Wednesday, February 24, 2010

(Work-in-) Progress Report: Bob

Word count (to the nearest thousand): 46,000 (yay!)
Status: Just starting the climax
Attitude: Enthused

I did it, I did it, I did it, I did it! I made the (small) goal I set for myself last week: I beefed Bob up by another 5,000 words, and I even did it a few days faster than I was planning to. It’s a small victory, no doubt, but a victory, nonetheless.

Along the way, I noticed two small points/ah-ha moments I wanted to share with you. First, you’re not the only one surprised to see me entering the climactic sequence at a slim 46,000 words. I suspected Bob would turn out to be my shortest post-college novel from about the second or third chapter, but I had no idea just how much shorter. My shortest manuscript so far, my first post-college novel and the first book I ever queried, still topped 80,000 words; Bob could very well end up 10,000 words--or more--below that figure. Actually, this first first draft will probably come in somewhere in the 60,000-word range, but I expect that number to go up by at least several thousand words by the time I finish filling in all his tiny holes (random words in random places that just wouldn’t come to me on the first write, a few passages of pseudo-scientific explanation that I merrily glossed over, and so forth).

Speaking of holes, I've introduced a couple of gaping ones to Bob these past few days--and I’m loving them:) I’ve always been a sequential writer, for the most part: start with chapter one, go on to chapter two, and so on, and so on. But in an effort to squeeze those last 5,000 words out of my blog-addled brain, I decided to just write whatever I felt like writing. And it worked.

I suspected it might, since I have my trusty outline now, but still, I don’t plan to change my entire methodology just yet. This hit-and-run technique will work well as I’m coming to the end of a first draft (since I always get a little restless to start the second right about this time), but I imagine I’ll still write the earlier chapters in much the same way I always have.

Okay, your turn. How are your fledgling works-in-progress coming along? And what writing ah-ha moments have you had lately?


Liesl said...

I'm almost done with a revision to the point of being ready to let others read it.

I don't feel I've had any ah-ha moments lately, but revising and making my work better brings me enormous satisfaction.

Good luck with Bob!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I have almost the exact word count on my WIP! That's kind of freaky. I think I'm a little over 47,000. But my books tend to run a little over 50,000, so that *should* mean I'm almost finished with draft 1. I do need to do some filling out by adding several more scenes and I haven't written the conclusion yet, but I think I'm on track. Exciting times.

Do you need more beta readers, Krista? I'd love to read Bob ... when he's ready, of course. :)

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Ugh - typos. I meant to say the "exact same word count." Maybe I need to start drinking coffee.

ChristaCarol said...

I do much the same thing, writing in "chronological order". I could never just write random scenes and figure out where to put them. My OCDness would kill me first.

My WIP is very much a fledgling. I have maybe one page. Hah! I just started, so I'm taking the WIP as my ah-ha moment since I finally "ah-ha"ed how to begin it.

Krista V. (the former Krista G.) said...

Liesl, huge high-five coming at you! And if you're looking for another beta...I'm volunteering:)

Amy, woohoo for upper 40,000s! And yes, as for beta readers, I'm in the market, as it were. Actually, I was already planning to ask you if you'd like the job (once Bob's in better shape, of course), so I'll definitely take you up on your offer:)

ChristaCarol, woohoo for a page! You can't beat that giddy feeling that comes with starting a shiny, new first draft.

Myrna Foster said...

Methinks I have corrupted you. Congrats on hitting your word count. I'm glad I read your post; your excitement's kind of contagious.

I added another thousand words earlier today, and I'm hoping Linguini will go to sleep so that I can write some more.

Ant said...

Congrats on your progress! Nice job! I always devour blogposts that discuss the different ways writers go about their jobs. It's fascinating to me to see how many different ways there are to finish a novel! Sadly, Major Revision has turned into Major Rewrite and I'm knee-deep in cut and paste manuscript right now. I'm hoping to get it all together in a coherent way sooner or later :)

Krista V. (the former Krista G.) said...

Yeah, Myrna, because I'm so corruptible - or maybe you're just so corrupting:) And what a rascally Linguine you have. Good thing she's so cute;)

Ant, good luck with that Major Rewrite. Cut-and-paste manuscripts are daunting, but I'm sure you'll power through it:) Have you resubmitted to Ms. Bradford yet?