Home » Creativity » Milestones on the Scenic Route

Milestones on the Scenic Route

A few minutes ago I crawled out of bed.  Actually it was closer to fifteen minutes ago, but let not get too exact.  What was on my mind when I hit the ground and powered up my computer?

The word count of my novel.

Last night I finished up my writing moments with a total word count of 75,197 words.  Since I’d started and restarted Scrivener a couple of times during the day, I wasn’t sure just how much I wrote yesterday–I’m guessing it was about thirteen hundred words, just as I’d done the day before.

I finished November 30th with a count of just over sixty-five thousand, two hundred words.  Fifteen days later I’m just over seventy-five thousand.  A thousand words a day and/or night.  Not bad.  At that rate I’ll be somewhere around ninety-two thousand by the end of December, and I should have this first episode of the story finish before the end of January.

And at this rate I’ll finish the novel as a whole by . . . what?  If this book gets as big as I think it’ll get, I could finish this up just in time to start Camp Nano in July.  I’m realistically looking at another six months of writing to cap it off.  We’re not even talking about editing it:  I’m talking about doing the first draft.

Really, my head about exploded when I considered this.

I think it’s because unlike the other novels I’ve written, this one is happening while I’m in the middle of a lot of other things.  Her Demonic Majesty was eighty-six done in twenty-five days because I could spend all day cranking out three or four thousand words a day.  The same with Kolor Ijo:  I wasn’t working, so seventy-two thousand wasn’t a big deal.  Suggested Amusements is really the only novel I’ve written while working that popped up over seventy-thousand words, and that took me almost three months to write.  Everything else after that was in the high-fifty thousand range, or was a novella.

This story I’m into now is getting back in the range I had for Transporting:  maybe two hundred and fifty thousand words, maybe a little more.  It’s gonna be a monster that’s going to eat up at least half a year.

And I still need to put out other things, because the slush pile is building, and nothing’s getting done on that end.  I’m in the middle of an edit with one novel, and I could do another novella just to get it out of the way, but editing is time, and time is writing.

Christ, talk about a quandary.

What it looks like is this:  I need to step up the game a bit, start dividing my time up and stop with distractions.  Yes, I should still go out on weekends and do things that show I’m really human, because staying in the apartment day and night isn’t good for you.  But I may need to push for twelve hundred words a night, because in five days time that’s six thousand words, and that’s an extra six thousand words a month than you’d have written if you’d written five thousand every five days.  And in three months time, would you have rather written ninety thousand words, or one hundred and eight thousand?

At least I avoided my Robinson Crusoe moment last night.

Wouldn’t that have looked stupid.


11 thoughts on “Milestones on the Scenic Route

  1. I am very jealous that I cannot spend everyday writing like this and have to go to a 8-6 job. I would be doing double heal-clicks in the air if I could write from sunup to sundown.

    • It seems like most of my days now are spent working. Blog in the early morning, then work, then come home and do–something–then write before bed. Even when I was home all the time, I’d at best get four thousand words in. But they were good words.

      • I generally write on the weekends. If I can be unbothered by interruptions, I can generally write between 8,000 and 10,000 words in a twelve hour day. But, I get very little accomplished through the work week with a regular job and family.

  2. Wow. Is there a minimum word count? Or have you outlined the book already and factored in how long it should be? Just curious as I’ve obviously never written a book. 🙂

    • I did outline the book, but it’s obvious as I started writing the scenes out that what I thought might be a 90k novel is growing by leaps and bounds. I’m expecting 120k for just this part.

      For novels, 40,000 words is considered a minimum, though most houses won’t look at you unless you’re above 55,000 words.

  3. I need some of your discipline to spill over to me. Everything is a distraction to me. I wrote more when my kids were young and I worked 40 hour weeks. I was more focused. Keep going and of course go out. You need to research new material. 🙂

    • I find myself being tired a lot of late. I think it’s the schedule I’m on. But I keep at writing. And I will find more things. I’m trying to find things that I might want to do soon, I just don’t know when to do them.

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