Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week 6: 57 Chapters / 95,113 Words

Golly, another week? The time is flying by! I wrote 13,345 words this past week, which is slightly above the 12,500 I set as my general weekly goal. It was a successful week in terms of words written, but as I only completed 5 chapters, I only reached half my chapter goal of 10 chapters per week. Obviously, these were long chapters. At least I still met my word count goal!

As you will notice in the sidebar, I raised the total word count goal on the progress bar back up to 110k since it appears likely the novel will continue to run long as I finish the last, and most important, scenes. I added one chapter to the anticipated total, bringing that number to 83. It may yet climb higher as I take more space to bring to life various portions of the story.

Again, as in the past, the extra material is not the result of surprising new adventures my characters are leading me on, but is simply due to needing more space to really bring the scenes to life. It's important to immerse the Reader in the world of the story, in the events as they happen, so the Reader will be able to identify with the characters and feel the emotion of what is happening. I set a word count pace that is a bit fast, and slowing it down is definitely helping with the critical scenes I'm working on these days. When I reach the editing stage, I'll look for ways to consolidate some of this to reduce the number of chapters and/or word count. For now, I'm just getting it down in writing so I'll have what I need to work with later.

It's still a fun story. It's still fun to work with these characters. I really enjoy getting caught up in the story as I write it. However, the fatigue factor has definitely set in. My writing is more erratic now, in that I'm not writing seven days per week as before, with daily goals, but am working on some days and not on others and am writing more when I do write to make up for lost time. The days off are helping me through the fatigue issues.

The important thing is to keep a positive attitude and remember how I felt about this story earlier. It's truly special, and I love it and the characters and feel Readers will enjoy it as well. It's worth my time, and worth the effort.

The end is in sight, in terms of completing this first draft. Looks like it'll still take me 8 weeks instead of 6, but at least that's better than the 10 I originally gave myself.

Dealing with the peaks and valleys, and carrying on through it all,


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Week 5: 52 Chapters / 81,768 Words

This past week I made more progress, but only 8 chapters. I'm trying to write 10 at a minimum! I can take heart that two of the chapters were very long (about 8k words between them) and I think I'll break them up. To reflect this I added one more chapter to the total, bringing it up to 82 now. It might be 83, depending on how I divide up this material.

In every case where I've added chapters, it hasn't been due to unforeseen "extra" adventures, but the fact that I found I needed more words to express something I had already planned on conveying, or I decided to add back in a scene that I had originally planned then decided not to write. So, it's an adjustment to the amount of space that I need to tell the existing story, rather than any departure from the original story.

Anyhoo, considering I really wrote one (or two) extra chapters in what I produced this week, my weekly total is more like 9 or 10 chapters. Not too bad.

As the picture for this entry shows, it's a struggle! There is a definite sense of fatigue now. I've hammered out over 80,000 words in the space of 4 weeks of writing time, dispersed over 5 weeks. That's a lot to produce. It's definitely a very intense experience! But I'm hovering around 80% done now, so at least I can move forward knowing that it'll soon be over and then I can take another break ... before I begin the editing.

Hanging in there,


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Week 4: Took A Break!

Yes, I took some time off! It wasn't planned. The previous week I got only 4 to 4.5 hours of sleep per night for several nights in a row, and by last weekend I was exhausted. Also, after focusing so much on my writing and other work, I needed to catch up on family time. Then, this past week, other demands were unusually heavy, and I never got caught up with myself. As the days slipped away I kept thinking I'd catch back up the next day, but it just didn't happen.

So, I resigned myself to a week off ... and I enjoyed it! It was good to catch up on rest where I could and recharge my batteries. Sleep is vital for creativity, at least in my experience.

No bother. I'm getting back to work this week. Looking forward to finishing up this draft as quickly as possible. I'm already half caught up, with 5 more chapters finished, bringing the current total to 44 out of 81 (yes, I added one more chapter to the novel). The current word count, as reflected in the graphic in the sidebar, is 61,973, out of just over 100k (I adjusted the total to reflect the projection for 81 chapters).

I'll keep working, trying to catch up and make as much progress as I can this week. I just wrote a few very interesting scenes, and that always gives me a boost. Many more gems to come.

Wishing you progress with your own WIP, and a little time for yourself when you need it,


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Week 3: 39 Chapters / 51,287 Words

More steady progress this past week. One chapter ran seriously long, coming in around 3,000 words. It required significant editing to shorten it. Otherwise, the chapter lengths have been pretty much on target.

I'm approaching the half-way point of the novel. If I'm able to keep this pace up, then I should be done in about another three weeks, making a total of six weeks for the rough draft. That's pretty good for a novel of 100k words!

I'm still eager to read through it in sequence for the first time. Since I've been writing it out of sequence, that'll be an eye-opener, I'm sure.

I think I'm on track. However, since I'm lost in the writing phase these days, I find myself questioning everything. I want to stop writing and revisit the planning. I want to rethink major scenes, and I question whether I have any clue what this story is about or whether my understanding is as deep as it needs to be.

All of this is normal.

Whether I had planned a little or a lot, I'd be experiencing these same doubts. I have to trust in the plan and carry on. This is not the time to rethink, but to follow what I mapped out and simply bring it to life on the page. Then, when it's all there, I can look it over and see what I've actually got. What I think I'm doing is not necessarily what I'm doing. How I think it's going is not necessarily how it's going. Such a lack of objectivity is normal when one is lost in the creative phase of writing manuscript pages. I mustn't take it too seriously!

So I'll carry on. As I must.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Mid-Week Update (2.5 Weeks In)

Currently at 41,932 words. I've completed 34 chapters out of 80. That leaves 46 more chapters to go!

I'm 42.5% through based on the chapter count, 42% based on word count -- which means the word count is in line with the intended goal. Therefore, I'm changing the expected total word count back to 100k as appropriate for 80 chapters (but it may spill over, as long as it doesn't exceed 110k).

I've officially dropped the Prologue. I also added one more chapter in the early part of the novel, making the total 80 (it was actually 79 through this past week, but I figured I'd add another chapter somewhere).

The "new" chapter was one of the original scenes I had imagined early on. I left it out as "not truly needed" while planning, but as I'm writing I feel it has a value in developing the characters and tightening the focus (and tension) around the initial story question.

I'll slow the pace down and just do the normal amount of work this week. I wrote extra last week, but I can't sustain that every week. There is a reason for establishing a reasonable weekly output and sticking to it. If I overdo I'll risk burning out or needing to take a few days off. Better to stick to a sustainable pace.

The weather has finally cooled. YEAH! I like this much better.

Back to work,