It’s not just about the numbers

It’s done when it’s done.

I gave myself all sorts of targets for this year, to complete unfinished work and write so many words every month. If you’ve been following this blog you’ll know that my plans have changed a bit in the meantime but the goal remains the same.

When writing or finishing a novel, at first you write lots of words, either to get the gist of the story or fill in the gaps. Then, as you refine and start to order things, the number of additional words written decreases, largely because you no longer need that many more, it becomes more important to sort them out and get them in the right place.

So, to set an arbitrary monthly target for words written is a bit of a mistake, as long as the first draft is done, the actual wordage is fairly irrelevant.

Perhaps it would have been better to set a target of one completed first draft a month instead?

The thing about a story is that it’s done when it’s done. You know the point at which the tale is complete, the point when any more words are unnecessary. It often happens that what you thought was going to be a novel, or even a series, ends up as a short story. And vice versa.

As for the monthly word count, I’ve come to see that it’s not as important as the result. In January, I told myself that I wanted to write 80-90,000 words. I actually managed just over 43,000.

That might appear to be a failure, I don’t think it is.

I achieved what I wanted to do in January, I got one half-finished novel and turned it into what can be considered as a first draft. It’s ready for the next phase, which will be to revise it and get it ready for my editor. There’s no rush, I can’t send it off to her until I have the funds.

As well as that, I also wrote just under 17,000 words on other things., including several blog posts, a Facebook group takeover and a subscriber newsletter.

The first draft of The Safety of the Realm is just about done at 61,000 words. I’ve written nearly 27,000 of those this month and while I thought it was pretty much done, I discovered a whole new sub-plot whilst I was out walking. It’s fleshed out a part of the story that felt a bit rushed.

When I revise it, I’ll add a lot of detail to the conversations and descriptions, which will take it up to around 75-80,000 words. That’s a job for later.

It’s time to move on to the next project. February is the month of Wake me Up, the sequel to Life and Other Dreams,

Here’s the first concept cover,

Bring it on.

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