Friday, August 19, 2011

Scheduling a Rough Draft

Back in September of 2010, when I was starting to write the rough draft of the third book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek guest post on Kaye Barley's Meanderings and Muses blog about Being Your Own Boss. Well, it's time to crack the whip again on my recalcitrant employee (moi) and set up a weekly writing schedule for cranking out the rough draft of the third book in my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series featuring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner.

As I said on Kaye's blog back then, my average word count per page is about 275 words and my average book length is about 77,000 words or 280 pages. A reasonable output for me is 20 pages a week or 5500 words (I know! Employee Beth is a slow writer.). That means I should be able to write a rough draft in 14 weeks, with a few partial or full weeks added on for vacations, conferences, research, and such. So, I mapped out a schedule for myself from the beginning of next week through the week before Christmas with the number of pages each week I need to write. I've got it posted it next to my computer to keep me on task.

What that means is that I'll be less responsive on social media and email, because I need to avoid getting on-line each day until I've met that day's page count goal. So, if you see me responding to an email or posting on Facebook before noon, Mountain Time, please feel free to chew me out! I'm likely avoiding some sticky scene in the manuscript. :)

2 comments:

Angela Roe said...

Beth, I love this idea. It's never occurred to me to actually schedule my first draft but what a great idea! Hope you don't mind if I "borrow" this!

Beth Groundwater said...

Borrow it all you want, Angela! It's a common move for authors under deadline to give themselves daily/weekly page-count or word-count goals. Otherwise, we'd never make it!