Metrics Monday – 15th September 2014

Philip HarrisMetrics, WritingLeave a Comment

My mildly obsessive nature came in very handy this week. At least as far as my writing goes. On Sunday afternoon I found myself a few words (5 to be exact) short of hitting the 1,000 word mark for the day. So, I went back to the keyboard with the intention of writing a couple of paragraphs to hit that nice round 1,000 word number. I ended up writing for about half an hour. That brought me to within 100 words or so of the 45,000 word mark on The Zombie Book (working title). I then decided to make another little push to hit that milestone. Having done that, I found myself just shy of 9,000 words for the week. Obviously, I couldn’t ignore that so I carried on writing. In the end, I managed 9,053 words for the week which, while not an actual word count record, is certainly in the top three. All those words were on the untitled Zombie Book. The outlining was where I sorted out the second half of the book, smoothing over the cracks created by me veering off the outline during the first half. There’s still one subplot that doesn’t flow quite as neatly as I’d like but I’ll deal with that once … Read More

Metrics Monday – 8th September 2014

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Another stellar week – 7,441 words in total. Inspired by Mary Robinette Kowal’s short story course and a couple of extra days off work, I was able to make a big dent in The Zombie Book, pushing past the halfway point. I also did a revision pass on the first fifty pages or so and they’re ready to go off to an editor for some feedback. So, that’s three weeks in a row that I’ve broken the 7,000 word mark. We’ll see whether I can maintain that this week. [Metrics Monday – 8th September 2014 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 8th September 2014]

Monday Metrics – 1st September 2014

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Can you spot when I took Mary Robinette Kowal‘s short story writing workshop? The workshop was an incredibly valuable experience and I came away with a whole new understanding of various aspects of the craft of writing, new tools for my writer’s toolbox and the inevitable boost in motivation. I also ended up with several new short story ideas (and one that could easily be a novel) that I’m itching to get to once I get my current workload under control. If you’re a writer and you get a chance to be taught by Mary at any point – jump at it. Not all of the weekend writing was for the workshop. I managed to squeeze in half an hour or so of work on The Zombie Book each day – primarily so that I didn’t feel like I was “cheating” by keeping up my streak (now sitting at 428 days) with workshop exercises. Yes, that makes no sense but there you go. So, 8,726 words, 2,989 of which were on The Zombie Book. Very happy with that. And…spoilers…I had a very productive writing day today as well – a boost from the workshop without a doubt. [Metrics Monday – 1st September 2014 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 1st September 2014]  

Metrics Monday – 25th August 2014

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A very productive week, and a reminder why I don’t set myself specific word count goals any more. If I’m not very careful, I end up focusing on the numbers rather than the writing and it actually becomes a distraction. Still, I hit my 7,000 word goal (7,180 to be exact) and made some great progress on The Zombie Book. As you can see from the graph, the high word count was thanks to three days where I pushed really hard. I was actually doing two things – writing the last chapters of the ‘Part One’ of the book and revising the first fifty pages to send to an editor. Those pages still need some work and I’ve got quite a few non-writing tasks to get done this week so I am not setting a word count goal. I got away with it last week but I need to give myself a bit of slack for the next couple of weeks. Then I can start targeting the magical 1,000 words a day again. [Metrics Monday – 25th August 2014 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 26th August 2014]

Metrics Monday – 18th August 2014

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Not quite as a productive week as the last one but I’ve had some real world stuff to take care of so I’m happy with the 5,648 words I did manage. That spike on Sunday was thanks to a couple of productive writing sessions, one sitting in the park on Burnaby Mountain and the other sitting on the bed next to the air conditioner. As with last week, this was all on The Zombie Book and I’m now about a third of the way through the first draft. I’m expecting it to come in at around 72,000 words and I’m pretty much dead on track for that. No pun intended. I’m hoping to increase my productivity for the next few weeks. My goal is to at least break the 7,000 word per week mark until the first draft is finished. We’ll see how that works out. [Metrics Monday – 18th August 2014 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 18th August 2014]

Metrics Monday – 11th August 2014

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First drafts are when I’m at my most productive, at least from a raw word count perspective. With The Zombie Book in full swing, I managed 7,096 words on the manuscript last week – bringing me just beyond the 18,000 word mark – about 25% through the book. That’s a very good week and was probably helped by a couple of trips to the library. It’s much easier to focus without the distraction of the Internet (or anything else for that matter) and a nice air conditioned environment. With at least two weeks more of heat predicted, I suspect I’ll be making more trips in the near future. [Metrics Monday – 11th August 2014 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 11th August 2014]

Metrics Monday – 4th August 2014

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It’s almost too hot to type in my office at the moment. I sit here with the blinds closed, my fan on high, the hostile sun beating down on me through the glass and feel guilty for missing Vancouver’s rain clouds. Still, I managed a respectable 4,878 words last week. Most of that was working on The Zombie Book but I got some beta reader feedback on Leah and had a day off work on Friday so I spent some time tweaking my novella. That particular story also has a final name – The Girl in the City. It’s now gone off to an editor a development edit – basically a high level pass to pick out broad issues. Things like character inconsistencies, fundamental writing issues etc. A development edit is different to copy/line editing which is much more focussed on the specific words. That comes later, when I have a draft I think is ‘finished’. I also got the editorial feedback on Glitch this week. A big thank you to Eliza at Clio Editing. She did a great job, picked up lots of errors and some high level issues that I’ll need to fix. This week I’ll be focusing on The Zombie Book again, although I do have an … Read More

Metrics Monday – 28th July 2014

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A total of 6,406 words on The Zombie Novel last week. A bit of a slow start on this one initially. I have a good outline and I’ve actually written a few bits and pieces to get a feel for things but the first few days were a bit of a struggle. Sunday was completely open though so I spent the whole morning writing and that seemed to get things going nicely. In the end, I had to drag myself away from Scrivener to get the other things I was supposed to be doing done. This week I’m hoping to get the last bits of feedback from the Leah beta readers and line up an editor for that for sometime in August. Which means I’ll have to do another draft of that in the next couple of weeks but hopefully that won’t be a big time suck. [Metrics Monday – 28th July 2014 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 29th July 2014]

Metrics Monday – 21st July 2014

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The main writing goal for last week was the completion of the first draft of my new science fiction novella, Leah (working title that has already been changed to something I’m not quite ready to reveal). A big push on Saturday saw me wrapping up pretty much all the edits a day early, leaving just a few loose ends to clean up on Sunday morning. Final word count for the story was 17,564 which just about pushes it into official novella length. Maybe it will get longer during editing, or maybe it will get shorter. Time will tell. I’m doing something a little bit different with Leah – beta readers. I’ve got three very kind volunteers who are going to read this early draft and give me feedback. This is the first time I’ve done anything like this so I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes. Total word count for the week was 4,215 which is very good considering how much of my time was spent revising. That said, I needed to make sure I had another project to roll into as soon as Leah was finished, so I also spent quite a lot of time outlining my next novel – currently known as The Zombie Book. Leah was completed … Read More

Metrics Monday – 14th July 2014

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Vancouver’s heatwave continues which is making it very tough to work at home. Unfortunately, I’m working on the edits to the first draft of Leah which means I need to work on the PC in my office. I really should get Scrivener set up on my old laptop so that I can work somewhere cooler, like the Sahara or, failing that, the library. Still, I managed 3,610 words. The vast majority of that was on Leah and that first draft is almost finished. My wife had a horse riding lesson on Sunday afternoon so I took my iPad along with me and spent half an hour or so working on a chapter by chapter breakdown of my next novel. It’s something I haven’t done before, outlining at a chapter level, and I’m still using the seven point story structure but I think having a more detailed outline as well will help me avoid writing myself into a corner. That’s the plan anyway. Goals for this week (beyond a couple of more interesting blog posts) is to wrap up Leah and the outline. Shouldn’t be too tricky, even with the heat. [Metrics Monday – 14th July 2014 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 14th July 2014]