂

7. How long did it take you to write?

I started working on this in early April 2012.

8. What other WIPs within your genre would you compare it to?

Hopefully books like Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, Burned by Ellen Hopkins, and What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones. Of course the historic angle makes it quite a bit different from the latter two.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this WIP?

Karen Hesse, Ellen Hopkins, Sonya Sones, Anna Myers, Rilla Askew

10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your WIP.

There are a lot of very serious issues that the main character deals with (death, witnessing physical and psychological abuse, alcoholism, abuse of power) that I think the verse novel presents in an interesting way. You are a witness not only to the actions, but also the inner thoughts of the protagonist. Writing it in verse touches on these things in a more personal, deeply affecting way. Setting the story during the Prohibition era in Oklahoma gives rise to a number of dramatic conflicts that I hope will spark an interest in the history for young readers.

Are you working on something right now? Please feel free to post these questions on your own blog, but let me know if you do because I want to read about what you’re writing!

17 Replies to “On My Work-in-Progress”

  1. Can’t wait to read it!

    PS: I got to meet Anna Myers twice in college. I seem to remember her insulting me one of those times 🙂

  2. i’m working on something, but i’m not sure yet where it’s going to go. for now, i’m just writing bits and pieces to flesh out the main character, the world she lives in, and possibly the conflict. i think it’s possibly an interesting idea, but i’m not exactly sure how it will end up. i haven’t written a short story in decades, and i’ve never written a novel.

    thanks for posting about writing exercises yesterday. i’m scouring the net for some and finding some really helpful things.

  3. I am working on something, which is only a couple of pages in at the moment and just a little germ of an idea, but technically it is a WIP, so for a lark, I’ll do the questions too 🙂

    1. What is the title of your book/WIP?
    The working title is “The Piano Player.”

    2. Where did the idea for the WIP come from?
    I wanted to write a piece of women’s fiction/romance seen through a male character’s eyes.

    3. What genre would your WIP fall under?
    Romance/suspense

    4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
    Oh goodness, I haven’t got a clue! Most of the well known ones are a bit too old, especially for the female lead.

    5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your WIP?
    The heir to a hotel dynasty meets a piano player to whom he has a romantic attraction, and in getting to know her, he manages to uncover his own family secrets.

    6. Is your WIP published or represented?
    Hahaha, no. Assuming I complete this work at some point, which is a big assumption, then I still don’t know that I would submit or attempt to get published with it. This one might be just for me.

    7. How long did it take you to write?
    Writing the first two pages took one evening. Maybe another evening for the total of extra writing and thinking time that I have invested. (Told you it was only a wee germ of a thing!)

    8. What other WIPs within your genre would you compare it to?
    I don’t even know any other WIPs in my genre! I don’t know much in this genre at all actually, I am just writing something I would like to read and then leaving it at that.

    9. Which authors inspired you to write this WIP?
    The lovely folks in this year’s therealljidol competition, over on LJ.

    10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your WIP.
    Our hero discovers vital information whilst attempting to escape a situation in which he would drown.

    (I just made that up, but I’m going with it now that I’ve said it!)

  4. Elizabeth, your graphic is a hoot! Can’t count the number of times I’ve seen “take a peak at this” (or other homonym hilarity) and wondered if there was something wrong with me for knowing the difference between “peek” and “peak.” I’d take your class any time, yardstick and all.

    True story: an 89 year old friend sent me a letter this week describing how she was “interviewed” by a journalism major (junior year in college) on the topic of The Great Depression. The student arrived with a tape recorder in hand — no questions prepared, no research done, no notes — just “talk into the recorder.” After speaking for an hour and a half, my friend paused and asked, “Are you sure you don’t have any questions?”

    The student thought for a moment, then asked, “Was the Depression caused by global warming?” (Thought you might enjoy that…)

    Looking forward to your book — you’ve piqued my interest. 🙂

  5. You must get this published! Seriously, I hope to read it someday. 🙂
    My interest has been piqued. (For the record, I’ve been writing it wrong my entire life. Oh, the shame.)

  6. Forgive my ignorance–what is a verse novel and what makes it different from a regular novel? Sounds interesting, and that is saying something coming from me (I greatly dislike history).

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