Sunday, April 14, 2013

Manuscript update

On 1st April, no fooling, I created a new word document and started writing Chapter One of the manuscript I have decided I will work on with the aim of getting traditionally published.

To help me keep track of the small accomplishments in what is sure to be long and obstacle-infested journey getting such a large project to completion, I decided to hand record my word count and some progression notes:

Word Count overview
1/4      0        1516   Chapter One.  Setting up the initial situation
2/4    1516    1985   Gained half an hour of writing time, from taking daughter to train station early!
6/4    1985    3387   Still on first chapter, setting the scene
7/4    3387       0      No, no, no!  Scraped what I'd written and started again.  I bogged the story down with too much telling and depressing back story. 

7/4      0        752     Yes, this is a much lighter and better start.
8/4     752     851     Another morning writing session before work
9/4     851     939     Wooohooo, two days writing in the morning before work.  I could quite get used to this!

11/4  939    1014     Some progress is better than none!
13/4  1014  3642     Wow, where did that come from?   Chapter One completed, now into Chapter Two.

I have done this before with other manuscripts I have worked on, and have always found I enjoy seeing my word count grow - especially when I frequently delete entire paragraphs because I can't get them to say what I'm trying to say, or the paragraph is not really needed so needs to be removed because it is just bogging the story down with unnecessary details.

I don't want to jinx myself by predicting future word count numbers, from where I sit at the beginning of the project, I'll just be happy to see the word count increase by one word at a time.

What I am enjoying about the writing process is:  getting into the flow of writing the story line. 
What I am finding most difficult is:  not bogging the story down with too much back story and excessive details.
What I find easy is:  to visualise my character and current location.
What I find harder is:  to know which descriptions best suit the story.

Best advice I could give myself right now?  Get off writing a blog post, and go back and add to your manuscript word count!


  1. Hi Char,

    Nice post. It's always good to see your word count growing.

    For me, I decided not to go back and edit/delete/rewrite anything until the whole thing was completed. I found I got bogged down and never finished, otherwise.

    There's an old saying: Allow yourself to write a crappy first draft. You can always fix it later.

    Seems to be working for me. :-)

  2. How do you do that, Chris? Not edit / delete / rewrite anything until the whole thing is complete? How do you allow yourself to write a crappy first draft? I want to, but it just doesn't happen!

    I need to re-read my own words in order to get back into writing mode and get back into the flow of the story (I mostly only get weekends to work on my novel-writing). As I re-read, I can't help but fix up sentences that I trip over and whatever I feel isn't working within the storyline. The ironic thing is, doing this usually helps my word count grow though.

    Sometimes, after a few false starts, I can write entire chapters or scenes and only need minor fix ups, but other times, the draft is just too crappy and not working out that I can't stop my inner editor consulting with my inner critic and them picking up their red pens and demanding fix ups before they will allow my inner writer back out to play.