Progress report: One Million Words, week 12

This week I’ve slowed own a little. 3,568 words. It’s been a busy week, not necessarily in terms of work (I’ve only had my standard two shifts this week), but in other things. My fiance got a job and has been doing lots of overtime, and I’ve been the taxi for him since he doesn’t drive. I’ve been helping my brother with something – he’s just started a university course via distance learning and isn’t used to things like formatting documents and putting references into assignments. Then, with my fiance at work, I’ve had to take on the bulk of the housework. And yesterday we went to visit friends a couple of hours away.

That sounds like an excuse, but it’s not. I still managed to write every day, even if it wasn’t as much as last week. It is, perhaps, a reminder that I cannot increase my output week on week without occasionally dipping down again.

I am now at 42,501/1,000,000 words total or 4.25%.

Day by day summary

Monday: 277 words

Tusday: 219 words

Wednesday: 1,121 words

Thursday: 487 words

Friday: 368 words

Saturday: 508 words

Sunday: 588 words

Analsysis/The story

Aside from Tuesday – when I was writing away from home, and thus in my notebook rather that at my PC – I have continued working on the Kell serial chapter 2. It has become far longer than I anticipated, though there’s room for cutting. The simple matter of characters going and doing a thing and solving a problem grew a little beyond my original plan for it, and I found an organic way of introducing the key magical element of the story in a manner that is far better than previous attempts within the story. However, that introduction to an element is what is taking up a lot of words. I may seek to find a way to end the chapter earlier, with the problem it was setting up solved, and the events of the third chapter following on directly with the consequences of chapter 2’s solution revealing the magical element. I’ll have to see how it works, but for now I’ll just keep going until I find a good enough place to take a break.

In terms of when I’ve written the most this week, it’s nothing new. The days I’ve been busiest, I’ve written least. The day I wrote longhand I wrote very little indeed, but spent as long on it as any other day. The day I had pretty much free and clear and set aside a couple of hours earlier in the day for writing, I managed a lot more words.

Take away points

  1. Last week and earlier this week I attempted to introduce a key story element too early, but quickly realised my error and corrected it. Now I’ve found the right time for it in the story, it’s working organically and flows well. So it pays to let myself try something and delete it the next day if it wasn’t working.
  2. I write verbosely. A chapter I had imagined to be 5,000 words long is now over 10,000 words (albeit at least 1,000 words of that is crossed out, struck through, not to be used). I already knew I was quite wordy in my writing, but this seems to be doubly true when I don’t have much of a plan. Editing this will be a lot of work.
  3. Given the above, I wonder if I’m cut out for short form stories. I think I work best when there is space to expand, but I shall have to practice keeping things tight if I want to keep wordcounts for individual stories down. I do already read some short stories, but perhaps I need to read more, and more critically.
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