Apparently it's Day 60 of MYWYN and I should be happily swimming around in 60,000 words. But I'm not. I'm paddling about in precisely 39,103 of my novel plus 2450 words of a short story. A grand total of 41,553 words since the beginning of May.
Ummm.... what happened?
Well, as I said at the start, I didn't expect to write 80,000 words for the same novel. I've never written that much. That would be akin to writing a saga, with sequels, for me - because I write very bare prose. It works well in short stories, and I've found it can work well in longer length pieces, including novels, if I plan it right and don't ever expect to sell it - because unless the font is very large and the paper very thick, it would look very slim on a Waterstone's bookshelf.
Not that it hasn't been done. I own novels that are less than 150 pages. But to manage publication I think you need to be a tried and tested author who fancies a bit of a change.
But that's beside the point. This post is to ask myself where I've been going wrong - not gone wrong, you'll notice. The challenge still has another 20 days to go, and I fully hope to get over 45,000 words. The first problem is I've done a lot of research - not too much, which is a different problem altogether. I do what I need, when I need it. But I didn't fully understand how much research I'd need to do to write maybe one or two paragraphs. This is more a problem with the planning, and not realising the full extent of the story I was hoping to tell.
The second problem is starting with a distinctive voice. It fitted the opening chapters well, but has become forced and stilted as I continue. I'm having to revise as I go along to keep the voice true. Now, I have no idea which bits are still in voice and which aren't. Hopefully that will be clearer when I read the whole thing, but I have no idea how I'll resolve it.
The third problem is simply trying to write 1000 words every day. Although, that is also the joy. I started full of hope and expectation. But life does get in the way. A child is off sick from school for a day. Suddenly the house looks as though it's never been cleaned. All the clothes in the world need washing. A husband changes jobs and is around the house all the time. (Admittedly - in case he reads this - we've been able to keep out of each other's way quite well, but sometimes it's nice to go out for lunch, or have a coffee, or go to the DIY shop, or do DIY or...)
So, the problems have all been my own fault, to some extent. Not terminal, but certainly something I can learn from.
Well, now that's sorted, I'll get back to it. See you in 20,000 words (-ish)!