Hero of Darkwood, by the Numbers

So this morning I finished up Hero of Darkwood, often referred to here as my 2013 NaNo novel and LD3 (due to it being the third book in the Lya Darkwood trilogy). Since there’s nothing very spoilery about the title for the first two books, I decided just to start calling it by it’s at-least-for-now title, Hero of Darkwood. Since I’ve been kind of curious about how long it actually takes me to write this thing, Ive actually been keeping pretty detailed statistics on the process and thought I’d share them.

Total Words Written: 94,613
Total Hours Spent Writing: 54 Hours 15 minutes
Total Days Spent Writing: 40 (took two days off)

Best Writing Day- Dec 2nd- 4073 words in 2 hours (whoa!)
Worst Writing Day- Nov 11th- 1614 words in 1 hour 15 minutes

So, apparently that’s how long it takes to write 94,000 words, at least if you’re me. Revisions, of course, will be much more time consuming. I’m not saying that all (or even any) of the 94,000 words are any good, but at least now I have a place to start. I suspect the revising process will take me into the fall of 2014. As for how it compares to previous NaNoWriMos, I can’t say for sure. I think LD2 took about just as long to complete (although I think I finished it a few days earlier), although it was more than 15,000 words shorter. Granted, I’m pretty sure I spent more time on this one. There wasn’t a single day when I spent less than an hour working on the novel, and most days I went beyond that. I only took two days off as well. Last year I’m pretty sure I took off a few more.

Writing the rough Draft of Hero of Darkwood has reinforced a lot of things for me. For one, it’s really hard to keep your opinions out of your fiction. I’m not a fan fiction that feels didactic. If your main focus is trying to prove a point about something, and not tell a good story, why not write nonfiction? Still, if you keep character and plot forefront in your mind, it seems like those opinions trickle in here and there anyway. I also tired to do a few new things with this book, because I’m not a fan of book series that simply give you the same story over and over again. I won’t really know if I succeeded in all of these aspects until I’m done revising, but it certainly felt different to me.

From here on out I’m taking a little break from writing, probably around a week. This will allow me to catch up on some of the stuff I’ve fallen woefully behind on. From then, I’ll spend the rest of the month working on finishing up revisions on LD2. And then it’s the new year! I’ll have a whole new set of goals for then.


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