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Accountability Post 2021 Week 21

Introduction to the Accountability Post 2021 Week 21

I had to skip writing Saturday, so I substituted Wednesday instead. Which was fortunate, because something interesting happened on Wednesday. After writing 141,400 words, I finished the first draft of A Ghast in the Machine. I was going to celebrate. then I realized I’d just reached a plateau. A very tall mountain still looms in front of me. But after struggling to write for decades, on December 27, 2020, I started writing this draft. And now it’s done.

No, seriously. I finished the first draft. And do you know what’s even better? I’ve started the second draft! Now, you might say, “Whoa, there, dude! You’re not letting it sit long enough!” And you’d be right, later. Now, I want to go back through it to smooth only the roughest of edges. I also had a punch list of things l wanted to fix, like standardizing some terminology. In essence, I want to make it presentable for a developmental editor.

I know I don’t sound as jubilant as I should. But honestly, it’s a little anti-climatic. It’s like the writing part of my brain said, “Took you long enough. Now, let’s keep going!”

But I’ll say it again just to see myself write it: I finished the first draft. That was a good day!

Accountability Post 2021 Week 21 By the Numbers

The week before, I had written 6,776 words to push the total to 136,425. I know I already gave it away, but for the sake of consistency, here’s this week’s breakdown:

The first draft hit 141,400. So, what’s that 142,116 number?

The first draft came in at 141,400, which means I wrote 4,975 words. But wait, you might say. What’s that paltry 716 words listed for 05/23/2021? After finishing the first draft, did I start to slack off already?

Nope! I began rewriting on 05/23. I spend most of my writing allocation time on fleshing out some of the tech I needed for the punch list. Of course, some of it played a part in the first several chapters, so I couldn’t really defer it.

This has an implication on my Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). I had been using word count to indicate progress. Now, I’ll report these numbers:

Behold the new column!

When I’ve written in the past, my first drafts were always short. I rarely cut anything out because my stupid brain jumps to the next topic too quickly and skips parts. So, I’ll keep reporting the net increase in words. I’ll also include the chapter number that I just finished editing. I finished rewriting through chapter 5 on 05/23, and there are about 125 chapters. Just in case you don’t believe me, here’s a sample from my Scrivener Manuscript folder:

It still doesn’t feel real. The part about finishing the first draft, that is. The writing part felt very real!

The Next Steps

For this book at least, here are my next steps:

  1. Finish the first rewrite.
  2. Find a beta reader and trick them into… I mean bribe them… okay, I will ask them politely to read it and give me their impressions.
  3. Find a developmental editor on Reedsy.
  4. Experience an existential crisis when I receive the feedback from the developmental editor.

That’s as far as I ever got with traditional publishing, so I’ll have to carefully consider the next steps. Did you know that I’ve kept every one of the 150+ rejection slips I received in my younger years? To think I annoyed that many editors in just a few short years.

Kinda makes me feel proud. Well, maybe not proud…

Still, finishing the first draft is an important step forward. Now I just have to keep on swimming.

Feedback Welcome!

Do you have any news about what you’re working on? Any tips about how you keep focused? Have you read anything that struck your fancy? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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