So… I’m nearing the end of my first month of keeping exact track of my daily word count, and I have a few comments. Here’s the most recent screenshot of the spreadsheet:
Essentially, I’ve been doing well. My current average is just over one thousand, although if you were to look at a list of the running averages for every day–a list I, in fact, do have in a separate page of the spreadsheet–it should be noted that, for just a moment, my average did fall below 1,000. On the 25th, when I put out less than 500 after having a Zero Word Day on the 24th, my average dropped to 979 words. For shame!
But here’s what happened: Around the 23rd, my two main characters (their names are Iris and Kaleb, if that’s important) met the third, soon-to-be main character (his name is Adam, if that’s important). The problem was, I didn’t know exactly what their meeting was going to be like.
I’ve never been much of a “planner” with my writing–I hold the idea of where the story is going in my head and sometimes it ends up there and sometimes it doesn’t. More often than not, my characters surprise me and take it somewhere else. That’s normal, I guess. For this project (all of my works-in-progress are named after their main characters, so I’ve been calling this one Iris and I’ll continue to do so until I can come up with a real title) I think I may have written, like, half a page of bullet points about where I thought the story would go. If I were to look at that page right now–which I can’t, because it’s lost somewhere in the Deep Fathoms of my apartment–it would say something like,
- Kaleb and Iris meet Adam
Great. Awesome. Thanks, outline. The only problem is, Kaleb and Iris haven’t seen very many people for Quite Some Time, and it wasn’t just as easy as saying that they met one another. For a few days, I was stuck at a point which essentially consisted of Kaleb and Iris standing at the top of a hill seeing Adam for the first time, and Adam standing at the bottom of said hill seeing Kaleb and Iris for the first time. That’s it. I’ve held Adam in my head for a while now. I know what he’s like and I’ve been waiting to meet him and fall in love with him like I already have with Kaleb and Iris. But when their eyes locked like that I was stuck. Stuck.
So if you’ll refer back to the graph above, you will see that I was stuck on this part between the 23rd and the 25th. Three days of pretty much nothing.
Honestly, I don’t remember a moment of epiphany, wherein I threw up a finger and screamed, “Aha!” with the idea of exactly how I was going to proceed planted in my brain and ready to leak out through my fingers. I know that at some point I thought I had it, and I tried it, and it worked. And after that everything that had been building up whooshed out of my mind all at once. Once I was past the blockage of actually meeting Adam, Iris and Kaleb had a chance to get to know him. And that is the stuff I was ready for, which lead me to double my quota yesterday and bring my average back above 1k. Yes!
So, it all balances out.