How do you decide which WIP to work on?
I try to stick with one at a time. I’ll have one main WIP that I put most of my firepower into but there are always other pots simmering on the backburners. My blog posts for example, future projects that I’ve worked on in the past or ones I hope to expand on in the future. Like any other artist, you kind of have to wait for your muses to talk to you. Sometimes it’s like having seventeen tabs open in your brain at once, other times it’s radio silent. I try to prioritize based on what is closest to being completed but sometimes you have to let the waters carry you on their own. While about 80% of my mental power remains on Elements, I still hop around to other stand alones. It honestly depends on what I’m doing that day or what music comes on. I have songs for all my WIPs so if one comes on that I have on a particular WIP’s playlist, it ignites my fire to work on that story.
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What ideas came to you recently from daydreaming?
This is a good one, because most of my ideas have come to me while daydreaming. The most recent one is actually a relationship between two of my supporting characters. They have a lot of history but I hadn’t gone into much detail of exactly how they developed their feelings for one another. The exact moment that it clicked and they crossed the line from friends to more. How everything fell apart for them and most importantly, how they found their way back to each other despite all the pain they had caused one another. I’m a sucker for good ships, and the best stories have more than one. I like to play around with all the different layers and emotions of love, because no two relationships are alike. I’ve fallen so far into these two falling in love that I’ll probably end up writing a little novella about them. I just think they’re neat.
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Think about an interview question for your main character/s and then write down what they don’t say. What secrets do they keep? What do they lie about?
This is actually something I’ve been thinking about recently. I was writing a chapter where Whitney meets her boyfriend’s parents for the first time and his mom asks the age old, “Tell us about yourself.” I don’t know about everyone else, but I always freeze up at this question. Like, I forget everything I care about in a matter of seconds and it only gets worse when you have so many skeletons in your closet.
Whitney in particular doesn’t like talking about her past. She will talk about how she grew up in foster care but doesn’t speak a word about the abusive caretakers she lived with before being adopted. She definitely doesn’t talk about that one time their powers were discovered. When asked about her plans for the future, Whitney will tell them that she doesn’t know because she hasn’t decided what to do with herself. The truth of the matter is, she never allows herself to think about the future because she knows she’s limited with her powers. She feels that because she is a witch in hiding, she’ll never have a normal life and has given up on plans for basic things that other people stress over.
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Do you have prophecies and superstitions as part of the worldbuilding in your WIP? Could you add some?
I try to stay away from chosen one prophecies, simply because they are so overdone. When you’re trying to stand out of a crowd of writers, it’s usually best to avoid what everyone else is doing. There’s only so much room before people get bored of the same old. I kinda took bits and pieces though when it comes to the sense of how the powers in Elements get passed on. I guess that can be considered kind of a prophecy for how my girls get a hold of their jewelry because they could have gone to another generation but the jewelry chose them. The myth of the jewelry was they would find their way to a future generation who would then hold the responsibilities that came with them. I don’t want to say too much because, ya know, spoiler alert.
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Does your WIP have fairy tales? Do your characters tell mythical stories to each other?
Elements has fairy tales in the sense of stories that have been passed down and told so many times that they get embellished and details are skewed. My witches had already built their society and it had fallen a good century before my book takes place. So the truth of what actually happened to the last generations of Elements before my girls is a mystery. First hand accounts were documents but books were lost and the stories became legend. Most of the witches who still believe the Elements even existed think of it all as myth anyway.
The fun thing about this is, trying to decipher what is fact and what is fiction. What actually happened and what details were added in to fluff up the story years down the road. This really plays into my character’s goals of finding out the truth about themselves. Once they start doing some digging to see the history behind their powers and if there is anyone else out there like them, they come across these old myths of what may have happened. It’s like another piece to the massive puzzle I’ve been building. You can’t build a picture out of a handful of pieces. You have to keep looking before you start to understand what you’re even looking at. It’s tedious for sure, but that is what truly tests how serious my characters are about not only finding the truth but also cleaning up the messes they make along the way.
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