WIPMarathon Report #1


March 1, 2014 by Ifeoma Dennis

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

23061 words and 9 chapters completed


Current report WC + CC/ SC:

48365 words and 19 chapters almost completed! Yay I wish I made it to 50K but it’s pretty close!


WIP Issues This Month:

I got to the middle, and in spite of my intensive four-act structure outlining for this second draft,  it felt flat to me. So I’ve been stuck in the 40-50K mark for about two weeks actually.

Amanda was reading Writing The Breakout Novel workbook (which is only in paperback), but since I didn’t really want to pay so much for the island customs, I decided to buy Writing 21st Century Fiction on my Kindle instead.

And I love it. Actually, it was something I read in it (see my #1 lesson I learned this month) that inspired the muse for the right scene that would serve as the transition I much needed between the second and third parts of my novel. Because of that transition, I also had to write a new first chapter.

Not sure it works yet, as my CPs haven’t read it.


Four things I learned this month in writing:

1. Your MC should have a life before the story begins, and if possible, some problems that would remain even after the main problem driving the plot is solved.


2. When writing settings, try to bring to mind things that are not immediately obvious , and this works better when you see things  through the character’s POV. E.g instead of reporting that dark clouds lazed across the sky, add a personal touch to it by seeing the dark clouds through your MC’s eyes. Perhaps the dark clouds reminds her /him of a shape etc. Of course, I don’t know if it is wise to do this all the time. Sometimes, your MC would not be in a mood to take in their settings. So it really depends.


3. (2) can also apply for your characters. Try to bring in characterizations that are not immediately obvious. Veronica Roth wrote a post on that.


4. If you don’t write your novel, bad news is the elves won’t write it for you either.


What distracted me this month while writing:

Mostly studying. Although it was not just that, during the time I was stuck, I didn’t feel like writing and was hoping I’ll get a dream that’ll make it all clear or something. Unfortunately, nothing of that nature happened.


Goal for next month:

Head-in-the-clouds goal:

I’ll love to finish this WIP this month. Okay, I know I said the same last month. And with the way things are going, it looks like I have about 20 more chapters to write (and a chapter usually takes me two days at least), so this is really not a realistic dream. Still, a girl can dream.


Down-to-earth goal:

I want to finish the third act of my novel and fix all the broken parts of my first and second acts.

There was some rule in the magic system I had messed up for the benefit of my second act, and I got stuck toward the end of the act when it dawned on me that having that rule messed up means my ending would be a bit illogical. So I have to rewrite every part I used that rule for my benefit…which is A LOT. *tears hair*


Last 200 words:

Then they passed through a longer stretch of darker clouds until there weren’t any Byrusses left. Pladdia felt calm seeping into her heart. Under the dark and without Byrusses, they were safe. At least for now.

“Why are you helping me, Niteo?” The soft wind carried her voice.

“I thought we had gone through that.”

“But this is craziness, don’t you see? Flying through the Lumen Regnum in the deep of the night at the risk of being caught by knife-wielding wackos. This is not what anyone wants. This is not the kind of adventure anyone signs up for.”

“You do not know anyone then.”

“But don’t you see you could be labeled as an accomplice? And you have no idea what the price would be.”

“I doubt I would be labeled so. I have my privileges.”

“Of course, how could I forget.” A wall-thick bitterness enclosed her chest. It was so hard to breathe for a while.


How did everyone’s month go? Really looking forward to read about all our progresses! ❤


24 thoughts on “WIPMarathon Report #1

  1. I can’t believe how much progress you made in one month Ifeoma! You over doubled your word count. Wow. NICE job!

    Was laughing so hard while marveling at the truth of your elves observation. 😀

    Now I’m off to check out that Veronica Roth link…

  2. Yael Itamar says:

    Yes, yes, yes to all 4 of those things.

  3. I *LOVE* your 4 things you learned this month, especially about how characters need to have a life that begins before and carries on after the story. (Except the ones that don’t make it out alive 😉 I’m now a big fan of questionnaires and really digging deep because characters are what make a story, period. And the stuff about seeing the scenery as the character would see it sometimes, not just “the sky was grey” type descriptions. So good to focus on this stuff. Thanks for sharing! Great work!!

    • Thanks, Cheyenne! Sometimes, I think I know every writing advice there already, given the amount of blogs and books on the craft I’ve read, but no. I keep learning new things everyday.

  4. Jess says:

    I loved the Veronica Roth post!

    “If you don’t write your novel, bad news is the elves won’t write it for you either.” So unfortunately true…

    You made a lot of progress!! 😀 Good luck on your third act!

  5. Cat York says:

    You are doing a fabulous job and I can’t wait to read it!! You’ve come so far in the last year with this project and the excerpts look great. Whether you finish it this month or next, I’m so glad you keep pushing through to the finish, especially with how busy you get with school. It’s going to be so worth it. Hugs and Happy Birthday!

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes!
      I’m learning from you, the way you balance painting and writing and everything else 🙂
      And I can’t wait to read your WIP too!

  6. amandashayne says:

    I’m so happy for you for making so much progress! 48365 is practically 48500, which is practically 49000, which might as well just be 50k, so if you ask me, you totally made it to 50k. 😉

    I laughed so much at #4 on the list of things you learned this past month. Thanks for sharing all of that!

    And you excerpt reads so beautifully. I feel like I stepped right into your story, right next to Pladdia. I can’t wait to read more, Ifeoma!!!!

  7. […] for next month: I’m going to copy Ifeoma and divide my goals as […]

  8. krystal jane says:

    That’s a very interesting article. I love it when successful writers take the time to do something like that. ^_^

    I think it’s great you can make so much progress on a story without being settled on a beginning. I literally won’t start until I have the right beginning. And if I figure out that it’s not okay halfway through, no more progress will be made until I fix it.

    Speaking of progress, you did great this month! 😀 I’m chickening out on a report I think…
    You can totally finish this story by the end of the month! But no pressure. 🙂 It’s okay if takes a little longer.

    • I love when successful authors do that too! (take note, future self) 😉

      Oh no, why would you “chicken” out? It doesn’t matter if you didn’t do so much! Hope everything is okay though?

      Crossing my fingers miracles happen this month. *angel smiley*

  9. Amy McNulty says:

    Oh, those elves! If only they existed! (Actually, it’d be great if they did all the work writing for me, so I could focus on the fiction myself!)

    I hate struggling, too, but I’m glad we both kept pressing on this month. Best of luck in March, too!

  10. Writing the Breakout Novel is a great writing guide! I use notes I’ve taken from it every time I plan a new book.

    Really useful tips from Veronica Roth!

    Argh,the magical rules. I nearly always run into some kind of coincidence or contradiction. Hope you manage to fix it!

    Good luck this month! 🙂

  11. I can so relate to that magic rule dilemma! Very frustrating when the rules you create make plot things more difficult, lol!

    Thank you for that link to the Veronica Roth article – very interesting!

    Happy writing and good luck for next month 🙂

    • Haha LOL. So true. And gah, I’m already having some first act fatigue (I’ve rewritten that about three times for this second draft alone) which is why I won’t do anything about them until I’m done with my third act.

      Thanks and good luck for next month too! 🙂

  12. hesthermay says:

    I love reading these progress reports. 🙂
    Good luck for next month!

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"Dreams can get you through anything."

-Cat York


Topics I Blog About

Writing progress


First Draft:

93210 / 90000 words. 104% done!

Second Draft:

40482 / 90000 words. 45% done!

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