1. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Simpson's Progress Journal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Simpson17866, Jul 2, 2016.

    1) Start a thread on the Progress Journals forum. Check ;)

    2) Write about my progress in the book so far.

    I have just passed the 10,000 word mark in my new Urban Fantasy novel (Working Title: TBD) about my protagonists discovering the existence of the supernatural when their spree of bank robberies gets hijacked by a vampire building a rep as a supervillain.

    Check.

    3) Finish the book.

    It took me 2 and a half years to write my novel-length Doctor Who fanfic, but now that I am using Scrivener instead of Microsoft Word I am writing about 3 and a half times as quickly as I was before.

    My birthday is in late May, I would like to be done with the first draft of my vampire novel by then.
     
  2. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    Awesome - how's it coming along?
     
  3. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haven't written new material today, but I did get to take a look at a Ford Mustang in person for the first time in my life, so I have made some edits to an existing scene (for which the interior of a Mustang is extremely plot-relevant) to cover something that I hadn't realized from just Googling.

    With family right now for 4th of July weekend, but I will write at least a little bit later tonight.
     
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  4. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    From a purely mathematical standpoint, I just finished writing 1400 words tonight, taking me from 10500 to 11900.

    From a purely artistic standpoint, I just finished the most important scene of the entire book.

    Not the most important scene of the plot, not by a long shot, but I just finished the scene that formed the single most important reason for my coming up with the entire rest of the plot in the first place :D
     
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  5. Vagrant Tale
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    Vagrant Tale Active Member

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    Great progress! I really love how you just made me realize...if a typical novel length is 100,000 words, and you wrote 1400 in one night, that means if you write 1000 in a day, you'll have any first draft done in just over 3 months!
     
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  6. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just put another 850 words into my new total of 12,750.

    Most of it was a lecture about feminism and Goth rock, but I feel that it was a bit more plot-relevant than a similar lecture in another book might've been (my guy's in line at a bank to rob the place, security just noticed him, and he's trying to weasel his way out and get back in line by playing himself off as somebody who's not a threat to anyone).
     
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  7. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yesterday at my favorite writing cafe I got another 375 words in.

    Today, I ended up cutting 150 words of what I'd written Tuesday (the Goth-rock part still feels natural, but the feminism bit seemed forced on my second read-through), but I also added another 475 words, bringing me up 700 from Tuesday for a new total of 13,450.

    I also re-arranged a bit of what I'd already written. The Alpha Reader* that I'm working with agreed with me that the scene-setting in my very first paragraph was a little vague, but also added that the rest of the first page after that seemed a little slow, so in addition to fleshing out the scene-setting in that first paragraph, I also added a tiny bit of backstory and moved some of my later paragraphs closer to the beginning.

    I'm thinking after this that I'll only update this thread on a weekend schedule - extras on the 5,000 word milestones - rather than every single time I write anything :D

    *My understanding is that Beta Readers read first drafts and Alpha Readers read WIPs. Anybody else make that distinction?
     
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  8. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am now up from 13,450 to 13,900.

    Maybe it'll be a monthly updates plus 5,000 word-benchmarks instead of weekly plus
     
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  9. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    15,000 words, on the nose, and I am just now getting to the first blatantly supernatural parts of what's happening.
     
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  10. ToDandy
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    ToDandy Contributing Member

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    Sounds like you are making good, concise, progress. That's what you want. You don't have to write a lot every night but as long as you can put in a regular amount, you'll have a book done in no time!
     
  11. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    20 thousand :D

    Lot of what I've done this week is exposition, I might have to trim it down later if I didn't get the "exposition / character reactions to exposition" balance right, but right now I am at 20 thousand.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    OK, that's intriguing. :read:
     
  13. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    I didn't think you were a vampire sort @Simpson17866 , doctor who, definitely!

    I'm pleased to hear you're moving along so well and have such clear progress goals. Good luck.
     
  14. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well it looks like I'm a vampire writer now ;)
     
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  15. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    25,000 words.

    Holy ****

    A month and a half ago, I had 5,000 words finished on Microsoft Word. I have never written this much this fast in my life.

    I am never not using Scrivener again, I could've finished my Doctor Who story in 5 months if I'd written it as fast as I am now.
     
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  16. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    Can you explain how Scrivener is helping you increase your output? I'm thinking of getting it, but I thought that it was more of an organizational tool than something that actually speeds you up.

    ETA: very motivational thread, by the way
     
  17. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    In Microsoft Word, I always felt I had to write in strict linear order (narrative, not necessarily chronological) because if I skipped ahead, then it would be harder for me to get back to where I skipped past. Not psychologically "why do I need to get back to this?" rather logistically "what part did I skip past again?"

    No matter how pumped I was for a scene, I always slogged through every scene that took place in the narrative before it, and by then I was often so emotionally drained by the "boring" parts that it took longer to write what had previously been the parts I was excited to write.

    Everything on Scrivener is just a click away from everything else, so I can do everything out of order. Instead of filling in the blanks first making me less energized to finish with the parts that I started out being excited by, starting with the parts I'm excited by makes me more energized to fill in the blanks later.

    Under the "draft" folder, you can make sub-folders for specific sections, you can make sub-folders within those folders, and all you have to do is click on any folder icon to get back to it.

    Within the text itself, you can also add Comments: yellow boxes that highlight either words that you need to work on and/or empty spaces that you need to fill in, and you have a sidebar that lets you A) write a quick note to remind yourself of why you highlighted the specific section and B) jump straight to that highlighting from anywhere else within the text of the same folder.​

    I haven't even touched the dozens of other features because just those two are powerful enough. I signed up for the 30-day free trial, but I am paying the $40 when the trial runs out just for those two features.

    ... and I don't mean "30 days from the time you start the trial," I mean that if you write on Scrivener for 1 day a week, then it will take 30 weeks (≈7 months) for you to run out of it ;)
     
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  18. Iain Aschendale
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    @Simpson17866 That makes a lot of sense, thanks!
     
  19. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    So I forgot that I was adding the timed (monthly) updates in addition to the 5,000 word benchmarks. Clearly I am off to a bad start.

    I haven't been writing as much this month as I would've liked (though the extra time spent with family visiting from out of state is also nice), but I did just get about 750 words done today, taking me up to 28,000.

    I've also found out that a couple of scenes I'd planned for the middle don't connect the beginning to the end as well as I'd thought, but, since I'm using Scrivener, it's still easy for me to work on the beginning and the end while I come up with a better middle :)

    I also may or may not have accidentally come up with a concept for an entire spin-off series that I may or may not have been outlining over the past week or so :D
     
  20. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just got up to 30,100 words, and I'm pretty sure I've come up with a transition that fixes the issues I'd found with my original :)
     
  21. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    So I've gotten a bit of writing (and a ton of backstory outlining) done these past 2 weeks, but I just had to cut about 1,500 words of monologue (bringing me down to 29,785) that didn't do anything.

    Fortunately, Scrivener let's me write out of order in a way that Word never did, so I'm in the middle of putting the monologue back into a chapter some time after where I had it first. Should be back up to 30k by the end of the day, and I'm pretty sure the monologue will work better there from a pacing standpoint.
     
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  22. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've been doing a ton of reading responses for my English homework, but I've also had time to get my manuscript up to 32,375 words (despite having to cut out about 1000 that weren't going to work)
     
  23. GingerCoffee
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    I write out of order. It works fine.
     
  24. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just got through 800 words today, getting me from 34,400 to 35,200.

    I think I also figured out how to work references to my new backstory idea into the next scene.
     
  25. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I accidentally wrote a story last night :D

    I've never accidentally written a story before in my life, but I'm taking a Great Course on writing, set myself up on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule, and my Tuesday homework assignment was about writing a situation first as a surprise (audience doesn't know something, the character/s might or might not know), then as a suspense.

    I couldn't come up with a good scene to write about until 11:30 Wednesday night, so I thought I'd jot down a quick start and finish it when I woke up (in college, assignments are generally due in class rather that 12:01 AM before class, so I've decided that my assignments are due 12:00 noon the day the next homework is assigned).

    Next thing I know it's 2:00 in the morning, I have a 1700 word first draft of a story completely finished, and I don't think that it would take a lot of descriptive expansion to make this legitimately publishable.

    I've been telling myself for a year now that who I am as a person is A Writer – even though I haven't been published yet – because I spent a long time trying not to come up with new stories to write, and it never worked.

    I did not realize that "accidentally going from basic idea to first draft in 2:30" was a benchmark that I would ever hit for myself, the first story that I ever actually finished took me 3 days of outlining and a week of writing to get a 3,400 word first draft.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016

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