I’ll share my accomplished goals in this week’s What’s Up Wednesday, but I thought I would post about my WIP so everyone will sort of know what I’m working toward with this program. I normally shelter my projects like an overprotective mother (mostly because I have a tendency to abandon projects), but I’m confident I’ll see a completed draft in the future.
So here it goes!
My WIP is called The New World. It’s a work of fiction based on a lot of my own experiences growing up on a military base. During my last semester at college (I just graduated with a degree in creative writing), I wrote it as a short story and (like many of my short stories) there were too many subplots I wanted to squash in but wound up trimming down. So it just seemed natural to expand it into a full-length novel.
The idea of writing what you know has always been something I struggle with. Part of the reason I write is to explore people with completely different lives than my own, and I’ve always felt that as long as I can connect with SOMETHING about the protagonist, that’s all I need. But in practice (at least for me), the stories I base off my own experiences ring truer to me and my readers in workshop classes. So I’m sticking with what I know.
Here’s a little blurb about the story (dun, dun, dunnnn…like I said, this is a BIG deal for me):
Bowie loves living on the Air Force base. The airplanes always flying overhead, the tight-knit community of eight-plex houses, her ability to walk everywhere within the gated community and know she is safe…she loves it all. But her sixteen year old sister, Caroline, warns Bowie about the military’s instability and clashes with their Master Sergeant father about his rigid structure. To Bowie, her dad is her hero, and she is awestruck by the Air Force’s power.
When her best friend’s family gets orders to Germany, however, Bowie begins to see the darkness Caroline talks about. Now she has to start middle school alone, at a new school combining the kids from the nearby Army base with the Air Force kids. While trying to find her place among the rivalry, Bowie must navigate a new circle of friends with whom she has nothing in common, impress her first ever male teacher by completing the difficult projects he assigns, and hide Caroline’s increasingly frequent drunken nights out from their parents.
Everything is changing too fast for Bowie. When her dad starts worrying that they might be the next family to get orders overseas, she questions all her positive thoughts about the military, wondering if—like Caroline—she is finally breaking out of her childhood bubble and seeing the real world for the first time.
Tada! This is what I’ll be working on all summer. I might even post a little excerpt from my draft tomorrow (wow, now I'm just getting CRAZY!).
I’m not sure if I should call it fiction, YA, or MG at the moment. Bowie’s age throughout the novel spans from eleven to thirteen, but her narrative voice is pretty mature. I know I don’t really need to label it until after it’s done, but it’s been nagging at me a little. I like having things in nice, neat little boxes, but I'm feeling like this is one thing I'm going to have to write out before I can label it. Thoughts? Has this ever happened to you?
Thanks for reading this SUPER long post about my WIP! :)