First of all, above is the grand reveal of my new notebook for this writing project! I write everything longhand (yes, really), and I take pleasure in picking the notebook that feels just right for the project (in the limited selection of patterns available in this one brand that I like). Anyway, here it is!
I decided, for no particularly good reason (so basically the same way I make most of my decisions), that I’d make my weekly word count updates every Friday. It’s good to head into the weekend feeling like you’ve accomplished something during the week, right?
Current word count as of Thursday evening: 3,341! Hurray! Wooh!
I only started writing Monday, so this first update is really only 4 days of work, not 7! So here’s where I started on Monday morning, broken down by chapter. Each chapter only contained a very short synopsis that I had nailed down during my prewriting/planning/researching period last month.
Let me explain what you’re looking at here. I wrote my last manuscript kind of loosy-goosy, but I wanted to approach this one with a little bit more plotting structure and forethought. I found a few interesting resources on plotting, but the one that I enjoyed the most was YouTuber Katytastic’s “3 act 9 blocks 27 chapter” method. You know what, because I’m nice, I’ll embed it here for your convenience.
You’ll notice that the outline in title page of the video matches exactly with my chapter titles! I created 27 empty chapters whose titles currently describe their jobs in the story and gave them each target goal of 2,000 words. The theory is that if I can fill up each empty chapter husk with 2,000 words that roughly accomplish what its job is supposed to be, I’ll have a book that makes sense in the end. Simple! (Simple, but not easy.)
We’ll see how Katy’s method goes for me. Other resources on plotting I really liked were Dan Wells’ 7-Point Plot Structure and Brandon Sanderson’s The Illusionist Writer. (Both of those are YouTube videos, but it seems ridiculous to embed them all here so just go click on the link, okay?) I especially like the approach that Brandon Sanderson uses, but I’m using Katy’s method for the bare bones and will adjust as needed.
Anywho. Here’s how my current 3,341 words (hurray! wooh!) break down:
So basically my chapter 1 is way too long. Probably. And sadly, I’m still not finished with it! I don’t know, I might end up splitting it into 2 chapters or editing it way down, but that’s Future Ariane’s editing problem, not mine! You can’t write book if you keep editing the first 10 pages over and over, so I’m plowing ahead, faults and all.
But wait, that’s not all the data you’ll be getting . . . there’s more! I’ve also been tracking my hours. Here’s how I’ve snuck in the working time this last week (well, the last 4 days).
I usually start working right after the kids go to bed at 8pm, but this week we’ve been watching Good Omens! I try to spend my evenings working toward my goals rather than watch TV, but you have to make exceptions for Terry Pratchett.
I want to write a whole post about my workflow and writing longhand, but for now, let me just summarize it. I write everything longhand in my notebook. This time is tracked as “writing” in my time allocation, obvious enough. Then every day or two, I type it all up on the computer and do some light editing as I’m transcribing. So that’s why I labeled this time as “editing” even though it’s mostly transcribing.
I thought about tracking the hours I spent blogging and photographing books and writing captions for Instagram as well, but then you’d know just how crazy I am. Nobody needs that!