Category: Word Count Chronicles (page 2 of 28)

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.

Big Production Despite a Rough Start

4/23: 2220 words. My word count total today is the second-most words I’ve written in a day since I started my word count log in 2019. Also, it took me over 60,000 words for the year. From a big-picture perspective, it looks like a successful writing day.

But — you knew there was a but coming — the start was stilted and uncertain. I continue to have grave doubts about the climactic chapters in the Ending Payoff of Forging Bonds. I don’t know if the payoff is satisfying. I need some distance between myself and the story to get a better grasp on it. And I’ll have to rely heavily on my editor to share her instincts and impressions about it. For now, I am moving on to the final of three climactic chapters; if I have a couple more good writing days, I can have that finished by Tuesday. Then the last couple of resolution and wrap-up chapters.

A Mixed Bag of Good Words and Bad

4/22: 1432 words. My wife and I took a little getaway for my fortieth birthday. I wrote about 900 words early this morning. Then we got out for bit and went for a hike. When we got back, I wrote another 500 words or so.

Today was a bit of an odd writing experience. I hit some patches where the words didn’t come easily and it feels kind of clunky. Then I’d get another couple hundred words down before hitting another rough patch. I am entirely unsure about this section of the story, in no small part because I’m figuring it out as I go. And even though I’m now nearly 3,000 words into it, I still don’t know how it’s going to resolve. There is some vital information that needs to be disclosed to the protagonists, and I have no idea how that accomplish that.

But that’s tomorrow’s problem.

More Progress toward the Ultimate Goal

4/21: 398 words. I realized yesterday and confirmed today that it’s taking more words to set up the climactic chapter that I’m working on than I had anticipated. As a result, I’m going to split it into two chapters rather than have one really long chapter toward the end of the book. That will help keep the pace that I’m establishing. But it also means that I’m one chapter further away from finishing than I’d been telling myself.

Update: I typed out another 297 words and finished the chapter.

Meeting My Goal Seems Disappointing

4/20: 308 words. For me to meet my year-end goal of 100,000 words, I have to write about 300 words per day. Today, I did that. Yet, with as close as I am to the end of the first draft of Forging Bonds, it seems kind of disappointing that I only wrote 308 words. Hoping for more tomorrow.

Sometimes, It’s Absurd

4/19: 345 words. Sometimes, it’s absurd how much research I have to put into the geography of an island that’s going to occupy about 2.5% of the book. But that’s been the theme of this whole novel, and it’s the major reason I don’t think I’ll be writing an travel action-adventure story again any time soon. Writing about the city I live in, like I did in Vulcan Rising, required so much less research, which in turn allowed for more writing time.

Launching into the Climactic Chapter

4/18: 171 words. Launch may be too strong a word for the progress I made in the first of two climactic chapters. Nevertheless, I have started it, and with any luck, I’ll finish the chapter this week and get started on the next one.

One small problem, I still have to figure out a major component of how the climax resolves.

Four Chapter Left!

4/17: 639 words. Only four chapters left to write in Forging Bonds! The next two are the climactic chapters. Then we get a couple of chapters of resolution and reward. Right now, the manuscript is sitting at just over 63,000 words, so it is exactly on pace for where I intended to end up.

The End Is in Sight

4/16: 1317 words. If I had a coupe of hours a day for the next week, I could get Forging Bonds finished. And that is such an amazing feeling. I wrote most of a chapter today, and I feel really good about it. This book (more so than either of its predecessors) has been such a yo-yo experience. Let’s hope the rest of it comes up that upward bounce.

Hopes and Half-Measured Guesses

4/15: 370 words. I finished the calm-before-the-storm chapter. I now have five chapters left to write in Forging Bonds. There are significant parts of each of the next two chapters around which each will turn, and I still haven’t figured out what those will be. So I guess I’ll be discovering that as I go. Either that or the whole things crashes and burns.

The Next Chapter Is a Doozy

4/14: 338 words. Part of the problem I’m having writing the current chapter — aside from the interference of other life and work events — is that it’s not as exciting as the one that’s coming up on its heels. The current chapter is necessary because the characters have to get from one place to another, and I think it holds the tension and gives everyone a quiet moment before we get to the maelstrom of the next three chapters. But still, I’m ready to be on the other side of it and write the climax of Act 3 (the Ending Payoff), which is the crux of the whole book and will either make the whole trilogy payoff (or not).