Writing Stats for February 13-19, 2017
- Starting word count: 131,446
- End word count: 133,459
- Net new words written: 2,013
- Scrivener hours (per Rescue Time): 7 hours 30 minutes
status updates for the week
- Chapter 3: divided into two (now chapters 1 and 5)
- New chapter 1: first draft complete
- Old chapter 1 (now chapter 2): 90% complete
- Chapter 7: revised first draft
What I Worked On
What started as Chapter 3 turned into 3800 words only halfway done, so I decided to split the chapter in two. I’d been considering the change anyway since this chapter introduces my chief POV character, and I was concerned about waiting until the third chapter to bring her in.
I couldn’t bring myself to face writing an entirely new scene, so I revised Chapter 7 instead to match some of the decisions I made in the earlier chapters.
Chapter 2 is killing me. I didn’t outline this chapter and it’s been especially painful to write. I pieced together and polished up the three blocks of text I’d already written, but I still need to write a brief wrap-up to call the chapter done.
Several times this week, I wrote something and then deleted it the next day for being unnecessary. My word count is already so high, I can’t afford to waste any words. Still, it can be a little frustrating. I just have to remind myself that the more I do of this, the better I’ll get at knowing what not to bother writing before I write it instead of catching it on the read-through.
Work Plan for Next Week
- Finish writing Chapter 2
- Write Chapter 5
- Outline Chapter 6
To hold myself accountable for finishing my novel revision, I’m beginning a weekly log of progress made and time worked on my novel, The Second Rebellion.
I spent the winter restructuring the novel with a focus on strengthening character motivation and removing unnecessary subplots. I am now implementing the structural changes that I planned. Unfortunately for me, this involves a lot of new writing as well as integrating substantial new writing with already-written scenes. I find it especially slow going to merge existing text with new material.
Writing Stats for February 6-12, 2017
- Starting word count: 129,679
- End word count: 133,486
- Words written: 3,807
- Scrivener hours (per Rescue Time): 10 hours 20 minutes
- Paper hours (estimate): 5 hours 30 minutes
- Scenes written: 2.5
status updates for the week
- Chapter 1: first draft in progress
- Chapter 4: first draft complete
Mock minimalist cover for The Second Rebellion. A real cover would have lots of space ships or maybe a woman soldier carrying a very sci-fi-looking gun.
The Second Rebellion (working title) is the fifth novel I’ve written, and I’m determined that it will be the first novel that I revise and attempt to publish. My first four novel attempts vary in length and complexity — my first attempt, in high school, maxed out just over 30,000 words, and my most recent, set aside in 2014 so I could start The Second Rebellion, is just under 160,000 words. As I’ve become more serious about my writing, my storytelling skills have improved markedly, and I continue to work to strengthen my craft.
Always striving to improve my practice and increase my productivity, I recently read Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin and realized that I produce best when I have external accountability. I attend a writer’s group several times a week, but that hasn’t been enough to make me maintain forward progress. I experimented several years ago with accountability partners, but the format we chose didn’t work — I’d be game to try again, with the right person. I love deadlines at work, but setting deadlines for myself wasn’t sufficient.
To hold myself accountable, I’ve created this record of my writing process for The Second Rebellion, and will post weekly status updates of my revision progress. I hope this record will be useful for other writers (and myself for future books), and entertaining if I do manage to sell The Second Rebellion.
A glimpse of the forest on the Bean Creek Basin trail in the Teanaway.
Enjoy these textures of the Teanaway area of the Eastern Cascade Mountains of Washington State, free for artists and graphic designers to use in your commercial and personal creative projects (with attribution, see bottom of post).
The arid Ponderosa forests of the eastern Cascade Mountains remind this California transplant of the High Eastern Sierras. My first introduction to the Teanaway area was on a plant sketching expedition, through a Mountaineers native plants class, and I was bewitched. That day, we stayed at low elevation, but I ventured up the steeper path of Bean Creek Basin the day I took these texture images. We climbed through a lush creek ravine, up a sparsely wooded Ponderosa pine forest, then broke out into a more sub-alpine community with lupine carpeting the ground.
Furrows in this Ponderosa pine bark turn dark.
Logs collect at the high tide mark at the beach at Cape Disappointment State Park.
Enjoy these textures of the Washington State coast, free for artists and graphic designers to use in your commercial and personal creative projects (with attribution, see bottom of post).
Washington’s Pacific coastline has sandy beaches, uncommon for those of us based in Seattle. The lapping, rising and falling water of the Pacific Ocean wears the sand into innumerable patterns: stripes, diamonds, ridges, ripples, triangles. Sand is dark, light, or mottled. Grains of different weights settle separately, forming patches of color and tone.
Waves leave an overlapping pattern on the sand in Ocean Shores, WA
So many layers of textures in the sand – tones of light and dark, faint diamonds, poetic squiggles like icing.
Subtle color variations in the sand create a visual rippling effect at Cape Disappointment State Park.