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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Surprising Myself

I've mentioned several times about a first draft I've been battling with since about March (here and here). I'd abandoned it the last time around 36k when I realised I needed to concentrate on other things and couldn't justify the time it would take to plot the next sections, let alone write them. Well, on Friday I decided to open the document whilst watching Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Pt2 and see what happened. It turned out quite a lot.

Two thousand words on Friday, over three and a half thousand on Saturday (in the midst of what turned out to be a hellish night of babysitting), over two thousand on Sunday, thirteen hundred on Monday and then last night I churned out five and a half thousand words to bring the whole thing to an end. It put my first draft word count at 50,855 words which is fairly standard for my first drafts. They always bulk up dramatically during the second draft.

I'm not quite sure what happened in the last five days. Actually, there are a few possible reasons. Firstly, to say I'm running away from my PhD at the moment would be an understatement. I'm trying and trying but not getting very far, spending most of my days glaring at my computer screen and contemplating a sudden change of profession. No wonder that my 'evening' work has taken over in my head. And, secondly, I'm grown up enough to know that my PhD isn't the only thing I'm trying to escape from. I suppose now I've finished this draft I'll have to stop procrastinating and deal with stuff. Though, may I say, hanging around with my characters is much more enjoyable than the real world at the moment.

So this first draft will be printed and stuck in a clear folder with the other four novels I have in various states of revision (yes, I'm a little psychotic about how I store them, it has to be a clear folder for reasons I don't even know). I do have a slight reservation though - I'm taking part in NaNoWriMo again this year and I hope I haven't burnt myself out of words in the last few days.

Oh, and there is the other issue of my traffic light system: I've completed an amber task while the two red ones are still outstanding. So outstanding that they're somewhere in the North Sea and I'm running towards Cornwall. Can't help thinking I'm doing this productivity thing wrong...

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