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I caught up a bit of my transcription over the last week or so, and tonight I found out that I crossed the 200,000 word mark about a third of the way through my writing session on 6 Dec, about three weeks past my stated goal of 13 Nov, which was the one-year anniversary of my starting his project.
Printed out, it would consist of about 870 pages of unadulterated garbage.
But it is my garbage.
I didn’t count up writing days for the last year, but my daily word count over the 388 days it’s taken so far is 517. If I’d managed another thirty per day, I would have hit the mark on the anniversary. Lesson learned. Another reason to write every day. Every day you don’t write puts a goal at least another day away.
‘Discovery’ writing has good points and bad points. The primary good point is that you are surprised all the time by your story. Interesting bits and pieces are uncovered in nearly every session. There have been some twists and turns developed in the story that I don’t think I would have found if I hadn’t just sat down and started hammering the story out.
The bad points are two-fold. First, a lot of material is created that probably won’t make it past the first draft. The meandering and pursuit of threads of story and lines of thought make for a messy, messy first draft. I am both excited by and dreading the prospect of editing the monstrosity lying before me. Second, without a clear plan in place ahead of time, I’m not entirely certain of my ultimate direction while writing. More meandering, more wandering, greater chances of getting lost.
To top it off, I still haven’t found my ending. I think I know what it is, and I haven’t painted myself into a corner wherein I won’t be able to get to the end I’m thinking of, but I am not near100% sure of what the hell is going on.
I tried this method of writing to see how it would go. I’d preplanned my script fairly tightly before I started writing it, and it went pretty quickly. While there are benefits to the discovery method, I’m hesitant to say I’m going to try it again. At the very least I’m going to pound out a basic outline for my next novel project and see how that goes. With clearer sign posts ahead of me, I think I might be able to be more productive and get that critical first draft done quicker.
Anyway, I just wanted to provide a small update and some thoughts on the process so far. I’ve been focused on getting to this point the last couple of weeks, hence my absence in this space, but I will endeavour to do better going forward.
Feel free to let me know how you are doing on your own project or ask any questions you might have. I’ll do my best to answer them – I’m by no means an expert, but I have the advantage of both being far enough along to have some experience but close enough to the beginning to remember what it’s like.
Back to your regularly scheduled programming.