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View Full Version : My april hermitage. 50K, not so much, but still good :)



KikiteNeko
05-01-2008, 05:34 PM
For those of you who didn't know, I took April away from the internets to work on my WIP. The goal was to write 50K, and below is my daily journal:


Welcome to my Everest!! Iíve figured out that to write 50K words in one monthís time, Iíll have to write an average of 1,700 words a day. Since starting this ms, there has only been one day before this experiment in which I came close to that. This should be interesting.

Note: Non Linear words donít count towards the daily word count, but theyíll count in the overall number of words.

4/1/08 Day one:
Wake up time: 10 AM.. the procrastination begins! I spent an hour and a half watching Rachael Ray and then some morning news as I was waking up. After I made some breakfast I got to writing! The good news is I had plenty of things to work on. The day before, I had lunch with a friend who betaed my first chapter and suggested another scene to build tension, which is todayís first project! Also, last night I was reading some Chinese proverbs and flipping through a beautiful photo/history book of Japan and the ideas started flying in. I wrote them on sticky notes and stuck them to my storyboard.

Evening update: The news this morning had a whole segment on how technology is often counter-productive, and everyone should set aside time each day AWAY from emails and IMs and whatnot. Funny. Although I didnít write 1,700, Iíve gotten quite a bit written today so far and Iím happy, and nervous. I emailed Dream Agent to ask if I could take her up on that offer to show her the first three chapters. She said to send it along, so I did. Time to go take my mind off of it for now! (like thatíll happen).

Todayís starting word count: 4,848
Words written today: 1,326

4/2/08 Day Two:
Wake up time: 10 AMÖ 10:05Ö 10:10Ö 10:40 (snooze button ftw). So I had a hard time getting up today. Late night reading poetry and whatnot. I also did some edits to my manuscript and moved a scene around. I heard back from Dream Agent a few minutes ago; she was enthusiastic about the first three chapters and expressed one concern, but said to just keep going since itís too early to know if I should fix it and that itís ďreally great stuff.Ē She said to really be sure to get the sounds, smells, and EVERYTHING of the time period Iím writing about (1970ís), so I went to the library and checked out some books. Eee! This eases my fear that this whole story sucks and that I fail at life. For now, anyway.

Evening update: I hit my goal for today! Iím still 51 words behind from yesterday but if I donít end up with 50K by May, I can live with that so long as the words I have are all my tippety toppest quality. ^_^

Todayís starting word count: 6,129
Words written today: 2,023

4/3/08 Day Three:
Wake up time: 12:30.. heheh, oops. My immediate goal is to write my 1,700 for today, plus the 51 Iím behind. But my super awesome goal is to hit 10K, because that would be a great milestone!

Todayís starting word count: 8,152
Words written today: 2,334 (over the 10K mark, baby!!! I was digging for a gold nugget and I struck freakin oil tonight and just got rolling. I have earned myself the remaining 24 minutes of the The Office marathon and I am gonna watch it.)

4/4/08 Day Four:
Wake up time: 12:30Ö >.> Iíve gotten lazy, or just sleepy? Tomorrow is my cousinís first birthday, and my family lives about two hours away from me there and back, so Iím probably not gonna have much writing time, and I should be getting it done today. Yet itís 3:36 and Iíve barely written more than 100 words. Last night I was on such a roll! And today all I feel like doing is eating junk and watching court TV. I guess some days you have it, and some days ya donít. Itís important that I write every day, especially since I have all this time on my hands, but in moderation some laziness and procrastination is a part of the process too.

Todayís starting word count: 10,486
Words written today: 2,002 (turned out to be a pretty good day after all. In an interview with Larry King, Alice Sebold said you should write every day. You may draft pages you end up discarding, but you still never know whatíll come out. I may not be her biggest fan but Iíd like to say I agree. I sat down a while ago dreading writing because I was so stuck and discontent, but I ended up with something I like and that moved the plot forward J Doing a little reading from inspiring authors also helped.)

4/5/08 Day Five:
Wake up time: 9:01.. yuck (yes I set my alarm to give me one more precious minute). Had to be up early for my cousinís first birthday. There were SO many kids, and I had a really nice afternoon with my five-year-old cousin, going for a walk and watching her pick up rocks and drop them into the rain gutters, squealing with delight as they splashed. I got so many great ideas for the little girl in my novel. Sometimes nice days like today are good for inspiration. But, I am exhausted, so I wrote down my ideas but didnít raise my word count by much. What it lacks in length it makes up for in substance, though. I pushed myself and finished a scene Iíd been worrying about, and also spent close to an hour coming to an epiphany about a major plot point, which wouldnít have happened if I hadnít written what I did. The low word count puts me a bit behind in my average, but I deserve a break to chill and let my thoughts ferment into ideas, so I am going to bed!

Todayís starting word count: 12,488
Words written today: 675

4/6/08 Day Six:
Wake up time: 11:30. Forgot to set my alarm for 10. Itís a gray rainy Sunday and I just want to do nothing that requires thought. But, I canít fall farther behind than I already am. Right now Iím overcome with jitters. Will this agent like this story once itís completed? Will ANY agent? The first novel I completed was deeply personal to me, and I need to conjure up that same passion for this one, while making the plot more compelling.

Todayís starting word count: 13,163
Words written today: 2,177 (I just hit the 15K mark! And also made up for the word count I was lacking yesterday. I have a trip planned later this month, so I need to try and exceed 1,700 per day to make up for that too).


4/7/08 Day Seven:
Wake up time: I forget.
Iím feeling really overwhelmed and worried. I have so many things to work out, including development of a character whoís just starting to be important. Some aspects of my story are different than what I originally had in mind, and itís very difficult to make the writing flow well and at the same time keep the plot moving. For my own personal sanity Iím taking a break. If I donít write 50K words by the end of the month, that would be better than having 50K words I canít use after final cuts.

Todayís starting word count: 15,340
Words written today: 1,111 (I did better than I thought. I was going to completely take the day off, but I ended up with something Iím very happy with, after muddling through and deleting some things I was less happy with).
None Linear words: 127


4/8/08 Day Eight:
Wake up time: Forget.
Feeling my writing fuel slowly wearing thin. Yesterday even my mom, the work hard and prosper type, suggested I take a break.
I got a call this morning from the temp agency offering me a job that starts tomorrow. Iím broke so I happily accepted. It starts at 9 AM, probably until 5. I donít know what this will do for my writing. Either leave me too exhausted at the end of the day to consider it, or give me eight hours to let thoughts and ideas ferment while Iím away from my trusty word document and all the chapters therein. I think Iíve officially let the dream of writing 50K words in a month die. It may be possible, but the pressure alone is tempting me to write any old words to up the count and thatís not good. Iím settling for a less pressure goal of writing a little every day to see what happens. If I can even write 38K that would be approximately half of my overall novel.

Todayís starting word count: 16,451
Words written today: 830 (I ended up deleting some stuff I wrote yesterday to replace with a different scenario, so Iím not really counting the new words until theyíve made up for the omitted words. I am happy with the change though).

4/9/08 Day Nine:
Wake up time: 7:00
First day of work! I had some spare time, and Iíve been doing some reading to see how another author distributes a story. Although Iím not totally a fan of the bookís slow start, I like the short sections. I write in many short sections within a chapter, so itís comforting to know thatís acceptable and Iím not some kind of freak. As predicted, though, I am really physically and emotionally drained. And, though I did some hand-writing ideas on some looseleaf, I am finding it hard now, at 10:26 PM, to write. I just poked at it a bit, but see, I did get an idea for how the scene will go. So even if I donít write it all today, itís still progress.

Todayís starting word count: 17,281
Words written today: 216

4/10/08 Day Ten:
Wake up time: 7:06
Still working. Lots of stress; nothing I want to talk about. I suspect Iíll get more writing done on Saturday with a clearer head. At work Iíve done a lot of reading, and a little note taking about how I want my plot to go. I am doing something new. Iím writing separate storylines from the perspective of each character, since this is a third-person narrative.

Todayís starting word count: 17,497
Words written today: 1,493 (Did way better than I thought for today. I got really into it).


4/11/08 Day Eleven:
Wake up time: 7:01
Long day. At work I had some time and I read over what I have and made some notes for myself, and am considering some changes. Didnít get much writing done. I have a headache. I wanted to try to get at least a little done to keep the story fresh in my mind.

Todayís starting word count: 18,990
Words written today: 152 (Horray for the 19K mark. So close to hitting 20K, which will be great).


4/12/08 Day Twelve:
Wake up time: about 9:30
Itís after 11 and I havenít sat down to write yet. Nighttime is a better time for me anyway, so Iím going to get cracking in a minute after I stall for some time to write this and use the potty. I just saw a made-for-TV movie adaptation of a popular book, and I didnít like it one bit. Itís got me wondering, if I should be so lucky as to get a film deal for any book I write (assuming first I should be so lucky as to publish a book), would I take it if Iíd never heard of the director or I suspected it would be a slipshot filmóif that potentially slipshot film could get me a few million dollars? I would like to say no, because my one-thing-leads-to-another mind is telling me that if my first novel became a crappy movie, no big-deal director would want my next novel. But then, what if the crappy film still brought in new interested readers who otherwise wouldnít know the book existed? Sometimes just an interesting movie trailer will turn me on to a book.
Nowhere near being published and already debating whether or not Iíd sell out. Nice. ^_^

Todayís starting word count: 19,142
Words written today: 883 (Yay 20K! Iím feeling myself start to drag, so I may take a day or two off before this whole novel starts to feel like a chore.)

4/13/08 Day Thirteen:
Wake up time: 10 something? I think? So much for that whole up-by-10-every-morning thing.
Didnít do any writing today, but itís a little after 10 so Iím going to try and at least write a bit. Iíve given things some thought and Iím letting more stuff ferment in my head, character-wise. So just because Iím not always upping the word count doesnít mean Iím not writing mentally (and I am a very mental writer, eh heh *crickets*).

Something to note, in case anyone else cares. While I was listening to music and preparing to write, I got this big overwhelming homesickness for my recently-finished novel. This story now is so different than the one I just finished, and I found myself feeling really heartsick for the first-person narrator I just left behind. As much as I devote myself to everything I write, I know nothing I write will ever be as meaningful to me and as personal as my first completed manuscript.. in so many ways itís my lifeís work and I really hope someday I will be able to publish it. I donít mind if itís not the first. Anyway, just rambling. Sharing my process I guess.

Todayís starting word count: 20,025
Words written today: 573 (itís 11:59. Iím pretty happy with what I wrote. Itíll need some polishing, but Iíve decided to do some revising as I go, and most of it once Iíve finished the whole piece. I need sleep for the 7-something AM alarm so Iíll come back to this unfinished scene later, perhaps tomorrow.)

4/14/08 Day Fourteen:
Wake up time: 7:17
Iím really happy about the relationship between my two main protagonists. I canít really say thereís an antagonist in this story, just a lot of secrets. Anyway, their relationship is starting to really come out and Iím happy with it. Got to work on another character today, who has given me some troubles. But I think I might be on the verge of a breakthrough with her.

Todayís starting word count: 20,538
Words written today: 570

4/15/08 Day Fifteen:
Wake up time: 7ish
Got some writing done at work, surprisingly, but not very much. It was too noisy and people kept asking me to help them with stuff (duh, Lauren, youíre WORKING), so I managed a miraculous 500-something on the office computer (which I donít share with anyone, so I closed things up if I had to leave the desk). I also started reading The Kite Runner. So far I really like it, though I think it could have had better editing. Iím curious about the authorís writing background, since it feels sort of like the writing of someone whoís new to writingónot bad, just not totally deft. Maybe Iíll research it while Iím procrastinating. Just like I procrastinate by writing in this journal. Notice how the entries get longer and longer?

Todayís starting word count: 21,108
Words written today: 1,722 (Whoo!)

4/16/08 Day Sixteen:
Donít I keep saying Iíll take a break?
Okay, so itís a little after midnight (technically day 17) and I just got to writing about five minutes ago, and it was a futile effort. Iíve had a bad, crappy day, and I wasnít in a good mindset to write. I did bang out a couple of paragraphs to move things along though and I like them and know where I could go with it, but I want to wait until I have a clearer head. Also, The Kite Runner is turning out to be an astounding book, btw. Iíll probably finish it tomorrow. It is screwing with my head a little, though, because itís such a different book than what I aim to write, yet I love the characters so much that Iím thinking ďI should write a story so powerful as this.Ē Ever just read something that makes you feel as though everything youíve ever written and will write is just one big stinky butt puff? Seems to happen to me a lot lately.

Oh also! One of my friends just got this internship at Yale and is going to be reading manuscripts. Pretty much the coolest thing Iíve heard all week.

Todayís starting word count: 22,830
Words written today: 203 (Yay for 23K! It would be awesome to make 25K by the end of the week.)

4/17/08 Day Seventeen:
Finished The Kite Runner. Bought and watched the movie a couple of hours later. Watched the author commentary on how his novel came to fruition. Did some thinking. I did write a few hundred words, but it had nothing to do with this story; they were some random ideas I think Iíll use for another story. So I did write, but not towards my novel. I needed the break and I feel relaxed and refreshed. For now.

Todayís starting word count: 23,033
Words written today: Nada. Did some thinking and pondering, though. So itís still on my mind.

4/18/08 Day Eighteen:
I did a little writing at work. Emphasis on ďa little.Ē I meant to write more, but didnít get home until close to midnight. Am dead tired. I think tomorrow should be a day to read over what I have more closely and make some edits, rather than panic about word count.

Todayís starting word count: 23,033
Words written today: 99 (>.>)

4/19/08 Day Nineteen:
Lately Iíve been seeing everything as a process. For example, I watched the author commentary on The Kite Runner DVD and even the screen tests and original auditions for Juno. Both taught me that the perfect finished product was not so flawless in the beginning as it seemed by the end. There were problems with scenes the actors later delivered perfectly. There were character changes, original ideas that got drastically changed or even canned. I have a chronic problem with envying any great work of writing. Itís nice to see the skeleton of that writing sometimes, to know the authors of those enviable works had to overcome problems and doubts just like me.

Todayís starting word count: 23,132
Words written today: 545


4/20/08 Day Twenty:
I hate Sundays. Theyíre soÖ blah. But in spite of myself I was rather productive today. Earlier in this project, I was doing most of my writing on weekdays, because I like to start late in the morning or mid-afternoon, write a few hundred words, take a break, then return for another few hundred words. Rare is the occasion that I bang out a thousand or better in one sitting. And with work until 4:30 five days a week now, I donít get to really do that. On another note, Iíve written more of this WIP today than on any other day so far!

Todayís starting word count: 23,677
Words written today: 2,611 (Yay for 25K into 26K! Huge milestone; making some headway! This is half of my monthly goal, which tells me 50K probably wonít happen. So I figured out that Iíve written an average of just over 1K linear words a day since the start of this project. Quite less than my 1,700 goal but still productive).
Non-liner words written: 360


4/21/08 Day Twenty-One:
I did a LOT of writing yesterday. And I donít mean my WIP. I wrote anything I could think of. I wrote a random prose letter to nobody. I wrote a short poem/story which Iíll probably post up here at some point, but maybe not since Iím not really looking for critique. It felt so liberating, so nice to write just for the hell of it and not need to worry about feedback, to not worry about it being saleable. I went to bed feeling resolute.

Todayís starting word count: 26,288
Words written today: 1,024 (actually, I took some words Iíd written on a non-linear day and added them to my storyís body. Anyway, Iím just over 27K, which astounds me. I feel Iíve piqued the beginning of the storyís climaxÖ I like for all my stories to have a moment in which the s**t really hits the fan and it all comes out).

4/22/08 Day Twenty-Two:
Wow, I cannot believe that itís been twenty-two days! In May I am going to take a break from this story for a while. Itís become too much like work and too little like writing. I know I wonít make 50K but thatís okay with me.

Todayís starting word count: 27,312
Words written today: 64 (It was actually a little bit more than this, but I went back and did some serious editing, and cut out a whole paragraph from yesterday. Iím just kinda going by the overall word count now).


4/23/08 Day Twenty-Three:
It is so warm and delicious outside. I like the mellow evening sunlight fading, the twittery little birds, the (very) faraway noise of kids playing, some lone screech of laughter echoing between the buildings. At least I hope thatís laughter.
Tomorrow I am going on a two-day hiatus fromÖ my hiatus. Going up to Boston to visit family. Horrah!

Todayís starting word count: 27,376
Words written today: 391


4/26/08 Day Twenty-Six:
I had an amazing two-day hiatus. My little cousin is the most amazing child I have ever met. She was a wonderful muse. Some day when sheís older, if she chooses to read my writing, Iíll have to point out which passages she inspired.

Todayís starting word count: 27,767
Words written today: 614


4/27/08 Day Twenty-Seven:
I started a writing journal. Not like this one, but a writing journal of pieces of stories, ideas I want to jot down, characters Iíll never put into novels. I realized that I need a place and a time to write without a schedule, where my writing can be amazing or corny and no agents will ever be considering it for publication. There can be as much or as little plot as I decide, and it doesnít have to lead to anything. There doesnít have to be a point. I think it will help me to recharge, to remember why I love writing, and to come back to my novel feeling refreshed, not stressed and hindered.

Todayís starting word count: 28,381
Words written today: 660 (yay 29K J )

4/28/08 Day Twenty-Eight:
Feeling really drained. I did some writing today, but it was in the aforementioned journal, and in no way contributed to the word count of my WIP. Still, Iím happy I wrote. Though I didnít get into my WIP today I did come up with an idea and wrote that down, so Iím letting it ferment. I realize that 50K will not happen, unless I take some trucker speed or something in the next two days, but I still feel really good about the nearly-30K I have right now so far. A month ago I had little more than a few pages, and now I have 60 pages of consistent plot that will likely survive final edits later.

Todayís starting word count: 29,041
Words written today: 0

4/29/08 Day Twenty-Nine:
Wow, this has been a long month. I feel I may have met my 50K goal, or at least come closer, if I hadnít been working 8:30-5Ö but alas I must support this writing habit of mine. Right now Iím really just drained, and when I get home at 5 PM I feel like putting on my jimmies and watching the news, not writing. I need late nights pounding away at the keyboard, and early dawns. Evenings are a crappy time for me to try writing. I think after this month is over, Iíll take a bit of a break for a while and get my head together.

Todayís starting word count: 29,041
Words written today: 49 (you read that right. Tomorrow Iím going to try to round this month off to an even 30K or so).

4/30/08 Day Thirty:
Holy crap, one of my partials has just turned into a full! Eep. Went to bed super early (like 10) and didnít get any writing done, leaving me with a graaaaand total of:

29,090 (so close to 30K, ouch!)

So I didnít make it to 50K, but thatís alright! I think Iím going to take a little break from this WIP so I can stop stressing about it J Just for a little bit.

So thatís my experiment, and thanks for tuning in!

James81
05-01-2008, 06:04 PM
I took the liberty of posting you daily journal into word to get a word count on it.

Total word count for your daily journal: 4,165

Had you canned the journal idea and put those words into your manuscript, your total word count would've been: 33,255.

I'm not trying to be an ass, I'm just saying.

Interestingly enough, I took the same challenge last month and I hit 51K words. Some of the things that I did that helped me reach that goal:

1. The most IMPORTANT thing that I did that REALLY kept my focus on task was to break it down into what I NEEDED to write each day (at the minimum) to reach 50K. So, 50K divided by 30 days, comes out to 1667 words per day. So, I set my goal at 1700 words per day. Did I always get 1700 words per day? Absolutely not. In fact, in the first week I hardly got anything, and I quickly fell 10K words behind.

2. Knowing that you have to type 1700 words per day, it ALSO helps to know where you SHOULD be on any given day. That means you take 1700 x the Date. Or, for example, let's say it's April 6th and you want to know where you should be. Take 1700 times 6, and that gives you 10,200. So on April 6th, you should have had 10,200 words. This is very effective at keeping you on task as it gives you a daily reminder of where you SHOULD be and what you need to do to catch up. Doing these two things kept me on task enough such that by yesterday, I had 43K words. I needed to type 7000 words yesterday to hit the mark and I found a way somehow (I don't know how I did it, but I did it lol).

3. Write without looking back...AT ALL. I glanced back only to remind myself of what a minor character's name was (that I hadn't used for a while) or for specific details that were becoming relevant to the story I was typing at the moment. I didn't reread anything I wrote (and I still haven't). I just typed.

4. Write what you CAN in a given day. Even if it's only 200 words. Even if it's only 50 words. Do WHAT you can, WHEN you can, no matter how small or insignificant you think it is, it will add up very quickly.

5. Put all other writing on the backseat as much as possible. This means journals, flash fiction, blogs, or anything else you write. Until you hit your 1700 words mark in a given day or catch yourself up to where you should be, make everything else second to this--your priority.


Anyways, congrats on where you got. You should be proud of yourself for typing what you DID get. Be broud that you took the initiative to focus on this area and to get things moving. Don't lose sight of that initiative, and get back up on the horse and keep pounding away until you get it finished. I hit 50K last month, but I still don't have a finished first draft yet. So my goal for this month is to finish the story I have started.

Anyways, hope this helps a little. Congrats on how far you DID get.

KikiteNeko
05-01-2008, 06:10 PM
James -

I can't write without looking back. But that's the advice I always get. One of my friends has a postit on her laptop screen that says "looking back causes gangrine" haha. But I lost the bulk of my word count by proofreading, revising, editing. Which is totally okay with me. I'd rather have 30K that I can use in my final draft than 50K that will need to be weeded down to 30K in the end, which I know would have happened if I hadn't looked back. I spent a lot of time on outlining and I did draft a few pages that didn't go into the final word count because they were discarded. So even though I fell about 20K short of my goal, it was still a month consumed with this WIP :)

Congrats on completing your goal!!

James81
05-01-2008, 06:48 PM
I used to be like that too until I took this challenge and realized just how far I was able to take my story. Not only that, but by writing without looking back, it has allowed me to free up that time I used to use to edit to focus more onthe story itself, which at this point has a mind of its own. lol

The biggest thing I learned is just how fluid and important the story is over "getting something usable". I also learned that it's a TON more fun writing without worrying about editting.

KikiteNeko
05-01-2008, 06:52 PM
Well, everyone's way is different and I'm really happy with what I accomplished. There's nothing wrong with wanting to get something usable out of my writing, as I said many times in this thread. Also, I enjoyed writing the journal and I don't think it was a waste of time, and probably wouldn't have added to my word count if I hadn't written it.


I used to be like that too until I took this challenge and realized just how far I was able to take my story. Not only that, but by writing without looking back, it has allowed me to free up that time I used to use to edit to focus more onthe story itself, which at this point has a mind of its own. lol

The biggest thing I learned is just how fluid and important the story is over "getting something usable". I also learned that it's a TON more fun writing without worrying about editting.

James81
05-01-2008, 07:18 PM
Well, everyone's way is different and I'm really happy with what I accomplished. There's nothing wrong with wanting to get something usable out of my writing, as I said many times in this thread. Also, I enjoyed writing the journal and I don't think it was a waste of time, and probably wouldn't have added to my word count if I hadn't written it.

Yeah, each person has their own way. I didn't mean to come across as sounding critical (if I did, I apologize). I just thought I'd throw those ideas out there (which you've probably heard already) as someone who has just come off the same challenge. :D

dgiharris
05-01-2008, 07:24 PM
HI Cat,

Cute pics (avatar and real) by the way...

*clears throat*

O.k. well, I found your journal very impressive and inspirational. Good job.

The only comment I have is that I used to think as you do, that I wanted my first drafts to be 'usable'. And i don't think that is wrong. You are right, we are all different.

But not to sway you to do as I do, but I've learned to not regard the first draft as the first draft. I regard the first draft as a lump of clay or block of stone that I use to make the "real" story.

For me, when I have a story idea, i'm filled with such creative energy that the story just bursts out of me. But, this energy is very fickle and fleeting and only around for so long, thus it is important for me to use this energy for creation. Once the work is created (1st draft) then there is a different energy inside of me (very anal and clinical) that starts to get involved. I then use this energy in combination with the 'spirit' of the story and write my 2nd draft which is the 'real' 1st draft for me.

Anyways... not to bore you with my process. I just fear that you may be unwittingly inefficiently using your creative energy for revision which is what I regard as a different energy.

I would equate what you are doing as using a sports car to drive a plow through a field. Sure, you could do it, but there are tractors for that kind of work.

I think you can use creative energy for revision and IMO it is a misuse of that energy.

Anyways, that is my .02 cents.

But in terms of your journal, that was way cool to read and congratulation, 30K words in a month is definitely an accomplishment to be proud of.

Mel...

KikiteNeko
05-01-2008, 07:32 PM
dgiharris -

The funny thing is that I USED to write first and revise/edit later. I found it much harder and more difficult, and in the long run it turned out to just be way more work. With my completed manuscript I would read each chapter over six or seven times before moving on to the next chapter. It may seem tedious, sure, but knowing I was completely happy with what I had was essential before I could move forward. It also helps me to remember where I was going with certain ideas. Everyone's way is different, but I definitely came to my way of doing things after having tried out some of the alternatives.

paprikapink
05-01-2008, 07:37 PM
Thanks for posting that, Tomothecat! It was fun and interesting to read the inner workings of a writer's mind.

Good luck with the rest of your novel!

JustJess
05-01-2008, 08:01 PM
Welcome back! The way I look at it, your top priority was to spend one month of intense focus on your WIP and you accomplished that, so congratulations!

Soccer Mom
05-01-2008, 08:04 PM
Welcome back, Lauren!

30K in a month is nothing to sneeze at. Basically, it's as if you wrote 1,000 words a day. Developing a daily work habit is a good thing. Now you need to keep those good habits and I think journalling can be ver beneficial if it helps you focus on your daily accomplishment.

Keep up the good work!

KikiteNeko
05-01-2008, 08:11 PM
Exactly :) It was pretty rigirous, even if I didn't meet the grand total of 50K. I feel as though I've been sucked into my character's world.


Welcome back! The way I look at it, your top priority was to spend one month of intense focus on your WIP and you accomplished that, so congratulations!

DWSTXS
05-01-2008, 08:34 PM
Welcome back, Tomo. congrats on the word count that you did get accomplished.

I have tried to do the same experiment, however, I started feeling as if I were writing just to hit my word # goals.

So, what I am doing now, is, instead of giving myself a word count goal, I am setting a goal, of accomplishing a scene, or two, or three per writing session.

I have broken down my planned chapters into scenes, and when I set my goals I will say, 'Today I will start and finish the concert scene, and also the robbery scene, and the sex scene. Tomorrow, if I have accomplished todays scenes, I will work on scenes M, N, O, and P.

I have found that this helps me to avoid writing too many words into any one scene or chapter, and allows me to be more creative and not simply work towards 'word counts and numbers'.

Not putting down your efforts, just saying there's other ways to accomplish the same tasks.

KikiteNeko
05-01-2008, 08:40 PM
Hi!! I missed hearing from you :) Yeah, I felt this way after a few days, which is about when I decided that I'd take quality over quantity. I don't think I'd try this experiment again, at least not with word count in mind. I think it's good to write every day (even though I skipped a few), because sometimes I jumped right the hell over a hurtle that was blocking me, without realizing I had it in me to finish that scene. My plot has rolled forward and I'm happy about it.



I have tried to do the same experiment, however, I started feeling as if I were writing just to hit my word # goals.

KikiteNeko
05-01-2008, 08:53 PM
No offense taken. I just think it's fair to say there's more than one (or ten) way to write. Your area of focus is different than mine, but everyone has to do what they feel is right. Of all the poets and novelists I've studied (some of which sucked, and some of which were great, and some of which were neither here nor there), they each had a different style and it's evident to me that they considered some things to be more important than others. My goal is to write with as much self-awareness as I possibly can, and I enjoy rereading and editing and revising about as much as I enjoy the actual writing. It feels like reading a nice letter over and over, or replaying a memory. I think of new things a lot of the time and at the end of the day I feel closer to my characters. For me it's the only way to fly. It appears that I'm in the minority in this thread, but everyone has to do what works for them.


Yeah, each person has their own way. I didn't mean to come across as sounding critical (if I did, I apologize). I just thought I'd throw those ideas out there (which you've probably heard already) as someone who has just come off the same challenge. :D

James81
05-01-2008, 09:05 PM
No offense taken. I just think it's fair to say there's more than one (or ten) way to write. Your area of focus is different than mine, but everyone has to do what they feel is right. Of all the poets and novelists I've studied (some of which sucked, and some of which were great, and some of which were neither here nor there), they each had a different style and it's evident to me that they considered some things to be more important than others. My goal is to write with as much self-awareness as I possibly can, and I enjoy rereading and editing and revising about as much as I enjoy the actual writing. It feels like reading a nice letter over and over, or replaying a memory. I think of new things a lot of the time and at the end of the day I feel closer to my characters. For me it's the only way to fly. It appears that I'm in the minority in this thread, but everyone has to do what works for them.

If you have a system that works ,then more power to you. Like others have said, 30K is still nothing to sneeze at. And I venture to say that when I go back over my own manuscript for last month, that I'll whittle that down quite a bit.

The key is making sure you find something that works. Up until I took this challenge, I found myself only half finishing what I started (getting maybe 50 pages in a word document before abandoning it). This challenge gave me a method by which I can acheive my own goals, but you are right...it's not the only method.

I made a post about my experience with it on my blog (in my sig) today that you may be interested in, although I basically said what I've said here (for the most part).

caromora
05-01-2008, 11:56 PM
Hey, Tomo! I enjoyed your writing log. I write the same way you do--linear-spiral. I've tried the whole write-without-looking-back-or-editing thing, and I'm just not able to do it. My mind doesn't work that way. I'd get to a certain point and hate what I'd written so much that I wouldn't finish it. It was only when I started letting myself go back and edit as I wrote that I managed to complete a manuscript!

30K in a month is an awesome accomplishment!

KikiteNeko
05-01-2008, 11:59 PM
That's how I feel :) Writing without editing or looking back, for me, feels like dusting a shelf in a room full of clutter and crap all over the place. I need to do some heavy spring cleaning before I can move on. Otherwise I'll just throw up my hands and give up. If I take a magnifying glass to everything I end up feeling really aware of what I wrote, so I can't say "ugh, what I have just blows" because I know exactly what I've written and where it's headed.


Hey, Tomo! I enjoyed your writing log. I write the same way you do--linear-spiral. I've tried the whole write-without-looking-back-or-editing thing, and I'm just not able to do it. My mind doesn't work that way. I'd get to a certain point and hate what I'd written so much that I wouldn't finish it. It was only when I started letting myself go back and edit as I wrote that I managed to complete a manuscript!

30K in a month is an awesome accomplishment!

MsJudy
05-02-2008, 04:13 AM
Man, I am SO not ever going to write for grown-ups. I write every day, and it took me two months to reach 13K. I kneel humbly at the feet of you people and your 30K in a month.

finewritingfinewine
05-02-2008, 10:03 AM
Wow. Congrats! What an accomplishement.

I'm beginning to think I need a jumpstart like this. I'm having trouble letting go of my first Ms in order to focus on this second one. After 7 years, how do you just start over? Anyway, hats off to you. And a full request at the end of the month?! You've got the karma working for you!

dgiharris
05-02-2008, 08:28 PM
....After 7 years, how do you just start over? Anyway, hats off to you. And a full request at the end of the month?! You've got the karma working for you!

Take your old MS, put it in a drawer. Put a lock on the drawer then nail the drawer shut.

Start writing on your 2nd MS, and don't look back.

Mel...

NicoleMD
05-02-2008, 09:06 PM
Welcome back Tomo!

30k sounds like a big success to me. Congrats!

Nicole