Author Bethany Jennings created a fun hashtag challenge for writers, with a different prompt about your WIP (work-in-progress) every day for the month of January. This has been such a blast, and I figured, why not share my answers here? 🙂
Fellow writers are welcome to join in! Just visit Bethany’s Twitter profile (@simmeringmind) to see the pinned list of daily prompts!
So, here are the first twelve days of my #JanuaryWIPjoy.
1. “Describe your story as ___ meets ___.”
This was a tough one, as I’ve never really thought about it in those terms before, but I went with:
My story is magical adventure meets spiritual growth meets friendship.
2. “Why you love your protagonist.”
I love my protagonist (Eruvred) because he’s brave, curious, and empathizes with others’ pain.
3. “A side character you love and why.”
Talk about another tough one! There are too many to choose just one! But alas, choose I did.
I love Barnard because he’s a grumpy but lovable old man who tells great stories. And he’s clumsy.
4. “Why you love your antagonist.”
While I don’t particularly “love” my bad guy (he’s evil through and through), I do appreciate his role in the story:
He shows what those without light in their hearts are willing to give up for temporary gain.
5. “You hope someday your book gets a review that says…”
Haven’t really thought of this before either, to be honest. LOL. So I just winged it:
I hope someday my book gets a review that says it touched someone’s life the way my favorite books touched mine. One can dream, right? 😉
6. “A character you’d be best friends with and why.”
I’d be best friends with the Elf Finora, because we have a lot in common. In particular, we’re both fairly patient most of the time; we also have a heart for those in pain, peacemaking tendencies, and a love of nature and adventure…basically, she’s the cool version of me. 😛
7. “The first idea or inspiration you had for this WIP.”
My very 1st idea for my WIP came from a pair of trees on my college campus (random, I know). They were beautiful and really captured my imagination for some reason, so that I felt compelled to make a story about them, if only to entertain myself as I walked past them every day on my way to class. That story eventually “branched” off and evolved into my WIP. The two trees became only a back story, the events they were part of being far in the past, but I gave them a cameo in the book anyway, as a nod to the story’s origins.
8. “A favorite line from your WIP about a character.”
I went with the description of Garvis the carpenter, because the entire scene this excerpt is taken from tickles me every time I read it.
Kel approached the door of the shop and knocked. The sound was greeted by a loud commotion somewhere inside….The door flew open to reveal a man who was not at all what Eruvred had been expecting. He was a head shorter than Kel, and quite round as well. A stained apron with several small tools protruding from the pockets was tied around his plump belly. He had small blue eyes, red cheeks, and a bushy mustache flecked with grey. There were wood shavings caught in his chestnut hair, which had begun to thin near the top of his head. He was without a doubt the most humorous thing Eruvred had seen in a long time.
9. “A favorite piece of description from your WIP.”
I have several, but settled on this one (because this is how books make me feel):
Intrigued, Eruvred tried one of the doors. It swung inward to reveal a vast library, larger even than the throne room. An army of dusty bookshelves stood in endless rows, holding as many books as there were stars in the heavens. The smell of old parchment permeated the air—the scent of adventure. The sight made Eruvred’s heart beat fast. Each book was a door to a new world, and he longed to visit them all….As he pulled the library door shut, Eruvred gave that special place his own name: The Room of Doors.
10. “A favorite line of dialogue from your WIP.”
Apologies, because this one’s kind of long. But it was really hard to narrow down the passage to just a couple of lines, since it’s really the entire exchange that makes it so funny. So I cheated and used a screen shot of a couple of excerpts from the passage on Twitter… 😀 I felt it did it more justice.
Eruvred started at the unexpected sound and looked around wildly. He did not see anything, but that didn’t make him feel any easier. He rose quickly to his feet.
“Oof!” he exclaimed as the top of his head collided with something. He staggered backward and rubbed the spot now throbbing with pain. Looking up, he saw what he had hit: an arrow lodged in the tree’s trunk, just above where his head had been. He gaped at it, dumbfounded.
From the treetops, a shrill voice called down to him. “Consider that your first and only warning, Longshanks!”
Eruvred spun around in a panic. He could detect no movement amongst the branches above, but he drew his sword with a flourish all the same. High-pitched giggles broke out above him all around.
“Come now, lad,” said the shrill voice. “Don’t go and try anything foolish. You are outnumbered and surrounded; your head would fall before you could even blink.”
“Please!” Eruvred implored the trees. “I mean no harm! I am looking for another man, like me.”
“Well, there’s none o’ your kind in these woods, so you best be on your way before I grow weary of you.”
“How do you know there are no humans here?”
“Rrrah! I will do the questioning, if you don’t mind!”
“Do you know not to whom you are speaking, boy?” asked another voice.
“We are the Eyes of the Forest!” said another.
“The Eyes! The Eyes!” echoed several others.
“We see everything,” the first voice added.
….An idea struck Eruvred. “I am here on behalf of Theadren of Dorvél. Perhaps you know him?”
The laughter died almost at once, replaced by mutters and whispers.
“Theadren, you say?” repeated the first voice.
“Yes, Theadren of Dorvél.”
“Theadren…Theadren…” the voice muttered, as if trying to recall the name. “…King Theadren?”
“Yes!” Eruvred cried hopefully.
There was a brief pause.
“Never heard of him!”
The voices once again erupted into fits of giggles. Eruvred stared up at the branches, temporarily at a loss for words.
“If you’ve never heard of him,” he finally said, “then how did you know he was a king?”
The laughing voices faltered.
“Lucky guess!” answered the first.
11. “A favorite line about emotion from your WIP.”
Some of my favorite emotional scenes are those which, unfortunately, give too much away. 😛 But I do like this one a lot:
Despite the ceaseless riding that it inevitably brought, Eruvred preferred the daytime. It was far better than the nights that left him alone in the dark, twisting and turning, afraid to sleep. And when at last he was too exhausted to stay awake any longer, he would drift into fitful, terrifying nightmares.
Always it was the same: Fire surrounded him. Dark, hairy creatures chased him, their howls creeping up his back and paralyzing his mind. Long claws reached out for him and snagged his clothes. And he ran. Never stopping, never looking back, Eruvred ran. But no matter how he tried, he could never find the way out of the fire. In the end, the Brunak always cornered him and he fell to his knees, crying and pleading for mercy. Then Belagoth, with silver hair and eyes blacker than night, stepped out of the flames and pulled the broken crown from Eruvred’s helpless grasp.
He often awoke shivering in a pool of his own sweat, feeling more tired than he had before he fell asleep. No, the night brought him no solace.
12. “A scene you deleted but love anyway.”
Don’t worry, I’ll resist sharing the entire scene this time. It’s a little too long for that. Towards the beginning of the book, Barnard shares a story with Eruvred, which reveals some important background about the antagonist, Belagoth. In the original version, I made the tale a great deal longer, with more detail than was necessary. It occurred to me that, while all the info was useful to me as the writer to give me a clearer idea of what was going on, it didn’t all need to be included at this moment. Thus a great deal was cut from the story to help simplify, improve flow, and focus just on what was important. Obviously, I saved the whole thing though. Maybe one day I’ll have enough readers who are interested to learn more and I can write “A History of Ineris” or something like that, to share some of the backstories that won’t make it into this storyline. 😉
More to come! Follow the discussion on Twitter and Facebook with #JanuaryWIPjoy.