Monday, 29 August 2011

WIP Update: Day One & A Trekkie Question

It's day one, albeit a week earlier than planned, and I have a confession to make. I am no-longer writing the first book in my Cosmic Seed Trilogy, Daughters of Velika. I actually made the decision a few weeks ago but wanted to be totally sure before announcing yet another project.

In early July an idea came to me that wouldn't go away. So, I decided to prepare for both novel ideas. After writing blurbs, taglines, creating mock covers, synopses, scene and character notes, I decided the new project was a much stronger idea.

Unlike my other novel ideas, I am not going to reveal anything other than it is YA science fiction, first-person viewpoint, and post-apocalyptic. This is because I have been advised me not to reveal too much information in case someone likes my idea and uses it to write their own novel before me. Of course they wouldn't be the same, and the chances of someone actually doing that are virtually non-existent, but there is still a chance. I want to stress I am not talking about my blogging friends and followers; I'm talking about the small minority of dubious individuals who may stalk the Internet for ideas.

Now I've confessed all, I can talk about my week one objectives. I have two plans in mind for writing my novel, and will choose one depending on how my first week goes:
  1. Write the first draft during September and October, five days a week, with a 2500 daily word count. Edit during November. My week one target would be 12,500 words.
  2. Write the first draft during September, October, and November, with a 1600 daily word count. Edit once I go back to work. My week one target would be 8000 words
I'd like to go for plan number one, but until I start writing I'm not sure how many words I can realistically achieve on a daily basis.

I also have come up with a daily writing schedule. Mornings will be spent writing and/or typing up new scenes on my laptop. Afternoons will be spent writing new scenes by longhand or editing/re-writing previous scenes. So that I do not overdo it with the computer, Sundays and Tuesdays will be non-computer days.

The other plan I had related to staying mentally and physically healthy during my 12-week break. The most important thing was getting out, whether that be running, going to the gym, or meeting friends and family. The last thing I wanted to happen was to be cooped up for days on end. Unfortunately, breaking my toe has put an end to the running and gym, and if I want to meet up with anyone they'll have to pick me up. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my toe heals quickly.

What do you think is a realistic daily word count? How do you schedule your writing days? And what do you do to stay healthy?

Now for a Trekkie question. Below is the rather cheesy 80s video for Aha's You Are The One. Pause the video 53 seconds in and tell me whether you think the girl in the taxi is Jeri Ryan from Voyager. She would have been around 18 when this video was made, so the timing is right.


  1. Jeri Ryan seems to be in everything these days so why not?

    I'm probably not the person to ask about word counts. I'm a journalist and I'm used to fast output. The NaNo rate is about 1700 a day isn't it? That seems reasonable.

  2. I found when I was doing BuNoWriMo that anything just above 2000 was a a comfortable daily word count whilst I was at work... That was writing 6am - 7.45am
    On days off with two writing sessions, I found 4k doable, but this was a solid write-through with no re-reading, re writing.

    Have a fab first day - get stuck into it! Lxxx

  3. I am impressed by you guys, I wrote teccy stuff for a living and I have no idea how much output that was per day in words, but I am sure it was nothing like the figures you guys seem to be comfortable with, but I always made my deadlines. Mind you I had to draw the diagrams too.

    PS Pardon my ignorance, I have been reading SF since the 1950s to date, but I seem to have missed some current jargon, what is YA SF?

  4. Writing poetry is different as I write when inspiration coms a calling. I am into my second book, I have chosen the poems, re-typed them, now I have to choose a title, write the forward, and the blurb, the publisher will do the cover. It's very exciting.
    As a novelist I wouldn't thave the faintest idea how many words to do a day. But good luck on your projects.


  5. Good luck with the schedule. I guess 2,000-2,500 seems a realistic word count. I hope your foot gets better soon because that's bound to slow down everything if you have to keep it elevated. Exciting. I wish I was so motivated and inspired! :O)

  6. I always try for 800 words a day. It's reasonable for me.

  7. When I start a novel and also when I'm in the groove, I write far more than 1600 words. But less inspiring days might net only 500 words.

    I generally don't keep tabs on my word count, but rather give myself mini deadlines. Like: this morning I'll finish this scene or by the end of the day, I'll finish such and such chapter. This way I feel like I'm always moving forward.

  8. why worry about word count?

    i write as much as i have in me at the time, whether 500 or 15,000 words, makes no difference to me...

    i may write for three hours, or 33, depending on mood and work flow... i do crash for some time post the 33!

    that's NOT jeri ryan, far as i can tell....

  9. oh yeah, DO keep that toe elevated as much as possible...

  10. It does look like her, and she is credited with being on VH1.
    I think 2500 words a day is do-able. I managed 1700 a day during NaNo and I was working full time.

  11. LOL! Aha! That song Take On Me was huge when I was a kid.... way better video too.
    But I don't think it was Jeri Ryan. Looked a tiny but like her, but nah.... :)

  12. I'd go for Plan A and keep Plan B for a fall back. In Karate, when mentally gearing to break a board we're told to look beyond the mark. If we only look at the board, we tend to pull back when we get to it, which means (besides hurting like heck) that we don't break it. We have to imagine a mark past the board. We have to get "through" the board to hit our mark. I think it's the same thing with writing. If we set our goals lower than we can achieve, we'll hit them, but we might have been able to do so much more.

    But be realistic, too, for those days when doing your all doesn't get you to the mark.

    SciFi? I love that SciFi's making a comeback. Squee!

    And with those full lips, it could be Jeri.

  13. I'm much too distracted by the gorgeous Morten! Oh how I swooned when he first burst into cartoon glory in that other video of his, whatchacallit - take on me! Sigh!

    Yes the taxi girl does look like 7 of 9 before she was assimilated!

    GOOD LUCK with your shiny new idea and writing schedule!!!! I say whatever you do - find at least 30 minutes to go for a walk/exercise/keep fit 3-5 times a week. That's from Rosemary Conley and her word is sacred! :-)

    Take care

  14. A realistic, daily word count depends on the writer and his/her life. If you have a day and plan on writing, I think your goals are doable. Just don't fret when life gets in the way. lol (I have that problem.)

    For me, when I decided to write a new novel, I try and set between 2,000 to 3,000 words or hit for a new chapter. If things are flowing, I go with it. :)

    Best of luck!

  15. It sure does look like Jeri Ryan

  16. I tend to write in spurts and struggle to do anything like a daily word count faithfully. That said, if you can get in a grove, then 2500 words a day is very doable. I think my first Nano novel I did something like 5k a day for a couple of weeks. Of course, it needed heavier editing than anything else I'd ever done before too. But still.

    I think starting something new is great, at the beginning, before all my confidence goes out the window, I'm thinking that this could be the greatest thing ever done. It's a great feeling.

    As for Jeri Ryan, I don't know. I watched that segment several times and can't quite figure out if it's her or not. I want to say no, but just barely. I did manage to waste 20 minutes hunting imdb, wikipedia and Google looking for confirmation. I learned she came in third in the Miss America contest around that time. Nothing else though.

  17. Hey I've got an award for you at my blog, come pick it up at

  18. I truly hope your toe heals soon and well. realistically I could only have myself write about 500 words a day with a 2,000 word limit each day so I do not overdo it.

    New projects always get my mind going. I hope yours goes well.

  19. I'm not quite as organized as you are. I write about four of five days a week and don't stop until the muse grows cold. I also don't do much by way of paper anymore. That has to be's her lips. :)

  20. When I was writing the first draft of my novel, I stuck to at least 1500 words a day. I write fairly quickly, though, and it only took me about an hour to an hour and a half to complete. It was nice! Sometimes I would write more if I was really into a scene.

  21. I've done a similar process when I have a couple ideas and I think your decision process was a good one... play with both... do some planning... see what you can more logically begin on.

    As for the online sharing--I have had a few 'high concepts' i do that on,too--really breakthrough ideas just are too risky to share in too much detail.

    On WORD count... I don't know about you, but I could do 2500 if i wasn't working for the first... maybe HALF, but i slow down then... That 3rd quarter i need to plan in time for it to slow down or I get discouraged... When I do a WriMo I always shoot for 2500 initially but only budget for about 1000 a day for that week I am pulling it all back together to rush into the finale.

  22. how daring! but you know it's right when you cant shake that feeling =)
    good luck & happy writing!

  23. I've been trying to keep to a daily word count for the past month; I aim for 1k a day, but don't always reach it. I think it depends on how much inspiration there is--I know that if I have the scene planned out in my head beforehand and I'm ready to write it I'll get out a lot more.

  24. I think you're very smart not to share too much of your story idea.

    I understand completely where your coming from. Ideas can't be copyrighted.

    If I ever discuss my writing, I make double sure that the essence of my idea stays off the blog.

    It's the most important thing behind my story and I'm not going to just give it away. :-)

    Good luck!

  25. So much depends on you, of course, and it's tricky to comment because I never get full writing days. But I'd probably aim for at least 2000 words in a full writing day, and then see how it goes ...

  26. Good luck with the new wip! I think your schedule sounds great. I can typically do 2,000 words a day without much problem, though it depends on what is happening in the rest of my life.

  27. Sorry about your toe.
    Good luck with your new project.
    I can't seem to set a daily word goal. Some days my mind and fingers fly. Some days they crawl. Other days, the mind is mush and the fingers are stubs. Such is life.

  28. I tend not to focus as much on number count. I am working on doing at least 250 words a day which roughly comes out to 1 page. That way, if I get a good chapter done in one day, I know I've made a little headway. That can be pretty productive between a full time job, parenting and taking care of the house.

    Both of your plans sound ambitious and attainable, but I would try plan A. This way, you take full advantage of the time you have.

  29. I could probably type faster if you cut of a couple fingers. I do different stuff. I'm never pressured. I've whacked out a 750 word article in about three hours. But then a 750 article could take me a week. If someone buys it that's icing on the cake. I've never tried to write a book. I love writing, but I hate working.

  30. I think that's great, a new writing project! And I am also glad to see you set aside 2 days for doing other things - breaks are important :-)

  31. Its a great idea. Your new project sounds good. I like the goal you have set yourself. Best of luck.

  32. Good luck with your goals! I'm sure you'll get your draft done in time.

  33. Someone else mentioned a plan A, and plan B as a fallback for your word count. That's what I'd do. You have the typical writer's 'oh, shiny!' for new novel ideas. LOL!
    Good luck with the new project and keep your foot elevated!

  34. I'm no help to your Trekkie question, but good for you for not revealing a whole lot on your next project. I'm the same way. Keeps the suspense alive, if any. :)

  35. Wow! I love your schedule. You can do it! We're cheering for you.

  36. Oh, yes it is her! Sorry about your toe! YOU can do it...but have a plan B for a few days that you might be sick. It is that time of year; take your vitamins so it won't happen!
    I wish they still made Jetson vitamins, but Flintstones ones aren't bad, lol
    So glad you are going with the story that is demanding your attention; you are wise ;D

  37. Sounds like a great plan! If I have all day to write, I try to break it up into 3 segments of time (for brain freshness), 3 pages each segment. So, about 9 pages or approximately 2,250 words a day. It helps me to break it into little bites like that. Good luck!


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