Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

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Mark
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Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by Mark » August 5th, 2010, 4:11 pm

I just wrote a blog post about why I don't tell anyone what my WIP is about, and I'm curious as to whether other people keep their ideas to themselves or have no problems sharing their plotlines as they unfold.

What's your take?


If this has been discussed previously, can someone point me in the right direction?

Margo
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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by Margo » August 5th, 2010, 4:14 pm

I tend to have three people I talk to about my WIP, one of whom is my brainstorming buddy. I share little with others.

Most of the issue is that I don't want feedback at the early stages. I have a hard enough time with my internal editor. The people I do talk to have proven over years that they give good advice.

I like your mention in your blog entry about having a stock answer. I do as well. People ask what I'm writing, and I answer with the genre (sub-genre, technically). That usually redirects the conversation into an explanation of the sub-genre.
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cheekychook
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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by cheekychook » August 5th, 2010, 4:36 pm

I actually started a thread with a similar discussion last month---I don't keep my work a secret, but I don't talk about it much either. More of a "you didn't ask so I didn't mention it" approach. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1758
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craig
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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by craig » August 5th, 2010, 4:47 pm

I don't tell anyone -- and I tend to get evasive if anyone asks me any questions about my writing.

I find it takes me so long to write, what with all my various things going on, and my plots and characters tend to evolve drastically -- so I don't really like having to update people along the way. And, worse, I hate keeping people informed on the querying process -- I don't get discouraged at all when I get a rejection, but my mom always gets so disappointed and says something like, "I hope this doesn't discourage you from ever writing again." Cue the eye-roll.

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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by JayceeEA » August 5th, 2010, 5:09 pm

I think it is wise to get a few trusted people (better those who understand your genre), and include them on your vision. This increases accountability for me, because I know they know...it allows me to work harder on the dream and to put my everything into it.

I have a private exclusive blog (password-activated) where I post updates of my work. Only five people have access to it and they can critique me as I go along on this journey. I've seen many authors talking about not being afraid to share your WIP because it helps in the journey. I've also posted two short excerpts on Scribd, which is open to the public. I doubt I'd post any more on scribd though, those were just teasers to enable friends and readers to know that I'm writing in the background.

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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by Down the well » August 6th, 2010, 9:22 am

I don't tell nobody nothing. People ask, "Are you writing?" I reply, "Yes." We nod and move on.

I've found it is almost impossible to discuss writing a novel with anyone who doesn't write. Usually it goes something like this:

"Oprah likes books. Maybe you could get her to read yours." I've heard that.

And then there's this one. "I saw an ad for a publisher in a magazine. You should have them publish your novel." Sigh.

Or, if I actually do reveal a tidbit about my story, they immediately say, "You should write it like this." No, I really shouldn't.




*edited cuz I can't spell
Last edited by Down the well on August 6th, 2010, 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Leonidas
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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by Leonidas » August 6th, 2010, 9:45 am

I have three friends, also writers, who know pretty much everything about anything I've ever tried to write. I trust them with my writing more than I do my best friends or my family, because they've all seen my writing at its worst. I credit one of them with teaching me how to write originally, and then letting me develop into the writer that I am now. All three of them have their strengths and weaknesses as writers and as betas, so I tend to go to one or the other depending on the problems that I'm having.

With one WiP, they've all seen most of it, from where it is right now to where it was when I was writing it for the first time last November for NaNoWriMo. With the WiP that I'm working on right now, one of them saw my two opening sentences (which I have since deleted and rewritten). I'm trying to do things differently with this WiP than I do normally, so I'm handwriting it and not showing anyone until I'm finished and have typed it up completely.

My family knows that I'm constantly writing, but they've learned not to ask and I've learned not to tell them, because I tend to get responses like Down the Well mentioned.

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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by dios4vida » August 6th, 2010, 12:13 pm

Down the well, I've been told the exact same things! Grr....

I don't tell, other than genre. If I get really excited about something, I'll tell my Mom or husband in very cryptic terms so they don't know what's going on in the book but I can still tell someone (btw, this was not my idea. They don't want to know anything beforehand so they can be surprised when they read it). It usually goes something like this: "So I have this character who's a warrior-type, and I wrote out this battle that was just fantastic, I'm so excited about it!"

Does anyone else ever get frustrated with not being able to tell at least someone? I do prefer to keep my plots to myself until I send my ms out to my betas, but aren't there times when you're just bursting to tell?! I feel like some of the people who have high-clearance jobs - they come home and can't tell their wives/husbands what they did at work today. I'm so excited about my new WIP but no one can know why... :(
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Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

Down the well
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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by Down the well » August 6th, 2010, 12:25 pm

dios4vida wrote:Down the well, I've been told the exact same things! Grr....
I know. Every writer I talk to has the same story. These seem to be the only three points of contact that non-writers have to what we do.

dios4vida wrote:Does anyone else ever get frustrated with not being able to tell at least someone?


Yes, but that's why I haunt the forums. I think I've talked more about my story on here than I have to anyone in my face-to-face world. Sorry about all the blabbering, btw. I am hoping to send my ms off to get it critiqued soon, so that should serve as a release valve of sorts. :)

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dios4vida
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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by dios4vida » August 6th, 2010, 2:56 pm

Down the well wrote:
dios4vida wrote:Does anyone else ever get frustrated with not being able to tell at least someone?


Yes, but that's why I haunt the forums. I think I've talked more about my story on here than I have to anyone in my face-to-face world. Sorry about all the blabbering, btw. I am hoping to send my ms off to get it critiqued soon, so that should serve as a release valve of sorts. :)
I don't think you've been blabbering. I'm just glad I'm not the only one, cause I feel the same way. I swear some people on here see my avatar and sigh, saying, "For goodness sake, would you just shut up?!?!" :)

(And if you post for critique on here, let me know and I'll put in my two cents for you!)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

Down the well
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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by Down the well » August 6th, 2010, 3:32 pm

dios4vida wrote:I'm just glad I'm not the only one, cause I feel the same way. I swear some people on here see my avatar and sigh, saying, "For goodness sake, would you just shut up?!?!" :)
Not a chance. What good are forums if people don't participate? Hello, lurkers. *waves*

dios4vida wrote:(And if you post for critique on here, let me know and I'll put in my two cents for you!)
I probably will post the first few pages soon. I did post one version, but I've already rewritten it a few times since. Openings are not my forte, so I can use all the help I can get. Thanks.

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Mira
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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by Mira » August 6th, 2010, 5:04 pm

I really, really want to talk to people early on, but I've found that's a mistake- at least for me. Other people, bless their souls, would give me their opinions, and often they would tell me it wouldn't work, or some other critique. Then, I'd get discouraged. And I do tend to be hyper-sensitive to critique about my more serious writing.

When I tell someone about my WIP, or share excerpts, I just want them to say: "Wow, that's the most wonderful amazing incredible thing I've ever read. It's pure genius. I'm in awe." Sadly, I've rarely had that reaction.

It's frustrating, because I want to talk it over. But I think it's best for me to wait until the later drafts. Then it's time to get audience reaction and weigh it. But even then, it's risky, and I've found it's important to pick your beta readers carefully.

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Leonidas
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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by Leonidas » August 6th, 2010, 6:53 pm

Mira wrote:It's frustrating, because I want to talk it over. But I think it's best for me to wait until the later drafts. Then it's time to get audience reaction and weigh it. But even then, it's risky, and I've found it's important to pick your beta readers carefully.
This.

I only let three people read my writing before it's in its final stages for this reason. Picking your beta readers is such an important decision; you want someone who knows your writing well and who also knows you well, so they can tell the amazing stuff from the not-so-amazing stuff and still be kind when critiquing. My betas all know my habits when I write, so they can call me on things that I might think work but don't actually.

Besides, sometimes you become great friends with your betas, because really who can you be more vulnerable with than with the person you share your writing?

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charlotte49ers
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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by charlotte49ers » August 6th, 2010, 7:37 pm

I tell people who I know won't judge me. lol I'm still "in the closet", so to speak, so unless it's someone who already knows I'm writing, I don't talk about it period. And the only people that I talk to in depth about it are family and my good IRL friend Regan (ReganLeigh on here).

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Re: Do you keep your WIP to yourself?

Post by Nick » August 7th, 2010, 9:35 am

I might share bits and bobs of ideas with certain friends, but for the most part I keep things under wraps until I have at least a second draft.

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