Home » Writing » The Dark Chasm of Alternative Learning AKA Novel In A Month – Week One

The Dark Chasm of Alternative Learning AKA Novel In A Month – Week One

Howl

So I am now one week into my “novel in a month”, The Dark Chasm of Alternative Learning. How am I doing? Well, by now, according to the schedule of 2,00 words per day, I should have written 14,000 words. I have actually written:

5,854 words.

That is on average, 836 words per day.

On the first day I wrote 2,061 words, in the form of two chapters. This was the first time I hit my target. On the second day I wrote 986 words, in one chapter. So on my second day I had already slipped behind by over 1,000 words. Hardly encouraging. I have no excuses for not writing more. I had the time, I had the opportunity. I just chose not to and distracted myself with a variety of things, not least of all this site. However, I did manage to encourage myself to write one chapter late at night so as not to look like a complete failure on the first update.

But then came day three. This was spent in exactly the same fashion as the previous day, but instead of sitting down at night and writing a chapter, I went out and had a few drinks to celebrate the new year. I also started writing this to pretend I was actually contributing to the final work, which obviously I am not.

Despite deciding to power through and catch up somewhat on day 4, I somehow ended up watching a whole load of The League (review to come) and Charlie Brooker’s 2012 Wipe. Nevertheless, I did manage to squeeze 998 words, leaving me a paltry 3955 words behind schedule.

Similar proclamations of a Day of Writing(!) ended equally weakly. A Late night 955 words, taking me a nice, round 5,000 words behind. But at least I am progressing.

By day six all ideas of such burst of creativity were shelved (sort of) and I wrote what is quickly becoming a respectable number of words. 854 of them, to be precise. Though it did unfortunately remind me just how terrible I am at writing dialogue. Awful, awful stuff.

I had expected to write in the evening of day seven. Suddenly everything got busy so I wrote nothing.

So, by the end of week one of my novel in a month, the stats are as follows:

  • Target Word Count: 14,000
  • Actual Word Count: 5,854
  • Difference: 8,146
  • Days Writing: 5
  • Days Not Writing: 2

So, not a great start. I suspect my daily writing target was too high, so next week I will be reducing it to 1,000 per day to see how that goes.

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2 thoughts on “The Dark Chasm of Alternative Learning AKA Novel In A Month – Week One

  1. I think it’s always tough to know what’s a challenging but reasonable length – I’m having similar problems myself.
    It may well be that you need some time to get into a rhythm.
    Don’t think about the flaws now, you can always go back and fix them later – I’ve had the experience a lot of times of beating myself up over the crap I’m writing, only to go back later and been surprised by some of the qualities that were there.

    • I think that is important, but am not sure this is the right project. It was very different to what I normally do and after a couple of chapters the stream of consciousness work started becoming more formal, which kind of undermines the whole point.

      Writing is an unusual one as sometimes you love what you hated and hated what you loved.

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