Progress Report

A couple of weeks ago I had posted on here saying I was taking a break to work on a novel. I have wanted to do it for a little while and I finally sat down to get it started. Now, I know that many people have started writing a book and all too often, they never actually finish it. I am determined to not let that be me. It is difficult to find the time to write, both with work being busy and with four active children in my house. There never seems to be enough hours in the day.

So I just wanted to update where I am at this point in time. On November 20th, I was at about 10,000 words out of my goal of 100,000+ words. Today, December 4th, I am sitting at just over 31,000 words. Two weeks ago I was about 1/10th of the way there. Today, I am almost 1/3 of the way there. At this pace, I should be done the first step in a couple of months. I don’t know what other authors do and if my pace is fast or slow. Honestly, I don’t care. I write when the ideas come and when I have the time. After I am done writing it, there will be lots of editing to do and I am sure I’ll make some changes.

So I apologize for not being active here on WordPress lately. I do still enjoy all of your posts and I do enjoy writing my own. I am just trying something new and hoping that I see it through. I am excited about it and I am doing a lot of research about finding representation from literary agents, but not thinking too far ahead. I need to work at finishing the project first and I’ll worry about publishing it when it is completed.

So that is it. I hope everyone is doing well. I m not going anywhere. Just on pause for now. Take care.

10 thoughts on “Progress Report

  1. I wouldn’t necessarily set a final word count goal. ( Daily, sure, if you have the mental fortitude).Let the tale run its course. You’ll inevitably have to do rewrites and edits and wotnot.(Accept this as a given).
    Watch out for those adverbs and word repetition.

    Here are a few killer opening lines I just thought of and you have permission to use them with my blessing.

    Once upon a time ….
    It was a cold a stormy night …
    In the beginning ….
    Yes, of course, if it’s fine tomorrow…
    In my younger and more vulnerable years …
    Thirty years ago, Marseilles lay burning in the sun …

    So, brew the coffee, lick your pencil and have at it my man!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks.

      The only reason I have a word count goal is because of the minimum word length requirements some publishers have. I will let the ideas flow and I am sure I’ll get to where I need to be. Some places don’t have a minimum and some do. But with how much I’ve done and where the story is at, I will probably exceed the goal I have by a lot.

      Thanks for the “killer” lines. I’ll see if I can work them in there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s interesting. I’ve never read of a minimum 100,000 word count. I always understood around 80,000 was about the right length for the average novel?
        Though ”epics” can run to any length I guess.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. 80,000 is usually the minimum. But a lot of places I’ve looked into want more. I’ve got a ways to go anyway. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Your pace is fine. The only problem you can have is that if you are keeping everything in your head, a long layoff can change things quite a bit. I don’t recommend outlining per se (but don’t oppose it) but I do recommend some form of written guide to the structure of the piece (I laid out my novel as if it were a screenplay, with scenes and whatnot, what ever works.

    The best writing advice I got was to free write at first, just get the ideas you have out of your head and into a document, without being concerned with the niceties or details of writing. Then perform what is called “chunking” which is moving chunks around so they fit better and are more harmonious. So, you could have the first half of a novel all of the events seen by Character B and the second half as seen by Character A. Or you could alternate chapters B, A, B, A etc. This is rather a large structural change and you are probably better off deciding on this from the get go. But chunking has the ability to show you where holes are in your story, where additional characters might be needed, etc.

    Then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, realizing that this could go on forever, you have to, at some point, declare your work finished and start sharing it around.

    Again, sounds like you are making great progress on the first stage.

    PS I found it very helpful to read aloud what I had written each day to my spouse who was very encouraging. The sounds of the words don’t always match the thoughts and feelings generated by them, which shows where things need to be smoothed out or changes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have never been much of an outline person. I used to do it back in school, which was a long time ago now. I do have a google docs file just for ideas that I use to take notes. I also keep a notebook around the house that I grab every now and then to scribble down my thoughts.

      I share what I have written with my wife every chapter or so and get her feedback. She is an avid reader of fiction so it’s helpful to have her opinion. If it is something that keeps her attention and makes her want more, then I feel I am on the right track. With the way I have been writing this story so far, I keep myself guessing as well. I don’t always know what’s going to happen until I sit down at my keyboard and type it out. I have a rough idea of how I want it to go, but the journey to there is a mysterious one.

      Thanks for the advice and encouragement. It is much appreciated.


  3. Glad to see it’s moving along! 🙂

    Publishers do want a specific word count so things fit into their usual formats and space limitations. Novels and books in general have a bit more leeway, but with a new author they’re going to want the writer to adhere to their usual templates. I’m more familiar with the magazine business and there our word counts had to be strictly adhered to because we couldn’t simply add pages if someone’s article ran long because of the cost. Advertising paid most of our bills, and therefore controlled how many pages were in the magazine.

    I don’t think there is such a thing as an average number of words a writer should be cranking out per day. Every writer is different. Some bang along without a problem while others struggle with a single sentence. I personally used the procrastination method of writing. That’s where your brain conveniently forgets there is an article due at the end of the week until Thursday night and then I’d be up until 3 AM to get the bloody thing finished and in the mail on time so they’d get it Monday.

    Anyway, keep going! You’re a damned good writer!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks. I think I am moving at a decent pace, but then at times I feel like I am dragging a bit. If I go more than a couple of days without writing, I feel like I’m failing. I know it’s kind of silly to think that way, but I am determined to finish it in a reasonable amount of time, so any setbacks or delays drive me nuts. I don’t have a set time frame to finish the story, but I do not want to drag out this process too long and either lose interest or lose hope. So, I keep on chugging along. Time will tell how it turns out, but I am rather excited about it. Even if I don’t succeed in finding an agent or getting it published by a major publisher, I will be satisfied knowing I accomplished what I set out to do…and then I’ll just publish the thing myself. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Since my book was non-fiction, I did a lot of reading/research between the times I sat down to actually write. I did find the note-taking to be the life source of my book. I think this is true for both fiction and non-fiction. Ideas seem to have their own schedule. 😉

    I may have mentioned this before but finding a “literary agent” to represent you is next to impossible. As a first-time author, you’d probably do better submitting directly to independent publishers who specialize in your genre. Just a suggestion …

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ben, I haven’t stopped by in a while, but best wishes for your new project. Maybe you’ll give us all a sneak preview later. 🙂 Also, Happy Holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

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