Novel Tracking: The Road So Far

The road so far

For someone who absolutely hates numbers, I’ve become fairly obsessed with tracking words lately. As for resolutions, one of the resolutions I made for 2013 was to buy NO NEW BOOKS because my to-be-read book shelf and ereaders runneth over.

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I’ve already made plans to fail at that resolution. My favorite Indie book store, Larry Bowen’s Readers Corner is calling to me, and I’ll be visiting him next week.#plannedfail

As for my writing resolutions, things have been going along pretty smoothly until last night when I realized my novel actually ended 2k ago. Despite the fact I was trying to beat the future 5-10k into submission, book two just wasn’t having any of it. Instead I was inadvertently creeping up on book three.

So what I think needs to happen at this point is to go back and begin the bedazzling and embellishing of the rest of the book. I’m fairly confident that will 1) improve the overall content and atmosphere of the story and 2) successfully propel me past the 80K mark.

I’m not the best at description. I think my mind just automatically fills in for me. This doesn’t bother me at all in other people’s work. In fact, I’m bored and bogged down in most fiction when authors try to go all Van Gogh and paint a picture for me. Just give me enough to get the feel of things, and I’ll take it from there. I don’t even really need to know what the characters look like because I’ve already dressed them up and colored their hair in my head.

A few times I’ve actually been surprised when movies come out based on books I’ve read because the characters/actors look NOTHING like what I had in my head. Later when I go back and check their descriptions, I realize they were a lot closer than I’d thought. I’d just missed the details because I was already lost in the story.

I guess the trick is to find a happy medium. That’s what I’m going to attempt to do.  Even though I’ve been working on book two all week, I took a month long break from it in December so it still feels pretty fresh.

Of course, this new plan of action is likely going to kill my daily word count. Last week was one of my biggest weeks ever for writing, and I ended up with 12,529 new words. Rereading and embellishing is going to be much more painful and slow than running ahead full speed like Phoebe from Friends towards a conclusion I had all along.

I’m thinking an epilogue might be in order to tie up some of the loose ends, but sometimes you just can’t solve all of your characters’ problems in a neat little package.

Thank God.

That’s what a series is for.


2 Responses to Novel Tracking: The Road So Far

  1. Going back and filling in the details is hard! I did that all through THL because it started out as a novella. It was tricky. Then SPW ended up being 93,000 words and I thought, holy cow, how did that happen, because TcT is at about 82 or 83,000. Crazy how some stories want to go on and on and others are like, nope, I’m done, but you have to add to them anyway!

  2. I struggle with descriptions, too. It’s hard to find the right balance between providing enough information to give your characters a vivid setting and not going on so long that your readers start to skim. And character descriptions are so hard to work in naturally. Ugh. I’m still working on that.