Week #3 Overview

The surprise of the previous weeks’ writing has begun to fade; after a successful third week it’s starting to feel normal. So far, I’ve yet to experience anything else. Though I’m ever wary of those ominous word-wilting days of writer’s block.

18,000 words later, Chapter 1 is finally finished… for now. Chapter 2 is also complete and I am very happy with how it’s turned out. Tomorrow, I start Chapter 3.

After increasing the month’s target to 35,000  words, I’m pleased to end this week with 29,379 words. If you’d told me at the start of September I’d have this amount by the end of the third week, I’d have laughed. Or maybe hugged you.

It may not sound like much but my original estimated total word count had been 240,000 words. Now I think it could be closer to 300,000 words. Either way, three weeks in, I’m about a tenth of a way through. Not too shabby.

Week 3 Word Total Daily Words
19 Sep 2016 22,161 2,017
20 Sep 2016 24,419 2,258
21 Sep 2016 26,544 2,125
22 Sep 2016 28,576 2,032
23 Sep 2016* 29,379 803
Overall Total Week’s Total
 *half day 29,379 9,235

Chapter 1 needed slight untangling. It wasn’t a problem, more of a pest. Like an unwanted spider in the toilet, it got to the point where I just wanted it done with.

As I said in my previous overview, it was only supposed to be a maximum of 7,000 words. It’s currently over 18,000, even after deleting 500 words from the previous iffy Friday. While it’s great to have so many words and to be able to have written them, it’s not exactly what I wanted in terms of pace. It’s too bloated. (I really didn’t think at the start of September I’d three weeks later be worried about having too many words!)

I was relieved to finish Chapter 1 by Tuesday and I was pleased with most of what I’d written, including the end. Moving onto Chapter 2 (a different narrative entirely) for the remainder of the week gave me the distance I needed to mull over what went well and what needed improving.

Like a fat kid at a buffet (who am I kidding? Me at a buffet) I’m going to leave it where it is for now and go back to it regularly, all the while keeping it in mind. I’m not going to edit it, only take parts and move them elsewhere.

One issue I found was the focus. It introduced a bit too much. One scene in particular would benefit from being moved to Chapter 3. It’ll build more suspense and save a character’s introduction for later, which would make more sense. There’s probably quite a bit of description in there too which may be unnecessary; some bits I’ll probably chuck entirely. I’ll come to that when I begin editing.

Chapter 2 turned out twice its intended length, as well, at just under 5,000 words. I was, however, very happy with how it turned out. It contains only a single scene, mostly from one character’s perspective, and it moves at the pace I intended it to. I even have a segment I’d like to use as an extract in the not-too-distant future.

With finding Chapter 1 to be a bit on the chubby side, it made me conscious of focusing on only the essentials for Chapter 2. The weaknesses of Chapter 1 likely helped with the strengths of Chapter 2. As I wrote it, I tried to keep in mind only write what you as a reader would want to read. I’m hoping this will be helpful when editing not only Chapter 1 but the whole thing, if I get there.

After completing the Prologue and the first two chapters, all of which exceeded their word counts, I’m starting to discover I’m a pretty poor estimater. Perhaps they weren’t as realistic as I thought they were, or maybe they should be the word counts after editing. I’m not worrying about it for the moment. Right now it’s more important to be getting the words out, the more certainly being the merrier.

Chapter 3, I’ll see you tomorrow!

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