Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

From One WIP to Another


Spring feels like it’s finally moved in. Last week we had some much-needed April showers. This week, sunshine! No asparagus yet, but I’m watching for it. There’s no asparagus like fresh garden asparagus you can pick, steam, and eat. Or nix the steaming and just eat it raw. Yum!

My Muse is allowing me a bit of a break, since I’ve been good and worked on brainstorming the revised plot for my mystery. As for my fantasy WIP, I’m working with a couple CPs. They’ve been great about finding those little things that keep escaping the editing pen, such as my MC wearing an ivory sweater while attending a foaling. Duh! No one in their right mind would do that, but I didn’t notice it until she pointed it out. Critique partners are wonderful–if you haven’t found any yet, check out the Sub It Club Critique Partner Matchup group. The Sub It Club also has a great post with more sources for critique partners.

Anyway, getting back to my task master Muse, we’ve been working on revising my mystery. It’s working out well at this point; I’ve got most of the brainstorming finished. Next step: update the outline, then dig into the draft. You’ve all been through the process, and you know a major rewrite is almost as much work (or more) than the original draft. Not really a problem, since it comes with the territory, but I’ve got two more story ideas rattling around in my head I’d sure like to get down on paper. Do you ever run into that? As soon as you get one story down in a rough draft, there’s two or three more that coalesce in your creative neurons. How many WIPs do you work on at a time? Right now I’ve got two that are active, and a half dozen that are rough drafts waiting their turns.

I like that I’ve got the ideas, but I don’t like the amount of time I know it’s going to take to whip those rough drafts into shape before I can dig into another one. I’ve got enough craft projects half-done (you know, the cross-stitch that you were going to finish when your first child was born seventeen years ago, and the latch hook (oh, gawd, I’m dating myself now) project that you tried to pawn off on your younger sister who still didn’t finish it). I just want to do all of them at the same time, but that’s just asking for frustration and a rebellious Muse. Besides, I don’t think my family would appreciate me spending every waking moment heads down on the computer. Oh, and the gardening season is coming up.

“Hey, break’s over, love.”

Oh, snap. Maybe I can bribe him. “Whaddya say to a couple craft beers and a piece of my pistachio dessert left over from Saturday’s family gathering?”

He’s got that look. I avoid his gaze by focusing on something else, like his broad shoulders, the sunburn on his forearms and back of his neck, the worn-white seams of his jeans…

He waves a hand in front of my eyes. “I’ve got a lovely orange jumpsuit with a wide collar from the late seventies if you find this outfit too distracting.”

Eew. I’ve seen a picture of that jumpsuit. He neglected to mention the bell-bottoms. I shudder to think people actually wore that. “I’m not distracted. I just don’t like when you glare at me.” That sounds legit, right?

“Liar.” He hands me my notebook and pencil. “Finish the final few scenes, and I’ll back off for a day.”

“Oh, boy, a whole day.” Sarcasm comes easy.

“Add the beer and dessert, and I’ll give you two days.”

“Best I’m going to get, isn’t it?”

“In a few weeks you’ll be out in the garden, so yes, that’s the most I’ll give you.”

Sigh. My Muse is great to work with, but sometimes he can be a little tough. Okay, a lot tough, but right now I need it because he’s right, in a few weeks I’ll be out in the garden instead of writing. “Fine.”

Happy Writing!

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, five chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

2 thoughts on “From One WIP to Another

  1. I can relate to the struggle between the draw of the muse and the pull of spring gardening. It’s a constant tug of war in my life, the scales tipping one way then the other. I wish I didn’t need to sleep!

    Liked by 1 person

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