WIPPet Wednesday: Harmless Crimes

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Happy Hump Day!

After arriving back from China, I am hit by the super cold weather here in Canada. I am not a big fan of the cold (brrrr), but this singing bear cheers me up:

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Oh, bear, you are a true Canadian. (I am obviously a fake one :’) )

As for the current state of affairs: My manuscript is now in the hands of my trusty beta-readers (people are reading my novel! eek!) And I have been (slowly) researching and plotting my new project, which is a science fiction novel titled Children of the Sun.

Which leads to my question for the writers out there: How do you guys go about researching your novel? Children of the Sun will dabble a bit in astrophysics, genetics, and pharmaceuticals. Though I deal with pharmaceuticals on a daily basis (legally), my Genetics 101 course is a distant memory, and my knowledge of astrophysics is… well, non-existent. I am hoping to find a few good books, and of course, there is always good old trusty Dr. Google :’)

Also! I should mention that Children of the Sun will be a rewrite of a Nanowrimo novel I wrote 10 years ago (when I was 16). You know that amazing feeling when you read something that you wrote a long time ago, expecting it to be terrible, only to find that it’s… kind of… good? That’s how I feel about this one :’)

Because I haven’t picked up the pen yet for this project, I am cheating a bit by sharing a snippet from my original draft, which I may keep, since it captures the essence of the novel:

The best way to deal with this situation, the government said, is to go about it silently, under everyone’s noses. Only through this will the threat be safely eliminated with the least complications.

So much for “a handful of harmless crimes.”

WIPPet Math: 3 sentences for Wednesday.

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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Do you like cold weather, or do you fear it, like me? How do you go about researching your novel? Have you reread any of the works you’ve written a while back?

36 thoughts on “WIPPet Wednesday: Harmless Crimes

  1. AM says:

    Ooh, now that’s an intriguing snippet! And probably true, though a somewhat horrifying thought.

    How cool that you have something you wrote as a teen that you can revise! I don’t think I saved anything of mine from that era. My friend’s daughter is 15 and a very talented writer. I hope she hangs onto all her stuff.

    As for research, I’m partial to Dr. Google. But I also have a wide range of friends to consult on things. When I wrote a historical short story about drag racing in the 1950s, my friends hooked me up with *their* friends to give me all the technical details. I watched a series of videos from around 1960 about a drag racing team going to a national competition. It certainly reinforced why I don’t write much historical fiction or much that requires such precise details, though! LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Thank you AM!
      That’s very cool to hear that your daughter likes to write too. Looks like it runs in the family 🙂
      Yes it is great to hear from a friend who is an expert in the area of interest! And you’ve reminded me to look into videos and documentaries as a source 🙂

      Like

  2. Fallon says:

    Very intriguing snippet.

    I’m also rewriting a novel I first wrote in high school(it was more than 10 years ago). It’s a historical novel, and the original covered more than 10 years, probably closer to 15, and it wasn’t very long for all that. I’m stretching the same timeline over probably 3 books this time. I don’t think I actually have any of the original draft of that one, so I’m going from scratch. It’s probably better that way in some cases. I do mostly rely on Google for research, though digging out information on 1850s Ireland can be difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hi Fallon,

      Thank you! Looks like both you and AM have experience with historical novels- it certainly is a genre that requires a lot of research!

      Wow, it looks like you will have a trilogy this time! In my experience, my drafts tend to get longer and longer with each revision as well. And I suspect that my current novel will be a rewrite rather than an edit as well, since the original draft was from such a long time ago.

      Like

  3. Marie says:

    Wow, you’re already working on a new project?! This is so awesome, Sophie. Also, kind of jealous you’re able to switch from projects so quickly ahah 🙂
    This new WIP sounds really intriguing, I love how you’re incorporating pharmaceuticals, something you know really well; I can’t wait for more snippets, that one is already really cool 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Marie ❤
      Yes! Actually I was very excited to start working on this project even a few months back, so when I finished my last novel, I was very ready to start this one.
      Thank you 🙂 🙂 How is your editing coming along?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marie says:

        That’s so great!! ❤
        Well… hm….. (this is a very, very long awkward silence ahahah). I haven't opened my Word doc or read my WIP again. I haven't done anything. At all, ahah. So it's going nowhere. I'm desperate ahah.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sophie Li says:

        Oh no, sounds like you’re having a tough time with your WIP, Marie. You know what? The inspiration will come one day. One of these days you will feel like jumping back into your novel again. That’s perfectly fine if you don’t feel up to it right now!
        However if you ever do have an inkling of curiosity about your novel, maybe that is the time to dive back into it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marie says:

        I feel conflicted. I feel like I want to, but also should get back to it. I’m not doing anything and it’s driving me crazy…. but I get all panicky just thinking about it and not knowing where to start ahahah.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sophie Li says:

        Ah yes, I know that feeling. Usually I feel this way about big projects- it feels overwhelming, and the more I put it off, the more nervous I feel about starting it. My approach is to just get started. First, I set a very small and very achievable goal (just a small part of the project)- after completing this goal, I think, “hey that wasn’t too bad”, and it makes me feel much less nervous about the whole project. I find that getting started is the hardest part, and once I take that first step, it doesn’t feel as overwhelming anymore.
        My first step when it comes to editing a novel is to read it from beginning to end without making any changes, or “judging” my own novel. Maybe that will be a good first step? Or maybe just reading 1 or 2 chapters?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marie says:

        Thank you so much for your advice, Sophie, that’s so sweet of you ❤ I think I should try and do that, but… I'm terrified, ahah. I need to get back into it someday, though, take the leap ahah.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    I love your new snippet, and really can’t wait to hear more about Children of the Sun Sophie. It sounds interesting and wow also like you have a lot of research to do for it too. I’ll wish you luck with that but I suppose if your researching something fun, like a new WIP, it should be pretty fun work right? 😀
    I definitely get what you mean about the cold as well, I’m not sure how cold it is in Canada but in the UK I have practically turned into an icicle. Bring on the summer again.
    Great post, and good luck with your new WIP! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Beth 🙂
      Thank you for your sweet message! Yes, researching for my WIP is the funnest type of research I’ve ever done in my entire life! I’ve never been so motivated to learn about something new haha… :’)
      In December and January, it can get to -20C here haha, but so far it’s only been -4C or so. Yes I miss the summer :’)
      Thank you! 🙂 How is Nanowrimo going for you Beth?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

        That’s all right. 🙂 And yes I feel the same way, but then again I’ve always enjoyed research even when it was for school projects you know?
        Oh OK, in comparisons I guess the UK doesn’t seem so bad. It just feels worse than it is because I have nothing really to compare it to.
        That’s all right, and it’s going pretty well. However I have come up with so many things I want to add in/take away. My second draft is going to be completely different to this one! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sophie Li says:

        Yes there is always something fun about research and learning something new 🙂
        When it comes to coldness, I suppose it’s all relative! While in China, people keep asking me if I were cold since I wore thinner clothes than everyone else, but I said “no, it feels warm today!” Lol :’)
        That’s great that nanowrimo is going well! Yes I also tend to think ahead to what I want to change in the next draft. It’s useful to make notes along the way- when I don’t, I always forget what I wanted to fix :’)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

        If those are the cold temperatures you’re used to in Canada you could wear thinner clothes in the UK as well. 🙂
        Yeah I’ve been making plenty of notes. In fact if I added my notes onto my total word count for my WIP I’d probably be at 50K words within the next week! 🙂 It’s fun, I forgot how much I loved writing until I started again. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. jlgfellers says:

    *Laces her fingers and sits back* Sci-Fi, you say? Welcome to the fold. 🙂 LOL! And research, for me, is just like in grad school or when I taught research writing on the collegiate level. Look it up. Use good sources. Double check. I’ve come to understand wormhole theory and understand the rudimentary basics of dark matter. Sci-Fi in particular likes accuracy. The what-if is great, but the known better be done right. Right now, I’m working in Contemporary Fantasy, but I’m doing heavy historical research for the area the story is based in, which is where I live. I’m learning a bit of Cherokee tongue and customs, looking at the area’s Civil War history, and bombarding my younger sister with questions. She has an MA in Public History and works for the local Heritage Alliance.

    Oh, and I hope your trip was lovely. But those temps… BRRR! Not for me. It’s gotten in the high 20s here in TN, and I’m ready for a parka.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hi Jeanne! Yes, I’ve come over to the dark side 😛
      I agree that it is so important to use good sources! And accuracy is crucial to be able to create a believable world for the readers. I am a bit intimidated by the amount of research I’ll have to do for this novel haha :’)
      That’s very cool that you are researching the area that you live. That must be an interesting experience!
      Thank you! Haha yes I am quick to bundle up for the winter too :’)

      Like

  6. Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

    Hi Sophie! Children of the Sun has a title that hints at huge fame and success! Nice to hear that a written project from a decade ago seems to go so good right now. Definitely a head start if you ask me! Since I’m not writing a novel myself, it would be a bit hard to answer your question, but I can tell you that I absolutely adore authors who do their research. Authors who read other books that cover certain subjects just make my day! It usually shows in their story, and with their own writing skills, they integrate what they learn so seamlessly into their story!

    P.S. As a fellow Canadian, I have to say I’ll never get used to the cold. But I also like it for all the hot and warmness that comes with it (from staying in of course!!) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Thank you Lashaan!
      I absolutely agree that research is so important when it comes to creating a story that feels believable. I admire authors who do it so well that they seem like experts in the topic, and at the same time, it really shows when research is lacking in a novel. This is definitely a challenging part of my story so far :’)
      Yes I agree- nothing like staying inside on a cold winter day with a cup of hot cocoa 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Eden says:

    Looks like quite a few of us are doing something new with an old story. Well, if something stays with you that long, there’s usually a reason for that. Best to you, Sophie. Children of the Sun sounds ominous, a touch dystopian. Those can be really fun reads (and as Hollywood shows, they make great movie scripts too). While possibilities for the future seem endless, it often is the case that people follow certain paths.

    For research… well, thing is, a lot of scientific discovery being done out there is moving so fast that sometimes it’s hard to know what is science”fiction” or was just discovered in a lab last week. Dr. Google is great, but if you can, try to follow and befriend some science writers (especially those who are scientists themselves). You mentioned genetics? Follow Ricki Lewis. http://www.rickilewis.com/ She’s an awesome writer on the topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Thank you Eden! I love the feeling of rediscovering an old story and improving on it. Yes you are right that Children of the Sun is a dystopian novel, though it takes place in modern times.
      I am always amazed by how fast science and technology progresses. Thank you for the tip- I will take a look at that website. I am new to writing sci fi so I could use all the tips that I get 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Emily Wrayburn says:

    I always feel so pleased when an old draft turns out to not be completely terrible. Particularly NaNo ones. Maybe I should revisit my time travel NaNo (that was my first one, in 2011). But as I discovered, time travel is so hard to write!

    I’m a really bad researcher! Which is kind of ironic, since I’m a reference librarian in my day job, which means I spend half my time helping other people with their research. I’m just very impatient about it! But I tend to write a first draft, then identify what I need to research, and do it then, and insert more into subsequent versions.

    I look forward to seeing more of your new WIP! This little excerpt is very intriguing. It sounds like my kind of book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hi Emily!

      Yes it’s a wonderful feeling to rediscover an old work and fall in love with it again. I am fascinated by stories about time travel. Although I haven’t written any myself, I can imagine how it is hard to write!

      That’s cool that you are a librarian. I am a pharmacist – it is also ironic because I actually hate taking drugs, and I am a terrible patient :’) I also tend to plow ahead with the first draft and research later (which is what I am doing now!) The difficulty I am encountering is that I may have to rework parts of my plot so that it is more realistic based on the information I now know haha…

      Thank you Emily 🙂

      Like

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