About Tracy Durnell

Seattle-area graphic designer and SFF writer inspired by the Pacific Northwest, crafting a sustainable and intentional life.

Evaluating the Usefulness of Novel Progress Reports: Two Months In

Over the past two months, I’ve completed a weekly check-in on my novel progress during the week. Now that I’ve completed the weekly progress report eight times, I want to check in on whether it’s helpful to my writing process or time that would be better spent writing.

I’m revising, so I’m working on a blend of (outlining and) writing new scenes, expanding and combining existing scenes to reflect a changed outline, and simply revising already written scenes.

What I’ve Accomplished in Two Months of Novel Revision

Word Count: Feb-Mar 2017

  • Starting word count (Feb 2017): 129,679
  • End word count (April 2017): 130,544
  • Total words written: 12,967
  • Total words removed in revision: 5,177
  • Average words written per week: ~1,625

Hours Writing: Feb-Mar 2017

  • Scrivener: 55.5 hours
  • Outlining and editing: 21 hours
  • Total hours working on novel: 76.5 hours
  • Average hours per week: 9.5 hours

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Novel Progress Report: Week of March 27, 2017

Writing Stats for March 27-April 2, 2017

  • Starting word count: 131,338 (removed 1,765 word chapter)
  • End word count: 130,544
  • Words deleted in revision: 1209
  • Scrivener hours (per Rescue Time): 9 hours
  • Editing (estimate): 2.5 hours

status updates for the week

  • novel chapter progress sheet april 2017

    Chapter by chapter progress, as of April 2, 2017. “First draft” gets checked off when I amend the current draft to reflect the updated outline; “revised draft” gets checked off when I’ve done a first pass of editing on paper.

    Chapter 44:

    • revised on paper
    • decided to move up Chapter 48 as a replacement (two scenes)
    • revised both new scenes (removed net 130 words / 6%; added net 744 words / 77%)
  • Chapter 45:
    • revised (removed net 689 words / 29%)
    • moved second scene into the chapter
    • revised new second scene (removed net 202 words / 19%)
  • Chapter 46:
    • revised
    • moved a couple hundred words from the previous chapter and added partial new ending (added net 188 words / 12%)
  • Removed Chapter 47 (not written)

Work Plan for Next week

  • Chapter 6: write add-on (~500 words)
  • Chapter 8: complete chapter worksheet and outline; write first draft
  • Chapter 9: revise existing text / write new text to match updated outline
  • Revise Chapter 49
  • Finish updating outline for second half of book

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Novel Progress Report: Week of March 20, 2017

Writing Stats for March 20-27, 2017

  • Starting word count: 131,481 (removed 4,000+ words of outline & unneeded scenes)
  • End word count: 133,103
  • New words written: 2,349
  • Words deleted in revision: 727
  • Scrivener hours (per Rescue Time): 7 hours
  • Editing (estimate): 2.5 hours

status updates for the week

I completed everything on my work plan for the first time(!), and added on a couple other items.

  • Chapter 2: outlined and wrote second scene (+1,594 words)
  • Chapter 5: finished writing (+755 words)
  • Chapter 42 (misnumbered as 43): revised remaining scene and entered revisions (removed net 159 words / 12%)
  • Chapter 43 (misnumbered as 44): revised and entered revisions (removed net 568 words / 22%)
  • Chapter 44: started editing
  • Updated outline for first half of book
  • Created (analog) chapter tracking spreadsheet

Work Plan for Next week

After creating a chapter tracking spreadsheet, I realized that I need to pick up the pace on revisions to get through all my chapters by this summer!

  • Chapter 6: write add-on (~500 words)
  • Chapter 8: complete chapter worksheet and outline; write first draft
  • Chapter 9: revise existing text / write new text to match updated outline
  • Chapter 44: revise
  • Chapter 45: revise
  • Chapter 46: revise
  • Finish updating outline for second half of book

Novel Progress Report: Week of March 13, 2017

Writing Stats for March 13-19, 2017

  • Starting word count: 137,965
  • End word count: 136,817
  • Net new words written: 350
  • Words deleted in revision: 1,498
  • Scrivener hours (per Rescue Time): 3 hours
  • Editing (estimate): 3 hours

status updates for the week

  • Chapter 5: added 300 words, didn’t finish scene
  • Chapter 43: edited two of three scenes and revisions entered in computer (removed net 382 words / 28% and 1,116 words / 33%)
  • Chapter 2: no progress made

This week was a poor showing for me; I skipped a couple usual writing sessions, and my output suffered.

Work Plan for Next week

  • Chapter 2: write second scene (~1000 words)
  • Chapter 5: finish writing (~500 words)
  • Chapter 43: revise remaining scene
  • Chapter 44: revise

Novel Progress Report: Week of March 6, 2017

Writing Stats for March 6-12, 2017

  • Starting word count: 138,867 (subtracting one scene, adding another pre-written)
  • End word count: 137,965
  • Net new words written: 841
  • Words deleted in revision: 1,743
  • Scrivener hours (per Rescue Time): 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Editing (estimate): 1 hour 30 minutes

status updates for the week

  • Chapter 2: finished writing draft of first scene at 2,312 words
  • Chapter 41: entered revisions in computer (removed 564 words / 22%)
  • Chapter 42: edited and revisions entered in computer (removed 1,179 words / 27%)
  • Chapter 5: no progress made

Work Plan for Next week

  • Chapter 2: write second scene (~1000 words)
  • Chapter 5: finish writing (~1000 words)
  • Chapter 43: revise (a doozy with 3 scenes and 6000 words!)