WIPMarathon Check-in #1!

Current word count:

My WIP is on 22,596 words at this very moment. About 12k of those words were written last month for Camp NaNo, which means I’ve written about 10k so far this month as part of the WIPmarathon. It’s not a huge amount, but considering my goal for the whole month is (was?) only 20k, I’m doing a lot better than I expected. I’m not a fast writer. I edit heavily as I go and I overthink a lot of silly things, from the overall structure all the way down to individual word choices. If I can keep up my current pace, I’ll get close to 30k by the end of the month, and that would be great.

WIP issues this week:

I feel like I’ve been doing quite a lot of world building but the world doesn’t feel built enough yet! I have a lot of ideas that I’ve fleshed out in my head, but I haven’t found appropriate places to flesh them out in the actual writing, so I feel like what I have is a bit patchy. I’m trying to move forward though instead of constantly going back, because that’s what I always do and it’s bad! Once I’ve finished draft 1.5, I’ll hopefully have a better understanding of what’s missing and where I should fill it in.

The other thing I’m finding tricky is managing the passing of time. Some days in the story seem to span a large chunks of writing for no reason, and then other days pass by in a paragraph. I need to move the story forward a few months without having to write all of it out. Knowing how much to write and how much to leave implied is something I struggle with. Practice makes perfect, I suppose.

What I learnt this week in writing:

I learnt a lot about some of my characters! They’re starting to develop their own personalities and make their own decisions and that makes me incredibly happy, even when they’re uncooperative. πŸ˜‰

What distracted me this week while writing:

Aside from my usual internet and book distractions, I’ve been feeling horribly homesick and more than a little bit sad about things (ie: being unemployed and living in a strange country without my own income and without my parents around to make me feel better) and some days I really struggle to work through that. My self-esteem takes a massive beating and I start losing focus on my work. On the bad days, I find social media to be a little bit overwhelming; actually, I find everything a little bit overwhelming and I just want to stay in bed and forget about it all, which is not good for the writing process! I don’t know how everyone else feels, but I really struggle to write while lying down. πŸ˜› I’m going to try getting out more next week, because being cooped up in the house all day really doesn’t help matters.

Last 200 words:

(200 on the dot! Had to chop it mid sentence! Context: It’s written in a bit of a flowery way because the characters have been smoking something magical and they’re slightly high. >_>)

…echoing and fading behind us. We leave the lights but we take the music with us. Jex is singing, skipping, I struggle to keep up with him. We run until we reach the outskirts and then we run a little more. There are no tree houses here. We choose a tree and we climb.

The forest is a beating heart. The air is warm and smooth and alive with swarms of glowflies that curl and stretch like shoals of phosphorescent fish. I wave my hand through them and they scatter and reform. Jex is ahead and he’s showering me with bark dust. It tickles my face. I reach one of the footholds where his climbing has scuffed the dry bark away. I can smell it. It smells like him. Woody, but also new. Like a sapling in turned soil. Crushed leaves. Unripe wickernuts.

My limbs feel slow and sore but it’s a good pain, the sort of pain you get from holding a cup of hot berry tea against the side of your face on a cold day. A rich burn. I feel like I’m climbing to stay level and the ground below is sinking into a dark, treacly void.

(For other WIPMarathon check-ins, here’s the linky tool!)


25 thoughts on “WIPMarathon Check-in #1!

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  1. *hugs* Some days, I get terribly homesick too and wish I was earning money already 😦
    Worldbuilding was also an issue for me this week, hopefully, we’ll learn and improve.
    Loved the voice in your excerpt too!

    1. Thanks, Ifeoma! *hugs* to you too! I guess it’s all part of growing up, I just hoped I would be all grown up by now! Haha.
      World building is tricky, but it’s good thing to work on and it’s great when it comes right. πŸ™‚

  2. Glad to hear you’re doing well meeting your goals!
    I struggle with feeling homesick, too, as all my family is in Ohio (except for my husband). And as far as the career thing goes–gah! I’ve yet to get a paying job in the field I want to work in. I have to constantly remind myself: just keep swimming, just keep swimming… πŸ™‚
    I love your excerpt so much! Even with just 200 words, you took me right into the story world.

    1. It’s so difficult! I’ve been trying to find work since I arrived in London in April, and so far I haven’t even been able to get an unpaid internship position. I’d love to get into publishing. Actually I’d love to do just about anything involving writing, but I think I’m overqualified and under-experienced and my lack of an EU passport definitely doesn’t help. Anyway, hopefully it sorts itself out soon!

      Thanks so much for the lovely comment! πŸ™‚

  3. I’m away from my family too. Apparently we should make a club of it!

    I’m living in Ohio, my family is all in MD (it’s about a 7 hour drive) I have my hubby though, and I do have a job, even though it’s barely over minimum wage. It’s been a few years here so I don’t feel the homesickness so much.

    Hope things get better for you. I’ve found the loneliness and homesickness comes in waves. You’ll be bad one week and the next be okay again. So keep your head up and it’ll get better.

    Good luck on your writing, your story sounds fun πŸ™‚

    1. I’m hoping the homesickness goes away soon! I can be a bit crippling at times! I’m in London and my family is in Cape Town, so it’s a far and very expensive flight between us and I doubt I’ll see them again this year. Just the thought makes me want to curl up and cry, but I guess it’s a learning experience and part of the growing up process too! Eeek!

      Thanks for the comment. I appreciate the support! :):)

  4. I know how it feels to want to just lay in bed all day. Just remember that everything always moves forward and soon enough you’ll feel better.
    I always think about how hard it must be to world build and you fantasy writers have it tough. I don’t know if I’d have the patience to do it. I love the excerpt. The slightly high story mode is a good one and I get the idea of the effect it has.

    1. Thanks. πŸ™‚ I’m sure you’re right! I have ups and downs and I’m hoping next week has a bit more in the way of ups! πŸ˜‰

      I feel the same about non-fantasy sometimes, to be honest! The first book I wrote (not published, just hidden away in the bowels of my computer) wasn’t fantasy and I constantly felt a weird sort of pressure to know exactly what I was talking about because I couldn’t fabricate anything. Haha. I guess each genre has its perks!

  5. I like the imagery in your excerpt. πŸ™‚
    I’m such a homebody. Sometimes I really want to move back in with my parents and then I remember that if I did I would become dishwasher and errand girl again. Lol!

    You’re making really good progress toward your goal! You’ll get the world building figured out. I’m always wanting to overdo it. But thankfully I’m developing an ear fot it and spotting congested areas is getting much better.
    Good luck!

    1. Thanks! Same here! Haha. If it wasn’t for my boyfriend who I’ve been with for five years now, I probably would still be living with my parents. I love my mom’s cooking!!!

      Sometimes I overdo the world building and sometimes I underdo it. Hoping to learn to strike a balance this month. πŸ™‚

      Thank youu!

  6. Wow, halfway done with your goal at the first check-in! Incredible! Hope you far exceed your goal in the end.

    Hope that writing cheers you up. ;-; And that you can call/email/text home a lot!

    I love the excerpt! The berry tea image was great to express the mc’s pain. (‘Cause yay, warmth and tea, even if it hurts!)

    1. Thanks! Definitely hoping to exceed that, especially after seeing how epic so many other writers’ goals are… I could use the challenge!

      I’m Skyping my parents tomorrow, so there’s that! It always helps. πŸ˜‰

      I’m a massive tea addict. The world that I’ve created doesn’t even feature coffee. Just tea. Lots and lots of tea. xD

    1. *hugs!* It’s gets easier right? Hehe.

      Wow, thanks for the offer! I really appreciate that! πŸ˜€ And likewise! I’ve never been a beta reader before, but I’d happy to give any input I can!

  7. Love the excerpt! I know what you mean about worldbuilding – I’ve been struggling to fit it into my WIP, too, and I have the same habit of going back and editing as I go along (I really ought to stop doing that!). I can sympathise with the employment situation – I graduated from university last month and it’s been tough trying to find paid work. I’ve been really missing everyone (I live about 200 miles away from my university friends and my boyfriend), and now I’m moving away for a placement (temporarily) so I’ll be on my own in a city I don’t know – a prospect that scares me to death! Not the same as living in another country, I know, but I can definitely sympathise! πŸ™‚

  8. Homesickness is the worst. Thanks for hanging out with us and writing. World building takes so. much. time. Don’t let it get you stuck. You can always fix it later. Keep up the great work! You’ve written so much!

  9. Congrats on your awesome word count! You’re already halfway to your goal! I loved your excerpt, it was beautifully written. I hope things get better for you soon πŸ™‚

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