2.15.2012

WIP Wednesday: Inspiring Flaws

The coconut is in Krispy's court on our co-novel collaboration, but despite our colluding it is quite to my consternation that she has yet to conquer some wordcount.

Now that the alliteration's out of the way, the next order of business is to thank you all for your fantasy recommendations.  I must hie myself to the library sometime soon so I can add more books to the pile already sitting on my desk.

Now for the WIP backstory:  When I read something and a flaw bothers me, it irritates me inspires me to write.  And as a lot of things tend to bother me quite a lot, I've had a lot to mentally stew over and everyone knows that stews taste best after cooking for a while.  Although, to put it gently, my cooking skills could poison a world into dystopia.  (And I just said "a lot" three times in one sentence.  I'd shoot myself now but out of respect for my intolerance for pain, I'm going to hit myself with a pillow instead.)

Recently I read a book where the total lack of description of a certain trade made it abundantly clear to me that the author hadn't done so much as a cursory Google search on the topic.  And since this trade was the main character's trade, and played a semi-important role in the story, and as details only got vaguer and more questionable as the book went on--did you hear that sonic boom?  That was from me throwing my hands in the air in disgust.

After I finished the book, I donned my night vision goggles, armed myself with a pickaxe, and went tunneling into the dark depths of my computer, looking for that old story I'd written in which the character practiced needlework.  I found the story, hacked a few good lines free and dumped the rest on the slag heap, and set to writing with a will.  I've actually done a bit of embroidery and have read a few books, though in the latter case it was largely because of the gorgeous pictures featuring goldwork and silk embroidery.

But embroidery!  It was going to matter!  By god!  And crochet too!  And knitting!  And tatting!  And--all right, so I got a bit carried away and possibly am going to have to trim a few things.  My knitting is abysmal, by the way.

As usual, the story evolved while I was writing, and so now it's almost completely different from the original years-old idea, and then evolved further so it was nothing like what I set out to write right now.  But that's all right.  I had an idea but not much of a story but now that have the outline set, all that remains is to bring it to life, stitch by stitch and word by word.

So here's a snippet which, after all that talk of embroidery, contains no needlework references at all.  I know, I know.
The Eleon was not wild. It was not a simple beast, or a mad one, or a beast at all. In shape and purpose, it was the closest thing to a person she had seen. The tentacle birds might dive at Tindy when she crossed their sight and the shadow-hounds chase her when they caught her scent, but the Eleon sought her out. All her life in all her nightmares, the Eleon alone spoke. Only the Eleon had anything like a human face, though its resemblance to one was at once so different and so cruelly similar that Tindy desperately wished that it hadn't a face at all.


Only the Eleon. Until Mr. Shall had begun to appear in her nightmares.
That's my current solo project.  As soon as Krispy gets that next section written *hint hint unsubtle hint* I'll take over and work on our co-novel while Krispy works on a solo project or two or three of her own.

In the meantime, how's your WIP going?  Do flaws and annoyances in books inspire you?

8 comments:

Connie Keller said...

The story sounds great. I love embroidery too. And silk embroidery...sigh.

I did a chunk of embroidery last night--I promised my son that I'd watch Walking Dead with him. The show wasn't as bad as I thought and I got several flowers outlined. Yay.

shelly said...

Yes. Other writers writings do inspire me to write better and get it right. Since I'm going Indie, I feel I'll be more scrutinized by peeps unlike the famous author who has a publisher and agent to guide them along.

Krispy said...

I did actually write some yesterday, though now, in the light of day, I can already tell I need to cut a few of those lines. :P

Your alliteration is impressive and intimidating. Also, coconut???

akossket said...

They don't really inspire me but I do make note of not making the same type of mistake in my own wips. Two of them are being revised and it's going painfully slow, but that's ok.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

My WIP is going well. I hope to be done soon!

Sophia Chang said...

Oh Alz, this is why you're my boyfriend. (You ARE! Whether you assent or not!) Alliteration is always an asset.

What book were you reading and what was the trade? (email me)

Jack said...

Yep, other writers inspire my writing. If I find a phrasing I like, I'll try to remember it so I can use it myself, but in a more embellished way! :)

Lydia Kang said...

Flaws inspire me to write better. I like to see how I would have written certain passages differently. It helps me see the flaws in my own stuff.

Alz, you may have to get the bullyatee out and get on Krispy's case...