Tracking Progress


I have now got to the point where it’s worth listing all the bits I haven’t yet written in the book, because I’m down to individual scenes (e.g.’ lead in to finding the hypocaust entrance’) rather than massive chunks of plot (e.g. ‘there’s a war, people die’). This is very exciting. For the first time I can actually quantify progress. Up until now it’s been a case of tracking word count, which is somewhat misleading as I can spend several hours writing 3,000 words and then delete or massively edit another scene which leaves me with a net increase of 1,500 – not at all reflective of actual work done.

This is the moment where the light at the end of the tunnel suddenly heaves into view. Writing a book can be overwhelming. I have frequently scrolled through my manuscript and then had to go away and have a headache because there’s still so much to do. But now I have an excel list of 40 scenes left to write. Anyone can manage 40 scenes, surely.

Just don’t think about editing the whole thing for general consistency.

This is also the point where I’m reasonably confident I’ve filled in all the plot holes and answered those annoying questions such as ‘why would he do that?’. Well, most of them, anyway. I’m sure my beta readers will come back with a long list of queries that I was just too close to spot. And I will thank them for that. Honest.

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