the ‘What’s Your WIP?’ tag.

Katja created this tag a while back, and kindly tagged me. Thanks, Katja! When I was first tagged, I thought I would talk about King’s Winter, but I actually have a different WIP right now–one that I’m super excited to share with all of you!

Here are the tag rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you & link to their blog.
  • Link back to the creator, Katja @ Little Blossoms for Jesus, & add the tag graphic.
  • List the rules.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Feel free to add snippets!
  • Tag as many or as few people as you wish & let them know they’re tagged.
  • Add a clean copy of the questions at the end of your post for the “tagged.”

Let’s go!


Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be?

My current WIP is a Western novella called The Shoot-Out that Wasn’t. I’m planning/hoping that that will be the story’s official title and not just the working title. We’ll see!

Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about?

After five years’ absence, Dan Harness returns to Joshua Hollow to find that his oldest brother James has become mayor–and that his other brother Lee has closed himself off from the world, and especially from James. In his search to find out why there is a rift between Lee and James, Dan discovers that James has been withholding letters addressed to Dan and Lee, from their late mother. Angered by his oldest brother’s actions, Dan (with help from Lee) sets out to ruin James’ chances of being re-elected. But not everything is as it seems…

(A serviceable enough blurb, I suppose, though far from perfect.)

Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind?

This is not what I expect the actual book cover to look like, but it’s something!

created on Canva.

How did you get the idea for this story?

Well, there was this tumblr post.

I added that to my Instagram story, and Rachel DMed me and said “Write this! I want to read it.” We talked a bit about how that plot would make for a good western, but then I forgot all about the idea. Forgot that is, until I was at work one day and I got slammed with inspiration for a story based on that prompt. One thing led to another and, well, here I am with a two-thirds completed novella!

How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be?

I’m aiming for 40K to 50K words–a nice, longish novella or a short novel. Originally, Shoot-Out was written entirely from Dan’s point of view, but I’m currently expanding the story to include both James’ and Lee’s POVs as well. The original draft was around 25K words, so I should be able to hit my goal with minimal difficulty.

Who’s your favourite character so far?

All of them?

Each of the three brothers has a special place in my heart. Dan is the youngest, an impulsive hothead who is somehow both frustrating and endearing. Lee is the middle brother, quiet, introverted, and unshakable. And James…sigh. James is the oldest brother, and he reminds me a lot of myself. He might be everyone’s least favorite character, but I really like him. (Especially as I’m in the middle of writing his POV scenes right now.) What I really love is how all three brothers play off each other, whether as a group or in pairs. Having seven siblings (and five brothers!) was definitely good experience for writing Shoot-Out.

Oh, and there’s also Virginia! She’s sweet and sharp and doesn’t miss a thing. And she and Dan have a mutual attraction thing going on throughout Shoot-Out. ❤

Writing the first draft! It was an absolute delight from start to finish. I would wake up, go to work, have my mind flooded with ideas for how the story should continue (since cleaning suites is pretty mindless work, my brain was free to live in Joshua Hollow). And then I’d write and write when I wasn’t working. I wrote the entire first draft in about two weeks.

There was a reason I wrote so quickly: I planned to give Shoot-Out to Rachel as a Christmas present, and I started writing in October. I needed as much time as possible to edit, get beta feedback, and edit again. But even with the time-crunch, the entire drafting process was so. much. fun. One of the best writing experiences I’ve ever had. (If not the best.) And I got it to Rachel in time for Christmas!

Any special person(s) who helped create it?

Rachel inspired me and Mary encouraged me (and let me ramble on about the story when I couldn’t post about it publicly for fear it would ruin the surprise). Marian, Katie, and DKoren beta-ed the story, and my mom proofread it! And, most importantly, God gave me the ability to write Shoot-Out in the first place. As is usual with stories, the creation of this one was a collaborative effort. I’m so grateful to everyone who helped!

What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)?

I can’t say too much–because of spoilers–but there are a few scenes near the end of the story in which Dan and James are forced to be in the same room for an extended period of time. Those scenes are my favorites to reread, and they were great to write as well.

Can you give us a snippet? 😉

I always have difficulty choosing snippets to share because I’m not sure what sounds good out of context and what doesn’t. But this snippet comes from very near the beginning of the story, when Dan rides into Joshua Hollow after being gone five long years.

The first thing I noticed on entering the town, was that it was in a fair way to becoming more of a city than a town. My last memories of Joshua Hollow were small buildings bleached bare in the scorching Texas sun. But almost every house now had a fresh coat of paint. The church on the edge of town had an extension hammered into the side of it. A large, shiny mercantile had planted itself where the old feed store used to be, and Rafe Pollack’s saloon was bigger than I remembered it. What I’m saying is Joshua Hollow looked a sight better better than I did just then, covered in trail dust as I was.

Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs?

Well, I intended it to be a light-hearted dramedy. But I think I’m incapable of writing true humor, and the story took a much more serious turn. Other than that, Shoot-Out nearly wrote itself. The story has stayed very similar to what I first envisioned (minus the comedy element).

Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story?

Not really! But I think Proverbs 17:17b is a great representation of the story.

…a brother is born for adversity.

*smirks*

When and where have you done most of the writing so far?

I wrote the first draft in two weeks around the beginning of October, and I’ve worked on Shoot-Out off and on ever since (King’s Winter had to be written, and I’ve also been working on a sequel to Shoot-Out). Although I do a fair amount of writing on my laptop, I’ve also done quite a bit of longhand writing for this story. I really like the simplicity of writing with a notebook and pen. I can write pretty much anywhere! And typing up my writing gives me a chance to edit on the go, so to speak.

Where do you get inspiration for this story?

Louis L’Amour novels, the Knights of Tin and Lead trilogy by Emily Hayse, Rachel Kovaciny’s upcoming release (My Rock and My Refuge), the ‘Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs’ album by Marty Robbins, old Westerns…so many things give me inspiration!

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely a plotter. And not just a plotter, but an extensive outliner. I’ll outline plots, scenes, and sometimes even the small stuff within scenes. I find that outlining helps me not to be so anxious about drafting difficult, intense, or complicated scenes. Plus, it’s fun. Shoot-Out was the first book where I did so much outlining, and that’s the method I use for all my WIPs now.

Do you have a little ritual before you start writing?

I’ll pray, if I remember. (Trying to be better about that!) Sometimes I’ll light a scented candle, though not often. Oh, and I’ll pull up the music I want to listen to as I write. These days, I’m alternating between my ‘tales of Joshua Hollow’ playlist and the ‘Chill’ album by The Piano Guys.

Are you thinking of publishing this story?

Yes. Praying and planning and hoping. I have a goal in mind that I’m working toward (of when I’d like to publish Shoot-Out). Since I truly have no idea if I will reach that goal, I won’t put it up on the internet. 😉 But just the fact that I do have a firm goal and a plan for how to achieve it? That’s pretty big, for me. Whenever publication happens, I am STOKED to introduce you to the town of Joshua Hollow and the people who live there. Both the setting and the characters have become so dear to me.

What things have you learned while writing this story?

  • Prayer makes a difference in my writing.
  • I can write anywhere. I don’t need a fancy set-up or to have things ‘just so’.
  • I can take beta readers’ critiques, sift through them, come up with a good plan/list for edits, and then actually work through that list. (This seems really basic, but I haven’t ever been so organized, methodical, and purposeful with how I utilize beta reader feedback.) Editing can be fun! In a stressful way though.
  • I ADORE WRITING WESTERNS. (I learned this before, but I re-learned it last year, and it is a glorious truth.)
  • I’m sure there were other lessons too, but those are the ones that stick out to me the most.

If this tag looks like fun and you want to play along, consider yourself tagged! Here’s a clean list of the questions:

  • Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be?
  • Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about?
  • Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind?
  • How did you get the idea for this story?
  • How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be?
  • Who’s your favourite character so far?
  • What’s your favourite memory related to this WIP?
  • Any special person(s) who helped create it?
  • What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)?
  • Can you give us a snippet? 😉
  • Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs?
  • Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story?
  • When and where have you done most of the writing so far?
  • Where do you get inspiration for this story?
  • Are you a plotter or a pantser?
  • Do you have a little ritual before you start writing?
  • Are you thinking of publishing this story?
  • What things have you learned while writing this story?

Are you a fan of westerns? How has your writing been going? Let me know in the comments!

Eva-Joy

7 thoughts on “the ‘What’s Your WIP?’ tag.

Add yours

  1. I’m sorry it took me so long to respond but EEK I am so excited you did this!! The book sounds EPIC and I really want to read it XD this was so fun to read!! Thanks for sharing, Eva-Joy! ❤

    Like

  2. Sometimes secret projects written under a huge time crunch come out the best. Can’t wait to see how the whole thing turns out! I have high hopes, since the first version was so good that I read it all in one sitting 🙂

    Like

    1. Without a deadline, I don’t write nearly as quickly. I need a new deadline for this project. XD And I’m so glad you enjoyed it. ❤ A'm sure you'll get to read the expanded version sometime soonish…

      Like

  3. “forced to be in the same room for an extended period of time” *COUGHS MEANINGFULLY*

    I did love that scene. And of course, Lee is always my favorite boy. ❤

    It was a such a fun experience beta-reading your story and talking through the feedback with you! You truly have a gift for writing Westerns, and I'm looking forward to reading more of your Western stories in the future!

    Like

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