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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Menkhaus

Drafting Summary - February

So, in January, I got behind and only met 82% of my goal of 22,000 words. But I did finish up 2 of the 3 companion novelettes for my next novel (which is already drafted). In February, my goal was to knock out the third novelette and begin the next novel (which will be my 4th).

Well, that third novelette took on a life of its own. I had a lot of ground to cover with existing side characters from the novel and I had to introduce a new character as the protagonist of the novelette. Long story short, it came out better than I expected, but it took all month. It also ran long. I usually try to stick to 10,000-11,000 words for each novelette. This one came in just short of 20,000 words. It leveled up to a novella! It is also the perfect bridge between the novel and its sequel (which I will hopefully be writing in the fall).

Here's what the day-to-day looked like:

I started out the month with two days of no writing. That put me 2,000 more words in the hole and my goal for the year down to 75% on track.

The goal this month was 20,000 words. I managed to write 97% of that amount. That moved my goal to the year up to 89% on track.

Even though the goal was 2,000 less in February than January, I was able to squeeze out around 1,500 more words in the shortest month of the year.

Of the 20 writing days in February, this time I made my goal 70% of the time. That's up from 50% of the time in January. I wrote, but didn't meet my goal 10% of the time, down from 14% the previous month. But most importantly, the percentage of writing days where I made no attempt write was 20%, down from 36% in January. I'm still not happy with that one, but I did write find time to write 2 times on the weekend, so that balanced some of that out.

So, as of the end of February, my next set of books is drafted. They are:

I Was a Teenage MILAB - novel

MILAB Files 1: Secret School - novelette

MILAB Files 2: Secret Seed - novelette

MILAB Files 3: Secret Station - novella

Next up is the sequel to The Chorus, my 1st novel. This will also be my 1st sequel. Spoiler: As of writing this I am 32,000 words into this one already, and I'm at the spot where I'm questioning everything about the novel. I keep telling myself that this happens every time and to just trust in the outline and add awesome stuff along the way.

Things I'm wondering about for the final novel:

  1. Should I include a "PREVIOUSLY" section before the novel starts that summarizes the first novel and the 3 novelettes, to bring the reader back up to speed on what's going on. Tad Williams did those for his Otherland series, and I always loved reading a summary of the previous book directly from the author. Sometimes some interesting stuff is slipped in.

  2. Should I include a glossary of characters, locations, terms, choruses, etc? There are lots of cats, and it would be a lot of work. I'm not that big of a fan of glossaries at the end of novels. I find them a bit pretentious. But I may be in the minority.

That's it. February was the end of the MILAB drafting. I did also manage to roughly outline the sequel to The Chorus and the companion stories during the month. That work is not included here, though, since it isn't drafting.

I'm pretty happy with February. I almost made my monthly goal, and I was able to make a lot of progress to getting back on track for my yearly goal. Now, I have to find time to edit the MILAB books while drafting the next one...

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