If you haven't been following the hashtag #WIPjoy this month, I am terribly sorry for your loss. But no worries, you can still spend wonderful hours scrolling through the feed! Let's all give Bethany A. Jennings a round of applause for cooking up this creative way to reconnect with your WIP! Responding to the prompts every day made me take a close look at my story and characters, and I got a glimpse into others' works in progress.
There are still four days of #WIPjoy happening, so check out the feed and/or jump in! If you've missed the previous 26 days, call it a loss or play catchup. We won't mind you taking over the feed for a minute.
Now, for your viewing pleasure, a compilation of all my #WIPjoy tweets! (and a sneak peek of those to come)
1. Tell us about your WIP!
Left at the Sycamore: Brooklyn faces the psychopath who forced her to leave her family without explanation. And now he's sheriff.
2. Introduce your protagonist’s awesomeness!
Her momma calls her Brooke-Lynn. She calls herself Brooklyn. She'll learn how to be just Brooke.
3. Share a line showing your WIP’s atmosphere.
4. Share a line about one of your WIP’s main emotions.
5. The character you relate to most, and why.
I relate to Brooklyn's struggle to belong and to Worth's personality. He's stubborn as hell, but just as loyal.
6. A character who shares a flaw with you.
My MC, Brooklyn, and I are both only children and both spoiled as can be!
7. Did you base anyone off a real person?
None of my characters are wholly based on people I know, but I take mannerisms, anecdotes, flaws. Stir well and chill until set.
8. Share a line that shows a character’s sense of humor.
Brooklyn's humor is snippy, sarcastic, and a little hurtful. Mostly she uses it to tell the truth.
Billy on the other hand...
9. Which character/s would you want to be roommates with?
Definitely wouldn't room with my high-maintenance MC. I'd pick the old lady across the street. You know, before she's murdered.
10. Share a line that makes you want to hug a character.
11. A minor character with author-headcanon you adore.
Billy, the MC's dad! That man has had a life.
Vietnam foot soldier, lumber yard worker, bouncer, cable installer, and master card counter. He fell in deep love, lost a son, and sacrificed a piece of his ear to a bar fight. All before Brooklyn even existed.
Beginnings and Endings Week
12. Share a chapter beginning you love.
13. How do you want readers to view the protagonist at the beginning? At the end?
Brooklyn begins as a snob. Then she's a victim. By the end, she's a strong, flawed person, doing her best to change.
14. Share a line where a character tries something new.
Brooklyn tries something new... the truth:
15. What grabs you about your premise?
Brooklyn's forced abandonment of her southern home illustrates the split identity a lot of southerners feel. The culture of belonging is so strong that it can be dangerous for anyone who doesn't perfectly fit the mold. And let's be honest, who does?
16. What sticks with you about the ending?
I want readers to remember how difficult life can be for a southerner who doesn't fit the neat little definition.
17. At the end, how has our protagonist made you proud?
Brooklyn makes me proud by realizing her identity is not tied to one place and that her mix of cultures makes her strong.
18. Share a chapter end you love.
Random Fun Week!
19. Does your WIP have a contagonist?
Brooklyn's contagonists? Worth, Amelia, her momma, her daddy, the entire town of Greenfield. Girl's got a lot to deal with.
20. Share a line that mentions food.
Scrolling through chapter beginnings for today's #WIPjoy... and realized 7 of 24 chapters begin with food. Yep, that's #southern fiction.
21. Does the weather or nature act as antagonist at any point?
Nature as antagonist? There's a fire—set by the human antagonist. So no, nature is one of the many victims.
22. Share a line about a smell.
I'm sharing two lines today. Bonus points?
23. Is this a kissing book? ;)
The kissing in Left at the Sycamore is thwarted once by a stray dog and once by corpses hidden in a barn.
24. Tell us something your character would hate us to know (mwahaha).
Brooklyn wouldn't want anyone to know how much she misses Greenfield while she's away. Crummy market, salon gossip, and all.
25. Do your characters feel like your… Friends? Kids? Both? Something else entirely?
My characters are the frenemies I sort of love. Until I want to stab them.
26. What keeps you working on this WIP?
Two things: a feeling in my gut that this is the story I'm supposed to be telling and a very true, very tangible sense of Brooklyn as representing an entire generation of southerners.
27. What threatens your writing joy? How do you combat it?
The only threat to my writing joy is not writing. I make time every single day to put words to Sycamore. Even if it's only 100.
28. What do you want the future book cover to be like?
An image of a country road forking at a sycamore tree. That image has so much power to me. As southerners, we are so often forced to choose—this way or that, south or north, old or new, family or self. Encapsulating that reality in a single image makes it a little more poignant, a little more significant.
29. What’s the best thing people can say to you about this WIP?
That it changed the way they thought about something. The South, family, anything. If my words are able to change someone's perspective, then I have made a true, lasting impact on that person. And that is an incredible compliment.
30. What are you planning for your next WIP after this one?
I'm considering trying my hand at auto-fiction! If you've read this blog post, you've heard a piece of the story I have to tell.
I had a great time with #WIPjoy, and I can't wait to finish up this draft so my Editing joy can begin! Did you all participate in the month-long hashtag? What does your WIP look like?
Author & Editor