Monday Update: Book 2 of the Year Complete
Good Morning and Happy Monday! Did you read the title of this blog? If not, let me repeat it here. Book 2 of the year is complete!
That’s right. I plan on writing 5 books this year, and the second is DONE!
Well, if you recall I’m only counting this as a half book. When Mike Plested and I complete Jack Kane 2, I’ll also count that one as a half book.
But, hey! Another book done! I really love the way Almost-Super Heroes came to an end. Yes, yes, I left it open for a sequel and I already know how the book will start, how it’ll go, and how it’ll end.
I’m so excited. I finished the book on Saturday. I wrote nearly 5000 words that day to finish the book. I also did a bunch of things around the house including fixing the fridge. I can’t wait to share this book with you. I really can’t. It ties in with GRPC and V&A Shipping. I’m working on something really exciting story-wise with these titles and it’s something I’ve dreamt up for the past few years. It’s so awesome to see it all coming together.
What am I working on next? Glad you asked.
I’m working on Golden West Book 3: Showdown.
Wait, Jay, I thought you said you were excited about GRPC and V&A Shipping, and all that.
Yes, yes. I am. I’m super crazy excited about that series and what I’ll be writing in all those books. But I need some closure. The way I’d ended Golden West Book 2 was desperate for an ending. I need to finish that one off. The third book will be the last in that series. I don’t know if I’ll ever visit that universe again. So, I need to finish that series off and let it be done. Between yesterday and today, I read through books 1 and 2 and wow are they emotionally draining books to read. I really put these characters through the ringer.
Book 3? Yes, I know exactly how the book will go. I’m weird like that. Books pop into my head fully formed and it’s only a matter of sitting and writing it out. Unlike books 1 and 2, this one will be longer. I have a lot of threads to tie up and a build up to a satisfying ending. I’d always intended this to be a trilogy. That’s why I’m not certain I’ll ever visit these characters or this universe again.
I have soooooo many books I want to write. I have a list of running ideas. I need to get back to the Astel series (it will no longer be a trilogy). I need to work on my Epic Fantasy series, Of Gnomes and Dwarves. I want to write more Billy stories (none will fall into the V&A Shipping Universe). I want to crank out more Supernatural Learning books. I even have an entirely new series that I haven’t even started that I think will be a BLAST to write. Plus I have three other titles/series that I want to dig into and write in.
On top of that, I want to record everything as audio and get all my current titles published. Those are just waiting for me to record them and get them out the door.
Will this be an active year for my writing? Oh yeah! Will next year? Oh yeah!
Where am I at today?
Let’s start with, done with my Lent Goal and still one more week to go! That’s right. For the first time since I started tracking my words, I hit my Lent writing goal!. Over 46 days I was going to write 92,000 words and as of my writing this I’m sitting at 92,881. So I actually passed my goal on Saturday.
How’s my secondary goal of 2750 words per day average going? Close. Very close. For the past 17 days I’ve averaged 2676. So I need a couple good days to get back to that target. What happened? Well, yesterday happened, that’s what.
As I said, between yesterday and today I re-read Golden West 1 and 2 to get back into that world so I could work on book 3. I had the first little bit thought out and it’ll be a bit explainy as I get readers up to speed on what came before. So yesterday I only had ~500 words. Now that I’m caught back up on… oh, wait, if you haven’t read books 1 and 2 I can’t tell you what I’m getting caught up on. Shame on you. You almost had me tell you.
Suffice to say, it feels good to be in this world. Can’t wait to lay down words, but I have to. I need to get a chapter back to Mike in Jack Kane 2 as we’re nearly done with that book as well. Then I’ll bang out some words with Abigail, Jax, and the rest of the gang.
So there will be many, many words in the future. I’m sorry to make you wait on them, but I have a super-secret plan in my back pocket and I hope you’ll still be here for the ride. I need to get to writing so…
Until Next Time,
Monday Update: Progress is Progressing
Hey Howdy Hey and welcome to another Monday. I hope everything is going wonderful for you.
So I decided Monday seemed like the best day to post an update. Why? Well, because it’s the start of the week for most and it’s a good stepping off point. Let’s see where I’m at and where I want to be.
When last we spoke, I’d finished GRPC2 the day before. That meant jumping into a new book. I didn’t jump into a ‘new’ book so much as jumped into a book I’d already started. That, for me, is even more difficult. What happened before? Where was I going with all this? What little secrets did I want to reveal? What foreshadowing did I do?
Let me say this here and now. Writing faster means I don’t lose track of those things. When it took me months to write a book, I would lose track of a little item and would forget why I’d dropped it in. Writing faster means I can drop a hint, and a dozen chapters later, I can get the payoff. Since it’s only a few days away (and not two or three months). I’m liking that.
So, I jumped back into Almost-Super Heroes after being away from the story for nearly three years! This book, in a way, will tie into the V&A Shipping universe. Giant Robot Planetary Competition is also in the V&A Shipping universe. I plan on tying all these books together. Without meaning to, Billy Barbarian is also in that universe, but won’t be directly involved with the current storyline I’m weaving through all the other titles. I will say no more on this, ever! You’ll have to read and follow along with the books to know what I’m up to. No spoilers to you!
Back to Almost-Super Heroes. The week started out…bumpy. I chose to go back and re-read/edit the first 40,000 words I’d already written. As I said, it’d been over three years. I knew where I was going overall and how it tied into the major story arc across all the titles. So over four days with cuts and additions, I only had a net gain of 3300 words, BUT I knew everything that was going on. I was able to get back into the character’s heads. It all started to click once more. All those ‘candy bar’ scenes were still in my mind and waiting to jump onto the page.
Over the last three days of the week, I knocked out 8300 words. I keep saying, I want to average 2000 words a day during Lent. I’m not going to get upset because one of those days I cut an entire 2500 word chapter and only netted a total of 400 words. Yeah, I wrote 2900 words and I could have counted that, but I’m in an existing story. I’m going by net gain. As I said, those first days were bumpy, but the story is better for it.
Did I manage 2000 words a day last week? Nope. Total miss. I only had 1661 words per day. That’s not important. What is? That I’m still averaging over 2000 words per day for Lent overall. I was able to pound on the keyboard and still hit my words I needed to. This week I will get ahead. Why?
First, Mike Plested, you remember him? My writing partner on Jack Kane? Well, he tagged me so tonight I wrote the next chapter in Jack Kane 2. So I’ve got 2100 words down, and I’m ready to try and do the same with Almost-Super Heroes.
I’ve got a new goal and this is what I should have done for Lent because I think it would have been a true challenge.
Remember a couple weeks back when I was talking about Dean Wesley Smith and Pulp Speed writing? Well, for the rest of Lent I intend to write at Pulp Speed 1. It’s not that many more words per day (average). It’s 2750 words a day. Guess what? I already did that for 3 days without thinking about it. I’ll do it again today. I’m fairly confident I can do this for the remainder of Lent.
If I do, what’ll happen?
First, it means I’ll crush my Lent goal. If I stay on target of 2000 words per day, I’ll hit 92000 words easily. If I write at Pulp Speed 1 for the rest of Lent, I’ll hit 110000 words over those 46 days. I’ll be at 20% over my goal. Being that I’ve never (ever!) hit my Lent goal of 2000 words per day, this would be a big deal to not only hit my goal but surpass it.
Another benefit, I would be 44 days ahead of my annual goal! That means I could have 44 days of 0 word count, and still be on target. That’s huge to bank that many words. There will be time off. There will be vacations. There will be days where there aren’t enough hours to find time to sit and type. I’m taking advantage of having those days now!
What else will it mean?
First, I’ll have a second book done before Lent ends. My goal is to finish five books this year. I don’t count finishing this book as cheating because based on my goal, I would have written 4.75 books, roughly. That means getting this book done and out the door is part of that process. Rather than target partial books, I’m shooting for 5 total books completed.
If I can nudge my good friend Mike along, Jack Kane will be done very soon as well. JK2 is already 80% complete. We’re in the homestretch! I’m excited to bring this book to market. These characters are so much fun to write. Hopefully, we’ll jump right into book 3.
That means very soon, I’ll have three books done this year. Two of those would be half books, so I’m not counting 3 books I wrote, but only 2. I will need to write three more books to hit my 5 book goal.
Will I succeed? Will I fail? You know what, I could stop writing right this moment, and I would still consider this year a win. Why? I have a writing streak of 65 days. I’ve already written 128,000 words. That’s more than some professional writers I follow knock out in a year when they produce one book. Yes. I did that in 65 days.
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t consider myself a pro by any stretch of the imagination. What I am doing is having a GREAT time writing fun stories I’ve wanted to write for years. Hell, for decades. I have so many books in my head that if I kept up this pace for 10 years (5 books a year for 10 years) I still wouldn’t run out of ideas and fun stories to tell.
So I’m glad you’re along for the ride. Let’s see if I can keep up Pulp Speed 1 until next Monday as a start, shall we? This should be a hoot. Check back here next week to see if I hit my numbers. I won’t cheat. I won’t fudge. I won’t do anything other than count my net gain of words and report to you next week. I fudged my numbers in the past for no good reason as I was the only one I was fooling with those numbers. No one else ever saw my spreadsheet.
If any of you are interested in the spreadsheet I use, I could look at posting a read-only version somewhere and giving it public access. Then you can all follow along 🙂
I’m off to make more words happen. Only 750 words to go for today’s goal, but I’ll try for more.
Until Next Time!
Head down and typing like a madman.
Polar Bear speed painting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_Sc_lLjRA4
So I posted a couple times, then disappeared again. What gives?
Well, I’ve been writing. Really fast. Well, not as fast as I could, but fast enough. So how fast is fast? I’ll let you decide, but according to Dean Wesley Smith, I’m not a pulp speed writer. To write at pulp speed, according to Dean, I’d need to write ~1,000,000 words per year. Check out Dean’s post if you’re curious how fast some writers back in the day wrote.
Yeah, I’m not going at that pace. That’d be roughly 2750 words per day. That’s nuts! Who could to that?
So anyway, today I wrote 4081 words. Yesterday I wrote 2661 words. Yeah, I could write that fast every day, but Jay has a job and a family so I don’t write that much every single day.
I’m on a writing streak, though. A 35-day writing streak. Over that time I was hoping to maintain 2,000 words per day. Why? I wanted to get caught up for my annual goal or 1200 words per day. I was behind and I’ve been playing catch up.
Don’t worry. I’m not stressing. Two days ago I was re-reading and editing some of what I’d written and only wrote 55 words. Those days happen. Three days ago I only managed just over 600 words. So I’m not a pulp speed writer. Some day, maybe, but not today.
So over that 35 days how much did I write? I wrote 62,920 words. On average, 1798 words per day.
I haven’t hit my goal of averaging 2,000 words per day. Do I feel like a failure? Heck no! Writing words is a success all by itself. I set the goal to push myself, not pressure myself. I wanted to sit and write words every day and get books written. I’m doing that. I’m proud of doing that. I’ve also done my day job, watched too much news and TV, seen a couple movies, spent time with the family, gone out to dinner, done some training for work. It’s not like all I’ve done is write. Imagine if I was a pro writer and that’s all I did was sit and type all day every day.
Well, with my day job I do type all day with chats and emails and documentation, but that’s different.
So let’s have a little fun and extrapolate. What if I keep up this trend over the course of a year, where will I be at by the end of the year? Remember, my goal is 1200 words per day. So with that number, I’d be writing 440,000 words (44% of pulp speed 1). If I stay on pace with 1798 words, I’ll hit 620,000 (62% of pulp speed 1). If I stop having 55 word days, I can exceed that number.
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Writing just a couple thousand words per day adds up so quickly. How many books does that work out to? Well, most of my books are between 80,000-90,000. That’s what I shoot for. If we take an average of 85,000 words per book, that means I could write 7.5 books this year.
Wait… did I say that correctly? Yup. I could write more than 7 books in one year.
Sounds weird, doesn’t it? In this world, a fast writer puts out 3-4 books in a given year. I could double that. And according to Dean, I’m not even up to pulp speed. Imagine if I were writing just under 3,000 words per day and putting out a million words a year. That’s only pulp level 1. He’s got up to pulp level 6 putting out two million words per year. That’s only 5,500 words a day. Pulp books are also shorter, on average 40,000-50,000 words. That means I’d be putting out nearly 40 books a year! What?
Guess what. Looking through my daily word count, I’ve hit that speed twice. In my 35 day streak, I have 5 days over 300o words, and nearly half the days are over 2000 words. Each day when I check my word count and update my spreadsheet, I’m amazed. I’m excited. I’m ready for the next day to do it again.
You could do this too no matter what type of art you do. Paint a little every day. Write a little bit on a song every day. Type words for a book or short story every day. Sketch something. Draw a cartoon. Art something! All those little days add up to a big payoff.
At the top of this post, I embedded a video that inspired me this week. Just like a book doesn’t get done in a day and perhaps not even in a month, all those little bits add up until you have something completed. The video shows a man painting a polar bear. The video is under two minutes, but it took him two months to paint. A little bit each day. That’s all it takes. You can do it too.
Until Next Time!