Total: 14,065 words
Start-to-date average: 2,009 words/day
There’s always the urge to push far ahead in the first week, knowing things will get dire around week 2 or 3. I’ve been most successful when my word counts have kept consistent below a certain threshold (usually around 2,000 words a day). When I began Those Who Favor Fire, I was writing around 4,000 words a day, and I burned out. Things got a bit dicey a few days ago, when I had to write 3,000 words/day so I could take Election Day off. My brain felt like mush when I finished.
I’m still on-track as far as my outline goes; the few deviations have been for the better, and I have a surplus of ideas for now. I was worried my outline wouldn’t be detailed enough, but I’m finding with my pace I can discovery write over the gaps. I always worry, but running out of narrative has almost never been a concern; I’ve had more trouble with burning out and heading into a narrative dead-end.
I’ve also got a writing playlist, something I don’t usually do for most of my writing. It helps me keep focused (I don’t play it when I’m not writing or about to write) and it gets me in the right mood for this particular story. A few of the tracks:
- “Anabasis,” Dead Can Dance, Anastasis
- “Promentory,” Trevor Jones, Last of the Mohicans
- “Ashitaka and San,” Joe Hisaishi, Princess Mononoke
- “Why Do We Fall?” Hans Zimmer, The Dark Knight Rises
- “Voices,” Yoko Kanno, Macross Plus
Most of the tracks are free of vocals, or feature vocals in a language I’m not fluent in. It’s less distracting. There are a few exceptions, though:
- “Spirits in the Material World,” The Police
- “Take Me As I Am,” October Project
- “In the House of Stone and Light,” Martin Page
That last one is a bit obscure, so I’ve embedded it below. It’s ’90s world music cheese of the best kind, perfect for the mood of this story, and I love it.