My final entry for NaNoWriMo 2015 was posted yesterday. Within a week of starting, I realized I wouldn’t be able to reach my initial goal of revising all of my first four chapters in November; lack of experience lead to an unrealistic expectation. Adjusting my goal to get those four chapters revised by the end of the year worked out well, as evidenced by my word count over the past two months.
Of course, word count is a horrible metric for measuring progress on a novel or any piece of writing; two good words are more than twenty times as powerful as ten bad words. But for a project that’s still in its beginning phase, quantity coupled with a degree of satisfaction (the “hey, that’s not so bad” reaction) is a satisfactory indication that one is heading in the right direction. With that said, here are the approximate totals for each chapter after my NaNoWriMo 2015 experience:
September – 17,700
October – 20,700
November – 23,000
December – 23,000
That’s over 84K words. In two months. Yes, I used a lot of material from prior drafts during this round of revisions, but there was a significant amount of editing, rearranging, consolidating, cutting, and a substantial amount of new material as well. This was hard work, some days harder than others, but there were no days when I regretted the effort required.
In addition to all that writing, I’ve learned a lot about the revision process — how much I can reasonably accomplish during both work and non-working days, how many hours I need on those days to meet my goals, what I need to have before I start revision to have success. It’s been a fascinating experience; I’m definitely fatigued, and need a good month off before resuming work on Gray Metal Faces (writing on other topics each day until then will be the blogging equivalent of crop rotation). But I’m also more excited about this novel than I’ve ever been before, and am looking forward to working even further on this project in the coming year.