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Write-a-Thon, Week 2 Report

So: Week 2 of the Write-a-thon is over. (For me, since I’m doing my writing on a week that runs Monday-Sunday, that is.) Here’s my weekly update!

If you don’t know what this Write-a-thon is, and want to know more, see here. (I’m still looking for sponsors, and if you’d like, it’s easy. More info at the link.)

The short version? Well, this was a challenging week–I was sick enough that for two days, I was unable to sit at the computer and write productively, for I was sneezing my own brains apart–but nonetheless I managed to keep to my writing pledge: slightly more than 12,000 words added to the main manuscript, plus about a thousand words of planning, character-sketching, and more.

More specifically, for those interested: I performed major surgery on the outline, improving the manuscript in a way that… well, I’m kicking myself for not seeing this solution to the problem previously. Basically, it helps fix not only structural problems, but more philosophical problems with the story. (I had a group of characters who aren’t [exactly] villains, but who look like villains to another character; that other character’s conscious was hogging the narrative mic, and his [mostly] misperception wasn’t addressed until very late in the story. That’s fixed now, neatly sorting out several problems all at once while enriching the story significantly.)

I don’t know exactly what my wordcount is, at the moment. The fact that I wrote a treatment of the plot, and that a lot of the “treatment” remains in the text of the manuscript, plus the rearrangement I’ve just mentioned, makes it hard for me to be certain just how much text the main manuscript actually has. My software claims it’s 67,000–two-thirds of a novel–but that’s definitely wrong, because my original treatment text was approximately 15,000 words long. I can’t just subtract the 15,000 words, though, because I cut the treatment text of each scene after drafting the actual manuscript-text for the scene.

Still, I am guessing (based on the fact I started with 28,000 words, and have drafted another 24,000 in the last two weeks) that about I’m probably at about 52,000 words, or, right at the halfway point, in terms of total first-draft content. The distribution is not simple, though: I’d say 65% or more of the first half is drafted, and only 35% (or less) of the second half is. But in terms of total verbiage, I’m about halfway there. If the book needs more than 100,000 words–the optimal length for a book you want to sell to a publisher these days, or so they say–I’ll write more, and deal with the consequences, but I think it’ll come pretty close. We’ll see. I’m hoping I can increase my output slightly this week… which should be possible, since I managed 12,000 words even losing two days to illness.

(Oh, and I haven’t done any other creative writing on the side, since I’m gearing up for a job search–and spent a whole evening updating my C.V. and contacting people to ask for reference letters, and updating my submissions tracking. Now, if only I can convince myself to stay off Facebook…)


Either way, I’m over halfway on this novel draft. Which is nice.  Onward ho!

But first, sleep.

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