Progress Report: One Million Words, week 23

I think I might just have managed to nail consistency in wordcount output. This week’s total is 5,395, just five words more than last week, with an average of 771 words per day.

I have now written for 155 consecutive days without missing a day.

My total is now 102,665/1,000,000, which means I’ve reached the 10% mark (10.27%). So if it takes 23 weeks to reach 10%, if I maintain the same average rate, it should take about another 4 years from now to reach the million words – taking me to the eve of a new decade.

Day by day summary

Monday: 952 words (Dragonbane)

Tuesday: 286 words (Dragonbane)

Wednesday: 997 words (Horrible Monster)

Thursday: 629 words (Horrible Monster)

Friday: 784 words (Minecraft Adventures)

Saturday: 985 words (Horrible Monster)

Sunday: 762 words (Horrible Monster)

Analysis

Right, let’s get the Horrible Monster situation out of the way first. I am using it as a fallback for when I’m struggling for something else to write. It’s easy. I enjoy it. But I’m jumping all over the plot, to the scenes I have some idea about and in which there is the most drama. It’s still filler. There’s way more work to be done before it could ever be a full proper story with some sort of direction and purpose.

And that’s a problem. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours setting out a plan of action so that I won’t have to fall back on Horrible Monster. This plan will involve looking at the stories and concepts that I am happy with but which need a rewrite or a whole plot, and working out what possibilities there are with the story and where I want to take it. There are eleven stories I have identified, that I’ve worked on since July, where this treatment could be helpful.

My goal this week will therefore be to create one page for each of those eleven stories outlining my thoughts on the idea and the story I’ve written for it, and where it could go. It will then be easier, when I’m struggling to come up with something for a new prompt or stuck on an existing story, to switch to one of these because I will have done enough preparation to have at least some idea of what’s going on.

The Minecraft Adventures story was written because that’s what the kid I was babysitting suggested. I didn’t get far with it, and I think I was writing at a reading level a bit above the kid in question, but I think I’ll have a fresh go at it at some point to come out with a short story for this kid before the next time I babysit him.

As for Dragonbane, well the full title is What kind of name is Dragonbane anyway? and I was so happy with it that I have already edited it and submitted it. It’s a 1,200 word story that slightly mocks a few fantasy tropes, specifically people turning into dragons and dragonslayers in excessive armour. It was not accepted at the (very quick to respond) magazine I submitted to first, but I’ve got a second destination in mind. If that doesn’t work, the format I wrote it in might mean it would work better as a one-header radio play, so I’m going to look into options from that angle too. The BBC usually have some sort of drive to get people writing for radio so that might suit it.

I’m honestly quite excited about this piece and I hope you can read or listen to it soon.

Goals for the week to come

It’s fairly clear what I need to do in the coming week:

  1. Submit Dragonbane to another magazine
  2. Look into radioplay options for Dragonbane
  3. Make a one-page summary of each of the eleven stories I’d like to try to keep, outlining what I want to achieve with the story and where it might go
  4. Rewrite the Minecraft story for the kid I babysit.
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