Writing Progress: Week Ending March 31, 2012

As last week, I’m running low on pithy opening lines:

Book of M:

  • Background Notes Wordcount: 506 words
  • First Draft Wordcount: 1,331words

Grand Total: 1,837 words

Near the beginning of the year, I’d set a goal of completing at least 2,000 words of first draft a week every week after finishing my outline, save for some number of weeks reserved for other projects.  This week I got close to doing 2,000 words total, but it’s now two weeks in a row that I have failed to cross that mark – and I don’t have any major real-world projects that would be eating up that time.

So, that’s disappointing.

But still, I made some decent progress on the second chapter of the book.  So far, both chapters are coming together pretty much as I envisioned them – though with the usual sorts of surprises that come to play.  For example, here in the second chapter, as I wrote I found that the captain of a warship wanted to give a typically schmaltzy pre-battle speech commending his troops and their cause.  I hadn’t planned this, and it’s a bit too detailed to have a remark in my outline notes.  But it felt right in the moment.  I found this was an excellent place to add in some references to the backstory of the fashion “We remember when they did ‘X’ {a bad thing}, and that is why we are very soon going to engage them in battle!” where “X” stands in for some relevant backstory.  I think it worked pretty well, but I’m still concerned that it’s too much (too much schmaltz, too much cliche, or too much backstory info-dump style).  Only readers can tell, I think.

I also did a bit of background notes this week – the first week that’s happened since I finished the outline.  I knew beforehand that my background notes were not complete, and that I would want to come back and fill them in as I wrote.  This week, that came up because in some of that backstory I dropped some references to the religions and mythologies of this world – but I had not codified very much about those religions or mythologies yet in my notes.  Considering that religion is one of the dominant themes of this story, that’s probably a significant oversight.  So I started jotting down a few things about the religions of the different people, just to get it down.  I’ve quite a bit more to do on that, though, so I expect to see a little more wordcount this week in the “background notes” category.  Still, my main focus is in pressing ahead on the actual first draft.

So that was my week.  How was yours?