Writing is a journey, not a destination.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010


I begin to understand why people measure books by wordcount. It is thrilling to think, I wrote that much  (to achieve the full effect, imagine me holding out my hands like I'm measuring a fish)! But, when you consider I am a turtle and write about 1 single-spaced page or 500 words per hour, wordcounts don't make me feel very productive on a daily basis. The only time I write faster is with dialogue, but I always go back and add beats later, so it all evens out anyway.

Last night, I wrote for about an hour and added about 500 words. I started at 7, but the cats had other plans. It took some time to get everyone played out and calmed down. Just like kids, I assume. Mommy's at the keyboard? Time to act up!

I am thrilled with 500 words. I cut some old words and added new ones. I went back a chapter and added some description of the Guild uniforms (that was for you, Lioness). I am satisfied with the answers to the questions I'd debated the previous session. For now, they will work.

My biggest concern at this point is whether I really have a book on my hands. I was terribly surprised when I ran my initial word count on the old manuscript and discovered only 33K words. I'd thought I'd written a real book. I know generally what must happen and I expect to make some drastic changes from the original sequence of events, but here at the beginning I wonder whether it's enough.
I'm going to have to make it work somehow. Almost all of my future books (Star of Justice included) are based on the events in this story. This is a book I must write. I can't tell it in flashback; it's too long and nobody else knows the story.

I remember now that Jeff the Publisher requires 60K as his starting point. Combining Past Ties and Present Tense will no doubt get me that far.

And who knows? I'm a different person now than I was 15 years ago. Elementals changed considerably from my initial story. Perhaps Past Ties will take a different, wordier direction, as well.

This is another reason I don't write to wordcount. I can only do one thing at a time, and it's either telling the story or counting the words. I will post my wordcounts after every writing session, but I can't afford pay too much attention to them otherwise.

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