Monday, February 24, 2014

Novel Report: Hey, this writing thing is hard work!

So, many of you know that I am writing a novel, Mira's Children. It’s a young adult science fiction (YA/SF), and my original goal was 100,000 words. I cruised along really well for the first 40-50,000 words, but I have been really struggling since then. I’m currently just over 62,500 words. Yes, that's a picture of my first full printout of it :)

To give you perspective, if you’re not familiar with writing/publishing, word count means more than page count. Here’s a random sampling of a few familiar/favorite titles:
The Color Purple
To Kill A Mockingbird
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Fahrenheit 451
The Dark Is Rising
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
The Hobbit

To give you an idea of my progress:
Thanksgiving 2011
Started writing
11,366 words / 54 pages
Thanksgiving 2012
44,506 words / 220 pages
49,091 words / 237 pages
Thanksgiving 2013
62,880 words / 305 pages
62,575 words / 305 pages

Wait, whaat? Word count went *down*? Yes, editing…
And page count stayed the same, even less 300 words? I know, it’s a mystery…
And, you might notice an extreme lack of progress from Thanksgiving, 2012 onward. Well, I was already bogged down before Thanksgiving of that year, to be honest, so I jumped feet-first into another novel -- a fantasy called Oceansong -- during “NaNoWriMo” (National Novel Writing Month). I reached my goal of 50,000 words in the month of November, and I pretty much haven’t touched it since. You might notice a theme here...

Meanwhile, I started this blog on 12-31-12, and I’m really very proud of the fact that I haven’t missed a single day since! However, there’s no question that the time I spend here takes away from potential novel-writing time. Some friends have advised, not unwisely, that I reconsider my blogging efforts, and refocus that energy and time on the novel. And I get that, I really, really do. I wrote over 250,000 words last year! That’s probably 2-3 novels! But, there’s an accountability to posting my blog daily, even if it’s only for a few faithful readers (and I thank you more than you could know). I know myself well enough that I will not be as diligent if I am accountable only to myself.

So a dear friend of mine recently had a brilliantly simple idea: why not blog about my writing progress, rather than something new, at least every once in awhile. As it happens, I am part of a weekly writing group that meets on Tuesday mornings, so Monday night will be my novel progress report.

And here we are. Except I haven’t written anything. In two weeks. Last week, I was going to “cheat” and take a blog post that I’m interested to expand into a short story. Hey, it’s still writing! But Daughter was ill, and I didn’t want to leave her alone, so that didn’t happen.

And I was at Mysticon this past weekend, which didn’t leave me a lot of time for writing. And I’m exceptionally tired this evening after a full day’s regular work and an editing gig with a deadline. Excuses, excuses, there’s always something.

So the upshot is, I am still struggling towards the climactic ending of my novel. Then I have to start editing, re-writing, more editing…

But I *am* going to write “The End” one of these days…soon. And I thank you all for your encouragement as I slog my way there.

Next week, a scene from my novel, Mira’s Children, and hopefully progress to report!

Dogs in house

Time writing
~45 minutes, interrupted

February word count
Too low


  1. I think this is a great idea.

  2. Sounds like a great idea! Happy to keep up with your novel progress, too!