Week #9 Overview

Monday saw the end of October, and, after 21 days of writing, my second month’s word count totalled 71,702 words; I was very happy to be comfortably within my word count target. With November also having 21 days of writing (it would be 22, but I’m taking my birthday off), I’m hoping by the end of it my word count will be somewhere between 103,000 and 108,500 words. The thought of being 100,000 words into my novel is quite very exciting for me, even if that amount isn’t even a third of my final total!

To put it in perspective, the average word count for a novel, dependent on its genre, is anywhere from 75,000 to 130,000 to 300,000+ words. I’m expecting Everborne to tip the scales at just over that, possibly even at 350,000 words, but even now I don’t really know for sure. That’s quite exciting, though it’s mostly terrifying.

Here’s the week’s break down:

Week 9 Word Total Daily Words
31 Oct 2016 71,702 1,515
1 Nov 2016 73,052 1,350
2 Nov 2016 74,833 1,781
3 Nov 2016 76,156 1,323
4 Nov 2016 77,217 1,061
Overall Total Week’s Total
77,217 7,030

Tuesday saw the end of Chapter Seven, at long last. As much as I enjoyed writing this 3-in-1 chapter, it was good (no, who am I kidding, it was GREAT!) to have it finished at long last. (Even after editing, I think it’s going to be my longest chapter. We’ll see, though.) As I’ve already talked about, it always feels like more of an achievement to be able to say (to myself, more than anyone) that I’ve got another chapter under my figurative belt. The more chapters I have, the more Everborne seems to be coming together; the more my novel moves further from dream and closer to reality.

As I spoke at length about Chapter Seven last week and as I am happy I completed it on Tuesday, I’m going to leave it there. (Until I have to edit it, of course.)

Wednesday, I turned my attention to Chapter Eight (and it really did feel like an achievement to have it completed by Thursday; or Friday, once it was proof-read and lightly edited), where I rejoined characters previously seen in the Prologue.

It was a really fun chapter, though a challenging one. Without giving too much away, the characters each wake up as the controlling consciousness of a different alien or animal. It was a lot of fun to have the bodies of fantasy beings combined with human voices; though I’m hoping the voices helped to ground the chapter in a more magic realism feel than a fantasy one.

At the moment, I’m really enjoying writing characters who’ve so far only appeared in one or two previous chapters. This is partly because the more I write a character the more confident I feel about them and their place in the story, but it also adds to the feeling that Everborne is coming together. It’s the same as the chapters. The more characters whose narratives are progressing, the more I feel I have under my figurative belt; the closer my novel is to reality.

I also happen to really like these characters. I think they’re a lot of fun, particularly because of their humour and how they interact with one another. The fact they’re now in control of these new bodies should hopefully add to that. This makes the narrative unique and (hopefully) rather original.

Once I’d completed Chapter Eight, I was so pleased with it I felt like I could let someone read it straight away, due to how well I thought it’d gone. As tempting as this is, I’ve left it in the dark all the same, along with those before it. Even if it is as good as I think it is, having some time to reflect on it will only help. Possibly even make it stronger.

Chapter Nine began on Friday, which was an unusually slow day. I didn’t have writer’s block and I wasn’t doing anything different, so I was a little at a loss as to why. Editing what I’d written the day before did take all morning, so by lunchtime I only had 50 or so words, unlike my average 500-900. Even after lunch, though, writing felt sluggish.

Chapter Nine continues Narrative 1 from straight after Chapter Seven and is structured the same way: a weave of flashback and present narrative. As I write it, I’m being far more mindful of the length, and I’m only trying to write what is essential. If I don’t, the word count will bloat. The danger of this is if every chapter bloats I’m going to have a novel that is far too long.

So far, I think it’s going well. Though I did come to a bit of a stop by the end of the day. However, I think I fixed this when walking with Emily this morning through the gorgeous South Downs. The autumnal colours really are something.

I find it hard to sit down and go OK, let’s plan this scene out. I managed this for Chapter Six but for others I’ve found I’m best at untying knots when I’m out walking. I don’t even have to be thinking about them. It just kinda happens.

On Friday, I’d been wondering how a conversation between two characters was going to go. This morning, however, I decided it would be better if the conversation didn’t even happen.

Due to how one of the characters is currently feeling and how they are like, it would be unlike them to actually want to talk to the other character at that moment in time. Sure, this makes it easier for me when I write tomorrow, but it also benefits what comes after. This shunned character will more naturally find solace in the company of another, while the first character’s difficulties will only increase because of their self-induced isolation, which is what I need. Oddly enough, by choosing not to write this scene, I think it only strengthens the story.

As for the scenes that do need to be written still, they continue tomorrow.

I’d like to add that I’m feeling really good about Everborne at the moment, which isn’t always the case, unfortunately. At the moment, at least, I feel as if things are going well. It’s coming together. What I’ve written so far is a mixed bag of good and to-be-improved. Though, with the latter, I feel like I know what to do with it to be able to get it at the same level (or near to) as the rest. I also feel confident with where the story is going and how I’m going to get there.

I need to remember this for the next dark day. That I believe in the novel, even if I don’t always believe in myself.

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