WIPMarathon Report #2


March 29, 2014 by Ifeoma Dennis

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

48 365 words and 19 chapters almost completed!


Current report WC + CC/ SC:

*sigh* 19 036 words and 8 chapters in. *runs inside closet*


WIP Issues This Month:

It’s… complicated. But I hope what I’m about to say would make some sense.

So…finished my second act, and was about to plunge into my third when I had this nasty feeling that won’t go away.

I know that probably every plot has been written before, but my muse kept telling me, “your story’s turning slowly into a softer Hunger Games.  I know it makes the stakes clearer but see, this wasn’t our plan. This wasn’t what you outlined the very first time you started writing this novel. I…” it threw its hands up in the air, “don’t know what to make of this anymore.”

So I thought about it for a day and then, when I decided, I tweeted this:

And that:


Except I thought the rewrites wouldn’t take that long. It wasn’t that I was scraping everything, except I ended up scraping almost everything.

So right now, I’m nearing the end of my first act. Two more scenes to goooo! 🙂


Four things I learned this month while writing:

1. Writing is a labor of love.

2. If you rewrite the story you thought would be The Next Big Thing often enough, your faith in yourself and it might start declining.

3. When your faith starts declining, if you’re lucky, there’d come a plot twist that’d make you fall in love with your story again. Like tonight:


4. You know you love your WIP when you lose count of the draft you’re writing. And there’s a thin line between being in love and being foolish, so keeping fingers crossed I haven’t stepped over to that dark side (okay, not sure if this is a lesson).

What distracted me this month while writing:

Trying to find inspiration. Fighting the sinking feeling that my WIP sucks. Brainstorming how my new plot would tie in to the theme (which is something that’s not changed). But you wouldn’t call that distraction, per se.


Goal for next month:

Head-in-the-clouds goal:

Finish this WIP. I’ve outlined everything, so what’s stopping me? Right? 😀


Down-to-earth goal:

Write my second AND third acts. Okay, half of my third act.


Last 200 words:

Not up to 200 words but it’s the new first paragraph of my WIP. I don’t think I’ve ever shared any firsts before, so here’s a first. 😀


Pladdia threw her ring into the Smaller River of Healing. It rode on the waves for a while, before the river gobbled it up. She nodded, satisfied. Magic had kept the river flowing even when the rest of the city was all frozen up. An ancient, unstable magic.

She turned to give the Sunnian suffering from the strange disease the go-ahead to follow her, only to see him shivering. Poor guy was probably daunted by the fact that they were smack-dab in the city center.

“Don’t worry, they’re too in their heads to be watching.”


How did everyone do this month? *BETTER THAN I DID, I HOPE*




19 thoughts on “WIPMarathon Report #2

  1. Cheyenne says:

    It’s such a roller-coaster, isn’t it? Emotional up after emotional down, but I’m so glad you’re uncovering the changes you want for your story and are facing them head-on! And I love the opening and agree with Amanda — it has an epic, intriguing aura to it that makes me feel this is something big 🙂 It sounds like it was a tough but invaluable month. Here’s to April! 🙂

    • Awww thank you so so much!!
      I hope I pull it off. I’m definitely more conscious of everything now, you know, I try not to operate with the “mess it up, fix later” mindset, especially since it’s my second (actually my third draft of the second draft) draft. If that makes sense! 😉

  2. Wow Ify. I mean, seriously, WOW. The thing is, most writers get so far into their MS that they feel pot-committed–that is, they’ve already invested too much blood/sweat/tears on THIS version of their story, there’s just no way they can go back and start fresh, even when their gut is telling them “This isn’t what I want.” What you did not only took a lot of self-reflection and objectivity, but was downright BRAVE. *applauds you and then hugs you*

    As usual, I love the mystique of your excerpt. Every time you post a piece of your story, I get a tiny peek of the world your building and I just want to dive into the whole thing.

    • *you’re (had to do it)

      • Thanks, Jodi! *tackles hugs*

        It was super daunting at first, and it helped me realize the true meaning of “kill your darlings”. I had to change the villain (and a bit of the stakes), which did not look like hard work at first, until I went in. Haha.They’re your darlings, all the beautiful turns of phrases, all the scenes you spent hours and days and weeks working, all of them. I still kept three or four scenes in, but I had to work on those ones to reflect the new changes.

        Keeping fingers crossed I won’t have to murder these new ones again! 😉

  3. amandashayne says:

    “You know you love your WIP when you lose count of the draft you’re writing.” SO MUCH YES. How about we stop counting drafts altogether? 🙂

    Your first paragraph is so good, Ify. It really shows how much work you’ve put into the right opening. It feels to me like I just started a really good book, and I can’t wait to keep reading!

  4. Yael Itamar says:

    This perfectly describes every single one of my feelings about writing.

  5. Amy McNulty says:

    ;-; Oh no! I saw the previous/current word count and my jaw dropped… But then I read the rest, and you know, it makes sense. 😀 If you’re more confident in the story now, this is the best direction to take. And you did it so quickly! I’m too stubborn. Like I aim to finish a first draft of everything and think “I’ll fix it later,” but what that means is I have TWO manuscripts over 50,000 words I just didn’t finish… Now 1 1/2 years after putting aside one, I started figuring out how to fix it–and it involved pretty much rewriting it after the 2nd chapter, lol. But I needed that time off to “see” that.

    • It’s different strokes for different folks, I guess! 😀 Wish I could have waited till I was done with this current draft before rewriting, but I had a very nagging inner editor. And when it nags, there’s no satisfaction coming from writing the current chapters.
      Rewriting your work for the 50th time is daunting, and almost monotonous, but at least, I’m getting that psychological satisfaction out of it!

  6. Sometimes it’s hard to balance what your instinct tells you with the need to move forward and finish a draft! This is coming from someone who took ten years to write her first book (which went through about 12 incarnations…). 😛 But your writing most definitely doesn’t suck! 🙂

    • OMG ten years!! *hides while the earth quakes*
      But you got past that and now you write so much in a year! ❤ Hope I get there too someday! Right now it's so inconceivable that I can even relate with GRR Martin. Writing books is hard. For people like us. 😉

      Thanks! Glad you liked it!

  7. krystal jane says:

    *bangs on closet* Girl fries, if you don’t stop starting over…Lol! I know it’s tempting, I know it is. And I say this coming from someone who spent the better part of my available drafting time this month editing. *sigh* We all want our stories to be perfect and the best they can be. And we do that by doing our best, cause we can’t really do any better than that. It gets to a point where we have to force ourselves to stop before we wear ourselves out. I understand though. I suffer from a bit of perfectionitis myself. 😉 Which is why I can’t look at my high fantasy right now. I am clearly missing the skills needed to tackle that right now and if I have to rewrite that thing one more time my new address will lead people to my new padded room at the nearest loony bin.

    Writing is so much a labor of love. I often think I’m being foolish period, but the more I move in the right direction the softer that negative voice gets. 🙂

    Now the excerpt: Who’s watching who now?! *thumbs up* ^_^

    • Haha “perfectionitis” fits perfectly! It’s such a disease.

      But like you said, the more I move in the right direction, the happier I feel. Even if my word count isn’t moving. o_O

      And yes, you should definitely work on projects you love at the moment. Keeps you out of the loony bin!! I guess I would have torn my hair out or something if I didn’t love this WIP. Hopefully, no more rewrites until I get to the end!

      Thanks! ❤

  8. Jayme says:

    It takes real guts to scrap so much and start over, but if your 200 are any indication it was worth it! Can’t wait to read more. 🙂

  9. Your story does not suck! Sometimes you just need to force yourself to move on and stop rewriting/reworking earlier scenes until you have a complete draft. I have a tendency to rewrite my beginnings over and over without even knowing how the story will end – not always the best plan.

    Really like the excerpt! See, this does NOT suck! Happy writing in April! 🙂

    • Yes! I told myself I won’t rewrite until I was done, but that would be harder work since the villains had changed in a way and I had to foreshadow that from the beginning. But maybe it really had to do with my inner editor pestering me not to ignore the acts. But I’m happier with where my draft is right now, I think.

      Yay! So happy you liked the excerpt. Thank you! ❤

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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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