28 days ago I started writing my new novel. Since then, it hasn't grown longer nearly as much as I'd hoped, but it has grown in depth. If I had kept to my original (rather fanciful, I have to say now) schedule, I would have 56,000 words. That was definitely a crazy goal.
But I have managed to work on it every day.
And I do have 58 pages, which equals nearly 20,000 words. I may have 20,000 words by the end of the day, actually. That means I'm halfway through the first third of the story! If the outline holds true. Things change, though, so we'll see.
I also meant to post on this blog more frequently, but I was kind of ashamed to admit how much more slowly the writing is going than I'd planned. Still, I feel like I've hit my stride. My characters are clear in my head and hopefully on the page, my outline has gotten more filled out and solid, and the plot is moving right along. I've never planned out a novel so carefully, and I think it will show in the finished product.
I've attended a few writing workshops and presentations this last three months, and I've been reading writing blogs. I also bought an ebook called Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction by William Bernhardt, which I recommend if you are thinking you need help with story structure. The book is full of things I already knew, but with ways to actually apply the knowledge.
Know what holds me back on my word count the most? Reading fiction. If I stopped spending so much time reading, I think I could have finished the whole rough draft already. Am I going to stop? No. Right now I'm reading And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, and in my opinion, it's living up to every good thing anyone has said about it so far. I hate putting it down. But maybe I can cut back a little and add that time to the writing time. Especially if I use the hour or two before everyone else gets up to write instead of using that time to read.
That's what I'll do. At least for one week. If it significantly increases my word count (and doesn't significantly diminish my happiness), I'll make it my new routine.