One thing about working off a National Novel Writing Month project is that so much of what was created is not necessarily usable on the second pass. I started with a raw draft of 50,000 words, then edited taking out repetition and silliness and ended up with a draft of 44,000 words. I started to work on this draft and successfully upped the count to 47,000 and thought, great, this is it, I’m going to tear through this MS and just go for it. At 1,000 words a day, this first draft is smoking hot and I will create a finished book in about a month. Oh sure I will. At the end of the week, instead of the projected 5,000 word increase, I increased my fabulous word count by just 1,000 words. On Tuesday I actually lost words and dropped to 46,000.
This is demoralizing to say the least. But is the work a bad thing? Well, I’m eliminating all those unnecessary words, all those words that don’t fit, and increasing some that do, It’s a dance back and forth, but not the straight line of accomplishment I hoped for. If you’ve felt like you’ve been working and working and writing and writing, only to discover, at the end of the week that you’ve moved backwards, take heart, you are not alone. Many of us work that rough draft forward, then backwards, the forward again, and it’s okay, it’s the process.
And if you don’t work like that, and are writing in a linear, 2,000 word a day fashion, five days a week, without fail or stumbling even once, don’t tell me about it today.