WIPpet Wednesday: When Matt Meets Olivia

Blog_wippet

Happy Hump Day!

To the writers out there: Are you a planner or a pantser?

Planner = Plan everything chapter and every scene so that you know what exactly what you are going to write before you write it

Pantser = Start with an idea in your head, but largely, fly by the seat of your pants

Or… are you a plantser like me? (Plantser = the best of both worlds)

Though I like to have a general sense of where my story is going, what the major plot points are, how some scenes will pan out, I don’t know the specifics of each scene until I sit down and write it. If I think too much beforehand, I feel bored and uninspired when I am actually writing the scene. In other words, I kinda like making stuff up as I go along. For me, writing is more fun that way, and believe it or not, it turns out better.

An update on my writing: I am now a bit over 130K words, and about 90-95% of the way there (woohooo!!) Then I will be going back and cutting some scenes, since my novel is approaching epic fantasy length, except… epic fantasy, it is not :’)

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Let’s go waaaaaayy back to the beginning for today’s snippet. Matt meets Olivia shortly after she moves in next door in their apartment building. Charlie races down the hallway off-leash, giving Matt a scare:

(Charlie = Olivia’s dog, Zelda = Matt’s daughter)

“Sorry about that,” She says, clipping a leash onto Charlie’s collar. “He likes to run.”

Matt looks at the beast with the eternal hunger burning in his eyes, subdued but undefeated.

Keep your dog on leash, he wants to say for his sake, for Zelda’s sake, for all their neighbours’ sake. What will happen when the ninety-year-old woman next door goes for her morning walk? He is fairly certain that she is blind.

He glances up at Olivia. He’ll say it.

“Oh. Um, I’m Olivia.” She says, extending her non-leash-holding hand. “I just moved in next door.”

He shakes her hand. He’ll have to say it. He’ll have to tell her what she doesn’t want to hear.

“It seems like everyone is really friendly in this building so far,” Olivia says with a chuckle. “Looks like Charlie and I will fit right in, won’t we, Charlie?” She reaches to scratch Charlie on the back of his ear.

Matt swallows. He feels his willpower caving in.

“Welcome,” he says instead. “That’s a cute dog.”

He wants to kick himself.

WIPpet Math: 10 paragraphs for October.

WIPpet Wednesdays is a blog hop where writers can share a snippet from their WIP. The only stipulation is that the excerpt is somehow related to the date. Be sure to check out some of the other lovely WIPpet snippets here. Thank you Emily Wrayburn for hosting.

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How is your week going? Are you a planner, a pantser, or a plantser? Is there an ideal length for a manuscript?

26 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday: When Matt Meets Olivia

  1. jlgfellers says:

    130K? Yeah, serious cutting will be in order. But save those cuts in a file and back it up. They might well come in handy later. *voice of experience* Great WIPpet. I’m like Matt. A million things I want to say, but almost nothing comes out.

    Oh, and I’m a pantster, generally speaking. I have to be cornered before I actually outline.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Haha yes! I will have to do some ruthless cutting after I finish my manuscript and put it aside for a while (right now my novel is too precious to me to be altered in any way, shape or form!)

      Glad to hear that you can relate to Matt as well. He is a thinker 🙂

      That’s interesting that you are a pantser, especially since I noticed your story has some great worldbuilding. I write outlines but only stick to them some of the time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • jlgfellers says:

        LOL. I’m a card carrying pantser, thank you. Plan my world-building? No. I much prefer the discovery that comes with the first draft. Sure, I have a concept in mind going in… in Surrogate’s case a desert dweller in a debt-based society finds herself struggling to survive in a tropical, free society. The rest came as I wrote.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sophie Li says:

        That’s very cool that you discover the world as you write! The first draft must be an adventure! I do some plantsing for my contemporary novel but I imagine that it is different for a fantasy/sci fi novel 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Fallon says:

    Haha. I get that feeling of words in my head that I can’t make come out. Then wanting to kick myself.
    And I lean more toward plotter myself, though I only know some of what will happen in each scene. My characters usually end up surprising me still.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Yes Matt is more of a thinker than a talker!

      That’s interesting to hear from a plotter. I also love moments when my characters surprise me- it is what I love about writing 🙂 However then I have to deal with the aftermath when my plot is thrown off-kilter because of it! “now what? O_O”

      Like

  3. MichaelK says:

    Hello, had a very tense hump day at work but I’ve got you, my blogging and instagramming friends to cheer me up! I am also happy as I will be attending the annual fantasy convention in Athens this weekend (so I’ll be a bit offline).
    As for your question, definitely a plantser! Your description was so familiar, so me, if I am allowed to say!
    I am not a pro so I can’t really say about ideal lengths but I believe that the length is ideal when it doesn’t constrain or rushes the story. There can always be some trimming but I wouldn’t sacrifice a scene I consider significant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Sorry to hear that you had a stressful day at work. Hope tomorrow will be better! The fantasy convention sounds super fun! enjoy 🙂 looking forward to hearing about it!

      Sounds like you are a plantser too! I think that is one of the funnest ways to write 🙂

      Thanks for the tip! In the case of my story I know that there are some unnecessary scenes that need to be trimmed haha 🙂 I agree that the ideal length is the length that is essential for the story to be told!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Marie says:

    Ahah, oh that snippet is adorable, Sophie ❤
    I think I'm just like you. I like having some things planned out, but I also don't plan every single scene. I guess I'm trying to know where I am heading, but without knowing too much, in order to keep things surprising and fun 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Thank you Marie ❤
      Yes I absolutely agree that not knowing 100% about what will happen keeps things interesting and fun! One of my favourite parts about writing is when my characters start doing and saying stuff on their own- that’s when I know I am feeling inspired 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Oh great snippet Sophie, already I love Matt’s character and we only got a small look inside his head. 🙂
    Again I can’t believe you already have 130K words for your WIP, that’s beyond incredible, especially considering you’re nearly done as well. If you’ve already got 90/95% there’s not too much left to go.
    I’m definitely a plantser as well. I try and plan as much as I can but there’s always a certain amount of improvisation as I go along. Always little tangents and plot paths I find myself wandering off track for. I find writing more fun that way. 🙂
    Great post. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Thank you ❤ I’m happy that you like Matt. He is a quiet but sweet guy 🙂

      Glad to hear from a fellow plantser! I feel the same way. Even when I have a plan in mind, sometimes my characters decide to do stuff on their own, so I can never stick to my plan 100%. Yes it definitely makes writing more fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. AM says:

    Hahaha! I’ve been where Matt is. I’m a lot bolder on my social media than in real life. I’d probably be too scared of the dog to say anything.

    I’m a plantser. I like to have a basic outline, major points, an idea where the plot is headed, and some info about the characters. But I don’t do any of that in-depth. It mostly shows up when I need it to.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Analee @ Book Snacks says:

    Ahhh that snippet is so cute!! I love Matt ahah. ❤️ You have so much progress on your WIP, that’s amazing! I’m not much of a writer, but if I were I definitely think I’d be the plantser as well haha. Best of both worlds for sure!

    Like

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hi Mikaela! Glad that you can relate to Matt. I am similar as well in that I don’t always say what I think :’)

      Haha I was only planning on 70-80k but this manuscript really ballooned! Thank you for dropping by and have a great week ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. debbiemcgowan says:

    I completely love Matt’s inner voice vs what comes out of his mouth. 😀 Your writing is so fab, and I’d totally read 130k of it! Stories are as long as they need to be, so…yeah. Can’t wait to read it (however long it ends up). 🙂 Oh, and I’m a plantser too – not at the start, but as the plot gets more complex and the main points come into view.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Thank you Debbie! It makes my day to hear that you like my writing :’) I completely agree that stories are as long as they need to be, but I know there are some scenes that will need to go from this draft for certain.

      Glad to hear that you are a plantser as well 🙂

      Like

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