Writing Progress: Week Ending June 23, 2012
They call me the come-back kid:
Book of M:
- Background Notes Wordcount: 0 words
- First Draft Wordcount: 2,701 words
Grand Total: 2,701 words
I met my goal and with plenty to spare! Yeah! Although, this comes with a very significant caveat: I expect this to be the last fully on-goal week, wordcount-wise, for the next three or four weeks. The present week might get close. Next week I fully expect to wrap up with 0 words or close thereto. The two weeks after that will depend on how things with Phase III of our Home Project go, but regardless the Home Project is going to absorb a lot of time starting in about two weeks.
Anyway, for today, I have cause to be proud.
I wrapped up this past week by wrapping up the fifth chapter of the book and starting on the sixth. I’m also waffling, now, about whether I want Chapter 6 to be the last chapter of “Part I” of the book, or the first chapter of “Part II”. I haven’t decided, yet, where I want it on the dividing line. But the line is in there. I expect there to be 5 to 7 “parts” in the book, overall.
The parts won’t all be the same size, I think. Some will be longer than others. Regardless of where I draw the line between “Part I” and “Part II” I expect Part II to be shorter – probably the shortest “Part” in the book, actually. “Part I” introduces the protagonist and her world. “Part II” is more transitional: it takes the Protagonist out of her old world and pulls her into a new one. Once she’s fully introduced to her new world, “Part II” ends.
At this point, though, I do feel confident that the target measure for the novel’s length is a little on the short side compared to where I think I’ll actually come in at. I’d been using 125,000 words in the progress bar here on the site. But I’m a little more sure now that 175,000 words is a more realistic target, and I think that’s actually about the right length for this particular story, too. So whereas last week the progress bar had me at almost 14% complete, the progress bar took a little step back to 11.5%. I’ll be using the 175,000-word target going forward. (Unless something pops up to make me think that’s not the right length.)
One thing that’s been interesting so far in this has been the question of Chapter and Part names. I’m writing this on a scene-by-scene basis, and I’m naming each scene as I go, but I’ve given the scenes purely descriptive names: they tell what’s going to happen in the scene, or who it focuses on. As I write, I’ve kept track of which scenes belong to which chapters and parts. But I’ve been less worried about the chapter names. Which has been great, because I’ve allowed my mind to dwell on different possible names on a post hoc basis. At this point, Part I and chapters 1 through 5 all have names that I think really work. I have a name for Part II as well, but no name for Chapter 6. And I’m okay with writing Chapter 6 without a name, because the three scenes that so far comprise Chapter 6 each have names (each is named for the viewpoint character of that scene). A dozen years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do this: I’d be stuck on Chapter 6 until I had a name for it.
Another thing about getting this far, and passing the 20,000-word threshold: I’m getting that “I hope readers like it” anxiety, and I’m really anxious to get a first opinion. This is paired with the “I don’t want to get a reader opinion until I have written enough for that opinion to mean something” anxiety, and the lesser-twin “What if someone read this and really liked it, and wanted more, but I don’t have more yet to give?” fear. So, yeah, lots of reader-related anxieties going around. I’ll just have to work through this, of course. So far not even Dear Wife has read anything of this, yet (although she has the option, at her discretion, of reading what I’ve read at any time of her choosing). And I haven’t decided yet how to resolve the tension between these competing anxieties.
Anyway, that’s how writing has been for me. How was your week?