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mainly when it comes to novels, but I’d still be wary of having a 300K novel, especially if you’re a first-time, unpublished author.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)
I think my eyes are on the verge of falling out from all the typing I’ve done since Thursday.
Since the last entry I’ve written 7,435 words. In two days.
For some writers, that may seem like a small number but to me, who only averages about 2000 or so daily, that is a monumental amount.
I wrote slightly over 4,000 today alone. I don’t know how, but it happened 😛 And I was nearly all tapped out of creative juices.
I think tomorrow I may take a slight break; I’m going to at least write enough to get me to the 25 K mark, which is somewhere between 700-800 words.
But I think I’ve earned a tiny break 😛 Of course I believe my hands and my brain are screaming at me from spending too much time typing and staring at small print on a computer screen. So tomorrow will be mostly for recharging and refueling. 😛
Official word count: 24,241
I went to a write-in tonight at this cute little cafe where we had an entire conference room to ourselves. Most of the night there were around five of us, with one or two there for an hour or so. I was there from 6 p.m. to nearly 11.
And only managed to get 2,732 written in that time. I should’ve easily hit 3 or 3.5 but of course when you get a bunch of writers together, we tend to talk a lot, and things go off on some wacky, wacky tangents (a good hour of this time was spent talking…probably more like an hour and a half throughout the night).
Still, the comraderie is good and I still managed to get a good chunk written. And of course the best part is I’m now ahead of my sister. MWAHAHA. (Can you tell I’m just the teensiest bit competitive?)
I may go to another write in tomorrow afternoon but I’m unsure because Phil’s leaving on a business trip to Seattle on Sunday afternoon and will be gone 10 days. But he insists I ought to make it to all the write ins I can, so we’ll see. It depends if I feel like driving the 30 plus minutes to get there 😛
Ok that’s it; time for the daily word count update:
Word count: 16,806
Ok I’m beginning to run out of creative titles for these posts 😛
Anyway, today seemed easier to get the word count out. I managed to get 2,505 more words written, which surpasses my goal of 2K a day. Today I wrote a scene where Kaiyo finds out about her father’s roots (that he too is also illegitmate, just like she is, which of course doesn’t sit well with her). That was an interesting scene, though I need to punch it up a bit later on.
And the first time since I’ve started NaNo, I wrote a chapter from the antagonist’s POV. It ended up flowing even better than the earlier stuff I’d written today, probably partially due to the fact I involved myself in a 30 minute word war with my sister. Anyway, I’m especially excited about the scene because I’m actually using a real person from history to be a part of it. The man Kaemon, my antagonist, goes to see is Mitsuru Toyama, the leader of the Dark Ocean Society or the Genyosha.
What really makes me excited about it (I know, I’m a history geek) is that everything flows so well! He was known to have involvement with organized crime groups (like what Kaemon and Kanamoto, Kaiyo’s father, are a part of) and was seen as a very influential figure, as he was very ultranationalist. In fact, he was also implicated in the attempted assassination of the foreign minister Okuma Shigenobu in 1889. So of course I’m using that in my novel, as Kaemon’s gang/organization were the ones responsible for carrying it out (no one knows who actually threw the bomb, so this is where I get to really use my artistic license!).
So yeah…I get really pumped and excited when I find little tidbits of history that fall into place exactly where I need them to be 🙂
Ok that’s it for today!
Official Word Count: 14,074