Tuesday, 5 November 2013

November 5th – 1,000,009 - DONE!



Sorry, I couldn’t resist it. The mental fireworks going off at this moment, a few seconds after 12:06 pm are incredible – the adrenalin rush just unbeatable. I hit 5,038 words just this moment, taking me just past the million word mark. I haven’t finished for the day but I’ve hit the mark, but I’m going to finish the scene.

For the record, the phrase that took me over the line was “the sound would be covered by the music” and the millionth word was “music”. Given I’m tone deaf that’s somehow appropriate. My apologies to my Australian friend who wanted the word to be something momentous, and for some strange reason linking Susan Boyle to Fosters, but music drowning the sound of a silenced gun going off will have to do.

When I started this process, it was about trying to do it, I gave my chances of hitting it at about 1 in 5 or 1 in 10 – in other words I didn’t back myself to make it. It was about the attempt, I refuse to use the word journey. I certainly didn’t expect to take 24 days off in the year, and still finish it with 56 days to go! If you’d told me that I’d have laughed – there was no way – but here I am.

Over the next few days I’ll probably be boring you all to death with the statistics, and if I can remember how to do it properly, with some graphs as well, but in summary the numbers break down as follows:

1,000,009 words written

In 309 days at an average of just over 3,209 words a day.

Since I didn’t write for 24 of those days because of family holidays and commitments I actually wrote that many words in 285 days at an average of 3,508 words a day.

In that time I’ve:

Completed 15 first drafts of novels or novellas varying in length from 35k to 85k.

Written the first few chapters of 5 other books, including the current W.I.P.

Written the opening scene of 4 more books.

Produced detailed synopses of a further 4 ideas.

Written one technical user guide and 10 newsletters.

My writing speed has changed dramatically – I was averaging less than 3,000 words through the early part of the year but for the last 6 weeks averaging over 4,600 words, indeed well over 5,000 words for the last week. Yet I haven’t been spending that much longer writing. I’m going to be exploring these themes over the next few weeks – so rather than a log of my progress you may find this blog may be getting more interesting.

What’s next?

That’s simple – there are two priorities for me.

Firstly I’m not going cold turkey and stopping – not a good idea. I’m going to slow down a little and do NANO as a stretch down exercise - 2,000 words a day form tomorrow to the end of the month is a nice ease down.

Secondly the year of writing 1,000,000 words is now officially over, if prematurely – the year of editing said mountain of words is about to begin – although I have done a first pass on three of the manuscripts, but that’s counterbalanced by massive plots holes in two others. Two of the others twisted so far away from my original concept that I’m not sure I can salvage them, but I will be trying to do so.

And I guess there’s a third one too – finish not just the current work in progress, but the other started books too – above all – keep writing, although I won’t be keeping such a close track of my word count for the foreseeable future - so no more boring numbers - except for NANO tracking of course.





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