Hello friends! It’s time for an update on my writing progress, and it’s great news – I am SO CLOSE to getting the first draft of this book finished!
As of this blog post, I’ve got about 21,000 words to hit my word goal!
That’s about five chapters, to put it into perspective. I know, right?
Some things to know about the whole process:
- This is a tentative goal, but I generally aim for about 120,000 to 125,000 words for a novel.
- The word count will change as I go into revision.
- This is my first draft, so some things may change drastically when I revise, but usually that’s not the case for me.
- A chapter for my books usually runs an average of 4,000 words.
- I’m at the point now as a writer where I seem to know instinctively where to start gathering all the various plot points together. When I realized that, I was blown away!
- The last ten chapters seem to take the longest to write.
Expounding on that last point – my whole writing process slows down when I get to the last parts of the story. And it makes sense, of course, because there’s usually so many things to carefully weave together, making sure nothing gets left behind. Plus, this is where the “big action” of the story takes place, often with physical scenes and a lot more character interaction that all has to be carefully plotted out and sometimes even acted out by me to make sure that it all makes sense and reads properly.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to pose myself to make sure what I’m describing makes sense and works the way I want it to, ha. Or research things like, I dunno… sun angles, location maps, names of specific armor, animal facts. The list goes on and on. Recently I got sidetracked by a search of specific nautical terms.
Once I’m finished with the first draft, I’ll go in for revisions, round one. Some people pause between phases of writing their book, and I like to pause between revisions and editing. I prefer to revise while the story is fresh in my head, and while I remember exactly what I knew I’d need to go back and rearrange or pretty-up. Sometimes, you just need to get the scene down on the page, you know, before you lose that spark.
So I’ll revise, then I’ll rest the story for a short period and work on other things, so that I can come back to it with fresh eyes and mind for the editing process. Once I’ve gone over it approximately ONE MILLION TIMES I’ll send it to a professional editor. Then they’ll go over it a bunch and then it comes back to me for changes and EVEN MORE CHECKING.
You may have noticed that this means I’ll have read this story a substantial number of times before you ever do.
I’ve probably read my stories more times than anyone ever will. Not because I’m my #1 fan or anything, but to fact-check, to re-immerse myself in the storyline, to look for quotes, and… sometimes just for fun. THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID IT. I read my own books because I like them! 🤣
I love my characters. I mean, they live in my head, I’m close to them! I also love the settings in my books, and they’re detailed enough that I have to go back and check “Was this on the left or the right? Where exactly is the door to the courtyard in relation to the kitchen?” Trust me, those little details matter. Someone will notice if I screw it up! I actually recently wrote out a long walk-through of The Maithe for that reason. Maybe one day I’ll share it!
That’s my update for now. Once the first draft is finished I’ll talk some more about it and start giving you more thorough introductions to the characters and what they’re all about. But for now, thank you for reading, and if you have any questions about my process, please do reply below!