Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

My 500-word-a-day experiment

It might come out a little silly to talk about a 500-words-a-day experiment when you see my last NaNoWriMo word counts [link], but it is not. After all, NaNo is one month, and this tries to expand in time. The idea is simple, for as long as I am working on Victim #14 and hopefully beyond that I aim to write at least 500 words every day. While yes, I can churn out 10k in a day for a first draft, I usually get to November 1st after about 3 months of planning and an outline three pages long.

Victim #14 is different because I am both working on it and planning ahead. I chose 500 words because it is a reasonable number, not high enough so I have to force myself to reach it but consistent enough to hand me a consistent daily increase and to make the story advance a little bit on each writing session. It also gives me time to read and do research on the side, along writing.

I started on January 19th, and I did pretty well until this week. I kinda failed and broke the rhythm though, as you can see, with a day that I had to stay at work until midnight, the next day when I was too tired to write, and the next one when I was too depressed to write; three blank days.

In general I have noticed that while my bulk productivity has gone down since I got Internet at home, the general reliability of what I write has improved, since now I am able to double check my facts – aside from being a lazy bum and chatting the nights away. Of course in general I write a bit more on weekends than on weekdays, since I have more time, but I don’t boost the word count up because I spend long planning and deciding on the course the story is going to take – or trying to decide, anyway, you might know how things go sometimes.

One of my goals in this work is to keep this with two point of views through the whole story (prologue was different, and probably epilogue will be too), which forces me to balance information. What Kim knows and thinks is not the same as David knows and thinks, and is an interesting exercise. The Glasgow Calligrapher is a serial killer who has been roaming Glasgow undetected for the last ten years, killing about two victims per year. However, nobody wanted to realize that he was around, until now. David, the detective, and Kim, the medical examiner, see the cases in different light, get different information and react differently.

What can I say? I might have failed my experiment, but I am having fun.

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6 responses to “My 500-word-a-day experiment

  1. Pete Denton February 19, 2012 at 21:11

    Well done for writing at a consistent word count for a month. It is good to get into a routine and you’ve nearly doubled what you would have achieved just hitting the 500 words a day.

    Don’t worry about having a few days off either, so long as you can pick it up again, which you appear to have done, no harm.

    Good luck with your writing. 🙂

  2. Alexis February 20, 2012 at 09:44

    Fun is most important thing! I also have fun reading…even if I had nightmare about it last night <.<

  3. Denise February 21, 2012 at 05:56

    Luckily you have a day extra this year, so if you write on the 29th you only missed two days right? =D