Wednesday Word Count!
Back on 03/16/19, I was just getting started with Novel #5. The word count was 8,777 at that point, with 100,000 words being the target for the final count. And my goal was to write 500 words per day - every day. (500 words being about a page and a half of double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman with one-inch margins)
Well, if I had successfully written 500 words per day, every day, I'd now be at about 75,000 words. I do believe in having goals, but they aren't always attainable for one reason or another. One reason I struggle with word count goals is my inveterate compulsion to write AND THEN REWRITE. As Dorothy Parker said, "I can't write five words but that I change seven."
But it's all good! Novel #5 continues to chug along nicely, complete with regularly scheduled stops in Crazy Town and the mandatory Crisis of Faith layover in The Swamp. (zip code adjacent to the Slough of Despond) (not to be confused with the Valley of Despair, Mountains of Doom, River of No Return or Parking Lot of Denny's)
For Novels 1-4, the first act poured out of me like hot syrup on a stack of homemade flapjacks. Fast, sweet, effortless, delicious, perfect. (Then I'd have to rewrite it all 37 times, but that's another story.) For Novel 5, no syrup, no flapjacks. (I don't even eat those things anymore, but nobody but a nutritionist would like my culinary metaphors now. A tepid glass of filtered water with a gluten-free supplement pill that insists on going down the wrong pipe like a tiny herbal assassin...) It's been a very different experience with #5, but a good one, nonetheless. I've been able to stick to the writing every day schedule pretty much (no mean feat with life inconveniently intervening at every juncture), even if the 500 words part has been all over the place.
I think the main reason the Novel #5 Experience has been so different is that it sat on the back burner so long. (damn it, I appear to be back in the kitchen - WHAT IS HAPPENING) I recently came across an email I'd sent myself in November 2010 with a story idea that became one of the three main plot pillars for #5. The other two were even older. Sometimes it takes a while for things to coalesce.
I also made very sure to outline the hell out of #5. I wrote myself into far too many corners with THE BOOK OF KELL and was determined not to do that in #5. I always outline, but this one is intense--so much so, it sometimes feels like I'm doing a paint-by-numbers. But since I wrote the numbers, it's cool. And it's going well, as I said.
Current word count: 41,392.
I would love to be a writer who generates one novel per year. (ish) And I'm still on track, I think, to finish the first draft of #5 by the end of 2019. All aboard! Next stop, page 129.