Writing Progress: Week Ending July 9, 2011
I guess it was what’s turning into an average week for writing. The numbers:
Story of G:
- New Draft Wordcount: 1,455
- Background Notes Wordcount: 0
Book of M:
- Background Notes Wordcount: 514 words
Grand Total: 1,969 words
The previous week wasn’t particularly fabulous, on the writing front, so this week was an improvement. It doesn’t feel like much, when I’ve done weeks with three, four, five and more thousand words. And it’s not going t be enough to make any real progress towards long-term writing goals. If I want to complete a rough draft of “Book of M” in anything resembling a reasonable time, I’m going to have to do better, on average.
On the good news front, however… I put in a good wordcount on the short story, “Story of G”, which I intend to be my next submission to the Writers of the Future contest (assuming I can get it polished up and presentable). Right now, I’ve reached a point in the story where I’m excited about the direction I’ve set for it, and I feel pretty good about the words that are coming out. I’m really in the home stretch.
The progress bar, however, is a little misleading. I still have it reading that my target is 6,000 words for this story. That was my target. But I now believe it’s just a tiny bit unrealistic. My Dear Wife is not suprised – what, me, go long-winded? Perish the thought! Still, I know I’m nearing the end, and I’ve started writing the penultimate scene of the story. So I figure the real story, at least in rough draft, is going to come in close to 7,000 words rather than 6,000. Still, that’s not terribly bad compared to how many of my stories go. My last submission, “PFTETD”, was almost twice as long. (And that’s okay by me; it needed to be that long, I believe, to tell the story properly.) This will be a fairly quick read, I think, for something by yours truly. It helps that the story is predicated on a fairly simple idea, and a fairly simple twist ending.
I think I’m telegraphing that twist appropriately, as well. I only this week discovered for myself exactly what the penultimate scene needed to be, and it’s a bit that provides the last clue needed to put together the true ending of the story. (Remember, I don’t plot out short stories in quite the same level of detail as a novel; I had a vague outline of this in my head, but no hard-and-fast point-by-point.) I expect this week I’ll finish it off. At that point, well… you know the drill. I’ll go through for a first-pass edit, but I won’t make any major changes. Then I’ll need beta readers. Dear Wife gets first crack at it (she’s been asking when it’ll be done so she can read it). But I’ll want other opinions, of course. Once the feedback comes in, I’ll reassess the story, determine if I think it needs any major changes, and make them. Then I sleep on it for a few weeks, come back to it, and do one more revision. After that, presumably, if all goes according to plan, it’s off to the races!
“Book of M”, meanwhile, continued its slow pace of development. I worked on a sound-table for one of the languages in the story, so I could make sure I got the sound of the language right. And I’ve grown increasingly comfortable with the name I think I’ve chosen for the co-protagonist. I also made a few notes on a character that was suggested by Dear Wife. It was kind of a funny suggestion as we walked through a botanical garden over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. At first, I wasn’t sure how the character my wife had suggested could be fit into the world and story. But she had a thought that she shared on just that subject, and the more I thought on it, the more I realized that it could be a very good fit, both thematically and functionally within the story. I’ll put it this way: “Book of M” is partially inspired by the Steampunk genre, and I now have my “Gentleman Explorer“.
Well, that was my week in writing. How was yours?