©2022 Michael Raven

Oh my.

That was a truly awful effort. I was exhausted by the few words I’d gotten out before I began in earnest and received multiple interruptions while trying to work on “Knives”. I reminded myself to just pound out words, editing is for when you are done writing out the story — not while you are writing it. And, while the ideas were inspirational, the actual implementation was dreadful. I kept glancing up at what I had written and had to honestly ask myself WTF I thought that trash was and then force myself to at least meet a target word count needed to meet the goal I set for myself and for “Knives”.

I can safely say that most of what I wrote tonight will likely not survive the cut when it comes to revision time.


My goal is actually reasonable and doable as long as I don’t have too many uninspired days like this evening. I am targeting a modest 80k words for this novel. While I estimate there will be plenty of culling done on scenes like tonight’s, I also know I will likely need to do some backfilling of details based on the way I tend to write, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I come close to that target if I keep this up.

And I was likewise generous with the time needed for a first draft, giving myself close to eight months to write that many words. That sets each day’s target at just over 300 words, which is less than a printed page each day (depending, of course on who you ask). Even if I shortened to six months as my target date, it is still less than 500 words a day. Easy-peesy.

The 500+ words I added today, however, were tortured. I blame the interruptions, but it may also be the frustrations I had going on earlier that put me in the wrong mood to write.

But, as I promised myself, I made the first step in what I will make into a regular habit by the time my birthday rolls around in a few months. Besides, I like the concepts I am coming up with for plot elements on this story. I want to see how they play out.

2 responses to “Dismal”

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