A little bit of math

29 January 2013 07:24

This morning I decided that the scene I had been working on for the past 3 days needed to go straight to the trash. This happens to me from time to time, and is perfectly normal for writers, and happens all the time. For this particular book, this is the third time it has happened, and with regard to overall progress, it barely made a dent.

However, it did make me wonder how I was doing in general. My goal is to release the final part in the Hunter in the Dark trilogy sometime this summer. So I took a look at my Twitter feed to see how I was doing. A little bit of math:

  • On the 7th of January, I reported 30% completion on the first draft.
  • Today, I had reached 38% completion.
  • That means 8% of the total novel written over a period of 22 days
  • 8% divided over 22 days means just over 0.36% progress each day
  • With 62% to go, that means I will need another 62 / 0.36 = roughly 172 days to finish this draft
  • In other words, at this rate: I will complete the first draft in July

Now, if you consider how long it took me to write Gift of the Destroyer (well over a year and a half), this doesn’t seem so bad. But the thing is: I can do much better than this. The Raven’s Endgame was written in a much shorter timespan, and had pretty much the same level of outlining. If I want to release a book this summer, then I need to have a first draft by April, and a draft for my editor in June.

To pull this off, I need to finish the rest of the draft in 92 days.

  • 62% divided by 92 days = 0.67% completion per day
  • Assuming I write nothing during the weekends (which happens every now and then), then we get close to 1% progress required each day

Doable? I think so. But I’ll need your encouragement.