Word count and update – 4/2/2017

This past week was the best writing week of the year, by the numbers:

Monday: 679
Tuesday: 767
Wednesday: 0
Thursday: 1149
Friday: 1033
Saturday: 1078

On top of that, March wrapped up on Friday, with a total of just over 15k words for the month. That’s my most productive month ever. It may not be hitting my ideal of 1k/day, six days a week, but it’s definitely moving in the right direction. Here’s what the year looks like so far:

January through March, 2017

You can see that January and February tell a story of writing at fits and starts, but March is more consistent. My goal is to write at a professional level, to write in a way that a traditional publisher would be interested in publishing me; and consistency is the foundation for that.

Finally, some friends and I are doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month. You may have heard about November as National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo); this is a side project to spread the spirit of NaNoWriMo throughout the year. November has a set goal of 50k words in a single month. That’s always been beyond me. But Camp NaNoWriMo lets you set your own goals. Looking back, I wrote about 10k each in January and February. I wrote 15k in March. So for April, I’m setting a goal of 20k. I figure that’s small enough to be realistic, but a big enough jump to be a real challenge for me. Here’s my project page there.

Today is Sunday, which I normally take as a day off. But I have few other plans, so if the mood strikes…

Updates – 3/17/2017

Obviously, I’m not good at regular blogging. There are lots of reasons, most of them based in fear, if I’m perfectly honest. It puts a record out there, and I always wish my record was better than it actually is.

But there’s a virtue in facing reality. Which is why I’m tracking my writing habits. And I think the tracking is actually helping. Exhibit B:

January through March, 2017

I’m writing at fits and starts. When I do write, I usually write a solid amount: between 500 and 1000 words, and I’m writing more than 1000 words with increasing frequency. That’s good.

But when I don’t write, well, you can see the gaps in there. So my average words-per-day (including the zero days) peaked at 451 in mid-February, then dipped down and has slowly stabilized around 420. I would love to get that average above 500, but that will take some significant improvement in the writing every day aspect of things. I’m actually proud of the days earlier this week when I wrote less than 500 words: at least I got something written, when my previous inclination was just to give up and take a zero. That’s progress!

By the way, today’s word count: 1246.

I mentioned in my last post that I had a passage I’d like some critique on. I’ll post that a little later today. I’m writing about things I have little personal experience of, so I definitely need some help in giving my imagination a reality check.

Thanks to all of you who are following this blog – sporadic as it is! Knowing I have readers is a huge help for me. I hope that my journey is some kind of help to you, too!

A question on terms and languages

This isn’t exactly an excerpt, but it’s something I’m struggling with in drafting my current novel.

Here’s the problem: much of the action takes place in a non-human world and in a variety of non-human languages. In describing the world, especially the social structures, my current draft jumps back and forth between “alien” terms, and terms that are English (or English-ish) approximations of the meaning of the “alien” terms.

Here are a few of the terms that I have in my notes, their literal translations, and the “English-ish” terms I’ve been using:

“Alien” term

English “Translation”

English-ish “Alternate”

anat (pl. anatee) immaterial creature, spirit, angel, soul spirit, presence
dynat power or energy, esp. power of an immaterial creature energy, dynamism
eudalex (pl. eudalecai) council, congress, parliament convenium / conveneum
eugex (pl. eugecai) ordinary person, worldly person commoner
gantra (pl. gantrai) magician, conjurer, witch witch (pejorative) / magi
gantralla magic, summoning, witchcraft witchcraft (pejorative) / art
kefan (pl. kefanee) priest, shaman, holy person hierophant
malanadha (pl. malahadhai) avatar, hero, divine person or demigod fulfillment / union
mehan (pl. mehanee) leader, ruler, commander principal
nok (pl. nokoi) scholar, academic, intellectual reasoner / rational
pradix (pl. pradicai) wise person, teacher loremaster / speaker
thruja (pl. thrujoi) slave, indentured servant slave, bound

My inclination is to use one set of terms consistently throughout the text; but I’m not sure which one. The “alien” language gives a sense of, well, alien-ness; but it could be confusing and/or off-putting. The “English-ish” could be clearer, but it also could come off as pretentious or it might just give rise to confusion with human things that those terms refer to.

Do you have any opinions or thoughts? Any feedback you have would be much appreciated!

Word count – 1/12 & 1/13/2017

Tuesday and Wednesday, I didn’t get around to writing. More on that below.

Yesterday’s word count: 743 (goal 700-800)

Today’s word count: 819 (goal 700-800)

The pattern over these past couple weeks has been: I write when I get to a writing group, but not when I stay at home to write. For some reason, the mere fact that other people are also there writing is hugely motivating. If I’m tempted to distract myself somehow, I can look over at the other writers and remind myself: that’s how books get written, by people sitting and writing them. I’m lucky enough to have a few published authors among my friends, so sometimes I can even tell myself: “That’s what a professional writer looks like” as I watch them pulling their hair and gazing into the distance, but always returning to the keyboard to put words on the page.

So, consistency remains my goal. For now, I seem to need the crutch of a writer’s group. Well, if that’s the crutch I need, then I’ll use it as much as I’m able.

Word count – 1/9/2017

Today’s word count: 593 (goal 500-600)

When I’m in a writing mood, I can write over 1000 words per hour for several hours on end. It’s not quantity of writing that’s a problem for me. It’s consistency.

Last week, I had a bum day where I got no writing done. My habit has been to let an off day turn into an off week, or month, in which I think about writing a lot, but get few to no words actually onto a page.

For me, getting back into writing after only three days down is pretty good. Honestly, this blog is one of the reasons I was able to turn it around. Thank you, positive peer pressure!