Sort of finished – WIPpet Wednesday


Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, that time of the week when we WIPpeteers share some of what we’ve been working on writing-wise lately.

As the title of this blog post suggests I’ve finished the first draft of Teaching Mr Leavis. Yay! you might say – I’m sort of yay but not quite because now comes the hard part.

It’s come in at less than 50,000 words and ideally I want it to be longer than that. Also it needs a LOT of work on it and when I say a lot, I mean a lot! I need to tighten things up plot wise, develop underused characters, make it more romantic (yes really!) – the list is endless!

So I’ve started going through from the beginning and starting to change things. I want to edit the entire thing myself before anyone else sees it. Then maybe get an alpha reader to look at it. And only after that will I get any beta readers to take a look. Right now I’m feeling like I don’t want anyone to see it in its present state! (WIPpet Wednesday doesn’t count – I can share the better bits with you all for that!!)

Anyway onto what I’m sharing with you today. I’ve decided to share something a bit different. I thought I’d introduce you to Judith, my MC Rebecca’s disapproving mother. Rebecca and her parents – Judith and Martin – don’t see eye to eye. Judith and Martin have always wanted Rebecca to do what they think she should be doing – they don’t approve of her teaching. Rebecca won’t play ball so there’s tension. Lots of it! This scene takes place after Rebecca has had another encounter with Jonathan Leavis. Today Judith is visiting Rebecca in her flat. Rebecca’s preoccupied and things aren’t going well between them…

For today I’m sharing with you 21 sentences. My maths goes like this: 20 + 1 = 21 (I’m cheating again, taking the digits from the year!) Enjoy!

‘So how’s it all going at the school then, Rebecca?’ her mother Judith asked, taking a sip from her bone china cup of tea. It was Saturday afternoon. Rebecca’s mother and father were visiting Stokington for a few days. Maria had point blank refused to let them stay with her again so soon after their previous visit, so Judith and Martin, Rebecca’s father, were staying in a local hotel. Judith was visiting Rebecca while Martin went to explore the Stokington aviation museum, which was on the outskirts of the city.

Rebecca was silent for a moment, pondering her mother’s question. Memories of her encounter with Jonathan Leavis two days ago came flooding back. She felt heat rush to her face and downed the rest of her tea in one go.

‘Are you feeling hot?’ Judith asked. ‘It is a bit warm in here; maybe you should open the window.’

‘No, Mum, it’s all right, I’m sure I’ll cool down in a minute,’ Rebecca replied, her face warm with embarrassment. ‘School’s going well thank you. It’s busy but I’m coping.’

Barely, she added silently. She was feeling the pressure of continuing to prepare her pupils for their exams later in the school year.

Judith nodded. ‘Well you know what your dad and I say. You can always…’

‘Give it up, yes I know,’ Rebecca snapped. ‘But that’s not going to happen. I’m not going to give up after just one term. I know how much you’d love it if I did, but I won’t.’

That’s it from me today. 🙂 If you have any advice re editing/pulling a book apart let me know!

WIPpet Wednesday is open to anyone who’d like to take part. Just share with us on your blog an excerpt from whatever you’ve been working on writing-wise lately. Preferably your excerpt should relate in some way to the date. Then add your name to this linky thing.

Thanks goes to our lovely currently-travelling K. L. Schwengel for hosting.  😀





20 thoughts on “Sort of finished – WIPpet Wednesday

  1. I know how you feel. I have to clean my work up and fix the glaring issues before I send it on to my critique partners. My philosophy is that I should fix the problems I know are there and that I know how to fix before I ask someone else to take a look at it.

    I like the snippet, although the first paragraph was a little slow. I wonder if some of this info couldn’t be sprinkled throughout. Nice!


    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who needs to go over their work with a fine tooth comb!

      Glad you liked the snippet. Thanks for the advice re first paragraph. I will work on it. The other comments below have mentioned it, so it’s clearly something I need to look at. 🙂


  2. I agree with Denise that the first paragraph was exposition heavy/info dump. However, at the end you really showed what you were talking about before the snippet. The fact her parents don’t approve and that it causes tensions definitely shows through. 🙂


  3. Hooray for finishing! I know what you mean–I go over everything so many times, both before and after my beta readers get hold of it.

    Nice snippet. I really relate to Rebecca here. I know the fun of having family members I can’t talk to about my work. I had someone tell me when my book was finally released that I’m no longer a “fake” writer. Ugh. That’s a person I don’t talk to about the stresses of my writing, that’s for sure.


  4. I love that she got all hot and bothered thinking about Jonathan. I really enjoyed the scene…lot’s of tension going on. She certainly has a lot to deal with – no wonder her head is spinning. Great snippet 🙂


    1. Yeah it really is exciting. 🙂 Though there’s a lot of work to be done still, so I can’t honestly, truly say it’s finished. 😛 But it is the end of the beginning.

      So glad you liked the snippet.


  5. Congrats on finishing the first draft! First drafts are by definition crap, so it’s all good there. 🙂 I would *never* show a complete first draft to anyone! *g*

    I really like the conflict between mother and daughter in this snippet. Do agree with Denise and Gloria, though, that you might want to make a note to yourself in the manuscript to distribute the info in that first par better.


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