All About That WIP! – in which we take a sneakety peek at each of my projects for 2021

good morning, cyberspace!

A while back, I did a poll over on my instagram as to which post y’all wanted to see from me next, and All About That WIP! sorta kinda won by a landslide. Which … I guess you guys are just really interested in my works-in-progress? Which is wonderful, I’m sure. This is pretty much every writer’s dream, right? To have people interested in their books and wanting to learn more about them?

Unfortunately, I prefer to keep all my projects under a pile of moth-infested blankets stuffed in the deepest, darkest corners of my mind where they can ne’er see the light of day, but I digress. Spilling all the nitty gritty details of my books is DEFINITELY not my worst nightmare which wakes me up screaming in the depths of the night! Lol, no not at all!

….

….

….

All right, let’s just get this over with.

>>> <<<

ALL ABOUT THAT WIP

So! You want to know about Kenzie’s story projects for 2021, do ya? Well, you’re in luck, my friend, because today’s post is all about the projects that I’m hoping to work on this year! Or rather, projects that I’m hoping to continue working on this year, because–not gonna lie–most of these have already been started and then just left to dangle ominously in the middle of their prospective plotlines until I find time to work on them again.

The life of a WIP is a very sad life, indeed.

But anyway. I should probably mention now that I’m not going to be going SUUUUUUPER in-depth on all of these projects. As always, I like to keep some sort of thinly-veiled mystery when it comes to my precious children, simply because I find that spilling the beans on everything often makes me no longer want to work on the story. But, at the same time, talking about my WIP’s helps me gain momentum to continue working on my projects, so essentially it’s just a very complicated balance of how much to share and how much to keep secret.

(are you confused yet?)

But hopefully, by the end of this post, you’ll have gleaned a better understanding of the names and projects I’ll most likely be throwing around in a few weeks’ time, so for that, at least, this post should be fun!

But enough about that. Let’s start with the most important project you’ll be seeing around here…

i. PROJECT GOBLIN / THE GIRL AND THE GOBLIN KING / WELCOME TO INKWELL

beautiful mock cover designed by Shannon Aardsma! (links to socials below!)

Ah, yes! Project Goblin! I’ve been talking about this one rather frequently for a few months now, but the first time this particular WIP made its appearance here on Smudged Thoughts was back in 2018 as I was preparing to write it for my NaNoWriMo novel.

I ended up winning that NaNo with over 50,000 words, but–unfortunately–the story I was writing was not, in fact, the tale which I was hoping to tell. In 2018, PROJECT GOBLIN was known primarily as THE GIRL AND THE GOBLIN KING, but over the years, I became rather confused with what its name should actually be, and the name soon evolved into many different forms: The Girl and The Goblin King, Welcome To Inkwell, and simply Inkwell to name a few. The most recent variation, however, has returned to The Girl and The Goblin King, and from here on out, that is what we’re referring to it as here on the blog until further notice–or publication. *nervous laughter*! (and also Project Goblin. Because that is a LOT easier on the typing hand, my friend.)

All Bartholomew Todd wants in life is to draw comics that will make people smile. Unfortunately, when all you’re capable of drawing is the stuff of nightmares and horror films, it’s a little difficult to accomplish this.

More often than not, they run away screaming instead.

But when Todd is inadvertently kidnapped by the very creatures his hands have created, he finds himself torn in a war between two worlds: one he’s spent his whole life struggling to fit into, and one which relies on him–and him alone–to save it.

With a rogue band of misfits in tow, Todd must retrieve a little girl’s stolen smile from the lair of a wicked goblin king before it’s too late—both for Inkwell and himself.

Not gonna lie, this book has become exceedingly difficult to write over the years. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve been trying to write it since 2018, but I feel like the core of this story has evolved and manifested into something so intricate and deep and whimsical that anything I try to write can’t possibly do the world I’ve built inside my head justice. But the characters, the world, the all-around vibe this book has grown into … words alone cannot possibly describe how excited I am to get to share it with you all someday.

If EVERLOST was my trash gremlin and PROJECT SUNSET my Sunshine Child, then I can only claim PROJECT GOBLIN as the book which is–at its very deepest of hearts–my true identity as a writer. This book has bits and pieces of every single one of my sides–darkness, humor, whimsy, pickpocketing gnomes, a guard dragon, goblins, magical pencils, curses, hope, love, enchanted enchantresses, fairies, pixies, potentially a troll or two, a scythe-wielding little girl… The writing of this novel is a complete and utter adventure–as most novels typically are–and following it down every single twist and turn is an honor I’m truly blessed to have.

(also also also! can we just take a moment to appreciate the absolutely DELIGHTFUL mock cover that Shannon Aardsma made for me??? this girl is absolutely wonderful, and I’m so so blessed to have met her through the writing community! you can find her over on instagram @shannonaardsmawriter, or over on youtube! definitely go check her out, guys. she’s incredible!)

ii. PROJECT SUNSET / SK

Writing Project Sunset was the highlight of my creativity in 2020, not gonna lie. Writing a whole book during Quarantine, having my first ever (and most likely only) 10k writing day, scribbling away late into the nights and sleeping way too late the next day… It was a process which I’m so utterly thankful to have had, and while the plot of this book desperately needs some first aid, I have hope that the editing phase will prove just as rewarding as the first drafting.

…with that being said, however, the plot of this book desperately needs some first aid. XD Part of the joys of first drafting is throwing every single idea at the wall and watching the chaos unfold, but unfortunately for me, this means my second drafts are very much me trying to scrape bits of noodle off said kitchen walls and cursing myself for not simply tasting the noodles to see if they were al dente in the beginning.

(…I swear that analogy made sense in my head before I wrote it out.)

Anyway. Once I finish up the first, very messy draft of PROJECT GOBLIN, my next project is going to be reading through the first draft of PROJECT SUNSET, making ALL OF THE EDITORIAL NOTES, and then promptly ripping my hair out as I try to edit the second draft into perfection.

Or rather, into a somewhat messy glob which, if you squint just right and tilt your head at a 90 degree angle, looks slightly like perfection’s second cousin, twice removed…

…we’ll get there eventually, okay. Anyway, some of the more interesting details about this book include:

  • a main protagonist who is obsessed with comic books
  • a group of very old friends who would legit die for each other
  • a black hole
  • a dude named Casey
  • an hourglass which holds the key to time manipulation
  • death
  • a theme of self-forgiveness
  • a single toupe

After the whirlwind that was the drafting process for this book, I’m just SO excited to dive back into it! Part of me wishes I could start immediately, but I have WAY too many things I’m juggling at the moment. ’tis a shame, of course, but sometimes life just be like that.

(also 10/10 already have this thing formatted into PDF for reading on my Kindle. I just need to catch up with myself, apparently.)

iii. PUMPKALAGOO

Aha! A project that I’ve only just briefly mentioned back in my 2021 Goals & Aspirations post! For the most part, I’ve kept rather silent about this project because I literally know virtually nothing about this story. But I’ve also kept quiet about it because … I legitimately do not even know what I’m doing with it anymore.

Obviously I’m still planning on writing it–I’ve had the idea stewing for far too long to let it go so easily now–but the fact remains that this book is … bizarre. It follows a teeny tiny witch and her teeny tiny black cat who live on the edge of a teeny tiny little lagoon which is currently inhabited by a teeny tiny octopus, and their adventures as they try to save their crow friend from the evil clutches of a king who really just wants some delicious pie…

…honestly, at this point, I’m just throwing random gibberish at the wall to see what sticks (I do this a lot, apparently), and unfortunately for me, all of it is sticking. Which means this book is getting oversaturated with absolute nonsense.

Which is, of course, my favorite kind of story.

Sometimes I wonder if I should physically be allowed to write books for kids. After all, I am the one who wrote a whole book with a severed arm which slowly decayed over the course of the entire plot. But then I remember that the minds of kids are far more deep than we give them credit for, and–more often than not–my deepest conversations are held between myself and children over half my age.

Also, what kid doesn’t want to read a rollicking fantasy about a teeny tiny witch who befriends a mismatched-sock-wearing octopus whilst crows get baked into pies?

It’s fine. Everything’s fine. I definitely should be a children’s author. 100% (tell me otherwise and I’ll either cry or stab you with a pitchfork. ye have been warned)

>>> <<<

And that, my friends, are the three main projects that I’m hopefully working on this year! Obviously I’m already working on PROJECT GOBLIN, which, you now, means I’m clearly ahead of schedule and am totally crushing this yearly goal thing….

….

….

lol.

Anyway. There are, of course, some projects I’m working on that were not listed among these, but those will continue to remain slightly secret until I’m more prepared to share them. Which obviously means you will never hear about them ever.

So clearly you should be as excited about them as I currently am. XD

But I digress! I’m extremely excited to dive into these projects, and am even more excited to get them into your hands someday. Eventually I’d love to get to the point where I can throw books at your faces and declare what a pleased novel-mommy I am, but before that can happen, I think I need to … you know … actually write the books.

So please excuse me whilst I go do that. The forests of Inkwell are calling my name, and I must answer.

talk to me, peasants!

what sorts of projects are YOU working on this year? are you someone who typically works on multiple projects at once, or do you prefer to work on a singular project at a time? (and if you DO work on multiple projects at once, how do you juggle them in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming? [this smol writer needs some MASSIVE help. XD])

as always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS down in the comments below! and until next time….

* flings cookies in the air and disappears *

15 thoughts on “All About That WIP! – in which we take a sneakety peek at each of my projects for 2021

  1. SAME witth starting tons of stories that end up all getting left in a pile together while I run off and do something else. My characters need to join a labor union, I swear. (Actually, ‘union of abandoned/mistreated characters’ sounds like it would be a pretty funny story in and of itself.)
    Also same on ‘sharing gives me inspiration but oversharing kills it.’ I don’t know what to do with myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. *Sees title of blog posts on my dashboard*
    *SQUEALS*
    *smashes the link like there is no tomorrow*

    OH MY GOODNESS OH MY GOODNESS. WE GET A WHOLE POST ABOUT KENZIE WIPS. IT IS CHRISTMAS!

    I get SO excited every single time you give us even a little inkling about your stories so this was just EVERYTHING! Where do I even begin? I adore these all SO. MUCH.

    Project Goblin just… *clutches heart* The whimsical eeriness of it is basically my aesthetic and the whole plotline is BRILLAINCE. I think it’s the most special thing that it’s your heart project. That is truly a most wonderful thing to find. And I can totally see why this one has your heart! I mean just !!! ALL THE THINGS. I AM SO IN LOVE.

    And Project Sunset just sound like the most fun of everrrr! The characters seem like THE. BEST. And just GAH. I love your brain!!! (Also I’m very curious about this single toupe. XDDD)

    AND WUT WUT WUT. Pumpkalagoo sounds like the most adorable thing I have EVER heard about!!!! :O A teeny witch and tiny cat and pie and an octopus who wears mismatched socks???? Have I mentioned yet that I LOVE YOUR BRAIN?!?! I literally cannot use enough capslock or exclamation points to express how much I adore this idea. There are no proper words or punctuation. JUST. YES. THIS IS SO CUTE. I CAN’T.

    I love all these so much and I need you to get published like NOW so the entire world can have access to your brilliant brain. (That sounded better in my head… AHEM.) But seriously, girl, your concept are the most amazing things! And YES I think you should write for children! I would have LOVED these as a kid. And as an adult! WRITE THESE. WRITE ALL OF THESE. WE NEEDS THEMMM.

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing a little taste of all your delicious WIPs. This post has now gotten me all pumped for working on my own stories! :D I do hope the writing goes well! YOU GOT THIS, GIRL! *bakes you a ton of motivational cookies because the world needs these books*

    Like

    • Oh my GOODNESS. Please excuse me while I just sit here and beam and reread this comment like five billion times…. Oh my word!!! Christine, this comment just literally made my whole day, I CAN’T. It makes me so impossibly happy to know you enjoy hearing about my little books!!! <333

      Project Goblin is a smol little beastie of intense eeriness, and I just love it SO SO much… I cannot WAIT for you to read it someday!

      OOH, YES. The single toupe. Unfortunately, it actually IS a thing in this book, and I just….don't really know what my brain is thinking sometimes. (but my goodness, it is so much fun to let it run wild occasionally. XD)

      MEEP!!! Okay, but I am SO glad you think Pumpkalagoo sounds like fun!! It's one that's kind of borderline bizarre, but I am SO excited to write it!!! (and potentially self-publish it??? it's a smol book, so I feel like it would be a safe one for experimenting with in the publishing industry.)

      OH MY GOODNESS, BUT CHRISTINE. I literally cannot thank you enough for your enthusiasm and contagious excitement and I just…!!!!! You are literally the sweetest beam of sunlight in the whole entire world, and the mere fact that you're excited for these stories makes ME even MORE excited for them!!!! And OOOOH. COOKIES. I will gladly accept these…… *glomps happily* <333333

      Like

  3. All of your stories sound amazing! I always have an array of ones I’m working on at any given point.
    I love how different they all are too. Project Goblin sounds particularly good.
    I love books that sum up your identity, those are always the best ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meep! Thank you SO much, Skye!! That honestly means the world to me!!! Oooh, so you juggle multiple projects??? I don’t suppose you’d have any advice to give on that topic? I’m HORRIBLE at juggling, and yet here I am….still trying. XD

      Oh my word, same! Those are some of my favorite stories to read–the author’s passion for the project always seems to bleed through the words–and absolutely my favorite ones to write…

      Like

  4. “Unfortunately, I prefer to keep all my projects under a pile of moth-infested blankets stuffed in the deepest, darkest corners of my mind” << I RELATE SO HARD. This is the way I feel about my writing. 100%. (This is also why I almost never talk about it on my blog…I'm not as brave as you, clearly. :))

    The Girl and the Goblin King! Sounds! Amazing! And! I! Need! It! Yesterday!

    Project Sunset also sounds really fun! I mean, time manipulation! A black hole! A group of friends! I can tell I'm going to love it!

    Pumpkalagoo sounds amazing, and you definitely need to keep writing it! Nonsense books are so fun, and kids definitely think so, from what I've seen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my word, yes. XD I honestly am terrified to talk about my projects online, but it’s something that I’ve slowly been growing better at over the course of the past four-ish years. XD (it’s a slow process for me, and that’s totally okay!) But, dude, I would absolutely LOVE to hear about your projects sometime! I know it’s scary to spill some beans on the internet, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about this community, it’s that everyone is so supportive and eager to help and listen and squeal and I just….this community is the best. XD

      MEEP! Oh my goodness, THANK YOU!!! I’m so so excited for you guys to have this book someday!

      YESSSSSS!!! I think a lot of my books are nonsense books, but that’s kind of what sums up my insanity as a writer, and I’m 100% okay with this. XD

      Like

  5. I love this post (ALL OF IT) (how talking about your writing is super motivating until suddenly it DRAINS YOU OF ALL DESIRE TO WRITE ANYTHING AT ALL is so relatable tho), but mainly: PUMKALAGOO. I knew I needed this from the moment I first heard the title. You should absolutely be a children’s writer, Kenzie, and I am not even kidding. Pumpkalagoo??? Would have been smol!Sarah’s absolute Favorite Book. Still probably would be, actually. Seriously. THE CHILDREN WILL LOVE YOU.

    Like

    • Oh my goodness!!! Sarah!!!!!! This comment, though… I honestly cannot. This literally means the WORLD to me, you have no idea… Pumpkalagoo is something that I’ve been sitting on for so long and I’m just now getting the courage to write it, and knowing that you’re interested in reading it and that you think the children will love it is just…..THANK YOU. <333 I honestly don't even know what to say!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ohhh, all of your WIPs sound amazing!! Just… *words fail me for a moment* I just love seeing people’s creativity, especially in the area of writing (cause I’m biased) and I love seeing imaginations coming alive in this way. I adore this post simply because I got to see your stories, which are one of the most precious things in the world. I hope you can achieve what you need to achieve for these stories, and I hope you are proud of your progress so far. Any progress is good progress.
    Woah, that got deep. Um, I’m pretty sure I was meant to fangirl about all of the many awesome little things you have in your story (cause they are really COOL). Like your story about nonsense. Haha, beautiful. All those things you listed for Project Sunset? LOVE THEM. And I think you know how much I love Project Goblin by my previous comments.
    I’m working on one project, but I also have a short story I really to write and possibly rewriting and polishing up another short story. Do they count as several projects? If they do, and you are wondering how I am doing it, well… I am in the same boat as you. Writing hasn’t been going well for me at the moment. I keep on procrastinating a lot. AHHHHH.
    (Well, this was very ramblingly. Also late again.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness!!! Ash! (can I call you Ash? I think we’re gonna go with it. XD) This comment is just..!!!! *squeals happily* I can’t even with you. This makes me so so happy…

      You are SO right about any progress being good progress, and since it seems as though you’re in the same boat as me, I suppose we simply need to keep reminding each other of this. XD It’s such a weird thing, being so totally in love with these stories and yet having no inspiration or motivation to write them. I kinda hate it. But I know that it’s just a phase, and eventually I’ll pick it all back up and keep plugging away, because that’s what a writer’s gotta do, you know? XD

      But oh my word!! Thank you so much for writing this!!! Hearing your enthusiasm for my stories and hearing that I’m not alone in the impossible multiple project juggle means more to me than you will ever know. <333 (also, thank you for your comments on all my little posts? your support is incredible and I honestly cannot thank you enough. <333 )

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hmmm, I think my original comment just got eaten. -_- In the event that this is true, I will try writing out my original comment again.

        Oh, loving the name Ash! No one has called me that before. I adore it! ^_^ Aww, I’m so so glad since this comment was a bit wild so this makes me happy!

        This is so true! I was honestly probably telling myself this as I wrote it cause, yeah, I know what it is like to love a story to bits and not be able to write it. It is crazy and I hate it too. But you are right! It is just a phase and it won’t be like this forever so we can’t give up, can we? (Not that our brain will let us…) Yess, that is what a writer’s gotta do! XD

        You’re welcome!!!!!!!! Your stories deserve it honestly and I feel I will just love them. Aww, yeah, it is nice to know that you are not alone. I haven’t even started that third story and I have barely written my short story. (I haven’t even told you that I’m also technically brainstorming many story ideas in my head at once.) Aww, you’re so welcome! <3 It is the least I can do since I love your blog, your stories and your personality. <333

        Like

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