Progress Report: One Million Words, week 5

This week I’ve written 3,145 words – a little less than last week – and I’ve worked on a few different things as I’ve been trying to find my next project.

My current total is 14,330/1,000,000, or 14.3%.

Day-by-day summary

Monday: 388 words

Tuesday: 119 words

Wednesday: 573 words

Thursday: 624 words

Friday: 442 words

Saturday: 637 words

Sunday: 362 words


With The Mountain Story wrapped up last week, this week I’ve been working on finding the next project to work on. I’ve spent a lot of time making notes, exploring ideas, and doing research, but the actual written output hasn’t been so great.

Monday’s story was based on a prompt, but I didn’t get far into it and didn’t have an idea of where it was going. I didn’t really feel the story, so for Tuesday decided to work on something else.

Tuesday I spent a lot of time thinking and making notes on a prompt I’d written down in my notebook, but never quite got a grasp on it and gave up. What I ended up writing was just something stupid about a pirate that I was not happy with at all; it was an attempt at comedy, and I struggle with that a lot.

From Wednesday to Friday I managed good output, thanks in part to moving back to typing. I worked on a potential revival of an old story, but really I need to do a lot of prep work before that’s something I can write properly. World, characters, plot all need work; what I wrote on those days was two different versions of an encounter between the central character and another character that ended up boring. There’s a lot more work I’ll need to put in if this story ever gets any further, I think.

Yesterday I was babysitting again, and managed the best day of the week. This is interesting because it was also the day I switched back to longhand again, after typing for three days, and I still wrote more in the notebook than typing, in spite of the speed difference. I think having a scenario where I am unable to use the internet (I have not asked for the Wifi password and my phone had run out of battery) and all is quiet and distraction-free is productive for writing.

The Story

After discarding my earlier prompts and deciding against jumping right into the old novel reboot, I settled on a new project for as long as it takes to write. Some time ago I wrote a flash fiction piece about a tooth fairy for an entry on a /r/writingprompts contest. I’ve always meant to come back and expand on the concept, and so that’s what I’m working on now.

I’ve got a short arc planned out and with the way that I write I think that’ll come out at about 3,000 to 4,000 words, though honestly, I feel this is something that would work best in a much more compact story; I’ve already decided the first about 300 words of it can be cut, even if it means I lose an element I particularly like. I do tend to write in a fairly verbose style; I like to include the details, create an atmosphere, and get well inside the character’s head, but for this story I think I’ll need a lesson in hard editing and word efficiency. So while the first draft might well be several thousand words I plan on bashing this into shape, maybe getting it under 2,000 words or even under 1,500.

Take-away points

  1. While typing might be faster, I definitely feel more comfortable writing longhand now that I’ve gotten back to it. While, yes, I’m fairly wordy in my writing I think with typing that’s even more the case than writing longhand. So for now I’ll stick with writing by hand.
  2. Finding myself at the end of a story without anything to pick up afterward left me writing shit for a few days to make sure I was writing something. I don’t feel that was productive. I need to be working on the next project, in note form, before I finish the current project to prevent that from happening.
  3. A lot of my note-making earlier in the week was on working out how to make previous stories fit into the world I’ve been building recently. But I begin to wonder if looking back at what I wrote years ago is holding me back.

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