For those of you who don’t know, I do a report on my blog at the end of each quarter, giving a progress update on my writing. I like to think it helps me keep things professional. Whether or not it does, it’s certainly helpful to look back on how I did.
So anyhow, here’s the word count chart:
The red line represents daily word count, and the blue line is a running total for the previous seven days. The chart includes revisions as well as original material; for revisions, I just do a wordcount of the finished version, whether or not I’ve cut out significant chunks of the text or left it largely as-is. Maybe that skews the picture a bit, but it’s the best I can do with the tools I have.
At the beginning of the quarter, I was working 40+ hours per week at a seasonal job, so the writing was pretty slow, averaging a little less than 15k per week. My main project was the fourth draft of Mercenary Savior, which I was struggling to get ready for World Fantasy.
The job ended October 28th, and I didn’t do any writing during the conference, which is why you see the dip at the end of the month. But I took November off to work entirely on my writing, which is why things took off again rather quickly.
That huge peak in the middle of the quarter is from the fifth draft of Genesis Earth, which I completed in about two weeks. The draft was already pretty well polished, but one of my hard sf friends did a read through and got back with a few major science issues which I needed to rectify. Also, I figured it was in need of a language polish, since I finished the last revision almost a year ago and my writing (I hope) has improved a lot since then.
I was pretty surprised at how quickly it went. The book is definitely as good as I can make it, and any further revisions without professional editorial assistance would be a less effective use of my time.
Things dropped off rather sharply, however, because I spent all of Thanksgiving week either on the road or with family. Ah, how I love road trips…but they sure can throw a kink in the writing schedule. I also had a hard time settling on my next big project, which is why things took a while to take off again after I got back.
After starting a sequel for Mercenary Savior and toying around with a short story idea, I decided to do a major overhaul of Worlds Away from Home. Unlike GE, however, WAFH really, really sucks. It took me two weeks just to read through the rough draft and pick out all the troubled spots, after which I rewrote the outline from the ground up and decided to completely scrap half the book. I started the second draft in mid-December, but it’s taken a while for things to really build steam.
Right as I was starting WAFH 2.0, a couple of other writer friends from World Fantasy got back to me with their comments on Mercenary Savior, and pointed out a few problems that I hadn’t noticed before. I started the revision on December 21st and have been plowing through ever since. That accounts for the huge spike at the end of the quarter–like GE 5.0, the draft has a lot fewer story problems, but does need a few things fixed for consistency, as well as a language polish.
Overall, I wrote or revised through about .25 million words this past quarter–some of which were easier than others. I started a new project (Into the Nebulous Deep), polished one of my manuscripts to the very best of my abilities, and made significant headway on revising and polishing two others. In terms of publications, I had a major article published in Mormon Artist, and a short poem accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of Leading Edge.
Not a bad quarter. Now, let’s see if I can find an agent and/or publisher in 2011.