Believe it or not, sometimes even writers don’t keep their promises. A daily word count goal can fail under the stress of other things and just like that, you can hit a wall. If writing a specific word count a day isn’t your thing, then maybe you should try writing every day, but focusing on a weekly, or even monthly goal. It all comes to how much time you’re willing to commit to the craft and what you’re capable of.
Creating a world means you spend your time expanding on it – the surroundings, the realm and the characters who live inside it. Without believable characters who fit the world you’re crafting, the story won’t reach its full potential. Ponder the ideas you have, execute them and work hard to mold together every aspect of your creation. Writing the story itself is only half the battle; understanding your characters and the world they live in comes first and is another large section of it. Once all of that is over with, you’ll be able to focus on editing. But that’s another story entirely.
As of this moment, my daily word count goal of 1,000 words a day is failing. Why? Because sometimes I want to do other things. Throughout my long weekend, what I wrote is as followed:
That makes for a grand total of 3,106 words in five days – 1,894 words short of the 5,000 I should have gotten if I’d stuck to my goal. Still, it’s more than I’ve written in weeks and that is what it’s all about. Writing. I may not make my goal every day, but I try my best and that helps me get words onto paper. It helps me progress in my story and the best part is that, even when I’m not writing, I am thinking about my novel; its characters, the environment, the plot, and everything around it. The thought process is more important and essential than many think. Without it, there would be no novel. I will not deny that there are some who can start writing the instant a hint of an idea pops into their subconscious, but even if they start that way, their mind will dwell and elaborate the story.
We writers are always working. Whether we’re lounging on a couch with our trusty notebook and pencil in hand, curled up with our laptop or sitting at our desk with our computer, or staring out the window: Our minds are always working, even if we sometimes don’t know it ourselves. In our subconscious, stuff is always being processed and created. With our knowledge, or without.
The above-noted word counts allowed me to both write the second half of chapter four, then proceed to write well into chapter five. Tuesday, I went back and did some editing to the disaster that was chapter four, by adding bits, changing things around and all-in-all, spicing it up a bit.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have.
While editing is key to great stories, it’s best done after the fact. I’ve already toned down my editing skills, but I can’t deny my inner editor everything. I have no problem with finishing a chapter, letting it sit for a few days while I move on, and then looking it over. Will I edit again once I finish the novel? Of course. Will I edit sometime throughout the course of the novel? Highly possible. The fact of the matter is to not limit yourself. You could say you won’t edit at all and be miserable with everything you’ve written and lose the will to go on, or you can find a way to make it work for you. The key is to keep writing.
Keep writing – it’s all that matters. If you do, you’re one step closer to accomplishing your goal.
What are your experiences when it comes to mixing writing new material with editing? What would you recommend others to do?