Writing 365

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Archive for the tag “word count”

Bleeding on the Page

I really like this quote from Ernest Hemingway: “There is nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”  Typewriter

I feel like this is appropriate today to two reasons.  One is my character is going through some tough times physically – in fact that’s the one thing you can count on in this novel, she gets more and more damaged as the book goes on, and as an anorexic cokehead, she wasn’t in great shape to begin with.

The other reason is that I’m having a really hard time writing.  This always happens toward the end of a book.  In fact, I’ve written three novels before this one, and only one of those novels has an ending.  I’m serious.  This fourth has an ending in the outline, but now that I’m there, I feel like I will never reach the end – and I feel that the end will be too soon and I’ll have to extend the story.  Way to be contrary, Julia.

Anyway, word count wise I’m doing better than yesterday, though not quite on target. I wrote 1,550 words today (admittedly about 200 of that was from yesterday), so I’m at 46,030.  This means I have 4,621 words to go this week if I want to make my weekly minimum.  With the words harder and harder to get out, this is a little tough.  But, I’ll make it.  I’m really enjoying this story, in spite of my doubts, my need to bleed all over the damn page to get some words out, and my weird writing schedule.

I leave you with a genuinely funny quote:

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.” – Robert A. Heinlein



Word Countage

I was going to get straight to work this morning, but my day is a little up in the air, so I thought I’d try to write first since I got up a half an hour early.  I got 629 words written in that time, so I went up to 44,480 words.  I will be doing more writing later on today, but I’m glad I got a little head start.

This means I’m at 1.665 words so far for the week.  By the end of the week I need to be at least up to 6,800, which means I have 5,135 to go.

Wish me luck!  I shall leave you with another writing quote:

“I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.” – Steven Wright

Happy Belated NaNoWriMo

It’s National Novel Writing Month and I, predictably, have been notably absent from my fiction writing corner.  I swear, this happens every year.  Either I’m a very contradictory person or someone really screwed up making NaNoWriMo in November.  Either way, I’m here now, writing, and that’s all that counts.

Since I basically didn’t post AT ALL last week (shame on me!), I will tell you that I did not do all that well, but I did do some writing.  I ended the week at 42,815 words.  This means that, yes, all I wrote last week was 2,749 words.  Not horrendous, but not great.

The idea now, in order to get this book into some semblance of a correct word count, I need to do about 1,400 words a day (just on the week days).  I am trying to do more at the beginning of the month, though, because my husband’s bday and Thanksgiving are at the end of the month, plus my bday is at the beginning of December, and I don’t want this book dragging on till then.  If it does, you’ll find me in a corner somewhere in Portland, OR, sobbing.  Hopefully I’ll be at home or in Powell’s.

So, my word count for today is 43,851.  That’s 1,036 words done today.  It’s not a great start, but I haven’t been writing on the book since the beginning of last week, so it took me a little bit to immerse myself back into the story.

As an aside, last week one of my very dear friends came up to visit.  She is actually the reason I moved up to Portland – after which she moved back to my hometown, Los Angeles.  We had a great time catching up and I got a chance to

This is part of the Shanghai Tunnel system.

This is part of the Shanghai Tunnel system.

see some of Portland that I normally don’t take the time to see.  One such place with the Shanghai Tunnels.  We went on a haunted night tour – even though Halloween is over.  It was pretty impressive.  There used to be an entire underground substructure to Portland, with opium dens, prostitution, and – most notably – kidnapping and human trafficking.  Portland has a tragic history on this subject, and there is still human trafficking today, but back in the day there were men who would find vagrants, lumberjacks, cowboys, sailors, and others “just passing through” and kidnap them.  Then they would sell these men to a sea captain and the man would wake up on a ship – out at sea.  Women were also kidnapped and sold to other cities as prostitutes.  It was an extremely spooky and horrific tour which made no joke out of the intense human suffering that occurred down in those tunnels.  I really found it fascinating.

That’s all from me today!  I will be more consistent now that my friend has flown away.

I leave you with a writing quote:

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” – Mark Twain

A Pilgrims Progress

Admittedly I am not a Pilgrim. I don’t think my family has been in America long enough to have been Pilgrims. Certainly not on my dad’s side, anyway.

Even so, I was thinking about Jane Austin and Little Women, because I have to collect quotes for a client, and I thought of Pilgrim’s Progress, which I recall being referenced over and over in that book.

My book progress is what I’m really here to talk about. I was at 37,307 when I started today. Now I’m at 39,329. That’s a sold 2,022 words written so far today. I want to get to at least 40,000 this week, so I’ll try working on it more later.

*This just in: I am now at 40,066 words on my novel.  That means I’ve written 5,323 words so far this week!  Yay!  I think that gives me leave to play this:

Although I’m not going to wear a unitard like that one.  So, don’t ask.  I couldn’t pull off his fabulous chest hair.

Friday Already?

This is madness.  I look away for one minute and a whole week goes by.  What have I been doing all week, you ask?  Not writing much, unfortunately.  On Monday I was up to 37,021 words.  Today, before I start challenging myself to get some darned writing done and stop editing and pondering, I am at 37,307 words.  Time to roll up the ol’ sleeves and get some writing done!  See you on the other side.


Word Count Update

So, in my effort to add words to my manuscript, I managed to edit out words.  Good going on my part, right?  But, I did actually write more words in the end, so that’s got to count for something.  I started out at 34,743 words and ended at 37,021 words.  That means I added 2,278 words between yesterday and today.  Not quite my 1,500 word a day goal, but close.  If you count the writing I actually get paid for, I wrote way over that.

It’s so gorgeous outside, I wish I could have an external office.  It’s my dream to one day have a house that I own, and for that house to have a little shack in the back.  I want to redo the shack and make it a tiny library/office.  In my dream home, the shack would have plumbing so I didn’t have to go into my home for bathroom breaks, and I’d just be out there, writing and watching things grow, rain fall, plants die, squirrels come and go, and more.  My dog would sleep at my feet as he’s doing now, and I would just create all day long.  Le sigh.  In this shack there would also be a super comfy chair, and two walls lined from floor to ceiling with bookshelves.  I could take down a book and read it in my comfy chair, my dog in my lap, and a lamp burning bright.

I’m pretty sure if I had such a place, I would never leave it.  I would get a mini fridge and a hot plate and eat out there, I would get a cot and sleep out there, and my husband would hate it.  So, we’ll see if there’s a tiny writing shack in my future.

I leave you now with something my good friend and actually published author, Jess Haines, tagged me in on Facebook.  She knows me all too well:

And from there I got sucked into this:

That’s all, I promise. I’ll post more tomorrow.

It’s Been a Whole Week

I have not posted in a week, which is a sad state of affairs.  As you may guess, I did not do nearly as well last week as I did the week before.   I am at 34,743 words, which means I wrote 2,804 words last week.  I basically wrote Monday and Tuesday and that’s about it.  I was a bit under the weather, which sucks.

Just to give an idea of what I need to accomplish now to make my goal of finishing my novel by the end of NaNoWriMo, I need to write at least 25,257 more words.  I probably should make that number 35,257, because I’d like my novel to be between 60k and 70k words.   In the last 20 days (since I started counting), I have written 12,778 words.   I have 41 days until the end of November.  When you take out weekends (because I almost never write on weekends) and Thanksgiving, I have 25 days until the end of November.  This means I have to write 1,411 words daily.  That’s actually not that bad.  I was doing the math while writing this and expecting to get a frightening number out of it.   That’s only about 7,055 words a week (that’s a five-day week).

So, I guess I’ll go for at least 1,500 daily.

I’ll write another update when I do my writing.  Right now I have to catch up on work stuff.

But, so I don’t leave you with nothing, this is what downtown Portland looked like yesterday (and probably looks like today if the fog in my backyard is anything to go on):


It Has Come to This

I thought that title was pretty dramatic, and today has been a pretty low drama day – besides bathing my dog who has been itching himself like a crack addict with his medicated shampoo, and then being stopped in the street as I walked him by a lady looking for her lost dog.  Also finding out that three of my favorite podcasts need dinero right now in order to last through 2014.  Besides all that, it has not been a dramatic day.

This is my dog

This is my dog

This is who my dog reminds me of when he's itching the crap out of himself

This is who my dog reminds me of when he’s itching the crap out of himself

But enough.  Le’s talk words.  Let’s count said words and see what we’ve got.

As of the beginning of last week I was at 25,858 words for my young adult, dark urban fantasy novel tentatively titled “Hunting Annabelle.”  As of Sunday night, my word count was at…(drumroll) 31,939 words.  This means I wrote 6,081 words last week!  That’s almost the 7,000 words I was dreaming of writing every week.  Yay!

So, in the spirit of trying to write 1,000 or more words a day, my wordcount for today is 33,558.  This is 1,619 words written today.  Jolly good, what?

Now, because I know it’s probably pretty boring just to hear word counts and not what the words are all about, I’m going to give a little, teensy hint.  This story’s protagonist is a teenager with an eating disorder and an addiction.  Three of her best friends have recently been in a disaster.  One lost his leg while the other two are missing.  Our heroine has to overcome her own issues to find and rescue her friends.  The setting is modern-day Los Angeles, with a twist, since it’s fantasy and all.

So there you go, the sneak peak that was no peak at all.

Back on the Horse

So the last couple of days have been pretty busy, but not for my fiction.  Oh well.  Today I wrote!  That’s an accomplishment!   I had to turn off the word count sign on my word doc to be able to concentrate.  For some reason today I’m having a hard time getting stuff done.  I think I can blame my dog for part of that.  He kept waking me up and now I’m tired.  But no matter!  I have overcome all adversity!  Here is my word count 29,086.  I was at 26,728.  That means I wrote 2,358 words today!  Not bad.  I had a slow start and was having a hard time staying in the story, but it took me somewhere interesting, so that was neat.

Now, it’s back to my real job with me!  Gotta meet those deadlines, baby!

I leave you with some fun stuff I’ve found over the last days:

First: The Oatmeal’s thought s on Columbus Day – or can we just call it Bartolome Day?  or Indigenous People’s Day?

Second: I have a blog about my failures and successes in cooking.  I just started it and the first post – on cooking wolf fish – is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

And, finally, this video – because my mom showed it to me, which makes it even more funny in my book:

End of Day Wrap Up

Today has been busy – and tomorrow promises to be equally, if not more busy.  So, just a swift update on word countage, then off to fold mouse-dropping-free laundry.

When I started writing, I was at 25,858.  I am now at 26,728.  That’s 870 words.  Not perfect, but I’ll try to get up early tomorrow and make a bigger dent in my numbers, along with a big dent in my work.

G’night internet land!

Time to join my dog in the snuggles!

Time to join my dog in the snuggles!

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