#WIPMarathon Report 7!

9

August 30, 2014 by Ifeoma Dennis

Our lucky 7th wipmarathon report! Whew! Doesn’t time just fly by?
Can I say this also reminds me that I’ve been working on my novel for at least the past seven months (in reality, it’s getting to two years now) and still not close to finishing. Which is fun.

Not.

 

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:
65 680 words and still working on my first chapter.

 

Current report WC + CC/ SC:
67 102 words and done with my new first chapter. Not much, but I am so glad I am done with that chapter! At least, *coughs* for now.

 

WIP Issues This Month:
My number one problem this month was figuring out my ending to write my beginning. Not sure it makes sense but I wanted my climax to be something my heroine has to deal with by her own powers, and I had to show those powers from the beginning. I love Cassandra Clare’s books as everyone knows, and I like how most times, her climax has to do with a tiny ignored power of the protagonist. I know this strategy of hers, but it never ceases to surprise me when it happens!

So I was in a stalemate with my WIP for more than two-third of the month, due to lack of ideas of how to deal with said climax. Or lack of trying.

The other issue I had this month was feeling my WIP was derivative and unoriginal…*multiple headdesk*

 
Four things I learned this month while writing:

  1. Most WIP problems can be solved by just devoting some time to brain storming. Problem is, are you willing to devote that time?
  2. About brainstorming, when all has failed, try brainstorming out loud. Thanks, Mandy, for the tip!
  3. When you lack inspiration, try a trip to Barnes and Noble!
  4. Almost everything is derivative, I guess, (or maybe I’m just trying to console myself but I read TV tropes sometimes and I go all GAHHH, YOU’RE TELLING ME EVEN THIS IS A TROPE?) so what you have to do is figure out what parts your novel is derivative and try to change them. Your novel might end up being derivative of something else again, but you rinse and repeat until you feel it’s original enough. Or until you read another TV trope or novel that sounds like yours. *headdesk*
  5. Bonus tip: I knew this already but it bears repeating, no heroes are going to fall out of Marvel Comics to write your WIP for you.

 

What distracted me this month while writing:

Myself? Chicago?

I’ve been settling into Chicago and making new friends and what with all the scary stories I hear about this being the beautiful summer time when all the fun things are happening and how the winter is dreary, there are just so many things to do and see when I’m not studying. For related reasons, I’ve not also been on social media as I wanted too, and I have a lot of blog posts to catch up and read, and even my own blog comments to reply…which is really pathetic. My dear wipmarathon friends, please forgive me for that.

 

Goal for next month:

I’m preparing for exams…yes, yes, I’ve been saying this for a long time, but this time I will soon set a date, so I will be studying when I’m not doing my rotations which means I’ll keep my goal for next month to 3K. Low, but in my current state of mind, it seems like a mountain to me.

Also, I have a goal to cut down on social engagements next month. Not because I don’t like my new friends (I really do!), but because of said exams. I mean, I’ll still have something social to do once or twice a week (because it’s Chicago and nice friends are nice!), but I’ll try to keep the hours short.

 
Last 200 words:

It’s spoiler territory, so I don’t know…okay, here are my very last few tens of words from chapter one. Also, I don’t really know if this chapter is working, and if the backstory hinted on is necessary, but I don’t want to bother my CPs until I finish my novel since I change previous scenes a lot as I write.

“I can’t see how he has anything to do with it. Except he destroyed his own people, which he didn’t.” Then she wanted to bite her tongue because she just admitted off-handedly she knew about him, which also meant she just admitted she knew about all the evil he perpetuated before he died.

“He destroyed his own people. But that is a story for another day. But you have to be careful, Pladdia. If you have nothing to do with this disease destroying my people, as I believe you do not, then whoever has something to do with it is very upset with you for healing us, and they will be coming for you.”

Pladdia wanted to wave it off as plain paranoia but somehow, this warning made her very much afraid.

 

How did everyone did this month? I’ve been catching snippets of amazingness and high word counts on Twitter!
P.S: I wouldn’t mind said amazingness and high word counts transferred to me! 😉

 

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9 thoughts on “#WIPMarathon Report 7!

  1. Can I just say you amaze me? You just get out there and DO and make new friends so quickly, and look like you’re having an absolute BLAST in Chicago — and at the same exact time, studying and writing a novel! How you do it, I don’t know, but I’m so impressed and inspired 🙂

    I’ve skimmed over TV tropes before, but I just had another look since you mentioned it and HOLY CROW. I’m almost afraid. Everything that could ever be seems to be listed there! I’m sort of frightened of it… I think there’s got to be a happy balance between trying to stay away from the obvious plot devices, and just writing what you’d personally like to read. Because as you say, everything is derivative of something else. It really is about putting our own spin on it.

    That said, it sort of frightens me that no matter how well read (or not!) I am, I could spend a lifetime studying what’s already been done and still feel like I can’t come up with anything new. That’s a very negative thought I’m going to try to get rid of, somehow… 😉

    Good luck with September! (How is it September already?!? Well, tomorrow??)

    Hugs xxx

  2. Jodi says:

    Okay Ifeoma, I really need to catch up on life. Because I thought you were VISITING Chicago, not permanently moving there. And I’m sure this already came about, and somehow I missed it or forgot, but WOW, you’re living in Chicago! That’s incredible! I once lived about an hour outside of Chicago for 18 months, but then moved back to California. If you were going to move to the Continental U.S., couldn’t you have chosen a place closer to ME?? 😉

    Sorry, none of that was WIP-related. I totally get that feeling…the one where you think your WIP is derivative and unoriginal. I feel like no matter what I write, someone has already written it, and probably better! That kind of self-doubt can be crippling, and I have to keep reminding myself that EVERY writer feels like this, and really, NO idea is original. It’s more about how you mesh and present your ideas that creates an original overall piece.

    Good luck reaching your 3K goal for September!

  3. amandashayne says:

    I agree about everything being derivative. Even if we don’t ever realize it (though chances are we will, either on our own or when someone else points it out to us). But that’s why we work to make the story itself our own. And you know what? We haven’t been writing THAT long, relatively. I mean, I’m willing to bet that when we’re 70-year-old seasoned writers, our work will be far less derivative than what we’re churning out now. And that’s okay. 🙂

    I love your spoiler-territory excerpt! I can’t wait to read the whole thing!

  4. Yael Itamar says:

    I’m so glad you’re having fun in Chicago. The hard thing about being a writer/student is that you spend so much time by yourself that it starts to feel like you’re not living anymore, but as writers, we also need to live and breathe and have fun. A big fear of mine is waking up and realizing that my characters have more of a life than I do.

    Don’t worry too much about derivative. If the characters feel real enough, and I’m sufficiently immersed in their lives, I barely notice that I’ve seen this plotline before.

  5. Amy McNulty says:

    I think you’re overthinking the derivative thing–as long as there are some new twists, people will want to read it! I can’t think of a work of fiction that isn’t at least a little derivative. And focusing too much on that before your draft is done can slow you down–worry about that in editing! 😉

    Yay, welcome to the Chicago area! 🙂 Ha ha, and our extreme winters. Two winters ago was pretty mild (it happens), but last winter was one of our worst ever and the Farmer’s Almanac said we were in for an even worse one this year…? *headdesk* Chicago is fun! 🙂 I’m going to try to go to the ALA Midwinter convention there in January (if the snow doesn’t stop me)–you should go, too! It’s not just for librarians.

  6. “I knew this already but it bears repeating, no heroes are going to fall out of Marvel Comics to write your WIP for you.”

    Aw shucks. I was hoping for Captain America 😉 Haha.

    Hey– exams are important! If it cuts into writing time for a little bit longer, it does. But then you can write all the words after! And I’ve been working on my WIP for just as long. Don’t let the length of time you’ve spent on a project discourage you. It’s just going to be that much more awesome for the time you take, that’s all 🙂

    Woo, Chicago! I hope you’re having fun out there!

    I need to read the Cassie Clare books so bad… haha. I’m so behind on all things YA that I’m basing my YA TBR list off of: movie’s coming out? Read that first. LOL.

  7. Brainstorming is the best! I tend to walk around my apartment and talk to myself out loud much to the amusement of my dog – but he’s a good listener so it works 😉

    As for works being derivative – I think the trick is finding a fresh way of presenting the trope. Tropes exist because they work and readers like them as long as they’re delivered in an original way.

    As for the excerpt – that last line is a great hook!

    Good luck with exams, Chicago and all things writerly next month! 🙂

  8. krystal jane says:

    Dude, for real, brainstorming is like, magical. 🙂

    The windy city…sounds like you’re having a great time! Best of luck with everything you have to juggle next month. You can do it. ^_^

    I totally understand the freaking out over things in your plot and wondering how your story is going to stick out. One thing I remind myself, when I’m having a good day, is that I’m amazing and no other story on the planet has me behind it. And when I’m having a bad day, well it’s still me, and I’m not weird for no reason. Lol! Your story will stick out because it’s you standing behind it, and you’re the only one who can write it like that. ^_^

  9. I LOVE the way Cassie Clare writes her plot twists! *writer envy* And yes, brainstorming (or thinking time) is the best way to solve most plot problems (this month, I finally found the solution to a plot hole in the MS I finished 3 months ago…when I was thinking of something completely different. Odd how that happens!).

    Glad to hear you’re having a great time in Chicago! ^_^ Here’s hoping for some high word counts next month!

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