It's been a bit more than a year now since I began work on my novel. In the bottom-left corner of the word processor it says that there are 170 pages. Without the line breaks and chapter headings, added later to make concentrating on discrete sections easier, it would probably be nearer to 160 pages, but they're single spaced. That's kind of impressive, but it's nowhere near where I wanted to be after a year of writing, at least in terms of quality of writing. Honestly, I was hoping to be doing final revisions and edits at this point and already thinking hard and preparing notes about my next one. I thought that was an attainable dream when I finished the first draft last May, but the months since then were not as productive as I would have hoped.
To really stick the knife, most of those 170 pages are garbage and will need extensive revision. I don't know whether these changes will shrink or expand the manuscript, but even if the final piece is exactly 170 pages again, it will bear little resemblance to what I have now. Only about ten of those pages are solid, but I honestly feel good about them. I know that they aren't perfect and will need some revisiting as the rest of the novel develops, but I don't find myself hating them, and that's pretty good at this point.
I consider my typical writing schedule. Before I began the novel, when I was still writing some short stories, it took about a month before I felt good about them, felt that they were something worth handing in to a professor or sending off to a journal. Most of my short stories then were around ten pages, maybe a bit less. By that standard, I'm doing alright, writing at about the rate I always have. That's something nice to keep in mind when I feel that I'm dragging my feet, that it'll never get done. I just have to keep going. I'm not doing any worse than I was before.
3 years ago