Monday, April 2, 2012

Two Months of Writing and Counting

I love my stats. I love tracking progress in quantifiable ways. When writing a novel, I have two measurements: time and words.

My inspiration for Eva.
My daily quota is simple: 1,667 words minimum. I got this number when I wrote my first NaNo WriMo novel. One thousand six hundred sixty-seven words is how much you have to write every day of November to make the 50,000-word end-of-the-month goal. For me, it's a doable amount. Half the time. The other half of the days, I'm really pushing myself to reach my goal.
Funny thing is, I've discovered that when I read back through my novel, I can't tell the difference between the days when the writing was flowing and when I had to drag it out of me. Which is what keeps me going on those really tough days.

With my work schedule, I typically have two hours a day which I can devote to writing. However, since word count is queen, if I make my quota and I'm feeling taxed, I don't necessarily write the full two hours. Some days, this means I'm done writing in an hour and a half. Some days it means I have to return to the writing after I finish work. On the rare occasion, I can finish my writing in an hour, but I've got to be really on fire.

I also don't attempt to maintain the NaNo WriMo pace of writing every day. I write Monday through Friday, then one day on the weekend. Finding two hours out of 48 to squeeze in the day's writing hasn't been a problem in the past two months. Plus, I really like looking at my calendar and seeing all the days I wrote marked. There are only three blanks in March. It's immensely gratifying.

I started Eva (placeholder title) on January 31. I'm now on page 17 of my 23-page outline, which means I'm almost 75 percent done with this novel. For once, I'm really close to my page-count target (not drastically over). I have no illusion that this book won't go long. My books write long. I've come to grips with this fact. I have strategies for it when I start editing. Plus I'd rather trim down than have to write new scenes in the editing stage.

Which brings me back to my stats.


Word Count: 43,378
Hours of Writing: 44.25


Word Count: 43,357
Hours of Writing: 45.75

I'm rather surprised that I don't have more written in March than February, since I wrote more days and more hours, but that's simply a reflection of which scenes wrote easier. It make sense that the first scenes, the ones I've thought about the most, wrote the fastest.

What pleases me most is that at this rate, I should finish Eva by the end of April. However, April is a month loaded with vacations and trips for me (I'm not complaining), so we'll see how it goes.

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