A couple weeks ago, I told the world about teaming up with a friend to hold each other accountable. She has successfully met her goal for the past couple of weeks. Me? My character is still alive.
Considering I’ve written over 2K a week, I’m not disappointed. But it does reveal that I’m horrible at estimating how long it will take to get to a particular event in my story. I’m one of those plantser writers–I know where I’m headed, but I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen on the way. In my case, it was an introduction with the Soon-To-Be-Murdered’s son, followed by the discovery of a secret library, and then a meeting with a bunch of bad people to show who STBM is at odds with and why they might want to murder him. I still need to get STBM upstairs for the earthquake that is going to get blamed for STBM’s death. But based on the sparks of ideas that have flashed within my truly dark mind, I think another character is going to pop in and throw some menace around before we get there.
So, I’ve updated my weekly goal with my friend. Instead of trying to kill off STBM, I’m instead going to endeavor to finish one scene a week.
Adding 2K a week and not quite reaching the STBM’s death has added a bit of a hiccup to my story lay out though. This book has multiple POVs, and I’m trying to keep the days on track across all of them. There’s the first day, the third day, the sixth day, and then the earthquake. Since the earthquake appears in all four POVs, it needs to land in the same place in the book. As I keep adding stuff to my current POV, I have to shift the other POVs so that things read smoothly. It’s led me to rethink my current chapters.
I don’t know if it’s my desire for uniformity or what, but for some reason I’ve always tried to keep my chapters the same length. I’d group the scenes based on theme and flow, but most chapters stayed close to a 5K word count. After reading responses to a Facebook post I posed, I think I’m safe to have whatever word count fits. As a result, I’ve broken out some of my chapters in half, having just one scene instead of two. That bumps my finished chronological chapter count from 17 to 22, which is 80K (out of 154K that I’ve written so far for the story overall).
It feels good to be on track again with writing, and that life has let up enough to allow it.
Here are a couple of songs that have been tied to my current POV character since my discovery of her true intentions.
Imagine Dragons – Believer
Young The Giant – Something To Believe In
You might recognize a theme there…
Have you ever set your goals too high? Do you have any habits when it comes to chapters? What songs have you been listening to lately?