May 2023 in writing

In May, I finished writing the first draft of the main POV character’s arc, and started on a 2nd POV character.

First Draft Progress

I’ve written 45 of 97 outlined scenes; 23 2/3 of 48 outlined chapters. I could try to power through and finish the first draft by the end of June, but life is rearing its head: jury duty summons, a family vacation, concerts, plus the Diablo 4 launch. I’ll stick with a scene per day and aim for finishing the first draft by mid-July.

(I also wrote 3 and two-half scenes for my low-pressure side project before putting it on the back burner. I think I have to care more about my writing to get past the hard parts.)

I wrote this blog post about finishing the first POV character’s arc, and this blog post about what I learned as of a week and a half ago.

I’m finding writing the 2nd POV much easier. I’m not sure if that’s more experience under my belt or if this set of settings and characters and storyline come more naturally to me. Probably a combination.

Life as a Writer

My iPhone detox continues! I love the added focus and story brainstorming headspace this gives me. Last week I averaged 5 minutes of screen time per day. (That’ll go up this week because we drove to Fort Collins for Mercy’s desk. I do love that she’s getting back into costuming.)

I had been playing with moving my writing time all over the day, around appointments, Mercy’s schedule, the dogs’ internal clocks. And that works: I had trained myself to deal with interrupts and weird schedules during my computer career, so I can get my writing done throughout the day. But recently I’ve noticed that the later in the day that it gets before I’m done with my daily quota, the worse it feels.

I’ve been waking at 5am to let the dogs out for a while now, and most of the time I can’t fall back asleep afterwards. Now I enjoy the pre-dawn cityscape and start writing, finishing most or all of my writing before the dogs need their morning walks. Then I can spend the morning and afternoon hours running errands, thinking about the problem areas I’m hitting, helping Mercy get her studio set up, wiki gardening to improve my worldbuilding bible, taking family walks with the dogs, learning about how to improve my craft, and the like. Soon I may add editing previous scenes to the list. I’ll try to stick with early morning drafting for a while and see how it goes.


May’s stats:

Manuscript markdown files: 97
Manuscript words: 47494
Total markdown files: 398
Total words: 188386

(I did some cleanup and deleted a couple of finished scenes; these are my current Obsidian vault stats.)

Based on these numbers, I might not have to worry about blowing past 120k words for the novel, even after I add more descriptions, parables, and mystery to the first POV arc.