A Week of Mondays – Week 6, 7, and 8 #BehindtheBook

Okay, so this is technically week 8, but week 6 and 7 I got absolutely NO writing done because I was on tour. So I’ve combined all three weeks into this one! But really, there’s nothing to report for weeks 6 and 7!

As always, below is my weekly summary (with chart!) and my daily breakdowns in case you’re interested in the more day-to-day process of writing.

Mood Chart Week 8

Click on chart to see it bigger.

WEEKLY SUMMARY:

Date: 10/22/14 – 10/28/14
Weekly Words Written: 11,745
Total Words to Date: 69,678
Number of Writing Days: 6 (not too shabby!)
Average Daily Words: 1,958
Weekly Pages Written: 58
Total Pages To Date: 311
Average Daily Pages: 10
Weekly Chapters Completed: 12
Total Chapters to Date: 55 (whoa, that’s a lot of frickin’ chapters!)
Average Mood  (1-10): 7 

 

 

DAILY BREAK-DOWNS:

Day 50

DID NOT WRITE

 

Day 51

Date: 10/23/14
Words Written: 1,491
Pages Written: 7
Chapters Completed: 2
Time Elapsed: 1.5 hours
General Mood (1-10): 7 (not to shabby for first day back after two weeks!)

Coming back after not writing for two weeks is HAAARD. I really struggled to get back into the story and spent about an hour prep time, skimming back through (which I hate to do!) and re-outlining the next few chapters in Scrivener to get my head in the right place. In the end, it wasn’t quite as awful as I thought it would be. This book feels like a quilt right now. A quilt that’s still in a thousand pieces. I have several squares–some look better than others–that need to all fit together in the end but as of right now, they’re very piecemeal and separate. I know it’s going to take some work to get them to layout right and seam together, but for now, I’m still just building the squares. But I’m in this really crazy, scary, exciting places, where I can FEEL the book starting to come together. Or more, like I can feel how it WILL come together.  It’s exciting but it’s also terrifying. Like, what if it doesn’t? What if it can’t be pieced together? What if after all this time, all I’m left with is 48 really nice quilt squares but no quilt?

Day 52

Date: 10/24/14
Words Written: 2,599
Pages Written: 12
Chapters Completed: 2.5
Time Elapsed: 2.0 hours
General Mood (1-10): 6

Today was a hit and miss day. I wrote 2.5 chapters (.5 because one chapter is way too short and needs more schtuff–see picture below–but I don’t know what that is yet.) I really like some of the stuff I wrote but other stuff is just meh. I’m feeling like I’m typing a lot of the same thing these days. A lot of looks and shrugs and nods. I need variation! But I’m happy with the dialogue at least. Sometimes I wish I could just insert a movie file into a book and hire actors to read the lines and interpret the actions so I don’t have to write them. Blah.

My spreadsheet tells me I only have 17,000 words to go before I finish this sucker. But I’m starting to have serious doubts about my estimate of 80k words. Yes, yes, I know it’s too long. But this first draft might be closer to 90k! (Don’t look, editor. Just don’t look.)

I took a picture of a manuscript page today and tweeted it. I’m pasting it in below. Sometimes you just have to put placeholders in and move on. I always figure out what will be there later (or sometimes the whole chapter is cut!) but I try not to let myself be too bogged down with stuff like this because it slows my momentum. This is how you avoid writer’s block. You just don’t allow it. You move on.

placeholders

 

Day 53

Date: 10/25/14
Words Written: 3.107 (oh YEAH!)
Pages Written: 16
Chapters Completed: 2
Time Elapsed: 3 hours
General Mood (1-10): 8

Awesome day! I wrote another flashback scene. These are starting to become my favorite scenes to write! And it all started as an exercise to figure out one of my characters. Then I loved what came out of it so much, I decided to put a flashback into each Monday. And. AND! I’ve reached day 5!

Day 54

Date: 10/26/14
Words Written: 1,241
Pages Written: 8
Chapters Completed: 1.5
Time Elapsed: 1 hour
General Mood (1-10): 7

Feeling slightly less excited about what I wrote today than yesterday. I started Monday 5 today and usually that’s exciting (because it refreshes my enthusiasm) for the book, but I think I’m slowly reaching burn-out phase about now. I’m losing energy and momentum and enthusiasm by the day.

Day 55

Date: 10/27/14
Words Written: 2,377
Pages Written: 10
Chapters Completed: 2.5
Time Elapsed: 2 hours
General Mood (1-10): 8

Slight rebound today! YAY! I actually really liked what I wrote today. I skipped another scene. But what else is new? Future Jessica is NOT going to be happy about all the work she has cut out for her. But I assume (as I always do) that future Jessica will be much wiser and more creative than past Jessica. See, Future Jessica, I’m complimenting you. You’re a genius! Figure this S&^t out.

Day 56

Date: 10/28/14
Words Written: 930
Pages Written: 5
Chapters Completed: 1
Time Elapsed: 1 hour
General Mood (1-10): 4

Ugh. That’s what I have to say about today. I had a slight rebound yesterday and then came crashing down today. I am really running out of steam. Pulling words out today was like pulling the sword out of the stone (and I’m definitely no King Arthur.) And man were those bad words. Something needs to happen to rejeuvenate me or the rest of this book is not going to be pretty. And I’m SO close to the end! Like less than 20k words. Maybe even 10k! But I’m feeling SO VERY BLAH!

I’m highly considering employing a trick I use on a lot of manuscripts: go back to the beginning and start revising. Then write these last 20k words after I’ve revised the first 3/4 of the manuscript. Sometimes this strategy can be really helpful. When you start nearing the end, so many threads and plots have to come together and get resolved. It’s a very crucial part of the storytelling process and if you don’t have a firm grasp on what the rest of the book is saying, it can be really hard to write at this point. So that might be what I do. Since I really haven’t edited a single word of this MS (besides the prologue) it might be time to do that. Go back and reacquaint myself with the beginning and then write the ending once I’ve done a revision pass on the rest.

But that also means having to deal with all those big blank spaces that I left behind! Oh, Past Jessica. What have you done to me?

##

In case you missed the first post, I’m live blogging (diary style) the progress of writing my new manuscript,  A WEEK OF MONDAYS (which will be released by FSG/Macmillan in Spring 2016), to give fellow writers (and readers) an inside look into my writing process. And maybe give me a little insight as well!

Click here to read the first post or you can follow all the posts by clicking here.

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