Milestones–and some help

I’ve hit a couple of nice milestones in the last few days. One is that I finished my first chapter (out of probably a dozen – not too certain yet, but that’s how it looks from here). The second is that I finally got back into the red, ahead of my planned word count, after falling behind from taking a few days off for other essentials. Two things helped me to get there:

  1. As I explained last time, I lowered the word count expectations from 500 words/day to only 250 words/day. I’d rather be able to beat my expectations consistently than keep falling behind, even though it puts of the draft completion date into 2015.
  2. I found a tool I love: Write or Die. You can set all kinds of parameters, such as word count and time goals, and choose different options, and then once you start writing you have to keep writing no matter what or things happen. My preferred option is consequences, which means that the screen will turn a dire color and horrible sounds will start coming from the speakers if I fall behind my goals. There is also a kamikaze mode I haven’t had the nerve to try, where if you fall behind it starts going through and deleting all your vowels. Believe me, this thing is a great help! I tend to dither, pause to look things up, freeze while I debate whether he pulled on her arm, or yanked on it, or maybe tugged. These are great debates to have in revision; in the first draft, I really need to just pick one and keep going. I strongly recommend this tool if you want to boost your own word count.

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