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Writing Progress: Week Ending August 6, 2011

August 7, 2011

Honestly, it doesn’t seem like much, but I’m proud of my progress this week.:

Story of G:

  • New Draft Wordcount: 0 words 
  • Background Notes Wordcount: 0 words

Book of M:

  • Background Notes Wordcount: 2,210words

Grand Total: 2,210 words

It doesn’t seem like much, coming off a week having done double that.  But there were extenuating circumstances (again) this week.  Namely, I was sick.  For pretty much the whole week.  But hey, being sick doesn’t exactly give me a pass to miss work – it was a busy week there, with lots to do.  Consequently, I was already feeling pretty low on energy most of the week thanks to being sick, so by the time I got home from work each day I was just basically wiped out.  I had no energy, and I just couldn’t write.

Being sick basically ate up all of my writing days except one.  And yet on that one day I still managed to churn out over 2,000 words.  I impressed myself.  Doing that.  Most weeks I have two, three, or four active writing days.  If I could churn out 2,000 words for every active writing day, I’d be doing 4 to 8 thousand words a week.  That would go a long way to getting me where I want to go.

As it is, I really have to pick up the pace if I want to accomplish my long-term goal. 

I was talking with Dear Wife about my progress on writing up world history and background notes and so on, and she pointed out: “When you start doing something like this, sometimes you can just keep going until its done, even if there’s no real end in sight.”  She’s maybe kind of sort of right.  Her point was, maybe I should set a drop-dead date, after which I will switch to working mostly on actual draft.  We talked about it a little further, and settled on the week after Labor Day weekend.  That was when I would start working on “Book of M” in earnest.  That means I’ve really got to get cracking on the background details and outline and stuff, if I’m going to be ready to start within a month.

In that conversation, we also figured out what the timeline for finishing the “Book of M” looks like at my current pace.  I’ve figured on “Book of M” being approximately 125,000 words long – maybe a little longer maybe a little shorter.  Of course, both Dear Wife and I know that means it will actually be somewhat substantially longer  – Dear Wife suggested somewhere probably in the range of 175,000 words.  She’s probably right.  At 2,000 words per week, well… that means I’d likely be finishing “Book of M” in a year and 8 months from September.  That’s a lot longer than I would consider ideal.  If I could pump my word rate up to just 4,000 words, that would drop my time to completion to just 10 months from the actual start.  A lot more bearable.  And remember, that’s just to the completion of a rough, first draft.

So yeah… I need to do a lot more of these 2,000-word days, so I can have more frequent 4,000+ word weeks.

Now, how was your writing week?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2011 1:00 pm

    Hrm this week had a few interruptions but I made up for it yesterday. I hope to have another big writing day today as well. Hit 32k in the new novel, so it’s going pretty well! This is far faster than the previous novel. I’m practicing a new strategy for upping my writing efficiency and upping word counts within a time limit and it’s been working pretty well. I’ll probably blog about it later this week.

    Deadlines are good! I agree it’s a very good idea to set a drop dead date for world building, and also a target for completion. It helps to figure out your usual writing pace, taking into account breaks and interruptions. And, there’s no rush right now really 🙂

    • August 8, 2011 8:50 am

      32k, huh? That’s more than the sum total of all the background notes I’ve written for “Book of M” so far. Although I did also write an 8K short story, but still, my wordcount doesn’t come close to that, yet. That’s impressive, I think.

      • August 8, 2011 3:59 pm

        I’m surprised. I suppose there is a learning curve to this novel writing thing 😉 Maybe it doesn’t get easier overall (there will always be some new challenge that comes up), but other things get easier – in this case, the first draft. hehe

      • August 8, 2011 4:01 pm

        Well, I do hope that some aspects get easier over time – namely the wordcount productivity.

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