Wednesday, 3 July 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Ready. Set. Write! #4

It's that time of the week...
Click here for a full list of participants!

What I'm Reading:

I finished DARE ME and I loveloveloved it. So dark and twisty, with beautiful writing and vivid characters. If you're into stories that make you feel a bit creepy, or you liked GONE GIRL, I think you'd love it! Now I'm reading Steph Kuehn's CHARM AND STRANGE, which seems like it's going to be similarly dark and twisty. Excellent :)

What I'm Writing:

The rewrite/draft is going well (by which I mean I haven't had an I-hate-this-story-I-don't-know-what-happens-next-why-did-I-think-I-could-do-this moment yet). My goals for this week are the same: 500-ish words a day, plus some query/synopsis work. [Confession? I totally didn't even start a synopsis. Oops!]

The first draft of this story was told completely in one POV, which I've never done before and now realise I don't actually like doing. So I'm rewriting the story with dual POV, and here's a (completely unedited) snippet of something from my new other-MC Rose:

     Jen slammed down her spoon, interrupting Rose’s thoughts. “I think someone has an admirer.”
     Rose’s heart skipped, then settled back into normal rhythm. “What?”
     “I agree,” Maria said. “Cooper was totally checking you out.”
     “And flirting!” Jen pointed out.
     Oh. They were talking about Olivia. And Cooper. Right. Rose took a long drink from her water bottle before she spoke. “Cooper flirts with everyone.” True. “And he’s kind of an asshole.” Not entirely true, but Rose didn’t like the way he’d looked at Olivia, like she was a piece of meat being offered to him on a silver platter.
     Olivia dipped her spoon into her bright-orange soup, shaking her head. “It’s fine. Anyway, he’s not really my type.”
     “Too jock?” Maria asked.
     Olivia shook her head again, the crosses that dangled from her ears swaying. “Too male.”
     Oh. Oh.      Rose pretended to be fiercely interested in her lunch, her stomach swaying. So, Olivia liked girls. Rose liked boys, mostly, but girls sometimes. Not that she had too much experience in that area—the only girl she’d ever had a ‘relationship’ with had gotten freaked out after the first time they’d slept together and run back to her ex-boyfriend. (She’d also insisted that Rose meet her in places far outside town and never talk to her at school, so it really wasn’t that great a loss.)
     In crushes, though, Rose was experienced, and what she’d been feeling since yesterday was definitely one of them. Usually, crushes were safe, innocent, fun. Rose had a knack for picking the straightest straight girls to lust after, with no danger that anything would ever evolve into something real.
     Now, however, she was feeling ever-so-slightly unsafe.
     “Gotcha,” Jen said. “Well, there are going to be plenty of cute girls at the party, too. What are you into—blondes, brunettes, redheads?”
     “Hmm.” Olivia flicked her eyes at Rose before giving Jen a careful smile. “Brunettes.”
     Uh-oh. Rose fought the urge to touch a hand to her very-definitely-brown hair and took a bite of her PB+J instead. Was this flirting? Was she being flirted with? By the cute new girl with the ripped jeans?
     She risked a glance across the table, only to find Olivia staring at her with one eyebrow arched. She held Rose’s gaze for a long second, dipping her chin in the slightest of nods, and smiled.
     Holy crap. Rose swallowed the lump of food in her mouth, and her lips curved into a smile as her stomach turned again. But it didn’t feel sickening this time. It felt exciting.

Kind of long, and pretty rough. Forgive me?

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Good things happening to good friends (writing-wise and life-wise). You might already have heard about one of these things by now, but I'll just say I'm super pumped for this person! About time :)

I'm also doing a fun bookish photo-a-day challenge on Instagram, along with some others. It's pretty fun...come join in if you have IG! (You can find me at rebeccakbarrow, and the challenge is #rgrphotoaday.)

What Else I've Been Up To:

I took myself to see This Is The End, which I found pretty funny but probably won't amuse you if you're not into the Superbad/Pineapple Express/Knocked Up kind of humour. Some people don't like going to the cinema alone, but I dig it: no-one tries to talk to you during the film (oh, how I detest such people), you can sit wherever you want (row 3, middle seat), and there's something about a fountain drink that just tastes soooo good.

Happy Wednesday!



  1. Oooh, I like the excerpt. Bi-sexuality is certainly under-represented and you don't bring too much attention to it. Lots of tension going on in the scene, and just with non-verbal cues. Really good stuff.

    CHARM & STRANGE is on my tbr pile. Glad it's holding up with the creep so far.

  2. I really like your excerpt! It sets up conflict really well, and I feel like I understand Rose (and her voice) already. :) Good luck with your writing goals for the week!

  3. I loved the excerpt. I agree with Sara about bi-sexuality being under-represented.

    And I love going to the movies by myself. Beloved Husband thinks it's depressing, but sitting wherever you want and not having to share the popcorn (because Beloved Husband over salts the popcorn EVERY TIME) are serious perks.

  4. Glad to hear you haven't had a I-hate-this-story-I-don't-know-what-happens-next-why-did-I-think-I-could-do-this moment yet! :D

    We'll keep your lack of synopsis writing secret safe.

  5. I love this! I agree that you did a good job setting up the tension with non-verbal cues. And this doesn't read rough at all! Rose has a very strong voice, and I wouldn't mind finding out what happens next. I'm glad your rewrite is going well.

    I love dark and twisty books. I'll definitely check out both of those. Thanks for the recs!

    Good luck with meeting this week's goals.

  6. I really liked your excerpt! Good luck with your rewrite!

  7. Your excerpt rocks! And thanks for the book recommendations -- DARE ME and CHARM AND STRANGE both sound fantastic. I'm a GONE GIRL superfan, so I bet I'll like them both. I hope your writing is coming along this week. You should totally share another excerpt soon. :-)