One Hundred Days, Seventy-Five Thousand Words, and Halfway to First Draft Completion

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It's been about 100 days.

I don't remember precisely when I started to write this novel, but I think it's been about 100 days. I just set a reminder to work on it at night, and so I have. I've only missed a handful of days, so few that I can count them on the fingers of one hand. I broke 75k words tonight, so I have been writing (on average) 750 words per day. There are days that I write upward of 3,000 and other days when I write 300 or so.

For now, I'm writing forward and editing backward. It's interesting to compare the style of my most recently written chapters to earlier ones. The earlier ones have more or less everything I want in them, but they just lacked the punch of the more recent ones. Each character's voice has developed into something stronger over time as well. In aggregate, I call these things: the punchies. So, I'm editing for more punchies.

It certainly feels surreal.

For every new chapter that I finish writing, I print it out and hand it to my spouse for feedback. I now have a massive stack of paper full of highlights and handwritten notes from her sitting behind me on a bookshelf. I've already made those edits, but it's cool to see it stack up. When I've finished my first draft, the stack will be about twice the height that it is now.

My spouse is my Alpha Reader. She's the only person I know well enough and trust enough to be 100% brutally honest with me. It's worked out incredibly well, and my writing, and this story, have seen huge improvements because of her. It's more than just things like a misspelling, a sentence reading awkwardly, incorrect punctuation. In addition to those things, she lets me know when my writing is too distant, it's hard to picture a scene or character, there's a motivation missing, or even if there's a plot hole the size of Manhattan that I didn't see.

What's new since last week?

  • I broke the 75,000 words mark, and I've officially passed the halfway point of my planned chapters.
  • I'm about 1/3rd of the way finished editing backward with my "Editing Checklist." It's working well so far, and when I complete the official first draft of my novel, it should be in pretty good shape.
  • I wrote an action-oriented chapter that needed a sense of urgency, confusion, and a bit of panic. The chapter in question had two characters in it. Weirdly, those things came across with one character but not with the other. So, I went back through and did an extensive rewrite of that chapter before moving on. I like how it turned out.
  • I'm slowly sorting my way through Webflow as I go and making minor adjustments and improvements every week. I like the platform.