I thought I wouldn’t make it by the end of the month, but today I finished the first draft of Where Magic Reigns, the sequel to my young adult action adventure, The Elemental Odyssey.
July was my marathon writing month. On July 1st, the manuscript was at 36,702 words. Today I finished the first draft at 86,043 words. That means I wrote over 52,000 words in one month, a significant record for me, especially since I had my 40+ hour/week technical writing job at the same time.
I spent 42 hours writing over the month, so an average of 1,192 words per hour. My best hourly rate was 1,557 words.
Of course, the story is in a state that I like to call the “ugly first draft.” Not something I want anyone else to read, that’s for sure. My first drafts are always like that because I have to get the story done, not done perfect. I find that if I struggle over every word and phrase in the first draft I'll never get the first draft done. Therefore, I try to power through, concentrating only on plot and information. In subsequent drafts I'll fix up the all sorts of things. I have over 100 comments in it, each one requiring some kind of change or specific improvement to a word, passage, or plot point.
For The Elemental Odyssey, it took me 120 hours to do the 2nd through 7th drafts, which went to the editor.
My next goal is to hand off Where Magic Reigns to the editor in October. That’ll be a stretch, but I’m hoping I can get it done.