Still don’t have a proper title for this book yet, but I’m only 11 chapters away from the end of Translocator 2, a science fiction thriller novel.
Okay, I’ve got a few ideas for titles, but I haven’t decided. Still too much work to do.
I wrote 1400 words this morning with a couple writer friends and lots of coffee, and headphones with Ratatat cranked up. It felt like I had to break limbs to get the words on the page, but I had 1400 by 11am.
Then I took a break and came back home to write this blog.
Writing this book has been an interesting experience. In some ways I am breaking through walls and setting new personal records. Other days, I question myself and start to freak out, especially when the writing is hard or I get snagged on a plot or character issue. So I wanted take a step back and look at the big picture, and hopefully get some perspective.
If you like the nuts and bolts of this kind of work, you’ll find this interesting. The math is where the insights are, so stick with me through the numbers.
Here are the original goals for Translocator 2.
Outline: March 6th – March 19 (done and on schedule)
Write: March 20 – June 17th (Today is day 66. Only 24 days left.)
Words per day: 1,000 words per day target
Manuscript goal: 75k manuscript goal
A few days into the work, I realized the book was going to be much longer. The manuscript target shifted up to 98k.
No problem, I thought. Just write more per day.
So tried to do 1500 words per day. It’s been 66 days, and my average words per day is 1,139. My low is 0 words per day, but my high is almost 3k. In my logs, I have half a dozen or so days of 2500+ words. That’s incredible. I’ve never written this quickly.
I still fall short some days. Like most writers, I have a day job and a personal life, so some days I have less time to write than others. But I try to write every day, and only missed one or two days where I didn’t write at all on this project so far. And those off days were usually planned (i.e. a family vacation).
I figure if I get “words complete” (98k) in early June, that gives me enough time to read through and revise anything that sticks out or needs fixing up before sending it off for editing by my original June 17th deadline. Or before? We’ll see.
More words, same deadline. I can live with that.
Here’s what I’m working with today. To finish by June 1st, I need 2700 words per day.
That’ll be tough, but I think I can make it work. Maybe. If it takes an extra day or two, that’s fine, too. I’ll be happy to have another finished novel either way. That’s big picture thinking.
For comparison, the first Translocator book, The Auriga Project took 14 months from start to finish. It was about 50k words.
Even if I’m a few days late at June 20th, that’s still less than 4 months and change (March 6 – June 17) for a 98k word novel.
So how’s that for perspective?