Day 17: First Draft Rambles or Writing Maturity?

As I hit my goal on the 17th day I can’t help but wonder what this draft is all about in terms of my writing. I’ve crossed the 35,000 word marker and I’ve still a long way to go. The story is picking up pace and yet there is still a helluva lot of bits to do. There’s a chance the pace will rapidly explode and I end up with another too-short first draft, or I might finally write a first draft that exceeds the length a novel should be. Here’s hoping!

I’m currently writing Chapter Twelve and what’s interesting is that most of my chapters are 3,000 words or more. Usually I hit 1,500-2,500. I don’t know if the increased length is because I’m focusing on plot, not writing (and let me tell you, when I use “terror” for the fourth time on one page I know I’m definitely not focused on the writing!), or if it’s because my writing has matured and I’m allowing myself to set the scene more. Obviously I’ll only find out when it comes to editing the novel, but I really hope it’s my writing has matured.

The lengthier scenes keep catching me off guard because I keep thinking “Today I’m going to write about X and Y” but then I only end up writing about X. Strangely, this isn’t making me disheartened or making me lose interest. I’m dying to write the scenes later in the book when it gets more intense, but I’m loving the build up.

Tomorrow will set me close (or just beyond) page 110, so I guess that’s my mini extra goal for tomorrow! I have training once again so I’ll have the usual battle with tiredness, but it’s convenient that my fitness is rising as my writing confidence does, so it’s a battle that gets easier each week!

Day 16: Back in Action!

After having a nice few days away with my girlfriend, I’m back in action.

I came home after seeing her off to the bus and had to shoot off for training. It was exhausting but entertaining and I’m playing some of my best football in years! It left me exhausted and, since I have been away for a few days, writing was going to be a massive challenge.

I really wanted to skip it, but then I checked my blog and remembered how much I had done consecutively. It would be foolish to let it slip because of tiredness and laziness.

So that’s how I got to my goal with a slow writing session that took an hour on the dot. It was quite difficult to get back into the feel of the novel and recapture the essence, which resulted in some god awful writing, but I got the words down and that’s what matters. Tomorrow will mark the real twist in the novel, when the tables start to turn and the main character starts to get some more power and possibility for success in surviving the ordeal.

This rough day has put me in high spirits and I can’t wait to dig in tomorrow! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Day 15: Goals Revisited and Obtained

I decided to reassess the plan I put forward in my last post, realising that the following 13 available days of writing between now and my course starting will be a lot tougher than the previous 14 have been. Between going away tomorrow, football, graduation and work, I’ll have a lot less time and energy in general.

So as a result, I’m forgetting about making up for lost days and just focusing on 1,000 words a day. I started this goal because I want to write consistently every single day when possible. No point shooting myself in the foot when it’s going well!

With that decision made, I raced to my goal and got it with relative ease, despite a lot of exhaustion and a piercing headache. Huzzah!

I’m now past the 100 page mark. Huzzah!

I will soon be at the 35,000 word mark. Huzzah!

The novel took another twist that I didn’t anticipate and will result in more deaths. Huzzah!

I’ll be gone from noon tomorrow and my sleeping pattern has been atrocious as of late. On top of that, I have a helluva lot to do tomorrow. If I get lucky and manage to spare a half hour or so, I’m going to try add a few hundred words even though I’m counting it as a null day. But I doubt I’ll get to squeeze that in.

I shall see you beautiful followers in a few days. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Day 14: Second Week Roundup

Thus ends the fourteenth consecutive and successful day since altering my writing goals. It’s been a joyous two weeks that’s restored my confidence and love for writing, as well as created a lot of steady progress. My novel’s first draft is over a third of the way to completion and moving at a steady, pleasant pace.

This week’s goals were raised because I thought I would miss a day, but I ended up being home for that day and because I forgot that was the reason for raising my goal, I hit the raised goal anyway each and every day. Handy!

This third week will be a bit trickier and has unavoidable missed days. I’ll be missing two days for definite, so I’ll be raising the goal again. This week I’m aiming to hit 1,400 words in each of the five days. To keep my confidence and the ball rolling, I’ll be acting like those days never existed and will do 1,400 for two extra days. This’ll actually result in my third week ending on a Sunday, so it’ll turn into the normal week for a week of writing.

Next week will end me just beyond 39,000 words without going far beyond the goals. So I’ll probably strive for the 40,000 by the end of it. It’ll also put me around 120 pages. I’m currently on 98 pages, so tomorrow will get me into the century, which will be pretty awesome!

And, like last time, here’s seven pointless stats:

1) Total Words: 8,640
2) Goal: 7,000
3) Average per Day: 1,234
4) Success: 23%
5) Pages Written: 24
6) Chapters Written: 2.5
7) Deaths: 0

Day 13: Everyone Deserves a Rest

It’s happening. The cycle is broken.

Today I had my match (in which I expected to play about 15 minutes at the end, seeing as I’m returning from an injury). I played 70 minutes and did it from the start. Safe to say I’m knackered!

I’m also under 1,000 words from what my goal for the week technically was, so I could take the whole day off, miss tomorrow’s goal and still get it. But that’s the thing! I’m not taking a day off. I’m having a rest and shooting for 500 words. Then I’ll dust my hands together and count it as a success.

Tomorrow I’ll go back for the 1,166 word goal.

A nice compromise that keeps me still writing daily, methinks!

(And as I’m starting now, there won’t be a ‘Yay I did it!’ post. Rest assured, I’ll get the 500.)

Edit: Never mind. Scrap everything I just said… I got to 500 words with ease and just kept on going. Next thing you know, I’d hit my goal and in a short enough time. Turns out this streak is harder to shake off than expected! Couldn’t even if I wanted to.

Day 12: So Close!

Don’t worry, don’t panic, I made the goal!

What I’m so close to is the 30,000 word mark. I finished Chapter Ten and this left me about 50 words past my goal, which was nice. It also left me 148 words short of the 30,000 milestone. Painfully close!

There’s a chance I’ll whack out the words to get there before I go to bed, just because it’ll be nice to pass, but it might also make it that little bit easier to start tomorrow. In saying that, the new chapter jumps a few days and slows the plot down to allow the main character to assess what the hell is going on and what it could all mean. So the change in pace is quite different to the full throttle I’ve been going at, which means I have to think about it before I start.

As it’s now 11.45pm, it’ll depend on whether or not I’m awake long enough. Either way, I’ll be beyond 30,000 by the end of tomorrow!

Tune in tomorrow to find out just how it plays out…

(Tomorrow my football team has our first pre-season match, so I’ll be gone for a large portion of the evening from 6pm onward. It’ll have to be a very late session or a morning one tomorrow!)

Day 11: Temptation Slayed

Today I got up early and went into town to meet my girlfriend. We had a lovely albeit short time, cut shorter by her having to leave sooner than expected. It was great to see her as I haven’t seen her in about three weeks, but it sucked that she had to go early.

So I hurried home and was soon off to training, where I would most likely drop out after 20-30 minutes to prevent aggravating my injury, which had been hurting me all day long. To my surprise, not only did I last the whole training, I was able to go at it with about 70% effort. Pretty good, considering last week I couldn’t really move.

The downside was that because I put so much in whilst getting over the injury, and since I was out for a little over a week, I came home shattered. It was 10pm and the day had gotten away from me. Only then did I remember my writing goal and only then did I consider leaving it, just this once… I had already gone ten days straight. It was a great success. It was a pretty number to end it on. I could start tomorrow.

And then voila! The whole “No. You’re writing.” thing kicked in and I got to my goal. I was certain I was going to cave today. I had to bargain with myself that I could go to 500 words, then head for a much needed relaxing bath, then come back and do the final 666 words (which would be the hardest bit, and coincidentally the number of the devil – i.e. the greatest tempter of them all!). I ended up getting about 700 words before I went for my bath because I got caught up in the moment. And it only took a minute to convince myself to finish it off once I got back. This routine is really working out well!

I’m now 3 pages from a total of 90 (tomorrow will get me there) and tomorrow will also land me right beside the 30,000 mark. I suspect and hope that I will thump out the extra few hundred words to cross that milestone. This will be an awesome feeling because it means I am basically a third of the way through the novel and racing towards the halfway mark. There’s also TONNES of plot left to go, so I’m curious how long it will end up being. This is where the pace will really start to pick up.