And the writing creeps forward

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

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I haven't gotten very far on the writing goals yet this month. 993 new words written, 1824 if I add in the count from May 31st. I had a good start, then realized my scene had the wrong emotional overtones which meant the characterization didn't fit with the first scene. Even the history and political structure had changed based on the tidbits I'd thrown in. I reread my original notes and decided that I preferred the old context. The whole scene went into my cut file. 3k words=ouch.

After taking a few days to study what pulled it out of alignment and read up on various empires for ideas to solidify my basic concept, I got trickling forward again. Some of what I'd had has been recycled back in. New stuff is trickling in, but I think I'm picking up momentum again. Whether I finish the scene today is questionable, but I will try.

Do any of you have similar stories you'd like to share?


Joshua said...

I started a new manuscript on May 28. I've found Google Docs to be a blessing. It's not as sophisticated as Word, but it allows me to have the file anywhere that I have Internet access, for one. The other thing I did was start a Google Docs Spreadsheet, and constructed a quick weekly formula to track how many words I wrote that day, what the week's goal is, and the over/(under) as to whether I made goal or not and how many words I hit or missed by.

Hit me up on Google Chat ( thetechnicalparent(at)gmail(dot)com ) if you like and we can chat about it, or I can share the Spreadsheet with you so you can see it. I'm just about to hit 3,000 words, which doesn't sound like a lot over 7 writing sessions, but with two kids, it's the first project I've worked on in a while.

Keep it up!

Jaleh D said...

I haven't looked at Google Docs. I've been using Scrivener. I haven't tried to see if it does all the tracking stuff or not, but it does give me a running total. I've been using a small notebook to write down my numbers since that's all I really need. It may not be efficient, but it's easy. I don't even use on online calender to keep track of things. Everything goes into my paper planner or the fridge calender.

But if you ever want to do a word war or something like that (haha, I'm a slow writer), we can use Google chat to spur each other on.

Joshua said...

I'm also a slow writer. But I keep going back to fix something and never get to the end of the story. It's something I'm working on this time around.

Pray tell, "Word War?" Is that like "Words With Friends?"

Jaleh D said...

Haha, That's part of why I'm a slow writer. I keep editing as I go. I have 4 novels I'm working on and halfway is the farthest I've reached on any of them.

A "word war" is like a friendly contest. People agree to meet in person or online at a specific time and start writing, trying to keep their inner editor out of the way, with the goal to have the most new writing at the end of the period. The writing is allowed to be as messy as chicken droppings (nasty stuff, BTW), as long as you put in the effort to get somewhere.

Then at the end of the timeframe, usually an hour from what I've seen, everyone tallies up their total for the time and shares them. If you feel like it, you can share a snippet.

The idea is that the competition will help free you from over-analyzing as you go. Word wars are especially vigorous and frequent during November (for NaNoWriMo), but we have them on Writer's Digest's SF/F crit forum most Saturday nights. I just can't always join them. One of the gals tends to smoke the rest of us, but she's very encouraging and adds everybody's numbers together for one big group cheer.

David Jace said...

I think you should count the 3k you cut. Just because you started revising early doesn't mean you should short yourself from the rough word count.

David Jace said...

Hmm, wish I'd read the comments first. I've got some tools my wife (computer engineer) helped me create for similar tracking and planning stuff. I am planning a blog series on them starting next week. Swing by around Monday; you might find something you'll like. :)

Jaleh D said...

I counted the words I wrote since the 1st of June. It shows the effort I've put into it. And I'll check out your posts on tracking and planning.

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