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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Clear Your Desk Challenge Update

Note: There was a question on this. No. I am not normally this crazy. Promise. This is just a word count for the challenge. Check the archives if you have questions. I promise, after NaNo I will get back to editing and query letters. Promise. (Did I say promise yet?)

Yellow- DoJ Draft 4 updates
Blue- Finn Genesis Draft 1
Pink- Nearly Normal Nan Draft 1
Black- Federation Short

I don't know how everyone else keeps track of their monthly progress, but when I do NaNo and rough drafts I use an excel worksheet. It's actually pretty easy to put together the chart. The first column has the date, the second has the word count. Highlight and click on the chart button.

The scattered dots at the end of the month are the target word counts for given days. I like to set goals. Last November I could usually average 2,500 a day, and so I was writing 10k every four days.

This month, well, you can see the chart. I've had periods where I'm lagging and not getting the word count in. I didn't plan on writing NNN this month, it mugged me, and although I love the story, it's distracting me from everything else.

Luckily there isn't an editor on my back so I can get away with this kind of distraction. It's the only pro to being an unpublished author, the time is your own.

DoJ has really suffered from lack of attention. After some heartrending discussions with a good friend I've made peace with the fact that DoJ won't be ready to query in January. I wish it could be, but with rewrites and everything else it isn't going to happen. No, I lie. It could happen, but I don't think the manuscript will be the best possible form in January. If an agent asked for it tomorrow, yes, I could have the manuscript ready in a month. But I intend to do nothing with the ViS universe in November because I've worked with those characters almost exclusively since last October and I want a break.

Finn Genesis is making progress. I might actually get close to done with the first draft this month. I know it sounds impossible, but I actually have several scenes already written so it's a matter of transplanting those scenes in, ironing out a few wrinkles, and writing the connecting scenes. I really love this story. It moves fast, the characters are wild and fun, and it's still sparkley and new to me.

Nearly Normal Nan is... slowing. The idea is cute. It's fun. I have the plot. But I lost interest somewhere along the way. It may mug me again. Or not. YA isn't a genre I'm bound and determined to publish in. If I finish the book and think it has potential, I'll work with it. If not, it's another training novel.

Federation Short is finished. And over the alloted word count. And rough. So I'll actually be cutting word count and work on smoothing out some of the wrinkles. Whether this gets published or not I'm pleased with this story. It's a very ambitious project. There are seven major characters that all need to be fully fleshed out and realized in 5000 words. And the story line that wraps up 73 days plus the closing two years later. It's on a topic that interests me. And it's not like anything I've ever read, which isn't saying much because I'm horrible about reading short stories. It's a vice, I prefer novels. I'll work on it.

Word counts presently stand at:
DoJ- 21,644
Finn Genesis- 14,749 (and I may write more tonight)
NNN- 5,875
Federations - 5,742

I still have 16 days in the month. A lot can be done in that time.

How are your goals for the month coming along?

EDIT: Finn Genesis is now 17,820 :o)


  1. I love the idea of using the graph function in excel. I use excel to keep track of my word counts, but a graph never occured to me. Cool.

    You're doing well, Li. Good job :)

  2. A graph. Wow. That's intimidating. I don't work on enough WIPs right now to need one, but it looks something I might like to do when I decide to tackle more than one project at at time.

    Thanks for your comment on Authoress. I get so utterly embarrassed when people don't say, "Oh! I LOVE your stuff! Don't change anything." Hah! Which means I'm always embarrassed because I have so much room to grow.

    How is The Breakaway coming? Well, almost finished revising. I think my opening is the worst part right now (obvious from my submission - but that's why I submitted it - to make it better!)

    I've pared the novel down from 113,00 words down to 105,000 so far. *waits for thunderous applause*

    I've tightened it up a lot. I can't wait for you to read the first few chapters for me. :) I'm sure you'll shred it to BITS. But nicely, of course.

    Hmmm, maybe I should go shred some of your stuff. :)

  3. I actually used the graph last year for just one novel. I wanted a visual reminder of how far I had to go, and how far I'd gone, during NaNo. I modified it this year because I had multiple pots on the fire.

    *thunderous applause*

    7k is a lot to cut. I've tried before. But the more I write the sparser my first drafts get and the more I leave fleshing out and details for later.