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Writing Progress: Week Ending January 7, 2012

January 9, 2012

By one measure, it wasn’t a particularly good week, but by another it was actually pretty decent:

Book of M:

  • Background Notes Wordcount: 917 words

Grand Total: 917 words

Compared to two weeks of writing time over the holidays yielding only a little more than 500 words, this is fabulous progress, more than double the rate of the previous two weeks.  Still, under ordinary circumstances I would consider anything less than 1,000 words in a week to be disappointing.  But since this was the first week back from the holidays, I’m actually pretty satisfied with this progress.

Most of that wordcount was a continuation of writing character profiles – specifically finishing up the background of the secondary protagonist.  His profile is a good example of why I find having the whole history of the world written prior to the start of the main body of the work to be important.  In his case, events that occurred more than 250 years earlier are directly relevant to his character and who is he.  Why and how could that be?  Well… you’ll just have to wait to find out. 😉

I’ve mostly finished the main profiles I feel I need to write before I can work on the novel.  Just one or two more.  Plus, I want to do a first person version of the backgrounds for both of the main protagonists, to help me find their voice.  Over the course of writing the book, I’ll write a handful of others, but most of them shouldn’t need to be nearly as detailed as the profiles for the main protagonists and villain characters.

Besides the character profiles, I also spent some time re-reading and fixing some things in my world-history document.  (Recall where I indicated this history was directly relevant to a particular character?)  As I reread some things, I discovered a some errors.  For instance, I discovered that one major city I had earlier indicated was located on the mainland, but later said it was on an island.  The latter mistake was driven by an erroneous memory of where I had scribbled a small dot on the hand-drawn map I created.  This is what I get for not consulting the map before writing about a location.  So I rewrote the latter bit of history and relocated the city to the mainland, where both my map and the earlier history entry had placed it.  Relocating the city to the mainland required a bit of rethinking of how the city was impacted by the Great War.

Anyway, there wasn’t a lot of new wordcount generated by the read-through and edit, so that impacted my productivity for the week.

But with most of the character profiles nearly done, the last big thing I need to finish to get this novel jump-started is the outline.   That outline is still stalled out at what I expect is the end of “Chapter 10” or thereabouts – about a quarter to a third of the way through the book.  I stopped working on the outline, temporarily, because I thought it was important to dig into my characters and figure them out – the story wasn’t going to go anywhere without the characters leading it there.  But I left the outline off with an unresolved worldbuilding question.

The answer to that question is important.  The answer will probably impact the direction of the plot.  But I haven’t nailed down that answer, yet.  I’ve thought about the question at least little almost every day since I switched gears to work on characters.  But I’ve only come up with a partial resolution.  Anyway, I wrote about the dilemma facing me with this question before, on a previous writing update.  So yeah, it’s been the better part of a month, and I still haven’t figured out the full answer to this plot question.  It eludes me, and that frustrates me.

I shall have to figure it out quickly, now.  I’ll be pushing myself back to outlining very soon.

How was your writing week?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2012 1:45 am

    Plotting and revising like mad. No new words at the moment, but that will be fixed on Wednesday 🙂

  2. January 10, 2012 11:22 am

    Hey I’d consider 917 a successful week! Only 83 words short, which is only a few sentences 😉

    On my side, back to writing. So far keeping up (mostly) to the 1k per day, and 2k Saturdays. I came up a bit short a couple times, but went over a couple times. As long as i finish one scene in a sitting I’m happy. This wouldn’t be possible if the novel wasn’t outlined this time. I think I’m going to try that method for shot stories too. I still haven’t found any time to work on short stories, and it’s looking more likely I might have to chop some time out of the novel writing time. I really need my day off.

    • January 10, 2012 11:51 am

      Yeah, I’m going to have to do the same thing if I want to write any short stories this year. I just don’t have the time to be a prolific short story writer and write a novel at the same time. I anticipate finishing maybe two short stories this year. That’s not a lot. But it’s what I think I can manage and maybe still finish this novel.

  3. January 10, 2012 11:51 pm

    Several blessedly productive days have brought me to my novel’s climax in better time than I’d expected. I anticipate that the next 1-3 days may go rather more slowly (as today did), since I’m at a point now where I have to give more careful attention to construction of the prose; the section’s emotion depends on it. (I want this part of the story to hit the reader as hard as it did me when first I saw it coming.
    It’ll be all be pretty much denouement after that, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to hope to have the draft ready for read-aloud with my writing buddy sometime next week. *fingers crossed, wood knocked, rams sacrificed…*

  4. January 11, 2012 7:16 pm

    Got some more sritten. I wrote the ending of Part One and the little interlude before Part Two. I’m anicipating three parts in all, or possibly four. All handwritten so far, but I just read that handwriting things exercises your brain and memory more than typing on the computer.

    • January 12, 2012 5:13 pm

      Handwriting. 🙂 I have a notebook for that… I’d been handwriting a lot of early worldbuilding and plotting notes for my current WIP, but since I’ve started gearing up heavily to work on my novel I’ve shifted mostly to typewritten work. I haven’t handwritten raw first draft in ages.

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  1. 2012 New Year’s Resolution: Finish That Novel! « Read, Write, Bliss

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