Fiction update – so, so tired.

One week ago I gave a brief update of my fiction efforts that showed my progress over the past forever, culminating in a few months of promising work and the first draft of a novel.

The second draft has passed much more quickly. In keeping with the format:

February 22nd 2016 – finished second draft.

30 hours of writing and 44,800 words.

That’s about 8,000 more than the previous draft. Apparently comparing two word documents and showing the percentage changed is just beyond Microsoft Office, but I can say that I made more than 2200 changes between first and second drafts, though that includes both minor corrections like deleting a misplaced comma, and major ones like inserting a whole new chapter.

Still, that’s 30 hours in one week as opposed to 85 hours in one month for the first draft. That’s 4.28 hours per day up from 2.83, a more than 1.5 times increase in productivity.

I think it comes down to having the main character’s story arc fully formed in the first draft. The second draft was largely a matter of filling in details that were too extraneous to include in the first draft, and slowing down the pacing of the text.

I think for the first draft I was just in a hurry to complete the main character’s story, and the feedback I’ve had so far suggests that my next draft will need to include even more non-essential elements to give the story greater breadth and breathing space.

But that will have to wait. I’m going to take the ubiquitous advice to now put it aside for a while and return to it with fresh eyes a little down the track.

 

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4 thoughts on “Fiction update – so, so tired.

  1. Is quantifying and posting your output (un)consciously influenced by modern gym culture? You know, ‘accountable’, achieving ‘goals’. “I had a bad day at the keyboard, said NOBODY EVER.” etc. etc. Well, no matter how many words you wrote, you still lapped the guy doing crossfit with his PT.

    • I’d say it’s more influenced by quantifying my financial status. I did a similar thing just over a year ago, after I’d tried to dramatically increase my writing output: https://zacalstin.com/2014/10/10/what-does-it-take-to-be-a-writer/
      That was shortly after I’d started keeping a close eye on income and expenditure.

      Goals are built-in somewhat, given the nature of publishing and word-counts for different formats and genres. It’s widely advised that would-be writers try to write every day and maintain a reasonable word-count. I’ve found it useful.

      As for posting it, I’m conscious of wanting to maintain my blog, but there’s not a lot I can post about while working on a lengthy piece of fiction. It may not be of interest to other readers, but I’m sure it is of interest to some writers.

      I would probably find gym-reports more analogous if they showed insights like progressions and rates of improvement utilising particular methods (maybe they already do, but I don’t read them). From my point of view the quantifications add depth to the methodology I’m working with (working out?).

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