AS OF JUST NOW the word count on The Origin Protocols is 49,427 — sneaking up on a notional halfway point. (I say, “notional,” because I suspect, with how things are shaking out, 100,000 words may be optimistic and I may end up needing 120K or 150K to fill in the outline.
But that’s good news. Progress of a sorts.
No, what’s bugging me — disgusting me with myself — is my rate of progress. Stephen King says if you can only turn one novel every five years, you have a problem with your work ethic. Implying you’re not a writer, you’re a wannabe. I’ve been working on this novel since the last one was published. And, since I have an exact date for that (10/23/13), I also have no way of dodging the implications. In a year-and-a-half (roughly speaking), I have barely managed to crank out 50,000 words — a month’s writing goal by NaNoWriMo.
I tell you that to tell you this. A while back, following some advice in a blog post by Rachel Aaron, I started tracking my word rate for every writing session. Since I started, back in October, I have logged nine sessions (which is, in itself, disgusting — I should be writing every day and I know it), and have peaked (twice) at around 2,500 words per hour, albeit not for a sustained period. Which means that, over the same time, having added about 5,500 words to this novel, I’ve done about two hours’ work. As I say, disgusting. Depressing.
Even so, I should have done better. I get a clear shot every other Saturday, with no obligations to anything or anyone other than the craft or my readers. Each one, assuming I work four-to-six hours at a stretch (which seems nigh on impossible to me), affords me the opportunity to advance the ball 10,000 or so words down the field. IOW, I should be able to finish this fucker in ten weeks and haven’t.