Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Word counting

It might seem counter-intuitive, but (as I suspected), my fiction output has gone up now I'm back at work. Having a definite structure to my week seems to help.

According to my Lenient Word-count Spreadsheet, which records any useful writing activity, I have made the following progress:
16 Sept468 words
17 Sept212 words
18 Sept682 words
19 Sept258 words
20 Sept1349 words
21 Sept100 words
22 Sept502 words
23 Sept168 words
24 Sept152 words

Nothing written Thursday or Friday, but I hope to get some done today after posting this.

Compared to the output of some of the people posting to LJ, this seems very modest, but I did hit my weekly target (which is also modest), so I'm pleased. Also, the new WIP, which up until now has seemed very insubstantial has taken on a new solidity now that I've printed out the prologue and first two chapters. The complete MS stands at 12,053 words of unpolished first draft. Target length is 100,000 words, thus I have completed 12%.

Also this week I've done some very useful brainstorming of ideas as to how my characters can raise money to buy the magic mountain (with help from the denizens of rec.arts.sf.composition).

My plan of action is to plough on and get a rough first draft done, then go round it again, dragging the thing into shape. It's still not as... as... I think the term matociquala uses is "grounded" as I would like it. But these are totally new characters to me, it's also a new world and I'm still getting to know it thoroughly. (I'm not one who does world-building up-front; I do it on the fly as I go along.) I'm trying to just let the story flow and enjoy writing it.

Calling it "writing practice" rather than "writing" is helping. "Writing practice" can be taken to mean either "performing an activity" or "doing practice stuff in order to gain skills". By telling my snide Internal Editor that the latter definition is the one I mean, I can shut her up, which allows me to get on. All that matters at the moment is that I get words on the page. A writer writes. I can make them into better words at the second draft stage.

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