WIPMarathon Check-In #3

Read more about the WIPMarathon here.
Other Check-In posts can be found here.

Last Word Count:


Current Word Count:

11202 (57k overall)

WIP Issues this week:

Oh the meandering. I’m at that point where I really don’t feel like I’m advancing anywhere. I’m just letting my characters have a chat and getting to know their backstory which is fun but it’s going to mean so much editing later on because so much of it will have to go.

What I learnt this week in writing: 

Don’t get distracted with “correct procedure” during a first draft. Grammar, adverbs, even plot holes…none of this can matter to me right now, otherwise I will never finish.

And I also learnt that I work much better with a reward system. Namely stickers. Here is my newly formed reward calendar:


What distracted me this week while writing:

Lego City once more but I finally hit 100% so that’s no longer an issue! I also met Neil Gaiman with fellow wipmarathon-er Laura on Sunday which was great. He had a road named after his latest book in my home town and there was an unveiling ceremony and then he did a talk, reading and signing in the evening. It was a long day and, being a very unsociable type of person, it took quite a bit of recovering for me but was totally worth it.

P1000668 P1000667

Last 200 words:

I’m going to be completely honest and say that I am really not happy with anything I have written in the last couple of days so I really didn’t want to post anything. BUT I know that many others have felt the same way and sucked it up so I present you this in all its unedited glory…

“Meaning we are dealing with forces greater than our capabilities and understanding. With things that ought not to be messed with. Your Steven has stumbled upon something somehow, something regarding the Trifect and to find the records you must seek, go North unto a trail so bleak. Beware the one who swore the pledge and lose two more beneath the edge.”

I stiffened, the jarring rhyme ringing in my ears, so unnatural in Carina’s voice, when I knew the words belonged to another. Paige knew it too, her hand instinctively going to the card she still had in her pocket. Steven’s card.

I was already looking for the exit when Carina laughed, not the musical laugh from before but something cold and mocking. “Sweet little Emily. Still playing explorer, I see. Well, good. You found the bookish fellow it seems but he made the mistake of sending you on this little detour. How unfortunate for him, I’m afraid he won’t be making it to your little rendezvous-”

She was cut off when Marlaya smacked her in the side of the head with a wrench. I stared wide-eyed between the two of them, Marlaya fuming and Carina nursing a cut on the side of her head, shocked into silence. “It’s not her!” I hissed, “it’s Steven talking through her. Somehow.”

“I don’t care,” she spat back. “Bloody magic, I’ve had enough of this shit.”


21 thoughts on “WIPMarathon Check-In #3

    • Catherine Benham says:

      He was really lovely. I was so lucky because he doesn’t tend to do photos at signings so it was great to catch him at the sign unveiling. He must have been exhausted at the signing, the talk started at 7:30 and I met him at about midnight.

      Nice to hear your intrigued. It’s the first fantasy I have written but I’m a big fan of the genre and it’s a lot of fun to work with.

  1. lauracrampton says:

    Ah Neil Gaiman made it into my post to (I know you’re totally surprised right :P) I’m loving those Marvel stickers. Urgh that first paragraph of your 200 words, why do I have to wait till December to read this?! Seriously!

    • Catherine Benham says:

      Woohoo for Neil Gaiman! And for Marvel stickers!

      Man, as soon as I realised I needed to write another rhyme I almost face-palmed. Why did I think that was a good running idea?! And yes…December…of course. 😛

    • Catherine Benham says:

      It’s good advice but really not easy to follow, especially if you’re like me and follow so many blogs and twitters and tumblrs with excellent writing advice that I make the mistake of reading.

      And thank you!

  2. krystal jane says:

    Very cool!

    I need a new reward system. I had one last year and then kind of forgot about it. They do work really well, don’t they? 🙂

    I love magic! Marlaya sounds like fun. ^_^

  3. Amy McNulty says:

    Congrats on the word count! Omg, I love your goal calendar. (X-Men!! And other Marvel superheroes, lol.)

    Sometimes it helps to get all that backstory down, even if you don’t wind up using it! Then you at least have a better picture of your characters.

    Another one who saw Neil Gaiman! Awesome!

    Ha, I was shocked when Marlaya used a wrench on someone!

    • Catherine Benham says:

      Haha, thanks!

      I agree about the backstory. I’m pretty sure it won’t be included in edits but it will be easier to drop elements of it into the general plot if I feel it’s relevant.

      Unlike some of my other characters, Marlaya is not proficient in the art of fighting. She will use what ever is at hand; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

  4. RaeChell says:

    I love using a reward system when I really have my writing routine going. I do things like buy new nail polish, and eat cookies, lol.

    Good luck this week.

    • Catherine Benham says:


      Every week at writing group I get an edible reward (the café we go to has seriously lush cakes!) but I wanted to set something up for the week that was less fattening, haha. Stickers seemed the logic choice.

  5. Ifeoma Dennis says:

    Your excerpt is so magical! And you have such a good way with words.
    Yes, I totally agree with you. Writing a first draft is for dumping all the words. Good writing is rewriting 😉

    • Catherine Benham says:

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you think so 🙂

      Definitely agreed. One of the main reasons I never got any words down was because I was just over-thinking everything. It was counter-productive and ultimately demotivating. This way means more editing later but at least I’ll HAVE something to edit.

  6. Eliza West says:

    I love your chart! It sounds like you have written A LOT since we started, which is awesome! You should be proud! *virtual sticker*

    • Catherine Benham says:

      Haha, thanks! I haven’t actually written a huge amount. My monthly goal was 15k and it looks like I should hit that OK. I had already written quite a lot before I started but I am pleased with the fact that I have been writing more frequently thanks to the marathon *wears virtual sticker proudly*

  7. Laurie says:

    Sorry for the late comment! Only getting through all the blogs now. THAT IS SO COOL THAT YOU GOT TO MEET NEIL GAIMAN. I am incredibly jealous! 😀

    I can relate to the meandering thing… My book is in the same place at the moment! Your excerpt is fantastic though! Great dialogue, great tension, super intriguing! It deserves a whole pack of Spiderman stickers, and then some! Well done. 🙂

    • Catherine Benham says:

      Not a problem at all!

      Thank you so much for the compliment, I’m really glad you liked it 😀 My chapters are quite often meandering but I’d rather have too much than not enough (she says now, ask me again when it comes to having to cut it all out!) I hope you too wade out of the meandering soon 🙂

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