Abandonment or Accomplishment
By this point you will know whether you are heading towards success or failure. My final result, in many ways, feels closer to abandonment because I wrote so few words in weeks three and four.
But it should all be kept in perspective. Even though I didn’t achieve my minimum target of 14,000 words, I still wrote over 10,000 words. This pushed me past the 50,000 word mark (closer to 60,000 words, in fact) and over the half way point of the novel I am writing. Even these kinds of small achievements are worth celebrating.
I’m sure by now you will realise that the end of Project October is just the beginning all over again. The next step is to schedule another Project October and when that one finishes, to schedule another until all your Project Octobers add up to a completed first draft. Be sure to take a break in between, though. Back-to-back Project Octobers have been known to end marriages or require psychiatry sessions.
Once you have a completed first draft, the Project October intensive format is less useful, I believe, because refining is very different to just getting massive amounts of text down on the page. Entire days can be spent deciding on individual words, sentences or paragraphs and this requires a lot of thinking time. During this process, your word count is more likely to go down than up as you cut, cut, cut. I suppose this could be called Project November.
I’m not at the Project November stage with my current novel but when I am, I will try to distil the important points into an intensive month long program so you can do Project November, too.
My week four target: Between 3,500 and 7,000 words
My week four total: 1,041 words
My Project October target: Between 14,000 and 28,000 words
My Project October total: 10,542 words
Let me know how your Project October efforts went. Book reviews and normal blog posts resume next week.