Writing Progress: Week Ending March 10, 2012

With the Home Project Phase I finally and fully in the rear-view mirror, it was a good week for writing:

Book of M:

  • Background Notes Wordcount: 1,743 words
  • First Draft Wordcount: 622 words

Grand Total: 2,365 words

As I posted last week, I finally finished the outline of my work-in-progress novel “Book of M”, and in the latter  half of last week I began the process of actually writing the book.  It took me a while to find my footing.  While I had an outline to work from, the opening scene itself wasn’t clearly delineated.  For a moment I almost thought I should write a detailed outline of the opening scene to help me get the story started but I quickly abandoned that idea.  I decided, instead, that the only choice was to jump in.  Consequently, whereas I knew generally what was supposed to happen, it took me a while to find my authorial voice again.  It’s been a while since I’ve written the first draft of anything.  (The last first draft I wrote was for “Story of G“, which was started over a year ago.)

But toward the end of the week I started to find my footing, and I’m feeling more comfortable with the voice already.  But man… I’ve got a long way to go. (Take a look-see over at that progress bar on the right.  That sliver of red is oh so very small.)

As for the finished outline: you can see that I put in a fair amount of wordcount on that.  Funny, though, because I was on the climactic scene of the story.  Interestingly enough, I found as I approached the end of the outline that my notes increased in detail as I worked to ensure that I had all the motivations of the different characters figured out.

For the most part, I’m satisfied with the direction I’ve chosen for this story.  It’s not as brilliant as I’d hoped it would be.  But I think I’ve got a solid footing for an entertaining, satisfying finale.  The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding.  I’ve finished writing up the recipe for this particular batch of pudding.  Now to cook up the real thing!

[ETA] All of this happy news notwithstanding, now Home Project Phase II looms near to view.  I expect that Dear Wife and I will be consumed by work related to Phase II sooner rather than later.  But, as Dear Wife has said, better that we get the work done now, and get it over with, than that we do it much later.

So, how was your week?

16 thoughts on “Writing Progress: Week Ending March 10, 2012

  1. Whoo hoo! Finally some first draft words 🙂 Small as the progress on the bar might be, it’s still progress, and now the book’s real!

    I had a decent week and my new routine’s been working out pretty well. I managed to get a lot more done aside from writing, though I still managed about 2500 words. One day I only managed 275, but most days I got in more than 500. It’s funny. My writing speed hasn’t changed at all… but its a lot less stressful / pleasurable to do it in smaller chunks.

    • Yes indeedy… at last there’s progress. 🙂 But the book isn’t quite real yet. Just the first part of the opening scene is real. … So.. you prefer writing in smaller chunks, or did I misread that? Interesting.

  2. First draft’s finally a go: Yeeha! Getting the book’s voice warmed up in the beginning can be one of the hardest parts; but now that you’ve started, things may become notably smoother.

    My own progress this week has been disappointing. Mental distractions (and, well, some easily-preventable sleep deprivation, which leads to a certain amount of laziness, if we’re being fully honest) continue to slow me down to maybe half of the daily word-count I prefer to aim for. Still, a little is better than none, and I’ve been fairly good about adding a bit everyday, so I’ll take that for what it is and try to do better in the week to come.

    Even once I get this side project finished, there will be another (hopefully brief) delay before I can return to my novel. A short story idea assaulted me last night and, as mentioned, I’ve already got enough mental distractions to deal with. In the name of decluttering, therefore, knocking the short out of the way takes the next spot on the agenda. Then back to you, my poor patient novel.

    • As a general rule, I think it’s good to have multiple creative projects to work on and occasionally switch between. I think it helps keep creativity on any given of those projects fresh. So if you’ve got some short stories, I think it’s often good to spend a little time with those. At least… that’s how I’ve personally felt about stuff like that in the past… I don’t have enough time to work on multiple writing projects these days, really.

  3. Sounds exciting! And yeah, getting back into the “flow” of your writing voice can be difficult when you haven’t used it in a while, though I think it’s fun finding your way through a scene for the first time. 🙂

    Wish I could say I’ve been making some notable progress…lol. On and off I’ve been working on an earlier chapter, which I was debating using–or rather labeling–as a prologue. I skipped it initially but having come back to it I realized just how important it could be for fully bringing readers into the fantastical side of the world I’ve created. (My first chapter actually has more of a psychological bent to it and very little of the fantasy element, which is usually what you want to see up front in a “fantasy” novel.) Since it’s set earlier in time from all the other chapters, I decided to make it a full chapter, just named and unnumbered like the others, which are both numbered and named. (Hope that works.)

    Only thing is there’s a lot of detail in it, more than most other chapters, and so it’s been challenging getting everything across in a non-infodumpish way and making it easily digestible for future readers without seeming cluttered and forced. Also, I want it to have a very cinematic feel, (especially the dialogue) as if the reader is the camera just over the main character’s shoulders and is following along as characters are moving through, involved by listening and watching from the most advantageous angle. (I think that comes from playing too many role-playing video games, heh–like Mass Effect 3, which was recently released and is a huge reason why I haven’t gotten much editing done. The game is simply amazing, despite all the fan gripes about the uber grim possible endings.)

    I should be able to finish it off by tomorrow, though, heh. Then it’s really time to move on.

    • I’ve read dozens of times that “Prologues” are out of favor… and yet I keep reading books with great and effective prologues. Take that how you will. Frankly, I think calling something chapter 1 or chapter 0 or not numbering and calling it or not calling it a prologue… it’s all just semantics. Sometimes, a story needs a scene that’s separate from the main body of the story in time, place, and/or character, in order to plant a seed that will bear fruit later in the story. Sometimes a story doesn’t. Myself… I’m not going to worry myself one way or another about what’s in or out of favor. I’m going to do what I think is best for the story. Regardless of whether we talk about a prologue, though, infodumping is a danger that’s difficult to work around. As for Mass Effect… I hear so many good things about it. Just another video game I’m not going to get to play any time soon, if ever. (I don’t even own a system that can play the Mass Effect games.) I could make a list of the games I want to play but can’t (for lack of time, money, relevant game system, etc.) and it would be quite a substantial list.

  4. It must be fun to finally start the writing part. Probably a good idea not to outline the opening scene but to dive in. Aly Hughes did a good post about how planning can become stalling: http://alyhugheswrites.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/planning-vs-stalling/

    I posted more of my current story. Part Two is up to 4,257 words, which is about where it should be. I’m starting to have a hazy idea about who Part Three should be about (each part is in third person limited of a different character). The tricky part is that there’s a minor character who I introduced in Part One who has a huge backstory, and I’m wondering now if I should bring that into the story to some extent.

    And Tiyana makes a very good point about first chapters. I’m thinking I’ll snag that for a blog post, unless she uses it first (and maybe even then…).

    • It has been great fun to be writing. And yeah, I realized in part that doing even more outline to get more detail on the opening scenes was really just stalling. Related to Tiyana’s comment and your thinking on the character’s backstory: that’s a tough nut to crack. I find it’s hard to figure out how much backstory to reveal and when is best to reveal it.

  5. Pingback: I Wrote Some Things! | The Undiscovered Author

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