WIP,  Writing

November Numbers

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Writing Report, November 2013

Keeping myself honest, and not because I expect many people will read this, it’s time for the first of the month writing update to cover the previous month. In this case, November 2013.

I won’t go into the “productivity” experiment parameters again other than as they match up with the goals I reached or didn’t for November. Again, there are numbers involved, so if that bores you, skip ahead to the end.

First, a quick reminder of the parameters of the writing experiment:

  • Limited, but daily when possible, social networking, mostly over breakfast. (I’m semi-failing at this. FB has done well enough from me, but only on a personal level, and I’ve probably only been on Twitter about half the days this month. More on that another day.)
  • Podcast listening cut in half, so that I can use at least one leg of my commute for dictation. (This is actually how I’m doing a lot of the first draft on my current WIP. It’s messy but fairly fast. The second draft will need more cleaning than usual.)
  • More of everything on my days off and especially when I’m on night-shift rotations. (And I’m almost ¾ of the way through a 4-week round of nights right now.)

First, the hard targets, along with what I actually achieved.

Project

Target

Actual

Manifest Destiny (SF novel)

27,000

27,938

words
Short Fiction

10,000

10,689

words
Godhead, Book 2 plotting

45/45

49/45

scenes
Ancient Runes, Final Draft

30,000

60,363

words

 

Breaking things out a bit more,

  1. Manifest Destiny is complete at 61,034 words and I wrote the last 3,223 in a sprint on the 26th after finishing the final draft of Ancient Runes the day before, and not doing anything creative for two days before that because I was sick.
  2. I met the short fiction goal only because I finished Manifest Destiny so early. Two trips out of town, illness, and several unexpected events left me putting in only a little more than half the time I should have on the short fiction front.
  3. The Godhead plotting has gone really well, and I’m starting December with 5 scenes plotted and about ¾ of the rest with ideas in mind.
  4. The last ¼ of the Ancient Runes final draft happened in one afternoon lying in bed, not so much reading aloud as whispering since I had no real voice at the time.
  5. And I seem to have difficulty getting much writing done when I’m working day shift with my days off actually falling on weekends. Family time and stuff around the house. So be it. I’ll live with a lower word count when that happens.

Overall, I’m very pleased.

Overall word production:

Drafting

38,627

Editing

322

Plotting

6,320

Blog Posts

4,386

Non-fiction

8,443

 

Which comes to a grand total of 58,358 words for the month. A few thousand lighter than October, but still not too shabby. I debate all the time whether it’s fair to count editing or if there should be some kind of formula that works out actual change rather than net change. I’ve had editing sessions where I work three 4 or 5,000 words and have a net change in single digits even though I’ve made heavy modifications. An argument for another day.

Notes:

  1. Even boosting the goals, I did pretty well and hit them all.
  2. I finished the first draft of a short novel in less than two months. This lends me hope that I can manage a 90k word novel in three months, and I’ll be putting that to the test beginning New Years’ Day. It can be done.
  3. I have this idea about the TWD (Theoretical Writing Day) Count, but I’ll cover that in another post because this one is already stretching out.

Again, because I derive great joy from planning things, I’ve re-forecasted the test period, counting October and November as complete. Actually, there wasn’t a lot of joy because I changed exactly one thing. Since I’m not going to be editing Ancient Runes in December (because it’s “done”), I’m going to polish some short fiction instead.

So the revised forecast to the middle of 2014 looks like this:

Month

Plotting/Other Drafting Editing

Oct-13

Godhead Trilogy, plotting Manifest Destiny Graceland

Nov-13

Godhead Trilogy, plotting Manifest Destiny Ancient Runes

Dec-13

Godhead Trilogy, plotting Novelette x 3 Short Fiction Cleanup

Jan-14

Short Fiction Cleanup Godhead 1 Manifest Destiny

Feb-14

Short Fiction Cleanup Godhead 1 Manifest Destiny

Mar-14

Short Fiction Cleanup Godhead 1 Manifest Destiny

Apr-14

Becoming Alien, plotting Godhead 2 Novelettes

May-14

Becoming Human, plotting Godhead 2 Novelettes

Jun-14

Bringing Peace, plotting Godhead 2 Novelettes

 

I’ve talked about the novelettes project in a previous post (here), but I’m already worried about staying inside the word count estimates. The first one is going strong, and I feel like, 4,300 words in, it’s probably going to hover at about a 12k first draft. But I’ve started the second one, too, and 1,800 words in I’m only half way through the second of fourteen planned scenes. I’m pretty sure this one is going to break the theoretical maximum of 15,000.

I have made some revisions to the 5-Year Plan, but mainly in the short fiction category, devoting a lot of my planned new short fiction time to a series of themed projects, the first one being an exploration of the Undead beyond (but including) zombies and vampires. And the second a collection of speculative stories focused around emotions. Probably. I keep flip flopping on which of those I’m going to dive into first. Right now, the Undead are winning, but not by much. I’ll commit to one at the end of December to start in January.

Two months don’t make a trend, either, but they connect into a straight line with a good benchmark. Let’s see how December goes.

Be well, everyone.

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