A Very Wordy Christmas

I hope you all had a good Christmas, and Boxing Day if you happen to be in a country that celebrates that one.

You know you have no life when you can spend all of Christmas day writing and no one complains.  Do you know what that means?  I officially have no life outside of my writing.  I mean, that said, it was a very productive time for me, and I’m happy about that, but there’s something slightly sad when you can ignore holidays without social repercussions.  Oh well.

Dark Mirror is progressing well.  I’ve gotten full swing into full-time-writing mode, with some spectacular totals lately.  5,449 on the 24th, 6,346 on the 25th (see what I meant?) and 6,038 today.  Some nice work, too, including some very key scenes, so I’m quite proud of myself.  Thanks to all that work, I now have a total of 54,288 words written of the new draft.  That means I shaved 6 days off of the time it takes me to get to 50k from my NaNo achievement of 18 days (it’s now day 12 of this write-a-thon).  Even I’m impressed by that, especially since the quality has also gone up this time around.

I am, however, starting to wonder when I will learn to stop worrying about length.  You might recall that in the last couple of posts, I had been worried, then not worried about the length of the book so far compared to my outline.  Specifically, I had been concerned that I was writing too much, progressing through the outline entries too slowly, and that this draft would be even longer than the first one, putting it in the territory of being a hard sell for an unknown writer to an agent/publisher (I think that starts at the 125k range, but don’t quote me on that).  I must now revise that statement and say that I’m not worried in the least. In fact, at this rate, it might be shorter.  It’s hard to say, which is why I’m going to try to learn in future to just let it be, but they’re getting ready to leave for the place where the climax happens.  There’s a major scene to go through before they even leave, but it’s not a long journey, not a lot will happen on the way there other than an important conversation, but still, I’m looking at being at almost 55k now and then at how much actual story is left and thinking I was worried about nothing.  Oh well.  If anything, shorter gives me room to add stuff that might need to go in and didn’t make it.

I have ended up reading a few previous scenes, stuff I wrote days ago, generally while looking for specific parts to see if I had mentioned something (I have a piss-poor memory when I write this much in a short time period) and I’m surprised how much I’m liking what I’ve written.  I haven’t read it from start to finish, of course, because this isn’t the time for that, but the parts I’ve read have been good.  I’m allowing myself to be encouraged by that while still remembering that it’s going to need editing, that I’m not done yet and have to keep performing to that same level.  It’s a balancing act, I’m telling you, but I’m working it.  🙂

I’ve been so busy with DM that I haven’t given much thought to my other ideas beyond what comes that needs to be written down immediately.  However, today I did get a small glimpse into something major for a sequel to DM (or maybe it’s for the book after that, because this has long felt like it’s really a trilogy, I just don’t know all the stories for it yet), and it’s something major.  It actually made me sit back and say “Woah” and that’s pretty rare for me.  Don’t worry, it’s safely noted down.  I’m just not sure how much I want to hint at it in this book, or if I want to at all.  I think I have to leave it open enough to be a possibility, but we’ll see.  I don’t want the readers to guess it in this book, for a lot of reasons that I’m not prepared to discuss as yet in this blog, but they’re good ones.  I’m going to keep it barely-there kind of subtle, I think, and then see what my beta readers say.

Okay, I think that’s probably enough of me banging on about my writing for one night.  Sorry, no major inspirational lessons or insights to pass on this time.  Better luck next time on that.  My brain is locked into writing mode right now, I think.

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About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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8 Responses to A Very Wordy Christmas

  1. Good for you!

    I’m in a country that celebrates Boxing Day but I didn’t even get out my gloves.

    What does it say about me if I would have RATHER spent my Christmas writing all day? lol. (hopefully my husband won’t find this comment in here.)

    • Julie says:

      I think it says that you’re a committed (or committable, depending on how you look at it) writer. And I promise, I won’t tell your husband what you said 🙂

  2. Kaitlin says:

    There was a writer who was asked how long a book should be. They said something to the effect of “Write until the story is finished. Not one word more, not one word less.” No matter what length it winds up at, you can pad or par it, or find a market for it. No worries 🙂

    • Julie says:

      Thanks for the comment Kaitlin. I agree, and that’s my general intention, especially when it comes to raw drafting. But there’s this business part of my brain that never seems to shut off all the way. Oh well. Mostly I find it funny how I was worrying about it and it’s going in the opposite direction. Gotta love that.

  3. my goodness, SIX THOUSAND words per day… i’ve only hit 3K once or twice, must hear more! is it a matter of discipline weighted with a story that had been marinating in your subconscious for some time? sounds like it flowed like water… how many hours did it take?

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Sean. I think I’ll have to find a way to post at least the graph from my tracking chart when I finish this. I can only hit 6k when I have the whole day. It takes me about 7 or 8 hours, and does require about an hour of prep time. Being on vacation, I presently have that kind of time, which I don’t normally. I’m trying to make the most of it. I think that discipline comes into it some, but mostly it’s having an unusual amount of free time this week (and during weekends, as I often come close to 6k on weekends)

      I don’t think this story has been marinating in my subconscious (love that phrase, thank you, awesome) for that long. I know I only started kicking it around in early October. I think what it really comes down to is good tunes, a cat that lays on my legs, pinning me in front of my netbook, a general outline and a lot of detailed chapter notes to work from. And trust me, the cat gets offended if you try to get up even for potty breaks. It would be a pain if he wasn’t so cute. But you’re right about the flowing part, some of this stuff really has gone smoother than silk. I get to the end of writing those parts and have to remind myself to breathe, I’m so amped.

  4. ottabelle says:

    Sounds like a merry Christmas to me 😛

    We love you, so don’t feel bad. 🙂

    You sound so productive, so good job! And new ideas, happiness!

    • Julie says:

      Aww, thanks! It does seem that my Christmas was at least a little envied, so maybe I should just be happy with what I have. Yeah, cause that’s not hard to do 😉

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