Steve Chatterton
Will Write for Food

Day 14: 832 Words

May 7th, 2015 by Steve

book-spines

There you go. Didn’t think I’d find any time to write today, but I did.

I’m very busy with the kids, going out and about to find stuff for Mother’s Day and all. Celebrating the matriarch this weekend and all. But I timed it right and found my hour and squeezed out 800+ words, surprising myself a little in the process, so yay!

Today’s stats:

Daily total: 832
Accumulated total: 9,962
Average daily word count: 711.5714285714286
Progress toward target: 10.94725274725275%

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Day 13: 758 Words, 10% Completion, and Manuscript Saved from the Trash

May 6th, 2015 by Steve

book-spines

I’m doing a happy dance this morning. I hit 10% My first milestone! And I got my daily average wordcount up above 700, which is double my original target of 350 words a day. This means that I can keep up this rate I can hit the target of 91,000 words in as little as six months. First draft of my first novel by mid-October? Maybe. All I really have to do is write the other 81,870 words to make it happen, right?

Most likely easier said than done.

So a funny thing happened on the way to this breakthrough writing session today. I started thinking through all the things real cops would do if put in the position of the cops I’m writing about, trying to find a missing person. And then I thought about something I never considered before when I saw one of my dogs. Oh great, I thought, the entire book is screwed because in the real world they would’ve just called in a cadaver dog that would led them to the corpse by page ten, therein solving the mystery.

But before I chucked the whole thing I did some research, and did I get lucky. Since I had the foresight to set the story during a typical Canadian deep freeze period, my detectives wouldn’t have the option of using cadaver dogs. Apparently, according to the handy dandy cadaver dog training manual I found online, freezing temps make cadaver dogs rather unreliable, and a cold snap would make them completely useless. The dogs hone in on the scent of decay and decomposition, something a corpse just doesn’t do when frozen solid.

So, yay! Manuscript not chucked. For me, that’s real progress.

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Day 12: 743 Words in the Early Morning

May 5th, 2015 by Steve

book-spines

Yup. Got up at about 5:30 this morning. Wrote a quick scene. 743 words closer to the finish line.

Sleepy now. Want bed.

Some mornings I’m just awake. Stupid early, too. But if I’m not getting back to sleep, I may as well do something constructive with my time. And, let’s face it, writing is about the only thing I can accomplish at that time that won’t wake the rest of the house.

So, yeah, that was my day. I wrote more words before breakfast than most people do all day, and I feel pretty good about it. Not in a smug, self-righteous, “I’m better than the rest of you non-writing scum” sort of way, just in a “Hey, look at that! I made effective use of my time” sort of way.

It’s the little victories that really add up.

Today’s stats:

Daily total: 743
Accumulated total: 8,372
Average daily word count: 697.6666666666667 (Almost there!)
Progress toward target: 9.2%

Fingers crossed, I’ll hit the 10% milestone tomorrow. Here’s hoping.

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Day 11: 834 words + whatever happened to Day 10?

May 4th, 2015 by Steve

book-spines

I missed a day of blogging. Oh no, how did any of you manage? And right before a weekend, too. What a nail-biter.

Yeah, I know no one cares. Yet. I’m writing a very casual journal about writing my first book so someday, if that book or one much like it ever gets published, aspiring writers can look back at this and say, “Hey, you know what? If a loser like this guy can make it work, maybe I can, too!” (And hey, just for the record, let me say I never doubted you for a moment.)

I did write on Friday, I just forgot to write about writing. My bad. It’ll likely happen again. To paraphrase Fugazi, I owe you nothing and you have no control. Deals with it. I did at least 700 words. That’s the new thing for me. I found 350 words/day to be too easy to hit, so I doubled it. It’s not a set-in-stone target, it’s just a wouldn’t-it-be-nice target. 700 words a day will bring in the 91,000 word goal in 160 working days, or 26 weeks (6 months!), at which point I can get started with a new idea (Note to Self: Quick, think of a new idea!) and start the dreaded revision phase with this current project.

Today’s output was 834 words, and I got to introduce my third perspective into the narrative, so I’m happy with that, too. The story centres around a missing persons case where a 19-year old boy vanishes without a trace. It’s told from three points of view: 1) from a neighbour, in first-person perspective, 2) from the lead investigator, in third-person limited perspective (because she needs to play with her cards close to her chest, as it were), and 3) from the missing boy’s mother, told through a series of letters to the boy at the recommendation of her grief counselor. So today I finally got to write from the mother’s perspective, and I found that a nice change.

Today’s stats:

Daily total: 834
Accumulated total: 7,629
Average daily word count: 693 (I need to up that just a wee little bit!)
Progress toward target: 8.38351648351648%

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Day 9: 833 Words Written Under Protest

April 30th, 2015 by Steve

book-spines

Last week I talked about the importance of taking control of your schedule to carve out some writing time, part of which involved getting your chores done up front so you can use all the free time afterward to write your pretty little head off without worry your domicile was going to slip into anarchy and chaos.

Today, I just want to go on record and say just how much I hate this plan. When I woke up today, I felt poopy. like the whole day ahead of me was conspiring to make me feel sick and drag me under. My allergies were on high alert, saying things like, “Oh look, the trees are all coming into bloom. But aren’t you allergic to most tree pollens? Wouldn’t want to be in your shoes now.”

Meanwhile, the reluctant Susie-effing-Homemaker side of my brain said, “Just remember, you’ve got to scrub some toilets before taking the boy to school, or no writing time for you this morning.” I hate the Susie-effing-Homemaker side of my brain the most, I think. Suburban self-loathing at its worst perhaps. If I ever improve as a writer and enjoy any financial success in this endeavour, the first thing I do is hire a bloody maid.

But, I feel I also have to go on record saying I love this plan, too, because I screwed up my gumption and plowed through and I scrubbed those toilets and I got my son off to school (with a prepared hot lunch and everything), and then I walked the dogs with help from my daughter (her teachers are out on strike), and then I wrote guilt-free for an hour.

Daily total: 833
Accumulated total: 6,085
Average daily word count: 676
Progress toward target: 6.68681318681319%
Target rate: 193.1428571428571%

If I can keep up this average daily word count, the 91,000 word target will be reached on day 135. Not bad for a 260 day plan. Take that, stupid blog that no one reads. I’m making progress.

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