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.