3/25/2021

Over the last few weeks, I've written 22,677 new words before including anything from the last version of the book despite the fact that I was calling this a revision not another do-over.

How did this happen? Well... I started with a new opening scene that introduced new roles for two of my leads and a new subplot that all three will be involved in. So the opening chapter was something that hadn't been in the previous version. It led directly to the second chapter, which was also completely new. At this point, I wanted to introduce our third lead, which meant a completely new scene/chapter with him.

I now went back to the first two characters, covering stuff that had mostly been in the last version but presented differently enough that just ignoring what I had and doing it over made more sense. That brought me to the end of Chapter Five.

While writing the new third chapter, I accidentally replaced a character. This is a good thing as the anti-fae group will be both more plausible and more mysterious now, but it meant a new chapter popped up. The chapter fleshes out some stuff that either wasn't covered but should have been in the last version or which was explained but later, so some of that adds words to the final word count while others will just be replacements, but none of it could be lifted from what came before.

Today I worked on chapter seven. The first scene of it was actually in the original, but was different enough that I ignored the first version and wrote a new scene. But the second half of the chapter? It was the second half of the original Chapter Four! And the next two chapters should also just be edits rather than completely new. Huzzah! (I can't really explain why I'm sorry excited about this, but I am. Perhaps because I am growing fatigued?)

Am I worried about the fact that it's taken me seven chapters to get to where I was after four previously? Eh. Yes and no. I'm concerned there hasn't been enough interaction between the characters so readers might think I'm taking too long to get to the point, but I think it's alright as I believe I'm setting up interesting things, and also that it's obvious the characters are connected. Also, as I said earlier, some of the extra material will result in cuts from later so it doesn't necessarily mean the book will be nearly twice as long. In fact, it really shouldn't mean that as the new subplot is half over already and I haven't gotten to the one I'm cutting yet.

After the next sequence, I have a chapter that I don't know works anymore but which might be lifted content tweaked, although I may also come up with something new. Then there's a chapter that's half something from near the end of the old book and half something new. And then I will have to go back to completely new content as the subplot introduced in the new first chapter will be coming back into play. That's going to be three chapters or so before returning to previously presented material.

Clearly, I have an outline for the next chunk of novel. I'm less certain what happens then. The replaced character is going to lead to several chapters being completely rewritten, but I think most of the original will edited more than rewritten in the second half of the book. Still working out a couple of, "wait, why did that happen?" things that might change that, though.

All in all, the month is productive, though progress has been both slower and more painful than I might have hoped. I hope this will continue and I'll have something I can share with betas in a month or two.

3/6/2021


I wrote the roughs of the closing chapters of the work in progress today. The entire project is currently at 89,326 words.

It doesn't really feel like anything's ended though. Starting tomorrow (or possibly this afternoon if I don't manage to shut my brain down) I'm launching straight into a big enough rewrite to make what I currently have not seem like something completed. This isn't a situation where I'm going to be like, "Let me smooth this out and get beta feedback on what big things are broken." This is, "I'm missing major parts of the story and am going to go add them now." (Betas aren't even really an option since I went the way of pretending I'd made a major change 3/4 of the way through, so the ending would really just confuse them.) So it sort of makes sense that I feel like I'm still in the middle of things. Still, I'm going to insist I recognize this as the first draft of the reboot and that I think of what starts next as the second draft.

I'm trying to decide if I should make a completely new outline or just work adding scenes between what I have. I think maybe the latter makes more sense. Many of the additions are going to be entire new chapters, some replacing old chapters and others just adding to the length of things, but many of the other changes are going to be a paragraph here and a line there type of deals. I think. It's highly possible that once I start changing things the effects are going to cascade and I seriously will need more structure going forward. I guess we'll see.

I also want to make some decisions about wording. Specifically, I want to decide for sure what these people call themselves. I've been calling them fairies since Day One, later adding that the main characters are of the fairy subset elves. But I'm increasingly thinking that's probably not what they call themselves. I've been saying that they are from Faereen and with the rules of Sakahee (the language spoken by these particular people) that would make them Faeree. (Singular the same as plural.) This is feeling a little convoluted though. The humans in the story will still refer to fairies, and also to demons as they're not sure those things are different, but I can't see why the native word, which is surely just one of several on their world as there are many languages spoken there, should have anything to do with the word in English.

I do feel that I've accomplished a lot. I just don't feel like I'm done. I really am going to try to chill for the rest of the day, though.

2/28/2021

One of the things I'm bad at is not worrying about things. So I have been worried about the rest of my novel even though I SAID I was just going to write and worry about making it better in revision. I've deleted 3/4 of the remaining outline and moved those things to the next book. I've also realized something I want to change that will require extensive rewrites.

One of the pieces of advice you get while doing NaNo is never to revise while writing. If you think of something you need to change earlier on than where you're at, pretend that you did and move on. After all, your rough draft is going to be a complete mess anyway. I'm doing that.

I think I like this approach. It's making me think of other things that need changed earlier on. And it kind of has me thinking that outlining a book chronologically but backwards might be a worthwhile thing to look at.

Yesterday, I wrote very little (like 700 words) but I figured out a lot. It can be hard time quantify time spent working while writing. It's not just about word count. It's also not just about time spent. So far today I've written my daily quota, but I think I'm going to work some more.

2/24/2021

I wrote 3,597 words and passed the 75k milestone today! (Am at a little over 77k or a little under 76k depending on which of my charts is right. I suspect it's the 77k number and that I forgot to update WriteTrack at some point.) I've completed 23 chapters. There are currently 46 chapters in the outline, so I'm starting to get seriously nervous about length. I do think some of the stuff I haven't gotten to yet will either get cut or not take as long as the stuff I've already done, though.  I don't really know. I'm trying not to really worry about it and just write. I can figure out what needs amputating in the revisions.

2/20/2021

 I typically write rough drafts in the order I expect the scenes to be in ultimately. Sometimes they'll get moved around in revision, but I pretty much start in the first scene and work sequentially to the end. Sometimes if a scene later than the one I'm wanting to be working on is particularly loud, I'll jot down enough notes for it to feel confident I'll remember the important bits of it, then go back to whatever is supposed to be happening next.

This week hasn't gone like that. Last Sunday, I wrote 2,606 words in what I called Chapter Nineteen. Monday and Tuesday I wrote nothing, instead entertaining my husband on the days he had to spend quarantined before surgery.

Wednesday my husband had surgery to replace his pacemaker. (Yeah, he's forty-two and on his second pacemaker. He's an interesting person.) I couldn't go with him. Due to COVID protocols only one family member could be there with him and that person had to be able to drive after dark, which isn't something I can do. So I stayed home and tried not to think too much about what was going at the hospital several towns over.

Since I was mostly wanting to drown my thoughts, I wrote the scene that was strongest in my head instead of Chapter Twenty. I'm now thinking what I wrote will likely be Chapter Thirty-Three. It's currently 1,794 words, but I've already thought of several things to add to it.

Today, I wrote Chapter Nineteen.

Were you paying attention earlier when I said I wrote Chapter Nineteen last Sunday? Well, it turns out that was Chapter Twenty. It's better for pacing that way and keeps me from having two chapters that focus on the same character too close to each other.

I've also spent a lot of time reworking the second half of my outline. I figured out a few details that had been hazy before. A lot of stuff got cut. Some stuff got added. Several things got moved to happen earlier or later. Hopefully once I actually write all those scenes, they won't move around much, but I guess we're going to have to see.

I wrote 7,639 words this week. That's not too bad considering there were four whole days of not writing a word while I tried to take care of the husband. (Who was really pitiful Thursday and Friday! He's still kind of pitiful, having gone to work today.)

I'm excited about what's slated for tomorrow, which is always a good feeling, and satisfied with my progress thus far. I'm 65,886 words in. The WriteTrack computer is now telling me I only need to average 1203 words on  my scheduled workdays to finish 120,000 words by mid-April. Of course, 120,000 remains an estimate, but I think it's probably still a decent one.

And now I'm going to read a little and go to sleep. :)


2/11/2021

I'm ending my writing day at 52,391. If you're familiar with NaNo WriMo, the goal there is to write a 50k novel in a month. Well, it's been about a month since I started working on this, but I certainly don't have a novel. I think I'm a little under halfway through. Based on where I ended my 3388 words written today, I need to work on re-outlining some stuff and that may or may not change my estimate.

2/10/2021

The first week and a half of February went well, although I have been forgetting to post updates here. I have been updating WriteTrack, though. WriteTrack is a handy tool for helping create a pace that will get you to your goal in time as well as for giving you visual representations of your progress. It's a bit like the system over on the NaNo WriMo site, except instead of forcing you to agree to do the same amount every day, it allows you to do things like say, "I always take off Sunday, make Sunday goals zero. And Wednesday I have to stop early, so make those 50%." I currently have one day completely off and one day at half measure per week, although this week is playing out a little differently due to other people's work schedules changing. I can always write more than expected on a given day, but this allows me to not feel bad days when there's just too much other life going on.

But back to my current status! This is what my chart and calendar page looks like today:

The green days are ones where I met my goal, while the grey ones either haven't happened yet or had goals of zero. (Last month had some pinks, which were days I did NOT meet my goal. Those aren't as pleasing to look at.) 

The bars at the top make it easy to see that I'm currently about 12,000 words above where I would be if I wrote the minimum each day to finish on time. Also, I'm at 49k! SO close to 50! But I'm so not going to let myself keep going today. Exhaustion is no one's friend and 2422 words are enough for the day.

There are other useful charts as well. This one shows your daily accomplishments against your daily goals:

From this, we can see that I under-performed some days, but not by as much as I tend to over-perform on other days. This is helpful to remember on days when I fall short of goals.

The last chart shows total accumulation over time, charting your novel's growth against its target growth.

According to this, I am currently where I said I wanted to be at the end of February 19th. I'm not going to use this to justify taking a week long vacation, but it's nice to feel I'm not under much pressure over the next stretch. This is good because next week has several days where I am expecting myself to either not write or not write very much due to my husband having a very-much-not-optional medical procedure. I would take off to help him anyway, of course, but it's nice to know that I can do it without it meaning I need to push myself too much later.


2/1/2021

I'm trying a new progress tracker to get a more graphic look at my progress. I told it I wanted to finish 120k between Jan 15th and April 15th. (Approximately the end of ski season.) It then decides how many words I need per day to reach that, so I can easily see if I'm on track or not. As you can see in this graphic, I am doing well so far. I'm at 33,116 and pace would be 25,547. That's good, because ski season could end earlier than my guesstimate and my house would suddenly get much louder. :)

Today I wrote 3,406 words after declaring, "I'm going to go do something awful to Vil now. No, he doesn't deserve it. Not in the least." I'm happy with the words for the most part, but feel they don't end their chapter very well. Hockey came on, though, and, also, getting a better closing line in is something that can happen in revision if one doesn't occur to me before it's time to start the next chapter in the morning.

1/31/2021

The chapter I wrote today was 2373 words. This is shorter than average over the first ten chapters, but not the shortest one.  I'm 290 words shy of 30k and calling that Close Enough to be happy with my weekend's output.

1/30/2021

I only wrote about 1k today, but even if I didn't have hockey to watch now, I think I'd have stopped here. My favorite character is pretty much gutted right now.

One might think being the author's favorite is a good thing. But what it really means is that when she thinks to herself, "There should be more suffering going on," there is a high likelihood that your name will be the first one that pops into her head. Trust me, you want your author to be less fond of you than I am of this character. You don't want to be the first thing she thinks of in the morning. You really don't.

In contrast, here's an amusing graphic from an upcoming book from Rebellion Publishing called Campaigns & Companions.

1/29/2021

Today I wrote 3357 words, which explains why my brain feels a little too mushy to write much about having written. I've completed 8562 words this week, which I feel is doing pretty decently. My total word count for the project is now 25,858.

I have finished nine chapters. My current outline has 43, but I seem to be more prone to consolidating chapters than adding them at this point, so that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm looking at something like 110,00 for my total. The only reason being on schedule to create a book over 100k makes me nervous is that I traditionally add a lot more in future drafts than I take out. I'm not sure if that will be true in this case or not. On one hand, I am doing a lot of telling rather than showing in describing actions and reactions, so those sections are going to get expanded later when I go back and turn things like, "Her expression was one of heartbreak," into much longer sentences displaying what that actually means. On the other hand, there seems to be a lot of banter that's expanding the universe but might be able to be written more tightly once I get the concepts fully fleshed out in my mind.

I expect to write a decent amount over the next two days as I will be Home Alone with only one hockey match to watch. I expect I'll make it to 30k unless something unexpected happens, like if I decide to binge the new liveaction Winx show on Netflix instead of writing or if the house is hit by a tornado or something. (One of these examples is much more likely than the other.)


1/19/2021

Over the last two days, I completed 3665 words to reach the end of the sixth chapter of the new reboot and bringthe total word count up past 17,000. My outline has 44 chapters in it, which might make the book a little on the long side if my chapters don't start trending shorter. I'm going to try not to worry about that right now, though. I can always cut things in revision. Or expand them and make More Books if that seems like the better approach. There's been a lot of character introductions and world building going on, but I think most of the length is coming from my characters feeling talkative. I'm not upset about this. I've always felt dialog is the most fun part of writing.

1/17/2021

I seem to have written about 2600 words today to end chapter five at 3624 words. They were Maggie-words, too, which take twice the energy of anyone else's words. Definitely stopping for the day.

Book total word count so far: 13,632

1/16/2021

 Wow. It's really been a while since I updated this, huh?

I wrote some shorts during my silence and completely outlined another reboot of Faerie Story. The first book is detailed down to the scene and while the following two are more broadly plotted. And I'm now eleven thousand words into actually writing said reboot.

Yesterday I wrote 2.5k without breaking a sweat. Today I'm at 998 and exhausted. Part of the difference, I think, is that today's work followed the character with the anxiety disorder. She's just more draining to write than the others, which makes me glad I switched from her being the first-person narrator and am now going with a third person that spends a lot of time focused on other people.