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Writing Progress: Week Ending March 24, 2012

March 26, 2012

I just don’t have anything witty or pithy to say about this week past:

Book of M:

  • Background Notes Wordcount: 0 words
  • First Draft Wordcount: 650 words

Grand Total: 650 words

So, yeah.  Not a terribly good week, writing-wise.  I am not terribly surprised.  Last week was a really good one.  It often seems to me that good weeks are typically followed by less-good weeks.  That observation, in itself, is not particularly witty or pithy either.

I’ve got no real explanation for why I didn’t get much writing done this past week.  Little things here and there – no one significant thing reared it’s head to put a pause on writing.

Anyway, with last week’s work, I finished what I’d considered to be the first chapter of the book.  For those keeping score at home, that puts chapter one at a “finished” wordcount – albeit in first draft form – of about 4,300 words.  As I opined last week, this puts it on par with my general expectations for chapter length.

The upshot of all of this?  I’m handily smacking down the rate at which I wrote that novel-that-I’ve-been-writing-since-forever.  During the latter half of my college years and the first years after – some four years – I wrote about 24 chapters (out of a planned 35-40) of the last extent iteration of that book.  That’s an average of an approximately 4,250-word chapter every two months or so.  I’ve done that much in first draft, now, in the last three weeks.

So yes.  That’s something at least.  I may be slow.  But I’m doing myself one better.

How was your week, in writing and otherwise?

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2012 3:26 pm

    The week has been a good one… in large part due to this past weekend’s convention. As I read your words I am reminded of one of Michael Stackpole’s rules once writing begins – don’t worry about speed. Just remember that every word written in every stolen minute is one word closer to the end. I’m hoping to join you in writing soon. My attempted start brought more questions to light in my world that must be answered before I’m ready to begin. Thankfully, I was blessed with a timely resource yet again in Stackpole’s “21 days to a novel” workshop which has given a method and tools to deepen the understanding of my characters, plot and world.
    Anyway, congratulations on a week of writing and more words!

    • March 26, 2012 4:54 pm

      It might be a good rule, but I do worry about speed. Mainly because speed will affect one’s career prospects, I think. And my speed (i.e. slow) is not one that’s conducive to the having of a solid career in writing. At least not so far. So inasmuch as I see improvements in my speed over old benchmarks, that’s an encouraging thing, for me. In general, in life, one shouldn’t worry about things one can’t control. But still… axiomatic or not, I worry.

      • March 26, 2012 5:03 pm

        hehe, worry seems to come no matter what we do. I think all people have a propensity to it in the things we care about. In that way, it’s at least a good sign.

        That little thing you mentioned is the cool part he talked about. No matter how it goes, by doing you will get faster. Either by writing more words in a shorter period of time, or by writing better quality words that require less revision, but the beauty of all crafts is that we become more effective through practice. You’re on your way.

  2. March 27, 2012 8:11 am

    I had a pretty good week. I posted the beginning of Part Three of my current project (1,089 words). I have quite a bit of the rest of Part Three written, though this part may go slowly. This is when the actual crime occurs, and of course everything has to fit correctly.

    I’m still wrestling with one element in the story. There’s one character I’ve included who has a huge backstory (which has not yet been brought in), and I’m trying to decide if I want to go there. On one hand, it’s a bit off to the side from the main plot (and I am trying to keep this story pretty focused), but on the other hand there’s a pretty major theme emerging in the book overall that ties in very closely with the backstory of this one character.

    I expect I will bring it in. if only because she is one of my favorite characters. and her story has never really been told as it should be.

    • March 28, 2012 8:55 am

      I find it interesting – although I’m not super-familiar with the mystery genre per se – that you have the crime occurring so late into your story. I thought I understood that in most typical mysteries the crime occurs very near the beginning of the story.

      • March 28, 2012 11:57 am

        That’s generally true, but not always. Agatha Christie often took her time introducing her characters and setting the scene before the actual crime occurred, for example.

        Also, this is a mystery, but it’s also an adventure (as the subtitle says), and there has been some action and peril, leading up to the crime itself.

      • March 28, 2012 2:28 pm

        Yeah, like I said, I’m not exactly an expert in the mystery genre, and I don’t read many mysteries in general. But that makes sense.

  3. March 27, 2012 12:43 pm

    Having a finished first chapter is great! I know I get more peace of mind using scenes and chapters as “progress units” than word counts, heh.

    I have (finally) gotten back on the ball. I’ve reassessed the time allotted to me with the new job, accounting for my need to just chill and do mindless things, heh, and came up with a more reasonable, realistic goal to work towards. For now I’m aiming to a min. of 500 words in an hour/hour-and-a-half each day ’til the end of June. Some days, like yesterday, I can do much more than this and others I might do a bit less (depending on how problematic a scene was), but that’s the new goal.

    Apparently I’m not the only one in the household looking forward to the finished product, heh. I’ve got some accountability now–which, being as laid-back as I am, is good thing.

    • March 27, 2012 12:45 pm

      …and I forgot to subscribe to follow-up comments. There, we’re good now. :D

    • March 28, 2012 8:59 am

      I’ve had slumps like that – and worse – so I know it feels good to get back in the game. Welcome back! :) And yeah, I’ll agree with you that finishing a discreet unit – a chapter or a scene or a certain section of the book – is more psychologically satisfying than just wracking up a wordcount. It’s the way our minds work.

      • March 28, 2012 12:22 pm

        Well, we were all readers before we started writing. Scenes and chapters matter to readers (and word count doesn’t), so we were trained to think that way before we ever picked up a pen.

      • March 28, 2012 2:29 pm

        True.

  4. March 27, 2012 3:19 pm

    Looking back and seeing measurable improvement: Isn’t it a grand thing? Movin’ on up!

    *Finally* back to working on my novel, after delays of various legitimacy. In all honesty, I think I was partly kinda putting off my return becuase I was in the middle of one of those chapters that, for whatever reason or combo of reasons, was being really slow about getting written. But I forced myself over that hump yesterday, and completed another chapter today with no particular difficulty, so I think I may be back in business. Hallelujah!

  5. March 27, 2012 5:41 pm

    I’ve been finding that my writing output has been increasing since I switched to logging my word count every day in my Filofax and have made a commitment to doing three posts a week in my blog. You just have to keep it! :)

    You are doing okay with your novel. Don’t get discouraged. Just keep working on a little of it everyday you can.

    • March 28, 2012 9:19 am

      Giving yourself some accountability for your work does seem to help a lot of writers in getting more productive. For myself… I’m not discouraged about my productivity and writing at this stage. I’m just happy to be doing it at last (after several years absence from novel-writing). I know it’s not very good, and I know I’m not fast enough to sustain a genuine writing career. But right now I’m most interested in the story itself, and that keeps me going. The only thing that discourages me or frustrates me is not having enough time to write.

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