Update on My Novel: Month 25


Days Writing: 7
New Words: 1303
New Chapters: 0.75

Total Word-count: 77,100
Total Chapters: 21

May was a funny month for my novel. I had great success with my 500-words-per-day minimum in April and stated that it was my intention to maintain that pattern through May, though with more days of work. On the one hand, I did maintain my 500-words-per-day expectation, but I certainly did not increase my number of days at work.

I realize that 1303 words divided by 7 days may not look like I did 500 words each day, but I only wrote new material for 2.5 of those days (the 1303 words), and the rest of the time was spent reading through and revising Chapter 21, and each of those days I revised 500 words or more of what had originally been written.

To be fair, these numbers don’t give the full picture of the work that I did either. I may not have had much time for With the Beast, but halfway through the month I decided to revise my approach to the novel entirely. I realized I was being too casual about the whole thing and wanted to treat it more like a serious business. I conducted a number of board meetings with myself, where I reviewed all the different projects I am working on, evaluated whether they were worthy of continued effort, created a regular work schedule for my writing, and addressed likely obstacles to keeping that schedule. All of which I hope will lay the foundation for increased performance in my writing, though at the expense of much of my writing time for this particular month.

I am very excited about the new schedule, though. It will take discipline, but if I am able to follow it I will have 7.5-10 hours each week to work exclusively on With the Beast. Given my average rate of writing, that would be about 2000 words written and revised each week, or 8000 each month. Not bad at all!…if I can keep myself on task.

That will be the challenge and the hope. I do believe that I could finish this novel at the same crawl I have been moving at lately, but I am not content with that. I need this process to go faster! I’ll let you know if I’m able to obtain that with my next update.

And as always, here’s a small snippet from what I wrote this month.

Of course some days an entirely new situation arises that Clara has never seen before, such as when she finds a cluster of tiny, golden eggs on the underside of the tomato leaves. She brings them to her mother for analysis.

“Yes, it’s some sort of insect,” Eleanor sighs wearily. “They’ll eat the leaves as soon as they hatch.”

“What do I do?”

“Two things. First you must check every leaf daily and scrape off any eggs that you find. Next you must take a board of wood and lay it at the foot of the plants. Turn it over every morning, before the sun is fully up, and crush any bugs that are sleeping under it.”

Clara follows both steps to the letter, and the next morning she nearly screams when she turns over the board and is met by a mass of dark beetles scurrying all about! She presses a fist to her mouth to suppress the shout, but paces back and forth uncertainly, not wanting to follow through with the last of her mother’s directions.

But she knows that everyone is counting on her…what can she do but follow through? So she screws her eyes shut and stomps her foot down on the mass. Then again and again, peeking every now and again until the deed is done.

And each morning faithful Clara continues to squelch out their number and scrape off their eggs until their numbers finally diminish and the crops are saved.

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