Wednesday, February 6, 2013

10,000 Words

Last night I finally reached the first big milestone in writing my novel, REAPERS. I've written 10,000 words. Actually, I kept going and stopped at a little over 11,000 words.

I've found that I'm actually a very slow writer; I can already tell I'll have finished my last semester of college, graduated, moved somewhere far away, and started on my first real full-time job before I'm even finished with the first draft of this book, which I started almost two weeks ago. I've also found, as time goes on, that I mind my speed (or lack thereof) less and less. I was hoping to release this book in the summer, but now I have no idea when it will be finished. This is fine; if I rush myself, I'll screw it up. I want my characters to be perfect, my structure to be perfect, my language to be perfect, and my plot to be perfect (at least as perfect as all this can be), because I love my ideas and I love my characters and I love my story. They all deserve my full respect and, to show that they have it, I must pace myself and make them the best they can be.

I'm currently trying to to write my story out in the simplest language as I possibly can. I've been breaking each part up into sections - whether or not this will be the final form of the book is yet to be seen - and trying to write one section a day. I generally think about several sections at a time, take notes on them throughout a day, then write those sections I made notes on over the next few days. I take notes on plot points, conflicts, the point of these sections within the story, and even notes on fleshing out characters. Whenever I introduce a new character, I make sure I really know that character before I start writing about them.

I have no idea how long this book might be. Right now, at 11,000 words and based on where I am in the story, I'd guess that this draft could be up to 100,000 words. This is pretty intimidating to me, but I'm going to keep at it; I'm getting faster, more quick-witted, and with practice will hopefully crank this out at a nore comfortable pace. Whenever I finish this first draft, I plan to do "chunk revising" which I believe will best suit me.

My questions for any other writers are - Do you have any suggestions for someone who's a little slow when writing? How do you handle a first draft? What do you do to revise your first draft?

Thanks for reading!



Griffin Hayes said...

Hey Chris,

Thought I'd check out your blog. Congrats on hitting 10k words. Every writer aims for a daily word count. Some don't write for days and then go bonkers producing 10k words, others peck away and write a few hundred words a day.

Of course, there's no right answer. All depends on your time. It also helps if you know where the story's going. My first novel Malice I wrote by waking up each morning and asking myself, "okay, what do I want to happen now." That novel took me over six months to write and much longer to edit since I'd gone in blindly.

But here's something to keep in mind. If you only write 1000 words a day that's 365,000 words a year, a very respectable about (about 3-4 full length novels). I have a calendar above my desk and cross off the days where I hit my goal (2k words). Anyway, thanks for letting me stop by and bend your ear. Best of luck with the novel!

Griffin Hayes

C.W. Rhodes said...

Thanks the advice and insight, I appreciate it! Hearing the process of another (more established) writer is very helpful. I'm pretty busy most of the week, working part time and going to school full time; I'm forced to write super-part-time for now, but I'm hoping to change that at some point.

Also - when reading back the things I've written so far each day - editing is a process I definitely look forward to. Shooting myself in the foot over and over again also sounds like fun. (sarcasm)

Thanks again!

Post a Comment