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Writing Progress: Week Ending August 13, 2011

August 14, 2011

Not a bad week for wordcount.  Nope, not bad at all:

Story of G:

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

Book of M:

  • Background Notes Wordcount: 3,973 words

Grand Total: 3,973 words

I lost one writing day this week to one of those occassional thunderstorms we’ve been getting hit with periodically this summer – and the attendant power outage.  The storms never seem to give us enough water – we’re still in a drought – but it seems like every one of them knocks out the power this year.  It wasn’t like that the last couple years.

Regardless, days actually spent writing were fairly productive.  Not quite as productive as the one day last week, individually, but collectively moreso. 

I’m grateful for that, but it’s still not enough.  I realize I’m too deep in the hole to catch up, now.  I’ve set a deadline of the first week after Labor Day to switch from mostly background writing to mostly first draft writing.  But at the pace I’m going, even if I’m going faster, there’s just no way I can have everything done that I want done.

I’ve been writing the history of this world.  I believe that history is largely relevant to the overall plot of the novel.  But as I write it and as I do bits and pieces of research here and there (referring back to real-world for that all-important verisimilitude), I’m finding that the history of this world is far more complex than I originally bargained for.  Kingdoms and Empires and Grand Republics rise and fall.  Secret organizations attempt to direct the fate of nations.  Religions clash.  And I’m still hundreds of years from the time of the start of the story proper.  I’ve finished three sections out of roughly nine sections of history.

I think, maybe, I need to reexamine the situation and decide which elements are really the most crucial historical and background elements for the plot of this novel and focus in on those, and leave out a lot of the detail I’ve been creating.  I want some of that detail, and I can have it, but if I’m going to meet my deadline I have to work on only the most important parts for now… and come back to these other parts later, maybe during breaks in writing the first draft of the main narrative.

Next week, I need to get back to “Story of G”.  I’ve got some ideas on how to go about revising it, thanks to some of the feedback I’ve gotten so far.  I’m excited for that, too – although of course it means taking time away from working on background notes for “Book of M”, putting me further in a hole there.  But I’ve got a sort of deadline for “Story of G”, too, that I want to meet.

And, of course… you know, there’s life still going on.  It happens.  And sometimes you’ve got to be there for that.  And sometimes, there are just other things you have to do.  Sometimes it’s enough to make your head spin.  Sometimes, I need to just take a step back and breathe and say:  “The deadline is a fiction.  Something else is more important right now.  You’re making progress in the writing.  So, don’t sweat it.”  I want to write, and often I’d rather be writing.  But other things have to be done, too.

How was your writing week?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2011 3:32 am

    “Kingdoms and Empires and Grand Republics rise and fall. Secret organizations attempt to direct the fate of nations. Religions clash.”

    The “secret organizations” got me especially excited, hehe. Secrets are, naturally, intriguing.

    As for my week…oy, progressing slowly but surely. I’m not getting as much done as I’d like to (only got through about 6,700 words this week of spiffed up material when I’d like to be closer to 10K), but I am very pleased with what I do have down as “finished” words on the page for this week; I feel I could leave them alone and be okay with that, which is big for a perfectionist, haha, and has ultimately been my goal throughout this whole editing stage. (Doesn’t always happen, though; then I have to push myself to keep going anyway. Grrr.)

    • August 15, 2011 10:32 am

      I think that seems like a comfortable amount of progress, myself. I know you’re reading and reviewing words, but I know that’s not generally particularly easy. And that feeling of accomplishment is well worth it. So kudos on that. As for the “secret organizations”, what I’m writing right now is the history… so the organizations as written won’t appear in the actual manuscript. I’m covering many centuries of the past. That said, as I write this history, I feel like there’s a link between the organizations of the past and those of the present, and I can see where this is trending. The secret organizations of the novel’s present are undoubtedly descended from these secret organizations of the past.

  2. August 15, 2011 3:07 pm

    Ahh always interesting to see how you go about your world building. The fact that you’re still hundreds of years away from your main story, sounds like there’s a very rich history involved.

    Writing progress? About 3800 new words for me. Life gets in the way but that’s ok 🙂 Living is important too. I am, however, chomping at the bit to get a big word count this week. 10 chapters in now… the ball is rolling!

    • August 15, 2011 3:31 pm

      Well… funny thing… it didn’t start as a deep and rich history. There was definitely a history there – that was part of the initial story idea. But I only knew the most immediate details, stuff like: Nation X and Nation Y were at war over insufficient resource Z, with consequences of alpha, beta and gamma. I didn’t even know the names of Nation X or Y. So all of the history I’ve been writing so far has been part of the discovery, for me, of how Nation X and Nation Y came to be in conflict with each other… a conflict, which, as it turns out, was inevitable from the time of the earliest foundations of these nations. From there, I would move on to the history of the actual conflict, and then to the aftermath. It’s in the aftermath that my story is set. But it looks like I’ll have to switch my gears several hundred years short and focus more on the worldbuilding of the immediate context of the story (i.e. the aforementioned aftermath of the war, and the characters and world as it now stands) and come back to the history as time permits. I’d rather work forwards from the beginning… but if I’m going to meet my deadline I may not have that luxury.

  3. August 16, 2011 8:03 pm

    Have not written any new prose in a week. I am currently editing two distinct novellas, one for an anthology and the other as a standalone contemporary/historical fantasy. The first draft of the former has been submitted for group editing and the nth draft of the latter is in the hands of beta readers.

    I find the gap immediately after finishing a draft like quicksand where I want to stay in editing mode rather than move on to another fresh project.

    • August 17, 2011 8:40 am

      The first is for the self-pubbed group anthology you’re working with, right? But hey, when you’ve got two big projects in the editing stage like this, that’s plenty of writing work going on. Myself, though… when I’m done with a project, I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble moving on to the next – I’ve got a pretty healthy back-log of writing ideas I want to work on.


  1. Writing Progress: Week Ending August 20, 2011 « The Undiscovered Author

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