I’ve been working on a basic summary for my short story for the Writer’s Digest competition. As much as I wanted to just throw myself into it and write, I couldn’t do it 😛 I guess I’m a plotter at heart, even when I’m writing a story less than 10K.
I used to write flash fiction–less than 1000 words–and those I generally just threw myself in and wrote, but much more than that and I find I need a basic map.
Of course, after I came up with this “map” for the short story (tentatively titled “The Bog Witch”) I realized it was much too long–and detailed. I threw too much into a story that has a max word count of 4K–which is only a little over 10 pages double spaced. That’s really not that much when you think about it. I somehow thought that 4K was a lot longer than that but no 😛
I’ve had misconceptions about my word count before too. For example, my first NaNo draft of The Scarlet Daughter ended up being over 100K–and I still had a good quarter of the book to reach “the end.” I’ve gotten a little better at judging word count, realizing that I tend to venture into the “too wordy” category all too often. Still, I think I may be a little off in estimating word count in the beginning.
Staying within the limits of word count guidelines, whether for contests, freelance writing, agent/editor submissions, etc. is extremely important. An agent does not want to see in your query that your romance novel is 250K long. And for contests and submissions to magazines or other literary journals, going over word count is a sure way to receive an automatic rejection. Yes, there are some exceptions, mainly when it comes to novels, but I’d still be wary of having a 300K novel, especially if you’re a first-time, unpublished author.
Do you ever over or under estimate your word count?
I’m sure you all know how I’ve been slacking once again on getting anything written as shown by my fairly stationary word count bar on right. It seems like I need some sort of outward force to push me to write. Horrible, I know–if I want to be a true writer I have to write even when I don’t feel like it, and well, I certainly haven’t been succeeding on that account.
Anyway, I found another thing to push me forward. I’m part of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and only through another writing friend, Lynda Schab, did I find out about their Novel Track e-loop. Basically it’s like NaNo, only you set your own goal. You subscribe to the e-loop to keep up with others who are taking part as well as updating your words in their word counter. They do this four times a year–January, April, July and October. And since I’m someone who needs this outward push, I jumped in. I’m hesitant about it because I’ve been feeling pretty blah about anything to do with writing, but I know I have to push past it. I think this came up at just the right time.
Even if you aren’t part of ACFW, if you’re working on a WiP, I encourage you to join me. You can set a goal for yourself as small or as large as you want. And if you’re up to it, I encourage you to send me an email daily, every few days or weekly at Dara.Sorensen@gmail.com to let me know how you’re doing. We can encourage each other to keep writing at least throughout the month of July 🙂 I know that encouragement often helps me push past me over the lazy hill to keep me going and I know it’s the same for many others too.
I managed a little over 4K today for Scarlet Daughter. Yes I am surprised at myself. Part of that though was some stuff from a previous draft that I put in (with some editing), so I probably ended up doing about 2800K or so of new stuff. Still, it’s nice to see my word count bar past the 8K mark!
Here’s hoping for such progress tomorrow. 🙂
Brief update on NaNo progress. I passed the 6K mark with an official count of 6766 words. Got a little more than 2400 done today. Much of that has to do with the word war I had with my sister, in which I had a little over 1100 words in a half hour. Impossible? Yeah I thought so too but I checked and re-checked what I’d written three times and it always added up to the same amount.
If only I could keep at that pace, like all the time.
This week has been crazy busy and in some ways, not the best first few days of my 25th year. Work has been slightly on the crazy side; I’ve had to drive all over town the last few days, with write-ins (which I love, don’t get me wrong!), vet appointments and just traveling to and from work. Today was particularly crappy with all the driving and then the $400 vet bill we got for Potato and his mysterious skin condition. But it ended on a good note when I came home to a belated birthday cake made by my wonderful husband and a birthday card 🙂
Poor little puppy...
Still, the rest of the week proves to be equally as insane with another write in tomorrow at Books & Co, going to a friend’s house on Thursday, back to Books & Co on Friday night with Phil’s cousin for Jamie Ford’s author signing (which I have been geekishly counting down for like the last month), and Saturday I will spend most of the day baking kolachky (fruit filled cookies) for a recipe party that I’m going to on Sunday.
Not to mention I need to squeeze in my 2K of words every day.
Bah I’m exhausted just thinking about it and reading this over…
Ok well I’m off to bed. It’s early by my standards (meaning before midnight) but I don’t think I can physically keep my eyes open any longer.
Oh and I’m still planning on doing the series on Mythical Creatures of Japan the rest of the week, and month, hopefully 🙂
I just wrote over 2000 words for my first draft.
Not the best 2000 words by far, but it’s something nonetheless.
A new chapter too (although it’s a chapter that’s earlier in the book, one that’s being added). Now, to do a quick edit tomorrow before submitting it for critique next week.
So, life got busy and I haven’t realized that it’s been so long since I last updated. It’s not much of an excuse really…I must admit that my inner “bum” sort of took a hold of me the last week or so. There were a few days I didn’t write at all and just sat around the house watching TV or a movie or old Gilmore Girls episodes instead of being productive.
Anyway, today Phil comes back from his business trip in Seattle, thus ending the ten days that we’ve been apart. Of course his flight doesn’t even come in until 10:30 tonight, but at least I know I don’t have to sleep alone any more 😛
On the writing front, I’m slowly but surely coming along with the NaNo novel. I’m still ahead of where we are supposed to be (despite the two days of not writing at all). Unfortunately it seems to be lacking in quality as the days go by. I didn’t think that it could get much worse–but it has 😛
Anyway, I’m getting to a major turning point in the novel, where the antagonist finds my MC and kidnaps her. I’m still uncertain if there’s going to be a death in the process (I’m unfortunately leaning towards yes…as much as I love the character that will probably die in defending her…). I suppose I’ll find out fairly soon as it will be in the next two chapters.
That’s pretty much it…I’m doubting the book will actually be finished by the end of the month, but it should be within a few chapters.
Official Word Count: 36,737
I realize I have temporarily slacked off in my daily word counts.
Anyway, on Monday, I didn’t do any writing, as writing over 4K pretty much zapped any sort of thinking from me, so I took a break.
Yesterday I fully expected to only write my normal 2K…and ended up almost doubling it again 😛 I didn’t realize I was caught up in the scene until my hands started to hurt and I checked the word count.
So I’m taking another break today; I may write a little more later tonight, but it probably won’t be much more than 1K.
Because of my two 4K days, I pulled ahead of my sister in word count, which has irked her 😛 However she’s catching up fairly quickly…
Perhaps I should not take that break…
Official word count: 28,170
(BTW, that word count is only the “second half” or so of the novel; I think total my novel would be right around 75K or so, but that’s a rough guess)