#WIPMarathon Report#10

6

November 29, 2014 by Ifeoma Dennis

Another month bites the dust *sigh*

 

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

69 277 words with minor edits on my first chapter

 

Current report WC + CC/ SC:
My word count did the unimaginable! It went down drastically to 45k-ish. I summoned the strength to delete the parts that was just clogging up space that I didn’t need. And I fear I still have to delete more. (Everytime we go one step forward, we take five back, right? I know)

 

WIP Issues This Month:
Can I write a book as good as Harry Potter? I keep thinking there’s something missing from my plot, but I still can’t put my hands on it. Crossing fingers December would be  the month I’ll find out what that is.

 

Four things I learned this month while writing:

  1. The best clues are those that are obvious, but the writer fixes a distraction to the reader that our attention is diverted. Case in point, when Voldemort decides to kill Snape to obtain full control over the elder wand, but somehow forgets to finish him off. Harry Potter helps Snape die, making Harry Potter the owner of the elder wand, but this is not obvious to us because we are diverted by Snape’s memories with Lily Potter..
  2. When I lose inspiration, all it takes to bring it back is a good book or movie! So I should invest in those more, once I have more time on my hands.
  3. I shouldn’t be obsessed with my word count more than I am with the quality of my story. I’ve been holding on to my WC for so long, just because it gave me a false feeling of security. It’s better to get those extraneous parts out of the way and write a better story.

 

What distracted me this month while writing:
Adapting (including to the cold!).

 

Goal for next month:
Fix my plot once and for all, so I can get back to writing. Crossing fingers the muses would be co-operative!

 

Last 200 words:
Can I take a rain check, please?

 

How did you conquer November?!

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6 thoughts on “#WIPMarathon Report#10

  1. Jodi says:

    Shedding words is just as much progress as adding words–I think I know this better now than ever. I’m glad you were able to add so much quality to your story (by taking so much away)!

    Get warm soon Ifeoma!

  2. Yael Itamar says:

    Wow, I’m always impressed when people manage to cut a ton of stuff out of a manuscript. (And you’re right, you don’t need to worry too much about word count. I think 60,000-100,000 is considered the most acceptable range, though people have gotten away with higher or lower.)

    Also, sorry to be nit-picky, but Harry didn’t get the Elder Wand because he helped Snape die. Voldemort assumed that you have to kill someone to “win” the Elder Wand, but it turned out that you just had to take the wand from them. Draco disarmed Dumbledore before Snape killed him so Draco became the owner of the Elder Wand. Then, in Malfoy Manor, Harry pulled Draco’s wand away. Even though it wasn’t the actual Elder Wand that he pulled away, the act of disarming Draco made Harry the new owner of the Elder Wand. That’s how it’s explained in both the book and the movie.

  3. I struggle with these same thoughts, worried about cutting and shaping and editing when I should really focus on just getting the draft down, getting the idea seeds down, and then figuring out exactly how they’ll grow in later edits. It’s a tricky balance, but sometimes the stuff you think is just adding to the word count can trigger even just one bright spark of an idea that will be integral to the story later. I’m slowly learning to let the words flow in the first draft, and then figure out what to do with them later on 🙂 Awesome point about HP!

    And awesome point about a good book or movie — I used to watch loads of films (on my film degree) and it’s so easy to forget how much they can inspire you no matter what their genre or style is. I need to get back to it!

  4. Hope the muses are cooperative! Plot issues are the hardest to figure out (I’ve done a lot of running into metaphorical brick walls this month! :P).

    Good books always bring back my inspiration. Hope you get more time to enjoy reading! ^_^

  5. Amy McNulty says:

    It’s hard to resist comparing your writing to good works–but remember, you’re comparing an early draft to a finished project!

    I agree with Krystal–don’t let those thoughts stop you. Finish a draft and then go bac and worry about word count and editing. 🙂

  6. krystal jane says:

    Definitely don’t worry about word count. 🙂 I used to focus on it a lot, but it’s the quality that matters. If we do that, the word count will be there. I also used to worry if my stories are as good as something else, but again, the only thing I can focus on is my story. If I keep thinking about how good Hunger Games is while I’m writing, every time I look at my story it’s going to look like it sucks. And I do the same thing with my own writing, comparing my stories to each other, but that’s not fair to them. Or myself.

    It’s incredibly hard to finish something when we’re worried about the quality and foreshadowing and this thing or another thing. Trust me, you can fix anything in edits. But you have to let go of all that technical stuff so you can get the story down. I’ve been there, severely judging everything I write. It’s not fun. I spent 4 years on the same story once because I just kept rewriting it (by hand no less) over and over again. Four years! I stilted any progress I could make with my writing because I was trying to get everything right. I want every story I write to be amazing, but that’s just not going to happen. It feels terrifying, but it actually takes the pressure off once we realize we don’t have to be perfect, and in fact, we can’t.

    I hope December brings some answers your way! Don’t talk yourself out of it. Just write. 🙂

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