In Which a writer attempts to do maths

I think the posts I make during the school year tend to be more focused because more things are annoying me, and I have a shortage of time so I need to say things as quickly as possible. Or it may be that now I’m starting to relax, and when I’m relaxed I tend to ramble. The last few posts have been very rambly. Today, maybe, not so much.

Numbers and I don’t get along well, usually, but I’ve been doing more with them this month because I’m doing Camp NaNo, and it’s fun to see how much I write in a day.

Of the North’s first draft hovered around 50,000 words except for the time I cut a chapter and it was at 49 for a while. A little research seems to show that historical fiction is expected to be around 100,000 words, and if it’s much under 80, people think the world isn’t detailed well enough. Anyway, the rewritten version is much expanded, and would probably be closer to 80k than 50 anyway. It is nice to know that that’s acceptable in its genre.

I now have ten documents for things related to Of the North:

The first draft itself, 50,500 words;

A copy of that first draft with some new scenes added so I have context for them, 55,991;

A document of Notes, 5,235;

One of new and rewritten scenes from May and June, 22,735;

One of scenes I’ve written so far during Camp Nano, which at the moment is at 10,466 — so, in two weeks, I’ve already written as much as I averaged per month in the two months previous (I started the revision officially at the beginning of May);

One of modern scenes (as many as I’ve written, though more will be coming), 17,312;

One with a new outline and the plot structure, 458;

One of lines to keep verbatim from the old version (though as I incorporate some of those lines, I change them), 9,600;

The document also containing a duplicate of the Snow White story, for purposes of keeping track of word count for NaNo, currently 21,745, though a fair bit of it is the other one;

The document with the revised story, as I begin assembling pieces, currently 36,166.

Now most scenes are in several documents at once, so don’t think adding up the total word counts of all of these will give you Of the North‘s word count. The Revised document has almost all of the new stuff, I think, so let me see. . . twice 36. . . (I can’t count this high on my fingers, so I almost did what my sister did with the waist of her skirt yesterday, and concluded twice as much as reality). . . I’m just under halfway, perhaps. Halfway-ish. It seemed like I had so much more than that.

Most of the important things happen while AEschild is in the eleventh century, and a lot of the modern scenes (after being returned, note the use of the passive, to the twenty-first) just show her character development. I’ve been writing a lot while recovering from, thinking of, hearing about, or wishing for SCA events, which makes it easier to do the modern scenes where she’s doing a similar thing (or even actually at an event), which means I have a disproportionately small amount of medieval scenes actually done. Which is odd considering that those are actually my favourite.

Last week was the infamous second week of NaNo, where things drag on — not something that had happened to me in my first two times, but last week it did. Then yesterday I somehow wrote 3,000 words easily. Maybe it was because, instead of trying to re-do scenes I already knew, I just took some characters and a list of things that needed to happen, and let them do the things on their own. Or maybe this was because of a breakthrough on Sunday (we had a guest preacher who did Psalm 90, which has a lot to do with the theme. . .).

I’m still hoping to have it fully revised, and gone through at least six weeks of sitting and cooling off, by the end of the year. Hopefully before. Then it’s off to beta-readers again, and then I’ll make the necessary changes, and if all goes well that will be done before Realm Makers, to which, if all keeps going well, I’ll be going in hopes of pitching it, among other things. Of course, there’s an entire school year to fit in there somewhere.

In the next week or so I’ll be busy finishing up the summer class, doing my sister’s chores while she’s at camp, writing blog posts about The Colour of Life and things that most bother me in historical fiction, and maybe finishing Camp NaNo in all of that. I only have about 9,000 words to go.


About Nolie Alcarturiel

Creative Writing major and Philosophy minor, contemplating a Master's degree in Medieval History. I enjoy practically anything to do with medieval history, including the domestic arts, with an especial emphasis on the Anglo-Saxon Era. In my spare time I read endlessly, do medieval living-history, hold philosophical debates at the drop of a hat, and write books on even slighter provocation.
This entry was posted in Of the North, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to In Which a writer attempts to do maths

  1. Hope Ann says:

    Oooo, you might go to Realm Makers next year? I so want to go. I’m waiting to see where it’s going to be next time.


    • At the moment it’s more wishful thinking than anything else. Money is the biggest thing, and after that is the proven fact that I get lost very easily even when not travelling alone. I’ve heard that next year it will be in Pennsylvania, but not certainly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thegermangolux says:

        That last thing is something you want to figure out before you go, so as to avoid getting lost.


      • Hope Ann says:

        Hmmm. Pennsylvania I might be able to do. But yes. Money. Because I’ve a brother who will be graduating from boot camp next year and I won’t be able to both go see him and go to Realm Makers. One of these years, though…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s