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]

Metrics Monday – 30th June 2014

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Another productive week – I managed to write a total of 5,177 words. Not as good as last week, but still pretty respectable. The first four days were spent on the Leah (working title) short story and a bit of preparation for my next novel. Friday onwards was spent on the third draft of Glitch. The first draft of Leah is almost done and so far it clocks in at 15,513 words which is about 10,000 more words than I expected. I’m going to wrap up that first draft tomorrow as a break from working on the third draft of Glitch. With Leah almost out of the way, I needed something to write until we got back to Vancouver. So, I worked on the outline of my next novel project and wrote a bit of one chapter, just to get a feel for it. I’m itching to get going on that one although I should really finish the second draft of The Ghost Smuggler before I start another novel. As far as Glitch goes, my wife has finished her read through and I’m going over it again and giving it another tweak before it goes to an editor next Monday. I’m almost 25,000 words through after three days so I’m well on track to have it … Read More

Metrics Monday-ish – 23rd Jun 2014

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It turns out going on holiday gives my productivity a huge boost. Who knew? That’s a total of 9,006 words. Even my worst day, Saturday, broke the 500 word mark and Sunday’s post-Half-Marathon recovery session netted 2,643 words which is the second most productive single day I’ve ever had, at least as far as my fiction goes. A lot of this productivity comes from my new short story – working title Leah. I did wrap up the second draft of Glitch on Wednesday which gives me just over a week to do a quick third draft before it goes off to an editor. [Metrics Monday-ish – 23rd Jun 2014 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 27th June 2014]