Well, I just finished another text-based product of novel length.* It’s still rough, but it’s the closest thing I’ve ever produced to a coherent piece of fiction on this scale: the story is more plot than hole, the characters are iffy but not completely undeveloped, and the structure is close to coherent. No major characters pop into or out of existence halfway through. That’s something!
I learned a tremendous amount since last year about working on a project of this magnitude. Check out my weekly word count for 2014:
It’s still not soaring as high as 2012, but I’m still writing more consistently than I was in 2013. 2014 has been a better and less stressful year for me personally, which certainly didn’t hurt my output, but I also learned how to outline a complete story before I’m in the middle of it and floundering. You can see the effect on my total word count:
I started the year with almost 10,000 words in my outline, and those rough descriptions of upcoming scenes were hugely helpful when I got stuck. I used a lazy version of the snowflake method, which was handy because the story I was telling was not exactly in chronological order.
Now it’s time to put this manuscript out of sight while I try to put it out of mind for a few months at minimum. I could do this crazy thing called “relaxing,” but I’m probably going to jump straight into another project.
* Yes, I know that “novel length” is up for debate as a unit of measurement.