An Astonishing First

This is my twenty-fifth-ish book (it’s right around there, but I don’t feel like looking at the bibliography to count). It’s the first 250,000 word novel I’ve written. (You might argue, validly, that The Secret Texts is a single novel in three covers, but it was not written that way. It was written as three 125,000-word books, over the course of about three and a half years.)

As I discovered today, doing a quick math check to make sure I wasn’t falling too far behind on my schedule, it is also the first book on which I have ever, at ANY point in the project, gained ground.

If you do a search on Talyn in the little weblog search engine here, you’ll find the entire list of project stats and work projections I posted when I started this thing. To save you time, though, I’ll repost the relevent projection I first posted on April 30th, 2003.

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Words per day
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Seven days a week (195 days) 1254 wpd
Six days a week (156 days) 1672 wpd
Five days a week (130 days) 1986 wpd

The three, averaged, equal 1637.333 wpd. That was how many words I had to do each day to get the book done on time, depending on how many days per week I worked. Based on my current progress through the book (I have 103,892 words done at the moment) those stats have changed.

Here are my new current projections, including in parethesis the number of days left.

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Words per day
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Seven days a week (112) 1304 wpd
Six days a week (96) 1522 wpd
Five days a week (80) 1826 wpd

The three averaged equal 1550.667. I have actually given myself an extra 86.666 words per day of buffer. In the five and six-day ranges, I actually need to do fewer words to still finish on time, though because of the narrowing of the day ranges and the equalizing effect that has as you get closer and closer to a goal, in the seven-day range I have to do a few more. Usually, as I’m nearing the midpoint of the project (day 97/98 will be the actual midpoint) the five-day projection has reached such Brobdingnagian proportions — 3000 words or more per day — that I have to acknowledge that I couldn’t have a bad writing day or take two days off in a row for anything less than a disaster. Say comet hitting the planet … something like that.

2000 words per day is working well for me, and my buffer, which I’ve had to use a few times, is healthier than ever. And that’s a remarkable first. RAH!

Oh, yeah. I have written 95,300 words since April 30th, 2003. (On Talyn alone, not including all the Midnight Rain stuff I’ve done, e-mails, community posts, this weblog, or the Broegga stuff.) Is this a good time to mention that I’m about 2000 legitimate e-mails behind, and starting to realize that most of them aren’t going to get answered?

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

4 comments… add one
  • Silver1 Jul 29, 2003 @ 17:21

    Hang in their holly! And three cheers for you!

  • Tia Jul 27, 2003 @ 13:22

    Wow. From the start to the completion of my first draft of my 230,000 novel was about 12 years (I lost count of the years, to tell the truth). Of course, I set it aside at least twice for several years each.

    Maybe it won’t take me 12 years to write my next novel if I set a goal like that.

  • Jean Jul 27, 2003 @ 12:24

    A healthy buffer is good. Glad to hear things are going this well, and I’ll be rooting for the rest of the project to go as well.

    Yay, Holly!

  • Lydia/wizardofkamsan Jul 27, 2003 @ 7:43

    Rah! Rah! Rah! This is so great, Holly, good for you!

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