Today was another good day for words… aided greatly by Dragon Naturally Speaking. Word count for the day was about 4,500 words, so I’m pleased with progress so far. Just shy of 20,000 words in 4 days, not that word count is the goal this year.
As I’ve done the past 3 National Novel Writing Months, word count is not my priority – completing a first draft of a book is the goal, regardless of how many words it takes.
And, given I’m 20K in already and have barely even set the stage, this year’s effort will likely take me somewhere north of 120,000 words. That’s an early guess. We’ll see if it’s remotely close to accurate at the end of the month!
What I love about Dragon is the ability to get the words out of my head and on to the page fast. I suppose clarification is in order, too. When I’m writing non-fiction, this is definitely the case for me, as evidenced by the past 4 days, where it’s felt pretty effortless to average 5,000 words per day.
For fiction, it goes much slower. For reasons I’ve yet to figure out (or care much about either, truth be told) when I’m writing fiction with Dragon my pace is about the same as if I’m typing. That’s typically around the 2,000 – 2,500 words per hour mark when I have a detailed outline before I start. It goes much slower if I need to sort things out on the fly.
But that’s why I love outlines so much. By pouring all those hours in to creating a detailed outline, when it’s time to write, all the hard work is already done. Love that. Mostly because I love getting first drafts done fast. The faster the better.
Then comes the real work – rewriting and editing… and given what my first 20,000 words look like so far in this year’s effort, I’m going to have my work cut out for me. Mostly, that’s due to the autobiographical nature of this book. Sure, I’m following my outline, but given it’s such a personal work, it’s easy to wander down rabbit holes and get sidetracked for a couple thousand words before getting back on track. It’s all good in the respect all these words and the memories they represent need to be put down on paper, but it’s going to be “fun” reworking all of this into a readable draft.
I pity my beta readers. You know who you are, so consider this my apology to you in advance!