Friday, May 20, 2011

Only 54,902 words to go...

So, my goal for my WIP is 70k words, since that's a pretty standard word count for YA. This week I'm just over 15k... and I'm starting to panic. The first book I wrote (and shelved) at one point was over 90k (then I revised and brought it down to the 70's, revised again and brought it up to the 80's, revised again trying to make it YA instead of adult and then set it aside because I'm not sure it's worth all the work), so I know that it's possible to write that much... but since it's still so early on in this project, I'm very confused as to where all these words are actually going to come from.

I'm sure it will get done... it's just hard sometimes to look to the future and realize that all those words have to come from me. From my brain. They have to be GOOD words. Arranged in ways people want to read!

How do you tackle the task of meeting your word count? Do you fly through your first draft to get down the bones, then go back and add the fancy stuff later? Do it all at once the first time around? Overwrite then clean it up?  

11 comments:

  1. Wow...this was slightly depressing. Hah! Just kidding.

    I pretty much plod through my rough drafts, since I revise as I go. But when I'm finished with a book, I've gone through major revisions already. For me, rough drafting is THE HARDEST part of writing. It's like vomitting, but with words...from your head... *wince* I can edit and revise all day because I know that at the end of the day, I've still written something. But rough drafting is sheer creation and that's sketch scary!

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  2. I don't really worry about word count. I just write til I'm tired of writing. Then when I'm finished with my project, I revise and then go over word count. If I stress over word count, I'll write words I'm not feeling for the sake of having words. Best of luck to you on your writing journey. You'll get to your goal in no time.

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  3. My current WIP I flew threw to get it down, afraid I'd forget it or something. Now, my rewrite is all about adding all the beefy stuff. Next, time I'm not doing it that way. I'm going to slow down and write stuff out or at least that is my plan.

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  4. My first drafts are suuuper long and YA contemp is not supposed to be 90K, in general. So I get the bones down and then cut more and more as I do more drafts.

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  5. I used to write. Write and write and write. Now since diving into the querying process it's next to impossible to always have my brain working. With the full time job at an all time stress high it's been very hard to concentrate.

    Thank goodness for books. See Jane Write has been a godsend. It's a book on how to write adult chick lits but what it taught me was to plot.

    I've plotted the entire 30 chapters (90,000 words) on paper and I'm excited to get to work. A chapter a day equaling out at 3K. This I can do and rock out. Who knew structure could be so fun! Trust me it's really great!

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  6. I have my word count goal ahead of me but I try not to sit down and think 'okay, I have so-many-thousand to write' because that way lies madness. Daily goals are your friend: you're not writing a novel, you're just writing 1k or 500 words or getting down one scene. It's the only way to deal with the weight of the words.

    I overwrite during the first draft because I'm still figuring out the details of how the story should best be told. For instance, after writing four scenes in three rooms in my MC's friend's house I now know I can cut them down to three in two rooms but I wouldn't have known that until I wrote those words.
    - Sophia.

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  7. I write slowly some days - setting myself a realistic goal and generally revising as I go. Rarely I spew words on the page but for me this is harder in the long run.

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  8. I hate those overwhelming moments! They happen at every stage of the process for me. Just take a deep breath--it'll get done!

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  9. I usually breeze through the first draft and bulk it up when I revise.

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  10. you shouldn't rush it, take your time, inspiration and words will come when their time comes.

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  11. My only goal is to write daily. There are days that if I am stressed or distracted and the muse isn't flowing that if I force a certain word count all I get is crap, crap crap and I end up deleting it anyway. Some days its only 500 words others its 3000. I am an overwriter, but like Sophia I have to do that to figure out where I want my plot going. I do not outline as so far it hasn't really helped me with how my brain works. I tend to be more like Diana Gabaldon and Steven King in this matter. I don't always write chronologically. Sometimes a scene will pop into my head and I won't have a clue where I'm placing it until my subconscious figures it out while my fingers are pounding away. My current MS is at 130K word and I did set an over all word count goal at 100k, YIKES! So now, I'm editing and figuring what parts are the meat and bone and what parts are fat that can be trimmed. Ack.

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