Novel #2 Progress: Staying Accountable

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When I participated in my own version of NaNoWriMo, (see NaNoWriMo (Revised)), I made it a point write a weekly post about the progress I made toward reaching my goal. This simple act kept me accountable, which in turn pushed me to work hard so I wouldn’t have to write a post about failing. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t like to fail, so I better make sure I stay on top of things this year!

The goals I’ve set for 2013 in regards to Novel #2 are pretty ambitious, (see 2013 Writing Goals), but I intend to reach them no matter what. At least once a week, I’ll be holding myself accountable for working on Novel #2 until it is fully revised. Within each weekly post, I’ll keep track of stats while also including some details about the story. I’m hoping the journey with my passion project will be one of inspiration and excitement for all who follow along. This book has turned into something I never expected and I can’t wait to share it with the world.

Here’s how the first week of 2013 went:

Word Count Progress:

Draft #1 Word Count:

I calculate my word count by color coding my first draft version of Novel #2. Whenever I get done with a section, I change the color of the text to red. Then, I grab a word count of only the red text. This way, I know how much of my original draft has been surveyed and edited. This is also tracked on a bar graph along my sidebar.

  • Starting Word Count: 27,507
  • End Word Count: 32,612
  • Total: 5,105

Draft #2 Revised Word Count:

I literally re-type every word of Novel #2 into a new document because it forces me to carefully consider each and every word. The way I see it, the extra effort is a lot like moving heavy boxes from one house to another. You have to really want that stuff if you’re willing to lug it to a new home! If I find myself debating too much over a paragraph or a sentence, then I know its probably time to let it go. The word count for this section reflects the state of completion for Draft #2.

  • Start Word Count: 29,722
  • End Word Count: 33,558
  • Total: 3,836

Writing Process Notes:

  • I reorganized my writing space at home as it had become very cluttered with other projects and the mess of life in general. My desk is completely cleared and I finally put my old laptop to rest. Now its just me, my MacBook, bulletin board, and Novel #2.
  • I sent the first five chapters of Novel #2 to a beta reader. This was a big step because no one has ever read anything from this novel. For the better part of two years, this novel has been under lock and key, but now I’m ready put it out there for scrutiny. I’m thrilled to report  my beta reader absolutely loved it and is quite antsy to read the next five chapters. She responded to my characters they way I hoped, laughed where I intended, and believes in the premise I’m trying create. A writer really can’t ask for much more than that!
  • A new album has made it onto my playlist: The Lumineers self-titled album fits Amanda’s taste in music, but also hints at Ian’s emotional conflict. I love how these characters are introducing me to so many new bands!

Novel Tidbit:

Each week, I’ll be sharing little teasers about the characters and story. There won’t be anything spoilerish, but there will be details about the general premise of the novel and interesting factoids.

How it all started:

  • While proctoring a standardized test, I found myself a tad bored watching students fill in little bubbles on their answer sheets. I opened up my laptop and stared at a blinking cursor for a few minutes before the first line came out of my fingers: I’m not sure what is real anymore. That line remains the first line after two years or writing and revision. I won’t be changing it, either as it is truly where this project began.
  • My stories show up like movies in my head, which is why I rely so much on creating a soundtrack for when I write. The songs that have been the biggest source of inspiration are as follows:
    • “(Euphoria) Firefly” by Delerium
    • “Map of Problematique” by Muse
    • “Tempting the Muse” by Mysteria

As an added bonus, I’ll be revealing the title of Novel #2 when the second draft is complete!

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c.b.w. 2013