hi guys!! welcome back to maggie’s doodles. so i found the “what’s your wip?” tag on bree’s blog and i knew i HAD to write about it! thanks for the open nomination, bree 😄
it’s actually because of this tag that i really began brainstorming for my novel ‘the grinning cowboy’! up until this point, i’ve written three short stories with chad and shared them on my blog, which you can find here:
- the grinning cowboy: a short story
- the grinning cowboy ~ under the stars
- the grinning cowboy ~ the saloon
i really love the expanding storyline, and the more i write about chad and his friends, i can just feel the potential for a entire story, not just short stories!
so i’m gonna share my brainstorming, ideas, and exciting things to come in this post 😍
- Thank the person who tagged you & link to their blog.
- Link back to the creator, Katja @ Little Blossoms for Jesus, & add the tag graphic.
- List the rules.
- Answer the questions.
- Feel free to add snippets!
- Tag as many or as few people as you wish & let them know they’re tagged.
- Add a clean copy of the questions at the end of your post for the “tagged.”
1. Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be? //
yes! ‘The Grinning Cowboy’ 🤠 what started as the title for that first short story last november slowly became something more. i liked it so much (the story + the name) that i wanted to expand it and share chad’s whole story!
2. Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about? //
Chad was on the run. From a past that abandoned him and a possee that hated him, and boy, did he run. The truth evaded him, and he didn’t worry much about what was to come. He took it all in stride, with his horse and his hat and the men he trusted from time to time.
Adelia was settled. Her upbringing had closed comfortably, and she walked through each life season with her favorite boots and a smile on her face. She didn’t see anything shaking up her existence, and settled she remained.
What happens when you settle into the run? Can two people accomplish something when they’re headed in completely different directions?
~ that was on the spot haha, so the synopsis will probably transform over time!
‘the grinning cowboy’ is a story chronicling the adventures and travels of chad. i’ve created some characters and i want to see where they fit into his life. i have so many ideas for scenes, hilarious encounters, and more!
westerns usually focus heavily on the gunfire, shootouts, bloodshed, etc. – the dude aspects – but i want to see the humor, the romance, the adventure, the excitement.
what about being on the run from your past, life taking a turn (or doing a 180)? what happens when the guns misfire, or when someone’s chasing you to make amends, not war?
i gotta see where this story goes!
3. Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind? //
YAS! here it is 😍🙌
can i just tell youuuu I LOVE THIS!! canva and pixabay, you’re real ones ✌
4. How did you get the idea for this story? //
*totally forgets for a second* oh yeah! i created the single line story challenge last year, and chad was the character in my single line western!
“Flicking the gun out of his holster,
Chad grinned and said, “Not today, kid.””
ahh he’s so great! before that, i’d had no experience writing westerns, and i wanted to challenge myself. i went and accidentally created a character i completely adore haha
5. How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be? //
maybe around 35k words! it looks like it will be much longer than i’d first anticipated. i learned more about chad’s personality and history, and that he has more of a story to tell than just a couple of short stories can summarize.
6. Who’s your favourite character so far? //
CHAD CHAD CHAD
but colin the bartender is growing on me really fast 🌝
in fact speaking of him, i chose his name in the middle of writing the short story he first appeared in. so i’m not totally set on that being his name. i might change it (and i need to before i get attached aha~)
7. What’s your favourite memory related to this WIP? //
definitely while writing the first full short story (not the single line one, this one). i felt the wild west come to life amid my descriptions, in the scene i placed the characters in, and in the wonderful cliffhanger at the end.
8. Any special person(s) who helped create it? //
i’d like to thank (haha) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for being an EPIC movie (Paul Newman and Robert Redford, you rock!) and also ‘The Virginian,’ a book i never finished reading but somewhat inspired me to love westerns more.
9. What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)? //
i think the action in the first short story was the most iconic so far, but my personal fave at this point is definitely the saloon! when i’ve worked on introducing more characters into the story, colin is the one i’m most heavily leaning toward incorporating into ‘the grinning cowboy’s plot. the others- curtis, jenny, lucas, even adelia- *thinks about it* i just need some more time to get to know them: if they’ll be extras, main, side, or even exist at all. we’ll see! i’m excited!
10. Can you give us a snippet? 😉 //
well why not? haha here’s a possible opening scene for ‘the grinning cowboy’! (previously unreleased)
the grinning cowboy
chapter one (demo)
You never know what you have until it’s gone. Did you know that? Well, you wouldn’t, unless you’ve lost something mighty important to you.
That’s why the day Chad lost his favorite hat was etched into his mind forever.
That is, until he found it.
“I lost my hat, Curt,” Chad said somberly, a cross between a groan and a remark. He straddled the bar stool next to one of his closest town friends, a guy you could trust with a couple secrets and your daily woes.
“Naw,” Curt said now. He held his empty glass between a couple of his fingers and eyed Chad with suspicion. “Not the one your ole ma sewed just for you.”
“Not that one,” Chad said, looking humorously offended. “A man has no need for a baby cap in the desert.”
This made Curt laugh. He created eye contact with the bartender and, making sure he was ready, slid his glass that way with his next order. “Speed then,” he continued. “Which hat was it?”
“My hat,” Chad emphasized, somewhat illustrating what a hat looks like and how it sits atop your head with his fingers. “You ain’t never seen me wear it before? Didn’t know my good pal was blind.”
“It’s just conversation, partner.” Curtis’ smile was a warm one. “Where’d you last see the offensive headwear?”
“Thought I left it atop my horse,” Chad mumbled, as he often took to doing. A couple of toothpicks found their way into his hands and he began twirling them and creating shapes with their bodies on the bar. “Maybe I did. Maybe she ate it. Maybe the wind carried it. Maybe-“
“What’ll it be?” The bartender suddenly appeared. Curtis already had his refill, and now the man had his attention on Chad. The man’s hair was longer than usual, pinned up unlike the usual, had a clean towel over his shoulder – most unusual, and his broad face was shaven. Definitely unusual.
Chad straddled the bar stool farther and leaned toward the man. “What’s the name, partner?” he asked out of genuine curiosity. “And from where do you hail?”
“Colin,” he said with a proud little smile, like he was showing off his new horse. “Neligh, Nebraska.”
“That sounds fun.” Chad grinned and placed his order. As Colin got to work, Chad nodded his chin at him and asked, “What made you come down here?”
“Money.” Colin finished mixing as Chad laughed at his bluntness. “And you know,” he added with a grin of his own, “my parents wanting me to go see the world. I’d been talking about it forever, but you sorta wait around until the day comes when you head out. So I headed out. Ended up coming down this way.”
Curtis finished his drink, then asked, “You seen a lone hat anywhere?”
“A lone hat?” Colin reiterated. He nodded, his gaze wandering outside to the street for a moment. “Yeah, I’ve seen it.” Then he gave Chad a quietly vexed look. “The town drunk took off with it.”
“Not Charles,” Chad said with a chuckle and a groan. “Alright,” and the man slid off his stool without a sip of his drink.
The wooden floorboards creaked and led him toward the door, out it, and into the main part of town.
11. Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs? //
it has ab 👏 so 👏 LOOTley 👏 thrown me some curveballs!
12. Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story? //
not that i can think of. aside from the various westerns i’ve seen over the years (especially the two i mentioned earlier), nothing else has helped shape the story for me. it might down the road!
13. When and where have you done most of the writing so far? //
uhm on my bed, i think! and at my desk. as for when, the SLSC (i’ve already typed it out so many times haha) came out in august 2021, then the first short story in november of that year, the second in january 2022, and the third this month in may. so i’m approaching a year of toying around with these story ideas!
14. Where do you get inspiration for this story? //
i love chad’s character! there’s more to him than meets the eye, and i can’t wait for you guys to get to know him better.
15. Are you a plotter or a pantser? //
a bit of both! can i be a… plantser? 🪴 haha anyhoo, i primarily pants with a bit of plotting thrown in to keep me going. because i kind of see plotting as preparing for the trip, and pantsing as just getting in the car and driving. i have accidentally plotted myself into a rut because i got in such a rhythm of plotting (planning the trip) that i never was able to get in the car. so i try to balance the planning with the going, as that’s what helps me to enjoy the writing process!
16. Do you have a little ritual before you start writing? //
well not that i’ve identified. i will toy around with a scene idea and some opening dialogue before launching in to writing, but that’s it at this point
17. Are you thinking of publishing this story? //
no, but i’d love to make the whole novel available somewhere for you guys to read eventually! whether that’s on wattpad, somewhere on my blog, etc(:
18. What things have you learned while writing this story? //
you never know where a story will take you! 🌏
✨ i nominate:
all the beautiful writers out there who’d love to chat about their WIPs!
✨ the questions:
- Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be?
- Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about?
- Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind?
- How did you get the idea for this story?
- How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be?
- Who’s your favourite character so far?
- What’s your favourite memory related to this WIP?
- Any special person(s) who helped create it?
- What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)?
- Can you give us a snippet? 😉
- Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs?
- Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story?
- When and where have you done most of the writing so far?
- Where do you get inspiration for this story?
- Are you a plotter or a pantser?
- Do you have a little ritual before you start writing?
- Are you thinking of publishing this story?
- What things have you learned while writing this story?
well that ended up being MUCH longer than expected, haha! i loved that!
you made it this far? here’s a cookie! 😍🍪 you’re amazing!