Blog Archives

Monday Update: Progress is Progressing

Related image

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!

Stay Awesome!

Monday Update: First book of the year DONE!

Image result for Happy Monday

Hey, Gang!

It’s Monday! WOO WOO! Most people hate Mondays. I’ve never been sure why. Me, I’m a Monday kind of guy. Well, I’m also a morning type of guy. don’t hate me because of that. Hate me because I’m beautiful.

That said, I figure I need to start posting far more regularly. I know, I know. I keep saying that and then I don’t do anything about it. So, let’s see how often I can post my progress on Mondays. Maybe other days I’ll post something different.

Let’s start with the numbers and we’ll go from there.

Streak of days writing: 57 consecutive.

Total words written: 113,695

Average words per day: 1,995

Lowest day: 55

Highest day: 5,444

Number of books completed: 1

Let’s dig in, shall we? I decided to write, daily. No matter how many or how few. If I’m not on vacation or doing something where I cannot get to a computer, I plan to write every day. It shouldn’t matter. Writers write. That’s rule #1. I plan to write daily. So far, I’m good on that goal.

Over 100,000 words already this year. I’m stunned too. I honestly didn’t think I’d get there so fast. I started out 25,000 words behind, but I didn’t allow that to be a negative. I started from day 1 and sat and wrote. Some days I wrote more than others. That’s why I posted the min/max numbers. I had a few low days, a few very high days. Some days I didn’t want to write and started late (after 10pm some days). It’s all been an exercise to sit and write daily. That was my first goal above all else. The second was to write an average of 1200 words per day. You can see I’m blowing that out of the water. I went from being 21 days behind schedule when I typed my very first word this year, to being 16 days ahead of schedule. I love my spreadsheet 🙂

The biggest thing was not to view the spreadsheet as punishment. I’d done that before and got depressed and sad. I hated writing, but it wasn’t because of the spreadsheet, it was other things happening in my life at the time. I haven’t had this much fun writing for a few years. The past two years I barely wrote. Let’s not dwell on that and look forward, shall we?

Looking back at my past spreadsheets for reference (we’ll get to the future in a moment, I promise), in 2012 I wrote 267,000 words. 2013 – 172,000. 2014-130000. I didn’t record my words in 2015 or 2016 because I had almost given up writing by then. So far this year I’m at 113,695. I’m on target to blow away all those previous years. I just need to not focus on how I missed my word count goal every single year I tried. That’s a recipe for failure. Instead, I need to look at where I am presently, and where I’ll be if I sit and write again today. Each day gets me closer to that goal. If I do miss a day, not a big deal. Try again tomorrow. Every little bit adds to the whole.

Books completed? One? Really? Yes! Last night I wrote the last chapter in Giant Robot Planetary Competition Book 2: Villain. I’m super excited about this book. I can’t wait to edit, cover it, and publish it. This will be my first book in…a while. Hopefully the first book of many that’ll happen this year. Honestly, I didn’t know if I would be able to keep this output going. I really thought I would peter out, give up, suffer from imposter syndrome. In the end, I figured out what I wanted to do was to create art for me. If others like it, bonus. If not, I’m still happy with the book I wrote.

What’s next on my plate? Remember, I’m in the middle of my Lent goal. I’m 3 days ahead, but I don’t want to stop. I thought about starting something new, but I decided to dive back into a book I was half-way done with. Almost-Super Heroes is another fun book and I’m jumping back in tonight. It’s sitting at 45,000 words. I was targeting 80,000. Let’s see what happens. If I keep on target, I’ll complete this book before the end of Lent.

Oh, speaking of word count, I almost forgot. I had targeted 90,000 words for GRPC2. I did the same for GRPC1. Book 1 came in at 96,420. Book 2 came in at 97,793. I have a hard time hitting targets when I’m having so much fun with the characters. I honestly think I’ve found my voice again and my style as well. It makes it so the words just fall off my fingers tips and onto the keyboard.

I’m writing again. I’m having fun again. Now I just need to be consistent with my output. Next week, I’ll make a similar post.If you made it this far and want to BETA read GRPCs (warts and all) drop me a line at jay@ofgnomesanddwares.com with the type you’d liked and I’ll fire it off to you. It will help if you’ve read GRPC1 first, so if you need that one as well, let me know and I’ll send both on over.

If you made it this far and want to BETA read GRPCs (warts and all) drop me a line at jay@ofgnomesanddwares.com with the type you’d liked and I’ll fire it off to you. It will help if you’ve read GRPC1 first, so if you need that one as well, let me know and I’ll send both on over. It’s rough, and unedited, but I look forward to hearing what you think.

I need to get to doing some writing. Those words won’t write themselves.

Until Next Time

Stay Awesome!

JR