Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rough Draft by the Numbers

With Microsoft Excel, I keep track of my writing progress. Every day I update my word count and formulas automatically calculate my progress for the day and total for the week. I even have goals, and formulas that tell me how many words per day I need to write to reach the goals. It's all very nerdy.

I use Excel at work, every day and I love math. I know. It's unwriter-like. Actually it's not even normal-like. The average person dislikes math. In any event, I thought I would post the numbers for my COMPLETED rough draft, which I am finally pumped about finishing. If you are disinterest in such things, please feel free to let your mind wander.

Jensen Ackles, what are you doing here?*

I started writing this story one October day. I got 3,000 words down and decided to put it on the back burner, until February 9th.

In 92 days, I wrote 58,112 words.

My overall average per day was 657 words, but I didn't write every day. One or two days a week I wrote nothing at all. This may have been laziness, but I call it brainstorming.

My average for the days I wrote was 873 words. I said before my average daily count was 800, so I am glad that wasn't a gross overestimation.

The most I wrote in one day was 3,891 words.

The least I wrote in one day was not-as you might expect- zero, but was a dark day. Very dark.

My high for a seven day period was 10,955 and my lowest was 721 for one week...ouch.

April was by far my most productive month. I was in Austin for several days, not distracted by pesky work stuff, and wrote 23,746 words that month. That seems insane to me because February and March were both 15K-16K.

So that's my progress. My total word count is 61K. That is definitely going to increase. There were some scenes I flew through and I do a lot of telling-not showing-when flying. I feel the need to get the plot down as fast as possible, in case I lose it. Those scenes will need a lot of detail and reworking. Also there is a scene I reference, but never wrote-whoops. That will be added. I imagine the first edited draft will probably be around 70K.

*I was asked who my characters look like, who would play them in a movie. I hadn't thought about it. I googled actors and actresses. Thus far, I decided Jensen would get a part.


  1. Mmm. Jensen's hot :)
    Congrats in getting to 61k!!

  2. Thanks, Kelly. I love his eyes the best.

  3. Good for you on completing the first draft! I've never really thought about using Excel but that's a good idea. Usually I just use the recount function on Word.