Back in January, author Bethany Jennings created a fun hashtag challenge for writers, with a different prompt about your WIP (work-in-progress) every day. She’s done it again for the month of March. I’m so excited. This exercise not only allows me to share my story with you, but it prompts me to twist my brain around for different perspectives on the story.
If you want to join in visit Bethany’s Twitter profile (@simmeringmind) to see the pinned list of daily prompts!
In January I used my WIP The Cost of Two Hands (Book1). This month I’m using The Sparrow and The Star (unfinished Book 2). I will try to refrain from huge spoilers.
Intro Week: Tell us about your Work in Progress: The Sparrow and the Star:
1. What WIP are you sharing about this time? Name, genre, blurb?
This month I’m going to share about The Sparrow and the Star, the sequel to The Cost of Two Hands which I shared about in the #JanuaryWIPjoy. It’s a Literary YA fantasy. I don’t have an official blurb for it yet so here’s a start:
When everything went wrong, hope blossomed. The Artists have returned and Pain’s power slipped between his fingers. But, on the horizon Purity and her Clowns loom. What happens to the lost children when they turn 18?
2. How long have you been at this labor of love? What stage are you at?
I started working on TSATS in 2014, but had to set it aside as Book 1, The Cost of Two Hands, required a major rewrite. Then my health went south slowing the rewrite down. I was able to restart working on TSATS late last year, so I’ve really only been working on it about four months. I’m totally in the rough draft stage. This story is developing as I write it. It’s supposed to cover 3.5 days and I’m on the .5 day. I haven’t even started Day 1 yet. And I’m at 44,000 words. Lol.
3. Describe the book’s atmosphere or mood in 5 words.
Cold darkness laced with hope.
4. You might enjoy my book if you like ___________.
I’m really not sure how to answer this question. It’s like a literarily written Hunger Games minus the anti-hero of Katniss. It may be similar to The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson. Any of my readers want to comment on this??? (Two comments on this: one suggested it was like The Horse and His Boy set in Dickens’ London, the other that it was like Quintessence by David Walton. These are much closer to the mark than the Wingfeather Saga.)
5. Name a song that reminds you of your WIP.
There are two songs that remind me the most of my WIP. The Call by Regina Spektor and I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day by Casting Crowns.
Protagonist vs. Antagonist Week: Jonah vs. Purity:
6. Show a line that showcases you protagonist’s personality.
This isn’t a line…cause hey, I’m a writer. So here’s a paragraph of Jonah’s dialogue. And um…SPOILER ALERT:
“You want to know what’s wrong with the Streets?” Jonah stepped towards him, towering over the boy who he once wanted to be just like. “No one values life. Life is cheap. Life doesn’t matter. Not yours. Not mine. Unborn come up with skills and no one cares. Kids starve and no one cares. You want to change that? Then you start respecting those who died with you, for you. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is without value. The little girls who you abuse. The smaller boys you beat up. The ones who sing and draw and dance that you terrorize and even kill. You’re just like him.” Jonah pointed to Fear’s body. “You’re just like Cagen and Pain. You don’t care about anything but what you can get out of it.”
7. When is your protagonist maddening to you?
When we both forget his body is a machine and he tries to sigh, or smile, or breath, or cry or even glare at anyone…and then we both remember he can’t.
8. What is most loveable to you lately about your protagonist?
I think it’s watching him spread hope in the dark place he once lived. I just finished reading an autobiography of Earnest Gordon who was a WW2 POW forced to help build the Bridge over the River Kwai. He was saved along with many other men in that camp and it spread a beauty and light over all their suffering. That has greatly influenced my protagonist and his actions in Book 2.
9. Share a line that shows off your antagonist, Purity.
Purity grabbed her face. “Does a mother explain herself to her sons?” She shook Sparrow’s head. “What did you do to them, you vile girl?”
10. Could you ever be friends with your antagonist?
Absolutely not. I do have villains that are less villainous, like sub-villains that I could be friends with, but the great antagonist of the story? Absolutely not. That’d be like being friends with Sauron. And yes, I know this puts me in the ever shrinking camp of those who like purely evil villains. In my defense, I have both the understandable villains and the unimaginable.
11. What makes your antagonist so formidable?
My antagonist is the ruler of one of the few remaining cities and she commands a group of boys called the Clowns who kidnap children to use as slave labor. But what makes her truly formidable is the ignorance she encourages in her people. She wants them to not know and not care. They are to enjoy life and not think about the children running around doing their bidding, or the fact that they no long have children of their own. Her true power comes from ignorance.
12. What’s put the two at odds?
My antagonist uses children as slave labor in her city. She sends out the Clowns to kidnap those children and this puts her in Jonah’s path. Jonah has no intention of letting her take more children and as the story unfolds, he works with the Dragons to get the ones she has taken back.
I hope you enjoyed this set of thoughts about my WIP. Maybe it even sparked your interest in my story! 🙂
I will continue to post sections of these as the month moves along.
Thanks for reading!