an update and excerpt : Crow & the Secrets of the Spirit Woods

30 Aug

It appears I missed out on an opportunity to join a renegade pack of writers at they kicked August’s butt during their #WIPmarathon event. Think NaNoWriMo only more intimate and easier to tailor. That’s the vibe I’m getting.

Here is the post explaining it, although it’s over tomorrow. Sorry. They might do another in December.

Still, I loved the form they used to update their status on their blogs, and when I asked the founder, Ifeoma Dennis, if I could use it on my own blog, she kindly said yes.

So, here goes. An update on my Work In Progress (WIP):

Story : Crow and the Secrets of the Spirit Woods

Current Word Count & Chapter Count: 30,138 words and 20 chapters in

WIP Issues This Week : I had to push my way through the “soggy middle”, as they call it. I’m not sure if my feelings were related to the WIP so much, or if was more my tiredness from pregnancy and a few other things all coming down on me at once. Either way, after loving this story for 20,000+ words, I suddenly started to doubt it. I’m towards the end of the middle now, and feeling more on track. My ending is still a bit hazy to me, but I think things are falling into place. And I’m crazy about the story again.

What I Learned This Week In Writing : Here, let me pick one… I learned from Silvana De Mari that you can take a character that is really not even that likeable and throw in at the end a startling scene with them that has you crying your eyeballs out in all the best ways. (This refers to her book, The Last Dragon.)

What Distracted Me This Week While Writing : The faulty beginning to a book I’ve already written and have been querying agents with. Questions of how to make it better will not stop nagging at me.

Last 200 Words I Worked On :  (Tait is blind, by the way, and this is unedited!)

Tait was sitting up on the wooded board he’d been sleeping on. He rubbed his eyes and ran his fingers through his blonde hair, making it more a mess than it already had been.

“Morning,” Acel said. “You hungry?”

“Do pigs snort?” Tait was smiling and his blue eyes were pointed in Acel’s direction though they landed a bit over his shoulder to the left.

Acel had to laugh. To be an orphan out on the street was to be hungry. It practically made it into the definition of the word.

“Here.” He reached in his shirt and pulled out a small loaf of bread which he’d carefully wrapped in an old newspaper. Tearing it in half, he put a chunk into Tait’s open hands. “I snagged this this morning.”

It was still warm and it smelled like heaven. Tait took a deep whiff of it before ripping off a small chunk with his teeth and chewing it as slowly as he could. He always ate slowly. It was better for savoring, he would say. If I’m not gonna get hardly any food, I at least wanna taste what I do get.

Acel had always been a bit more impatient than that. His thinking said to eat his food as quickly as he could and get back out on the streets looking for more.

He ate slowly with Tait this morning. Since the fear of losing him when he was sick with the bone breaking fever, he’d eaten a number of his meals more slowly. Sometimes, he realized, there was no reason to rush and every good reason to savor.


Have I given any teasers for this story on my blog? I don’t think I have. I’ll have to do that in my next post 😉



4 Responses to “an update and excerpt : Crow & the Secrets of the Spirit Woods”

  1. Ifeoma Dennis August 30, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    Loved your excerpt! It was full of feeling.
    And beginnings are scary. I’ve re-written mine about thirty-four times.

    Good luck with Crow and the Secrets of the Spirit Woods (great title btw)!

  2. Dad August 31, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Dustin, the excerpt has me wanting to read more. I am happy to see that you are back on track with your writing. You know you have to tune up for NaNoWriMo 2013.
    Love Ya, Dad

  3. julzwrites September 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    I absolutely adored your excerpt. You are such a talented writer. It makes me what to read it when (“when” not “if”) it gets published!! Best of luck 😀

  4. Karen Mahara September 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    Yay! I love feeling like I’m right there with the characters! Now, I’m hungry! 😉

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