I recently came across this phrase:
I understand each character but the meaning was still lost on me. So I asked someone about this and they informed me that it is somewhat sarcastic reply as if one were to ask you: "how is that matter going..." and that it's meaning might be assessed as:
After some time I still haven't seen one thing happen.
I asked how do you determine the meaning and the response was that "I've heard similar phrase before".
So, just as in English it appears that there are many phrases which one can only know by understanding the back story. Please let me know if this interpretation is correct. I'm interested in learning additional Chinese metaphors if you'd like to share (either a new metaphor, different explanation of the phrase above, or source material where I can read more info about Chinese Metaphors).
Based on the answers below, I have revised my understanding of the metaphor to be:
"there's no sign of anything happening yet" ("八字沒見一撇", Section 9, baidu.com)
As mentioned I welcome any further answers to this question, especially ones that lead to discovery of more metaphors. I will use the information to further disambiguate metaphors, idioms, and proverbs (which are three types of common expressions that I am no tracking in my study of Chinese grammar). Thanks for the help in advance.