Monday, March 5, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Here are some stats on ASHFALL:
· The basic idea was born back in like 2003. Over the course of like a year I fiddled around and wrote maybe 30k?
· I pulled the idea out of the trunk for 2010 NaNoWriMo, and after re-reading and editing, got the draft up to around 75k during that month. I stopped working on it because I was bouncing between projects.
· In July 2011, I committed to Ashfall as my next project, the next manuscript I was going to finish and send to my agent. I gave myself a goal of January 2012 to finish.
· I finished the first draft August 30, 2011, which came in at 123k.
· On September 7, 2011, I finished a rough edit, cutting the draft down to 119k, and sent it off to my betas. I gave them a month to read, and since they’re so wonderful, they all got back to me by October 11!
· I spent about two weeks organizing my notes for my betas, asking questions, brainstorming, and plotting out a revision plan.
· I created my draft 3 doc on October 24, 2011 and started working. Most of this work was rewriting almost EVERYTHING. I think maybe 20k survived from the original draft.
· November 11, 2011 – Skyrim released, and I’m ashamed to admit it, but I played for about three weeks straight, and didn’t do hardly anything on Ashfall.
· December 1, 2011 – I realized that playing Skyrim is not going to finish the book. (Crazy right?) So I did some hard math, and set aggressive goals to get myself back on track for my January goals.
· I finished the rewrite during the first week of January 2012, except for the last couple chapters. For most of January, I’ve been line editing, consistency checking, etc – which I did on paper. Then, I spent lots of hours keying these changes.
· Last week I finished line edit inputting, and yesterday I finished the ending rewrite.
· Today, January 29, 2012, I finished my third manuscript, which clocks in at 125,038 words.
This is good. I know this manuscript isn’t quite a perfect example because I started the idea like a decade ago. So, not counting that brainstorming/concept work/little bit of words in 2003, it took me about eight months to finish ASHFALL. And since Skyrim won’t ever be coming out again, I think I can safely say I’m capable of writing a book in about seven months. ;)
My goal is to do the next one in six months.
Now, if I know myself, I’m going to spend today super excited, tomorrow super anxious, and start working on my next book the day after that!
Other fun facts:
· Before my line edits, ASHFALL’s highest word count was close to 150k.
· My main character’s name was originally Alacrity, and is now Caylix. Changing her name was super therapeutic, and helped me change her character as the novel required.
· My first draft had one POV. The current draft has three.
· I had seven beta readers for the entire draft this time, the most I’ve ever used. I’ve learned that number is too high, and I don’t think I’ll use more than five in the future.
· I’ve rewritten my synopsis for ASHFALL at least 15 times. I think I like my current one…
· ASHFALL was my Clarion West submission material. I’ve haven’t looked at the first two chapters since sending my application in, and I don’t plan on it!
· The first two chapters have been read by like 16 people. Some multiple times!
· Don’t tell my other characters, but I think Dust is my new favorite character.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Monday, December 5, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
I know we all cringe at the dreaded math. I know I do! My boyfriend is a programmer, so I’ve gone as far as asking him to do division for me in his head so I don’t have to bust out my Windows calculator.
But math can be really important to help you keep track of what you are and aren’t doing when it comes to your writing.
I have to confess, I’ve been a bad, bad writer this last month. Skyrim came out and the gamer in me won. I played a lot – much more than I really needed to. And I convinced myself that as long as I was opening my document every other day, I was doing enough on my new draft of Ashfall.
I knew I was getting dangerously behind. I say dangerously in reference to my personal goals, as I’m not on a contract like a lot of writers out there. I still have the luxury to play games (excessively) when I should be writing, and hurt nothing but personal goals in the progress.
So I divided my current WIP count by the number of days I’d been working on it, which put me far below the hard numbers (word count per day) that I know I’m capable of outputting. Then I did the math to plot out when I would get done if I continued working at such a lame pace. Not good. Not even close to what it should be if I want to get this new manuscript to my agent in January.
I wasn’t even hitting the NaNoWriMo pace. We're talking under 500 words a day. I know that 500 words means different things to different people, but for me this is LAME. So then I plotted out where I would be if I used the 1666 words a day goal post, which I’ve done in the past and know I can easily met (since I won’t be playing hours of Skyrim anymore). That put me at the end of January – but that’s not good enough, because then I won’t have time to go over the draft for grammar and typos and shining before hitting send.
A friend recently pointed me to this post, which I think has a lot of truth to it, especially when it comes to documenting your time spent writing.
It’s very easy to kid yourself that you’re making progress (how ever you define it) every day just because you sit at the computer and stare at the doc for an hour.
But progress is different for everyone, and writing has a different priority level for everyone. So also see this.
I let writing slip down on my priority list this month, which for me, is not okay considering I want to make a career out of this. No one to answer to but myself, but there you have it.
Now, my goal is to 3500 words per day so I’m done by the end of December. Considering these two links and my past writing trends, it can be done. (By the way, this daily count includes scenes I revise and keep from the previous draft).
Yesterday I added 4416 words to my draft. All inspired by a little bit of math and some honesty with myself and how I’ve been using my free time.
Friday, November 4, 2011
So I went to B&N because I had a coupon. I wanted to pick up the next book in the Earth's Children series. They had copies in trade paperback and mass market.
In a moment of complete OCD, I bought the entire series to make sure my books match when I put them on my shelf.
In a related note, I know I'm like thirty years to late, but I really love this series. I'm almost done the first book, Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
The great part about this community is that everyone seems to understand that. We come and go as we need to, posting more and posting less, and followers might come and go, but the environment, for the most part, remains the same.