At 15,252 Words This Weekend I Think I Can Say “I Hit My Stride”

I didn’t quite make it to 20,000 words this weekend. And by “quite,” I mean I fell 3,937 words short.  But I wrote 15,252 words for my novel in 2 days (for a word count total of 21,686) and 811 words for my 3rd short story of the month making a total of 16,063. To be honest, that’s not too bad. Saturday was a writing bonanza but Sunday was much more laid back. I still wrote 8,341 words and that’s with starting 2 hours later than yesterday, numerous play breaks with the dog, making a leisurely breakfast, a midmorning snack of turkey bacon then warming up an inexcusable amount stir fry with rice noodles. Then I took the dog out for a walkies. She’s been so good, she more than deserved to get some fresh air and stretch her little leggies.

Yesterday's ready to brave winter in Halifax.

Yesterday’s ready to brave winter in Halifax.

I wrote a Sunday Short AND crossed the 20,000-mark for my novel. Not too shabby when I started this weekend with 6.434 words in total. For the month to date. I’m slightly proud of myself at the moment.

The novel has taken shape. I’m excited about where it goes, what happens with my main character and the pieces are just falling into place much more neatly than I could have ever tried to plan. I started with a few characters but I now have a list of 13 and there are a few more who are unnamed but will play a significant role. My plot structure is solidifying and the pace has been pretty consistent. Everything my character does has been advancing the story line and I’m hooked.

The writing may not be improving but the story is flowing and I promise myself breaks at specific word count goals but I blow through them because I can’t stop. I need to know what she’ll do next. What will happen even though in my brain I’ve already plotted the next scene. There’s just enough mystery left to keep me guessing. And if I’m guessing then my readers will be left slightly in the dark as well and that’s exactly what I want.

I got the short story done for the day but I didn’t manage to get a head start on any others. It took longer than I expected because I had to think of a little story for them but as soon as I started typing it began to drift into my imagination. I like to think I have a little store house in my subconscious and each week another short story idea gets shuttled to my creative brain. It’s comforting to think that I have a warehouse buried deep in my little brain and it’s constantly being replenished.

So far things are going well with my writing goals. Of course I’d love to be able to say I’ve accomplished everything I set out to do this weekend but I know now what I need to do beforehand to prepare for a weekend of sitting on the couch to write. It’s easy now with the cold weather but we’ll see what happens when patio season arrives.

I can’t believe I’m at the point already where I have to do my words-per-day calculation to figure out how much I need to write each day in order to finish this month. So, as it stands right now, this very minute, I need to complete 28,314 words within the next 11 days. That breaks down to 2,574 per day. (My math may be wonky, I’m getting sleepier and sleepier as I write this post. Rest assured I’m comfortably over the 2,500-word-per-day mark.) Absolutely doable if I stay on track. That’s not counting the last weekend of the month where I can do another writing binge (and I’m really excited to do so!). I’m actually wondering if my story will be resolved in time. I may need the extra time to go over so I can keep the flow in proportion with the rest of the novel. I just can’t believe that a complete novel is absolutely within reach for me this month. I’m going to consider this really good practice for February. Those missing 2 days are going to make things interesting…

The real challenge will be this week to keep up with my writing. I think it should be easier now because the story’s established, the conflict has been set and not my protagonist has to make things right. I’ve completely lost interest in reading, my movies don’t get a second glance when I walk by and I don’t even miss the internet when I really get into things. I just make a note about what I have to research and move on. I go to bed excited to wake up and have fresh ideas for my next writing session.

I feel like I’ve just come out of hibernation and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for me.