#JanuaryWIPjoy (Part 1)

novel inspiration from Bethany

Bethany Jennings  helped me put this “inspirational poster” together of art that inspires my writing. 🙂

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.

A Gathering Fire posted her responses on her blog, and I thought that was a great idea! So I stole it! 🙂 (With her permission of course!)

If you want to join in visit Bethany’s Twitter profile (@simmeringmind) to see the pinned list of daily prompts!

So, here are the first thirteen days of my #JanuaryWIPjoy.

  1. “Describe your story as ___ meets ___.”

My story is a warrior story meets fairy tale meets semi-dystopian steampunk.

  1. “Why you love your protagonist.”

I love my protagonist because he experienced an undeserved rescue and is seeking to live in light of that even while he’s suffering.

  1. “A side character you love and why.”

My favorite side character is Presto the Mushroom. He is best friends with Gus the mouse and talks in third person, like the Queen. He is sarcastic and loving.

  1. “Why you love your antagonist.”

            I don’t really love anything about my antagonist. I specifically design villains that are pretty evil. Now, I do love Adele who makes choices that hurt my MC, and I love Christopher who is violent. He may get shown mercy.

  1. “You hope someday your book gets a review that says…”

            . . .this was encouraging to my faith. And I love Jonah. And I cried. For some reason, I always feel more fulfilled as a writer if I made my readers cry. I’m a horrible person. 😉

  1. “A character you’d be best friends with and why.”

            I’d be best friends with Bree. She’s a mother who has lost her husband and sons, but found someone to help. We both enjoy serving others and building them up. Plus, I share her love of trees.

  1. “The first idea or inspiration you had for this WIP.”

            The very first idea I had for this world was wanting a place where kids lost through abortion had a chance at life.

  1. “A favorite line from your WIP about a character.”

I love when Presto calls Bree a floozy:

“No, but they needed it. Their own heart had been broken, so I gave them a new one. I gave them mine.”

“Can you tell us even one little thing about who has your heart?” Presto said through a clamped jaw getting irritated. Gus grunted a warning at him.

“You know, sir,” the mouse turned to Oak. “It might be a good idea to know a little bit about this person.” Gus paused and took a deep breath. “Your heart belongs to them now and that brings responsibilities and obligations.”

“I know that they’re kind,” Oak said. He leaned forward, listening not with the ears he no longer had, or seeing with eyes no longer his own, or thinking with a mind no longer there, but remembering what he had given away. “I know they needed hope. I know great sorrow and loss marked them. She lost everything she cared about, and that loss broke her free.”

“Did you say she?” Gus said, leaning forward.

“We’ve already established Oak gave his heart to a woman,” Presto said throwing up his hands.

“Just let him keep going,” Gus hissed at him.

“Yes. I gave my heart to a woman. She loved eight men and when the last one was safe or dead, or both, she left.”

“Sounds like a bit of a floozy if you ask me,” Presto muttered, getting another pointed glare from Gus.

“No. No. Not grown men. There was only one grown man. The rest were growing men, her growing men. Her boys.”

Gus gulped. “She had seven sons. You gave your heart to the mother of seven sons?”

“No. I gave my heart to a woman with a glint in her eye and a heart for trees. I gave it to Bree.”

  1. “A favorite piece of description from your WIP.”

White flakes fell thick and fast from the flat, steel-gray sky. Brittle branches tingled stiffly in the wind. Gray sky above the gray naked branches, and white below, white falling, all lined and encased in silver ice—the world gone monochromatic.

  1. “A favorite line of dialogue from your WIP.”

“I didn’t come to earn my salvage. I came because of my salvage.” Soul’s words from yesterday morning echoed in his mind. “It’s grace. And grace gives confidence.”

  1. “A favorite line about emotion from your WIP.”

Axe pounded the punching bag. He drove his fist faster and faster into the rough canvas. Sweat soaked through his shirt. It dripped off the end of his nose and turned his light-red beard rusty. It ran over the mark Fear had put on his face—a child dead in the streets, alone—years ago as an unborn freshly harvested, a new body to hold a gun once his time as salvager had been done. Axe punched the bag again, again, again. His muscles throbbed. Each time his fist flew past his face, his eye caught the scar. Again. Again. Again. He didn’t want to think about the scar. He didn’t want to think at all. Pound. Pound. Pound. If he stopped before he washed the emotions from his mind he might lash out at someone. Bree had brought it all back up: recent events and old dusty ones.

  1. “A scene you deleted but love anyway.”

The crowded street parted. A laugh tinkled in the night like a million happy chimes. Oak cocked his head. Something amazing sat just on the edge of his vision.

“Who is that?” Presto whistled.

“That,” said someone at Oak’s elbow, “is the Lady Olive who lives in the Material World and is Guardian of all four seasons. She is the most powerful Guardian in the history of Guardians.”

Presto leaned around Oak to look at their informant. It was a pale, cream colored fawn with soft orange spots. Three horns carved up out of his head and a little beard decorated his chin. He held a lantern in one hand and an umbrella in the other.

“She smells like spring,” Oak said. “And fall.”

“And winter and summer, I presumed,” Presto grunted.

“Yes,” Oak said.

“May be we should talk to her and see if she’ll help us?” Gus said.

The fawn grunted. “Cause Guardians are well known for mixing in other creatures issues.”

“What about fellow Guardians?” Presto said.

“Even less likely,” the fawn said.

Gus look to Oak for affirmation. Oak nodded.

“Besides,” the fawn said. “You see that grumpy looking man next to her, and that wolf next to the pale man?”

“Yes,” Presto said. “Are you sure that’s a wolf? It’s huge.”

“In this world it’s a wolf. I don’t know what he is in the Material World, though rumor has it that it’s Olive’s adopted son. Regardless,” he shook his head. “That is not her entourage. That’s her husband, her wolf-son, and her husband’s best friend. Getting close to her—”

  1. A piece of feedback that made you smile.

“You are giving us a diamond with many facets. A beautiful, beautiful chapter with a fascinating conversation and lyrical description.

Work of this lyrical and literary quality will be difficult for those of us used to reading in genres to judge. I am so interested in the work, I’m willing to wait as I piece together clues, but I wonder if the typical reader will be able to handle the complexity of your prose. I like work that does not beat me over the head with obvious meaning, and I hope I’m up to the challenge of deriving meaning from this. This is the kind of book that should earn a lot of prizes.”

“Ok, now I hate you.

I was pretty sure the book was going to end with (no spoilers) dying but still hoped I could wish it away.”



More to come! Follow the discussion on Twitter and Facebook with #JanuaryWIPjoy.




9 thoughts on “#JanuaryWIPjoy (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: #JanuaryWIPjoy (Part 2) | A Gentle and Quiet Spirit

  2. Abby, I seem to have lost contact with you and maybe all the family. I left AOL and they have blocked contact with me. My new e-mail address is swain.claudiajones@gmail.com.

    Also in the process I had to start over with FB. So I don’t get anything from you now. I had to leave off the JONES part and now just have Claudia Swain for FB. Hope you will spread the word for others.

    Wanda does send the e-mails about Vidal to the correct address; so I get them. Thank you! I miss your blog and other messages/photos. claudia

    On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 9:02 AM, A Gentle and Quiet Spirit wrote:

    > AGentleandQuietSpirit posted: ” 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. A Gathering Fire > posted her responses on her blog, and I thought that was a great idea! S” >

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