My first ever WIPpet Wednesday

I’ve decided to participate in WIPpet Wednesday, hosted by author K.L. Schwengel, as a way of putting my work out there and getting some feedback—and in some small way saying to the world, “Yes, as a matter of fact, I am a writer.” 🙂

Today’s the 29th, so here are 29 sentences from my novella “Haunted Kisses.” Some background: Tara Bennet has accepted a position as manager/bookkeeper for a bookstore in Patience Point, Mass. Unfortunately, Tara is also a medium—and her new apartment is home to a ghost. This is their first meeting:

The best way to deal with ghosts was to ignore them, pretend that you’re just a normal person who can’t see or communicate with the dead. Of course, a person becomes a ghost for a reason: unfinished business. Sometimes a ghost has something to tell a loved one. Sometimes they don’t know they’re dead. Whatever the case, they’re hanging around until they get things sorted out.

There were other people like Tara who used their abilities for showmanship. A few genuinely wanted to help those who’d passed on. But Tara had learned the hard way that most people have a hard enough time dealing with the death of a loved one. And most people don’t believe in ghosts, so walking up to someone and telling them you’ve met their dead brother or wife or best friend generally goes really, really badly.

So, for as long as she could, Tara would just have to pretend this spirit didn’t exist.

The scent of perfume grew stronger, and a figure emerged from the hallway. Clad in a velour track suit, with bracelets jangling on her wrists, her white hair a mass of curls drawn into a loose bun, the woman hovered a foot over the ground, moving with a waltz-like grace.

She stopped and looked Tara up and down. Tara swallowed and tried to focus on the painting above the sofa, a sailboat on a calm ocean.

“Oh, deary, you’ll do just fine.”

Sail boats. Sea gulls. Crashing ocean waves. Tara looped these things in her mind, and when that didn’t work, she walked over to the window and thrust it open, desperate for a cool breeze—and for any action that could distract her from the old woman floating about the living room.

On the plus side, her new roommate didn’t seem hostile the way some spirits were. On the other hand, Tara knew that sooner or later, the old woman—Jake’s grandmother, the late Mrs. Dawson, no doubt—would figure out that Tara could see her.

Tara stared out at the traffic below, watching a man in a large SUV attempt to parallel park. Across the street, a woman herded two rambunctious children into a frozen yogurt shop. Ghost or no ghost, Patience Point was a nice enough place.

The old woman joined her at the window and clapped her hands together. “You’re the one, my dear. I can feel it.”

The one. Oh no.

Lastly, a midweek ROW80 check-in:

Writing goals:

1.) Work on a first draft of my YA steampunk novel “The Clockwork in the Stars.” No progress to report. Wrote 2,154 words on a novella, “Haunted Kisses.”

2.) Read three books on the craft/business of writing. One of three books read. Finished reading “Writing the Breakout Novel” by Donald Maass.

Social media goals:

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. On track to meet this goal.

2.) Blog twice a week. On track to meet this goal.

3.) Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. On track to meet this goal.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

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18 thoughts on “My first ever WIPpet Wednesday

  1. haha what Kate said. i want to go back and head into my ghost story. I loved the bottom part of this. The first part was slow to get into, but it’s most exposition, so that’s expected. I love that she doesn’t want the gift either. Makes it so much better!

    Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday! Great job on keeping up with your goals too.

  2. It takes a lot of courage to post fresh material! I always cringed before hitting “Post” on my WIPpets–but then it felt good to have it out there! What did you think of Writing the Breakout Novel?

    • Yeah, it’s one thing to share a WIP with trusted critique partners 🙂 but putting it out into the wide, wide world can be tough. I’m trying it, though!

      “Writing the Breakout Novel” was good, although I liked one of his other books, “The Fire in Fiction,” better.

  3. Welcome! It’s always fun when new people join us. 🙂

    I had to giggle at the last part–her “oh no” at being The One. I think that would probably be my reaction too!

  4. Welcome to the WIPpeteers, Denise! Nice to see you join us. 🙂

    I’m with Adrian on this snippet. The action and physical details had me right there, the exposition at the beginning not so much.

    Kudos to you to put your stuff out there. We writers have to develop very thick skins if we want to get anywhere in this business.

    • Thanks, Ruth. You’re right; a lot of what’s up front could probably be sprinkled throughout the story instead of being in one large clump. Good to know when I’m revising.

      It can be tough to put our work out there, but it’s also nice to get feedback. Any constructive criticism we can get on our work helps us as writers.

  5. I think I like where this is going….I enjoy a well-spun ghost story here and there.

    I’m wondering if it would help the exoosition if she had a habit of talking to herself, or if there was more action and less telling before the ghost comes jingling in…maybe the ghost even responds to something she mutters to herself…

    Or maybe the exposition is fin, in context. That’s the thing about WIPpets….out of context, things are different…

    So happy you decided to join us! =D

    • I think I might need to sprinkle that exposition in throughout the scene or chapter instead of having it all in one place. That would draw the reader into the scene more immediately and help with pacing.

      Thanks, Shan Jeniah! 🙂

      • I always have great big chunks in my first drafts. It takes me some time and space, and usually a completed draft, to see how, what, and where to sprinkle for best effect…

        One of the coolest things about WIPpets is that you can get this kind of input on little bits of your writing…a bit easier on the ego, and, often, I tend to make the same mistakes across my writing, so, after a few comments, I have a better idea on how to improve my writing overall….

        I hope you’ll join in again! =D

      • Yeah, with the first draft the words are flowing and you’re just trying to get them down on the page. There’s plenty of space in later drafts to break up long stretches of exposition or backstory and sprinkle them throughout. And sometimes with first drafts we’re learning about our worlds and our characters and we just want to write and see what our characters have to tell us about themselves and their world.

        I think I will join in again. The feedback this time was great!

  6. I’d like to add my (very belated) welcome to WIPpet Wednesday! It’s lovely that you can join us. 🙂
    And a great first excerpt! You drew me into your world with the very first line. I’m intrigued by the story already and I want to know how it unfolds. Looking forward to reading more soon!

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