A short update on my writing life.
Book One: My goal was to finish my first novel before the end of 2018. I did succeed at that, more or less. Right before Christmas I finished editing the last chapter, and had a complete draft of a novel for the first time ever, which was really exciting! But I did not do the final pass through that I’m still planning on before I can say it’s as complete as I can make it on my own.
While I was working on this project all last year, I had the book divided by chapters so that it was easier to navigate while I was skipping around a lot and editing small pieces at a time, so my only real progress with Book One since Christmas is that I’ve got it all formatted in one document for the first time. It ended at 295 pages, and 93,940 words. My goal was 90,000 words, about 10k per each of the nine chapters, but I think the last three chapters or so came up a little short so I was glad to see that I had still reached my goal. I know the word count is not as important as the story, that was just the number that seemed like a good workable length for what I was trying to write, and I’m happy with the length and content at this point. I don’t expect it’ll change much with my final pass.
I’ve now had someone read through the draft, and I’ve got a handful of notes about paragraphs here and there that could use some adjustment, but I’m done with major revisions. The biggest change I’ll be making to this draft is to put the dates in each chapter header instead of simply numbering the chapters, but I already mapped out all of the chronology of dates for my own ease of navigation while editing, so it’s just a matter of filling them in from my notes.
I know the first month of the year is almost at its end, but my goal before the 31st of January is simply to do that full reread and make any small edits I want to based on my first reader’s notes. At that point, I will have no excuse not to start querying, so I guess it’s time to quit procrastinating and take the leap. I’m proud of myself for finishing at least, no matter what happens next.
Book Two: This related/companion novel is mainly the progress I’ll be talking about in my Novel Progress series throughout 2019. One of my goals for this year is to finish this second novel before the next Christmas, which is a faster pace than I wrote Book One, but I do want to challenge myself and I think having completed this process once should make it more familiar and manageable the second time.
I’ll probably be updating about it once per month, and for this book I want to include my word count progress, which I think will help hold me accountable to keep moving with it, and it’ll show my progress better than my simply announcing which chapter I’ve been editing lately. Since this one is a companion, I want it formatted similarly, and expect it’ll turn out about the same length. I’m still exploring it, so if it ends up being shorter or longer or turning out differently, that’s fine with me. At this stage, my goals are pretty flexible with this one because I like to write knowing the bare minimum about where the story is heading and how it’s going to get there. Which is probably why I end up doing so much editing, but that’s my process.
I was hoping to do about a 10k word chapter per month this year, with plenty of time for editing between wrapping up the draft and my Christmas deadline, but honestly I’ve been a bit drained after working so hard to finish Book One in December and coming down ill in January and I’ve been in “rest and recharge” mode instead of “work harder” mode. So my current word count on Book Two is only 1,735 at the moment, out of a hopeful 90,000. But it’s been fast and easy and so fun to write when I do actually sit down to work on it, so I think I can still make a good amount of progress before the end of the month.
I’m hoping to get back into doing these progress updates earlier in the month, and to pick up the pace with the writing, so hopefully by the time you see my February update I’ll be past 10,000.
And that’s all I have to say for January writing. It’ll be interesting to see how this year turns out. I’m off to a slow start, but I’m confident I can turn that around.
Do you have any writing goals this year?
The Literary Elephant