I used the cold and snow of February to create my fifth manuscript. The working title is WWIV - Finders Keepers. This is Book Four in the series. In trying to keep this series sequential, I skipped Book Three to write Book Four. More on that in another post.
I now have five manuscripts in various completed forms on my computer. One is almost ready for publishing, another two are in rewrites, and the last two are in first draft mode only. There's plenty to work on at my place.
The plan for February was to pour out all the ideas for Book Four as fast as I could. Only spelling and obvious missing words were edited as I went. Nothing else. I have promised myself that I will let it sit until April 1st, at least, before I open it again and begin my self edits. If I'm honest with you, I need to get WWIV - Kids at War and Golden Five ready for publication in July and October first.
So, I began early in the morning on February 4th and wrote until it was time to leave for work. I leave at 8:30; I'd gotten up shortly after 4:00 full of ideas. I wrote a little more at lunch that day, not as much as I had hoped, and finished up with a four hour all out sprint that night. By the end of day 1 there were 8,300 words in the manuscript. A new personal record I'm happy to report.
Below I've attached my writing log for the project. There were poor days – three of less than 1,000 words. There were off days – three days. You have to be able to balance work, home, grandkids and writing. There were six days where I logged more than 4,000 words.
On February 27th I wrote the last sentence of this (sometime to be) book. Twenty-one actual writing days went into its creation, 24 calendar days.
I'm pleased with what I created in that short amount of time. The trick was I had played most of the scenes over and over in my head for months. I actually began creating characters while at the cottage last summer. July 9th to be exact. While my wife slept in, I watched the sunrise over the lake and the morning fog burn away slowly. I think I even needed a sweatshirt that morning. Northern Wisconsin can be chilly any time of year.
For the next six months I let the characters and story line run through my brain. I thought about the tale many times in those six months. In the shower in the morning, during my half-hour commutes, sometimes even sitting in church. The story, the tale, percolated in my head time and time again. That way, when I sat down to write it in February of the following year, it flowed out like warm maple syrup.
I've now logged over 500,000 words in just over 13 months. According to the experts, I'm halfway to getting the hang of this trade. They say you need to write a million words before you know what you're doing. With any luck, I'll reach that level sometime next summer (2015). Trust me, I've got three more novels already scratched in notebooks. And plans for two others to round out the WWIV series, as well as The Smith Chronicles.
So keep reading and watch for the release of my first novel soon (WWIV - In The Beginning).