#JanuaryWIPjoy (Part 2)

novel inspiration from Bethany

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

I normally don’t post twice a week, but I wanted this close to January and not almost a whole month later. 🙂 This is Part 2 of the fun hashtag challenge Author Bethany Jennings created for  the month of January. Each day we had a different prompt about our WIP (work-in-progress).

I can’t do math, so Part 2 is a lot longer than my Part 1. Thanks for reading it despite it’s loquaciousness!

#JanuaryWIPjoy Part 2 :

  1. How do I want my target audience to be affected by my story?

First, I just want them to love my WIP as a fun adventure story. Then, I would like it to be encouraging to kids who are saved at a young age and still learning about their commitment and walk. Last, I’d like it to encourage boys to fight for the right things, and girls to see the joy of helping others. Nothing too major. [Symbol]

  1. Is there an animal you love in your book?

I always include animals in my books because I love them. In my WIP, I have a mouse named Gus who is calm and quiet. His best friend is a mushroom man. I also have a magical black stallion named Cry of the Storm. He is in just about every book I’ve ever written. When I was in high school my Mom asked me to write about something other than black stallions. Someday I hope to actually own a black horse.

  1. Some sights to see in your WIP:

From the bones of the old city where violent gangs rule the Streets, you can hike north into the Forest and there you will find an old oak tree far larger than the rest. If you travel east by car or motorcycle Greenhome will greet you. Forever blooming white roses form a hedge around the small town decorated for Christmas. If you’d rather head out west, the Stockyards are your first destination. This wild town is where oxen the size of houses are herded onto trains and sent further west to the clockwork city Metropolis. Only small, lonely homesteads break up the snowy landscape to the South. That and the Relay Stations of the Clowns where they send kidnapped boys and girls to Metropolis, who either can’t or won’t have its own children.

  1. Some sounds to be heard in your WIP:

You might hear the sound of engines as biker gangs roar across the frozen plains. You might hear the sound of gunshots as rival gangs in the bones of the old city push into one another’s territory. You might hear the ringing of the bell in the Tower at Greenhome warning of a coming ice fog.

  1. Some scents smelled in your WIP:

There aren’t a lot of pleasant scents in my WIP other than the scent of wet wood in the Forest and Christmas trees in Greenhome. Pretty much everything else is unwashed.

  1. Some tastes/flavors in your WIP:

In my WIP you will enjoy the taste of a thick tomato soup and a hot grilled-cheese sandwich washed down with apple cider . . . if you don’t get caught up in the food fight.

One of my characters eats chocolate for the first time: Chocolate filled Bree with a great sense of happiness. She quite believed that if all of Metaphysical World would just eat chocolate everyone would quit bickering and fighting.

  1. Some touches/textures experienced in your WIP:

Knurled tree bark, cold metal, frozen pipes, hot flashes of steam, soft rose petals, the velvet nose of a horse, silk gowns, leather gloves, and the sharp edges of rubble.

  1. You’d love your WIP to be made into a movie because . . .

Who wouldn’t? lol. Actually the more I thought about this the more I wondered if I would want my WIP made into a movie. The only real reason would be to “see” my characters for real, and to introduce more people to my world. But, there are so many interpretation issues, I think it would also be very strange to have it made into a movie.

On the other hand, there is a part of me that would find it very magical to have my WIP made into a movie.

  1. Most epic thing about your WIP:

To me, the most epic thing is watching Jonah cling to being Soul’s Man after Soul pays the cost for his crime. Jonah goes from grace to confidence and learns that his ability to fight is a good thing if he fights for the right thing.

  1. Advice given to you that made your WIP better:

I can’t begin to address all the excellent feedback, critiques, suggestion, and the fan-please-include-this list that have made my WIP better. Instead, I’ll just focus on a recent one. A new reader told me she didn’t think the book was done. I hemmed and hawed and argued, mentally with her for a few days, then realized she was right. The book wasn’t done. I was mentally avoiding the last two battle scenes by just brushing over them. Sigh. Back to work on the end. I know have a rough draft place holder and will go back and flesh them out more after Book 2 and possibly Book 3 are done. Thanks again everyone for all the great advice and help!

  1. Advice you ignored cause you know your WIP best!

I know this will ruffles some feathers, but I decided to keep my prologue at this point. I like prologues myself, and mine is very short. I also happen to love my prologue. I’ve taken a lot of the advice to modify it, but I really believe it sets the tone of the world.

  1. Shout-out to some people who have encouraged you in writing your WIP!

Well, I don’t know where to begin. First, to Deanna for telling me that I hadn’t lost my voice when I switched genres but had kept what was best. For Stephanie and Heather for cheering me on and listening to my worries and concerns and always being ready with a text or a message. For Emily S. who messaged me a blow by blow as she read through my book giving me a sense of what a reader experiences and also cheering me on. For Michelle V. who pushed through the darkness and gave me a critical point I hadn’t seen yet that I’m super pumped about. For Lelia Rose Foreman who has encouraged me when I felt discouraged by being a fan even though she doesn’t know me in ‘real life’. To H. L. Burke who pointed out paragraphs and Bethany Jennings who helped with blurbs. And to my writing group and everyone on Scribophile who has critiqued. Plus so many many more! My fans are the best!

  1. I love my WIP genre because . . .

I love a well written fantasy book for children and YAs because they tend to have more imagination in them, they retain a certain level of innocence, and often feature more courage and bravery than books for grown-ups. Plus they can deal with scary subjects without getting gratuitous. (I will add that there are plenty of YA books that I don’t fit this profile anymore. They’ve gotten more gratuitous and hopeless than many books for adults.)

  1. Share a favorite image that reminds you of your WIP:

I have two. The first is one Bethany Jennings helped me put together, and the second is about warriors which is one of the themes of my book. [Symbol]

  1. Describe a character relationship you love in your story.

Friendship is very important to me, more important in many ways than any romances in the story, so one of my favorite character relationships is Jonah and Cid. Cid sees Jonah as a threat to his friend Adele and warns Jonah off, but when Jonah proves he’s willing to do what it takes to befriend Adele and protect her, Cid loosens up. Though he’s a few years older, Cid naturally follows Jonah’s lead even into danger. By the end of book one, he’s fighting by Jonah’s side and risking his own life to save the boy he didn’t want around. Their brotherhood is one of my favorite parts of the book.

  1. Why are you passionate about sharing this story?

I love warrior stories. I love stories about the men who sacrifice their “normal” lives to stand between us and the monsters. I love stories about the women who stand beside them. I have a group of people called the Scarecrows in my WIP. That’s what they do. They are the ones who empty themselves to protect everyday life. So my story is one of brave, ruthless men and women facing dark monsters with bright lights and big guns. [Symbol] Obviously, I’m heavily influenced by war stories and seek to honor veterans, police officers, and fire fighters. But even more so, I see pastors as the real ‘scarecrows’ of the world. They are the watchman over our souls. They sacrifice lots of normal things for the sake of their flocks. They seek to arm us with truth and fight off wolves in sheep’s clothing. That’s why I’m passionate about my WIP.

  1. Why do the themes of my WIP come from my heart?

One of the strongest themes in any story I write is grace, the undeserved rescue. This comes from my heart because it is my own experience. I’m a sinner saved by grace. One time, one of our pastors described grace as the undeserved rescue. This isn’t the princess up in her castle who probably deserves to be saved. This is the villain, the scum, the dank, the dark, the evil pulled into the light. This is monsters receiving mercy. That struck a chord with me, and I’ve always tried to tell stories that show an undeserved rescue. This book is no different. It has big moments of grace and small moments of grace. Since I’m a monster saved by grace, the story and characters flow from my heart.

  1. What are somethings writing this story has taught you?

Well, I can’t think of something that it’s taught me, but it has served as a good reminder that I don’t live Christian life of holiness to earn my salvation. I live a Christian life of holiness, all be it imperfectly, because of my salvation. And because I’ve been given the grace of God, I know have confidence to approach him. Those are two of my favorite quotes from my WIP: The Cost of Two Hands:

“Not to earn my salvage, but because of my salvage.”

“From grace to confidence.”

Well, that’s all 31 of my #JanuaryWIPjoys! I’d love to know what you think? How does my story sound? Something you’d be interested in? Did you participate in the hashtag fun? Share your own WIPjoys in the comments below!