Word Counts and Choices

Took advantage of the long USA holiday weekend to make a strong start on the chapter 5 revision — a little over 8000 words, 40% of my goal. Not planning to maintain that pace throughout the month; three to four thousand words each of the next four weeks seems about right, as does the occassional day off, such as today.

As I’ve observed before, word count can be a notoriously bad metric for gauging writing success, as two good words can be more than twenty times as effective as ten bad. During last November’s NaNoWriMo event, I didn’t reach 50K words, but the lessons I learned about the novel, and the amount of effort required to revise each chapter, were invaluable, and have inspired my smaller CampNaNoWriMo efforts this year. For my current project, in which I attempt to revise a 47k word draft of chapter 5 down to 20-25K, word count functions as a motivator, as it forces me to make choices about what to include in the chapter. Over the weekend, I had to make some difficult choices; many more such decisions will have to be made to cut this loose baggy monster down to size. My goal for this month is not to produce between 20K and 25K words, but rather to be satisfied with the choices I make in order to get chapter 5 down to that range.

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One thought on “Word Counts and Choices

  1. I admire your tenacity and commitment to purpose. I have never been that sort of writer and admire tremendously the ones who are. I have a goal to complete the sequel to Marranga-Limga with the encouragement of the Mayor of the town concerned. it will I believe be a novel in the complete sense of the word but is being written a gentle step at a time. one day I sat down and in my imagination I heard a telephone ring….That has set me off now on research for type and styles of telephone in 1901. (I began the chapter without any idea there would be telephone involved). Such to me is both the joy and ‘surprise’ of writing. As long as you also are ‘enjoying’ the journey then that is the most significant thing. I will with interest follow what you achieve. Cheers

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