Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Incredible Shrinking Word Count

To Recap:

I set a goal back at the beginning of the year to write (in ten months, because I am a glutton for punishment) a 200,000 word novel (Second Nature, a sequel to my wildly popular with the four people who've read it novel Effigy).

To put that in a page number perspective for you, my 50,000 word NaNoWriMo project came out to 177 pages (using 11pt Times New Roman font). Effigy, which comes in at about 195,000 words, is 648 pages (using the same font).

All in all, this comes out to approximately 658 words a day I have to write in order to reach the 200,000 word mark by the end of October.

End Recap.

So, this goal started off well. Really, really well. By the end of January, I was 23,473 (that's right...thousands) words ahead.

And there was much rejoicing (bonus points for whomever can Name That Reference!.).

But then came February. I don't know what happened in February. It wasn't the snow because we didn't really get all that much. Apparently, it doesn't snow in the Mount Washington Valley any longer (which can only mean one thing: Joe's diabolical scheme to control the weather has finally come to fruition. And all this time, I thought he'd been looking at porn on the internet).

It wasn't the dogs. They weren't any brattier than usual (and by 'the dogs', I of course mean the Gator Girl. We all know the Big Brave German Shepherd never does anything bratty...except for maybe pulling my tablecloth and all the crap living on top of the dining room table clean off the table and on to the floor. Twice. But apart from that, he doesn't do anything bratty).

It wasn't even the Store. I mean, sure, there was inventory and all (including the conception of my new Massive Evil Plan, to be blogged about later), but it really was one of our better inventory experiences (just don't tell Eager Beaver Tammy (yes, I've changed her nickname again) that I said that) so, for once, it would appear that life isn't getting in the way of, you know, my life.

Turns out, writing was getting in the way of my writing. And that's what you call ironic. Can anyone name that movie reference? I'm talking serious bonus points (which, yes, are useless, much like Lazy Susan at the Store) here.

Anyway, February was the month where I not only lost one of my main characters (still no luck in finding him, by the way. There have been some sightings however so I remain ever hopeful that his recovery is just around the corner) but was also the month where two of the four main characters representing the side of Good (not to mention the two central characters of this particular novel) went off script. Really, really off script. They're so far off script right now that the script is in another decade.

And I hate that. Actually, I love that, I do. It's exciting as all get up when that happens. The drawback to that happening is, as I'm sure you can guess, the incredible shrinking word count. And the word count only matters when you're tracking it on a daily basis as I am because you were fool enough to set a goal to write a 200,000 word novel in ten months.

Wait...did I say 'fool'? Because I meant 'bold'.

When your characters go off script, you're left wondering. It's like watching a television show. You watch for an hour, or half hour, and then, just when you're thinking you know exactly where the story's going, there's a big giant twist and then a cliffhanger ending to your episode and, before you know it, you're sitting on the edge of your sofa, checking out the end credits and saying, "Wait...what? I have to wait how long before I find out what happens next?"

And apparently, my particular show has gone into a rather untimely hiatus.

That said, I have to say that I still finished up February in the black. I'm still 17,000 (yes, thousands) words ahead of my February end goal. I could pretty much not write a single word in March and still be on track. I won't do that. At least not intentionally anyway.

But a 17,000 word cushion is a lot smaller than the 23,000 word cushion I enjoyed last month. It makes me a little nervous. It's not that I mind terribly that the old script was ditched, it's that I really would like to find the new script and find it now because the clock's ticking.

So far today, I've written a grand total of 54 words in my WIP (work in progress). I should probably get back to that.

Until next time.


  1. Keep on plugging. You're way ahead of me!

    Bonus points #1 Quest for the Holy Grail

    Bonus points #2 I have no frickin' clue, but it's good.

    The TV show with the twist and the cliff hanger ending and the looooong hiatus? Supernatural. To. A. T.

    Now go get writing, and so will I!

  2. Congratulations, you get a massive amount of useless bonus points!!

    Quiz question #2, by the way, is from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.