• Alexandra Wendt

#WIPjoy October 2018 for Dante WIP

It's been a while. Since I've blogged. Since I've properly engaged with the writing community. It feels like it's been a while since I've even gotten any proper writing done, though that's a lie because I have been getting through edits, albeit slowly. Grad school is incredible, and I love what I'm doing, but wow, does it eat up your time.

One of my favorite things on Twitter is #WIPjoy, hosted by Bethany A. Jennings (@simmeringmind) and S. D. Grimm (@SDGrimmAuthor). Even though I've participated in it before for my "Dante WIP," SHORE OF DARKNESS, I thought I'd do so one more time, as I wrap up edits this month and prepare to send it through the query trenches.

And then I thought I'd compile all the answers on my blog, in case anyone else is interested in learning more about this book that has been so close to my heart for the past two and a half years. Without further ado...

#WIPjoy, writing


1. Your WIP, blurb, genre, visual

Genre: YA fantasy

Blurb: Gina gets taken to a magical society in Italy where people use art as magic & protect the world from the demon realm, accessible thru works of art. She & her friends have to investigate the recent disappearances--and stop them before a new power destroys the gateways.

art, wip

Image credit: Alexandra Wendt. All images taken from Pixabay.

2. Your own backstory and goals

I've been writing seriously since I was 13, and wrote my first novel--a 100,000-word high fantasy--at 15. Most recently, I write stories that use my art history degree and love for Italy. :) I'll be querying one soon!

3. A WIP line about a theme or topic you care strongly about

"Our numbers are dwindling too. Aesthetes are becoming less and less common as people move away from the arts and toward more ‘important’ things."

I care deeply about supporting the arts.

4. Book(s) that changed your life

Magic Tree House series, Artemis Fowl, Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations, DANTE'S COMMEDIA, Mortal Instruments, Throne of Glass...there are a lot, haha.

5. Your tunes for this WIP

Grace by Florence + The Machine, Bury by Unions, and Below My Feet by Mumford & Sons, to name a few...

6./7. Link your books or websites

*looks around awkwardly* Stay where you are, haha.


8. If you could give each reader one thing along with this book, it would be...

Mini prints featuring the artwork that's explored in the book! Also a dip pen and bottle of ink. And art supplies. Too many options...

9. Your ideal review might say...

My ideal review might say something about promoting the importance of the arts and introducing art history as something accessible and interesting to teens.

10. A line about effort or triumph

We were faster than light, cutting through the darkness like a razorblade. We were a star on the verge of burning out.

11. Something your MC sees as a weakness but is really a strength

She thinks the fact that she's new to this world is a weakness and, while it can be, she also brings unique insights to it because of how she was raised.

12. How is your antagonist like you?

I suppose my antagonist is like me in that he's very interested in research and learning new things.

13./14. How does writing this WIP make you stronger?

Two of my side characters deal with a couple major insecurities I have, so in a way they've been a bit of self-exploration, and it's been inspiring to write about them facing these issues.


15. What genre of art, music, or poetry (or all 3!) describes the MC?

I love this question, because it's so fitting for this story. :) The period of art that describes her would be late Renaissance/Mannerism, because no one likes the ability she's drawn toward. (Here I'm subtweeting what I'm studying, and the fact that no art historians like late sixteenth century Italian art.)

16. The MC's happy place

Gina's happy place is definitely her home, New Mexico, specifically Cimarron Canyon where you can sit and listen to the sound of the river over rocks.

17. A line about grief or longing

I was shattering from the inside out, breaking in an irreparable way. My head throbbed as I sobbed. [spoiler] was so kind and good and wise. We weren’t complete without [spoiler].

18. Who "gets" the MC best?

Probably Cosimo--new friend, romantic interest--due to the bond they share. And likewise, Gina seems to get him the best.

19. Most misunderstood character

Most misunderstood character would 110% be Anamaria. She's always kind of off in her own world.

20./21. Characters from other books (or TV/film) that could be best friends with your characters

I think Gina and Olive from Easy A would get along great; they both have a tendency to turn sarcastic and make jokes at perhaps inappropriate times. And Kala would be good friends with Teka from the CARVE THE MARK duology; they're both smart and have an iron will.


22. Ever dreamed about this WIP?

I want to say no, I haven't dreamed of this WIP, but also I think I have... I rarely remember my dreams, though, so I can't give specifics.

23. MC's childhood dreams that will never see reality

...I guess that would be graduating high school and going to college...

24. Line about death or dreams

We trudged, glamoured, to the Ducal Palace and the Bridge of Sighs like a death march.

25. How would your character(s) react to seeing a ghost?

Well, Gina, being new to this world, would rightfully freak out. Though it's kind of ignored and not talked about much, there ARE ghosts...but that's more of a subject for my spin-off book.

26. Killing characters--do you do it? How often? How do you react?

Yeah, I have no qualms about killing characters. As for how often, it's more that...I don't do it without purpose. Especially for a main character; their death has to be meaningful. How do I react--well, I definitely got teary-eyed when I recently rewrote a death scene.

27./28. A line about darkness or hope

Maybe sometimes you had to go through Hell to reach Paradise. Maybe sometimes you had to accept the risk and plunge into the dark forest.


29. MC's favorite things about fall

Growing up in New Mexico, Gina would love to take drives and look at the aspen turning a vibrant gold in the fall.

30. How do your characters feel about pumpkin spice?

I'm pretty sure my Italian characters wouldn't know what to make of it and would hate it. Gina would say she loves it--whether genuinely or just to be contradictory to the others, even I don't know.

31. MC's favorite treat and best trick

Gina's favorite treat would be Reese's, and her best trick...not very clever, but she'd think sneaking up on people and scaring them is hilarious.


#wip #writing #books

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