Category: Word Count Chronicles (page 1 of 12)

Word Count Chronicles is a series I’ve started to help keep me accountable in my daily writing practice and chronicle (for better or worse) that daily struggles and small successes that I experience as a writer.

Word Count Chronicles: Yesterday, I was a Coward

5/4: 476 words. Yesterday, I was a coward. On Sunday, I finished a chapter with no idea of what came next in Walls Ascending. So instead of trying to figure it out, I just started working on my day job super early. And while I’m sure my partners appreciate that, it certainly didn’t do anything to advance the novel.

I was tempted to do the same thing again today. But instead, I kept asking myself, “What’s the next thing that happens?” Ultimately, I decided to literally write the next thing. So now my characters are walking from one scene to the next. And it turns out they have some important things to talk about. I had no idea that was the case when I started writing the new scene. I’m discovering it as I go, and the novelty of that has not yet worn off.

Word Count Chronicles: Setting Up the Dominoes

5/2: 826 words. The chapter I’m writing now is foreshadowing some bad stuff that is going to befall the characters. There seems to be a fine line to draw here. I don’t want to be too overt about it, but when the bad thing happens later, I want the reader to say, “Oh, I should have seen that coming.” Surprising but inevitable. It will probable take a few rounds of edits to get that exactly right.

Word Count Chronicles: It’s Getting Dark in Here

4/30: 546 words. Today’s writing involved incorporating some truly awful historical events into the story. I’ve known for months that this part was coming. It’s just hard to subject to characters bad stuff sometimes, especially when it foreshadows worse things to come.

I closed out the month of April with 8642 words and much more consistency. But with one (and possibly two) jury trials on the docket for May, that consistency may be difficult to maintain.

Word Count Chronicles: Being Sick Has Its Advantages

4/28: 773 words. If I weren’t sick with a cold that has me all scratchy throated and congested, I would have spent this morning preparing for a podcast interview. And if I were doing that, I wouldn’t have been able to write in Walls Ascending. So as badly as I’ve felt since Sunday, at least it had one rewarding consequence.

Word Count Chronicles: Slow But Steady

4/27: 245 words. Progress has been slow, but regular in April. Of the last 21 days, I have written in 16 of them. I have only averaged about 430 words per day, but that has allowed me to accumulate nearly 7,000 words during that time.

More significantly, I have taken Walls Ascending over the 20,000 word mark in this most recent chapter. So I’ll just keep accumulating words. If I can maintain this rate of production, I’ll finish Walls Ascending by the end of August. Then I’ll have to decide whether to publish it at the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022. Not a bad problem to have.

Word Count Chronicles: I Have No Power

4/22: Our power went out at 4:15 this morning. It turns out that when a car smashes into the pole holding the transformer that sends power to the neighborhood, there are negative ramifications. So my whole morning was a jumbled up mess. Hoping for better luck tomorrow.

Word Count Chronicles: Dropping Bombs on Protagonists

4/21: 931 words. In Action Story by Shawn Coyne, he breaks down the genre conventions and obligatory scenes for … wait for it … action stories. I’ve used that book to guide my writing of both Vulcan Rising and now Walls Ascending.

Action Story tells writers that in Middle Build I (the second quarter of the book) the inciting incident should introduce the protagonist to a whole new world. Well, I certainly delivered on that today.

One of my protagonists has had their world rocked to its foundations. And it couldn’t have been more fun to write.