Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Really Writing for Real

I've been doing real writing on my novel every day since my PMS rant a few days back. I allow myself to edit the previous days writing for just 15 minutes, and then I move forward with 500 words of new stuff. That pace feels slow, but I've noticed that by limiting how much I write every day to 500 words, the stuff that I'm planning to write simmers in the back of my mind all day long. That makes it easier to face the computer every morning, because I already have an inkling of what I want to write next. I also let myself write whatever comes to mind, with the knowledge that I can cross it out tomorrow if it sounds awful upon rereading it. That has led to some interesting rabbit trails.

One thing that remains intimidating is the sheer scope of this project. So far I have written about 2,100 words, and that represents less than one sentence of my revised plot summary. At that rate I'm looking at roughly a 200,000 word novel. I think that's a gross over-estimate, because the opening chapter is naturally a bit dense with explanatory material. Still, even if I'm off by a factor of two, it's going to take most of a year of writing every single day to get my "second first draft" finished.

Best not to think about it.

(Yeah, I know it's silly, but, yes, I've taken to calling this my second first draft. I have my original draft printed out next to me, and I do use it as a writing prompt, but I'm rewriting everything from scratch.)

Today's writing totals:
Novel: 500 words
Blog: 275 words
DAILY TOTAL: 775 words

JANUARY RUNNING TOTAL: 12,822/15,500 words = 82% of monthly goal


Anonymous said...

That sounds like a really good system.

Bittersweet Sage said...

dbrycegh wrote: "That sounds like a really good system."

Thanks. I get through my day using a fairly rigid set of organizational rules. For awhile I thought I might be a touch obsessive compulsive, but I have since spent considerable time and effort compiling a 12 page typed list of reasons why I am not. (I would have completed the list earlier, but I couldn't decide whether it was better to sort the reasons alphabetically, by line length, or by topic.)

I am now trying to use my type-A skills for personal gain, as they have proven ineffective in my bid for world domination. I am so totally a 007 villain. "Before I kill you, Mr. Bond, I must first alphabetize your CD collection."