My word count for National Novel Writing Month was 20,292 words. The official NaNo count was 20,273 words. I don’t know why they’re giving me a different count than Scrivener, but it doesn’t matter. That’s a good word count for me. The first time I did NaNo, my count was just under 12,000 words. The second time it was around 17,000 words. So I have been pushing myself a bit further each time.
I think of it as learning to stretch my writing muscles. When I first started writing I had a hard time hitting 500 words in a day. Last month I actually had one day where I went over 2,000 words and that’s never happened before. So I’m happy with my progress.
Even better, I find myself with a novel in hand that I like and am committed to. So the next few months will be taken up with finishing this draft. I’m aiming for 20,000 words a month, and I think this will be roughly 80,000 words long, which would have the draft done around the end of February. Realistically, the winter holidays are going to jumble my schedule a bit, but I still should be able to finish up sometime in March. I only have to keep writing.
My own process is such that once I’ve finished a draft, I set the work aside entirely for at least a couple of weeks before coming back to do rewrites. I’m anticipating two cycles of rewrites with that cooling down period in between. Then I’ll do a round with my best beta reader, who happens to be my husband Fabrice. Not until the end of that process will I decide whether I need a developmental editor, or if I’m ready to go directly to a copyeditor/proofreader.
So, and again this is all a rough estimate, the book will be available sometime in late summer. While it cools, or is with other readers, I will be working on cover art, and starting other projects. I still have one finished short story in hand that I’d like to edit/proof and publish, but it’s looking like that won’t happen until March. I have a couple of other shorts in the pipeline (ghost stories! I love ghost stories), but if I can get one or two shorts and a novel out in 2013, I will be content.
That’s the plan anyway. I’ll report on my actual progress as the months roll by.