word count

Fourth Draft Complete

Hey Folks!

My first major writing goal of the year has been met. I wanted to have the fourth draft of my novel completed by 2/21, and I’ve brought it in four days early. I’m currently on winter break so I will likely devote the rest of my time off to putting a dent in draft five. Right now, I think draft five will be the last one. We shall see. If I don’t feel like it’s ready, I sure won’t be rushing to begin the querying process. That said, aside from a few notable things I want to update, I’m not sure continuing to fiddle with the story will add anything of value and I’ve heard that that is when it is time to stop, lest you go on tweaking until the end of time.

I’ve quite enjoyed the revision process. Getting the first draft out was like pulling teeth, but I’ve found loads of joy (okay, the kind of joy that is drizzled with frustration) in figuring out how to make that little story I wrote better. I love challenging and pushing myself.

Stats on draft four:

Word count: 82,000

Time to complete: 48 days

And just for fun… stats from draft 1:

Word count: 71,000

Time to complete: over 364 days

Goals for draft five:

Do not allow word count to exceed 83,000 (awesome if I can find a way to hack it back down to 80,000)

Finish by 4/6

Make it as awesome and polished as I can


Happy Writing!


Follow me on Twitter: @ElleDesa_Writes

I’m on Pinterest, too: Planning My 1st Book , Writing Inspiration and Tips

Bookmarks for Landmarks! #4

It took about 3.5 months, but I finally wrote another 10,000 words. I hit the 40,000 mark, which is also around my halfway point, on Thanksgiving morning. I’m not sure if my first draft will get there, but I’m expecting 75,000 to 80,000 words by the end. Now, based on my original timeline, I was to be hitting that milestone by the end of December, but unfortunately, some bumps along the way threw that off… Or maybe it’s not unfortunate at all. Maybe it’s just part of the process. I’m just so pleased to be writing again.

Bookmarks for Landmarks 40,000 words

Bookmarks for Landmarks 40,000 words

Hopefully I’ll be posting about 50,000 sooner rather than later. 😀


Well, I saw this one coming…

One of the main purposes for me making this blog was to keep myself accountable. I didn’t meet my writing goal for August. I actually failed quite miserably. The goal was 10,000 words and I wrote 5,003. I could tell by my pacing early on that I wasn’t on track to meet my goal, so no surprises there. The bright side? Forward progress was made. That’s always something to be proud of.
Now with work, grad school, and a big move on the way, making time to write will be hard (as it was even without those things to get in the way) but I’m not changing my goal yet. I’ll give it another month. If I’m still unable to churn out much more than 5,000 words, then maybe my original goal was too ambitious, and that’s okay.
I am planning to look at September as a fresh start, as in, my goal is still 10,000, not 15,000 in attempt to make up the slack from August.

Here’s to fresh starts! Hopefully September will bring me more success.

Bookmarks for Landmarks! #3

Whoop! It’s a week later than I wanted, but I’ve reached 30,000 words.

My first week back to work was far more busy than I expected. I was bouncing from meeting to meeting, trying to prep for the first week of school and scrambling to finish up my summer classes. By the time I got home each night, I was beat. Writing just wasn’t happening. Naturally, this has made me a little nervous about meeting my goal of 10,000 words per month while working. I’m not going to change anything yet though. As always, we’ll see how it goes first and I’ll rethink my goals only if necessary.

Bookmarks for landmarks

Bookmarks for landmarks

Now it’s time to get ready for work. I’ve got a bunch of 14 year olds to meet in the morning.


Bookmarks for landmarks! #2

Finally! 20,000 words! It took longer than it should have (24 days to be exact, which averages out to a little over 400 words per day) but I’ve reached my second mini-milestone. Yesterday I popped into a Starbucks while my boyfriend went on a big job interview down the road. I was able to pump out 1,900 words in an hour and a half. Maybe a change of scenery needs to happen more often.

Bookmarks for landmarks

Bookmarks for landmarks

Now it’s time to set a new goal. Doing this actually brings me some joy so 🙂 🙂 :). I have to go back to work July 28th. I’m feeling pretty excited about the start of a new school year but I’m definitely set to enjoy the rest of my break. I have 19 days before my days get pretty hectic; you can count on a separate post about how the heck I’m going to keep up writing while in school, working full time and coaching sports. Anyway, these last 19 days will not be obligation free either. I’m taking two summer graduate courses that end on the 31st and I have every intent to complete all my assignments before I go back to work too. That noted, I’m shooting for another 10,000 words. I know I won’t get there by writing everyday, especially when the school work piles up, but all it takes is a few very good days and I think I’ll have some of those.


The struggle is real

I’ve had a rough time writing as much as I’d like to lately. I could give twenty different excuses for not writing everyday but none of them are 100% legitimate so I’ll skip it. The bright side is I have made some forward progress and I really enjoy writing when I’m able to get into a flow. That’s big. When I was stressing over making certain word counts, I found writing less enjoyable. I think I need to find a balance between writing organically and maintaining some degree of structure. I’m sure a big part of what makes it enjoyable or not has to do with whatever scene I’m working on. I spent a good bit of time writing chaos and despair and got a bit frustrated with it. Now my main character has just met her future love interest and it’s been fun trying to plant the seeds for that. It’s refreshing to bring her a bit a peace after a rough start, unfortunately it will be short lived but… that’s how the story goes. 🙂

Anyway, in the spirit of changing things up when they aren’t working, I’m going for setting random goals instead of the same old thing day after day. Random goal #1 : hit 20,000 words by this time next week. I’m currently at 17,463, so that goal isn’t very big, but grad school has been demanding and I’m not sure what will be going on for July 4th weekend. The World Cup is still a huge part of my life right now (despite the downfall of my beloved USMNT yesterday) but at least it’s not 3 games a day everyday anymore.

I’m gonna get this manuscript done, however long it takes.



Daily Word Count Check In

I haven’t gotten off to the greatest start this week but I did surpass my goal for today. Part of the problem is that I’m rapidly approaching the end of my detailed outline. I think I’m going to devote tomorrow to outlining alone. Ideally I’ll do this and still find a way to meet my word count goal for the week (5,250), despite skipping two days of working on my draft but it certainly isn’t the end of the world if I don’t.

Previous word count: 12,056

Current word count: 13,022
Today’s Progress: 966

Weekly Progress: 966
Challenges: managing distractions



Weekly Progress 1

Seven days ago I started tracking progress on my manuscript. I set a goal to write a minimum of 500 words a day for a total of no less than 3,500 per week. When I made the goal, I said I would adjust it if I was able to write significantly more. I want my goals to be achievable but also challenging. I surpassed my goal by 2,385 words, which tells me that I am easily capable of writing more than 500 words a day. For this reason, I am raising my goal to 750 per day/5250 per week. We’ll see how it goes. I know I seem ridiculously obsessed with the numbers right now, but again, my biggest (and very realistic) fear is not being able to finish this manuscript, despite having some really great ideas. My plan is to do daily check ins for one more week (we’ll see, I might have to return to my detailed outline sooner than that). After that, I’d like to see if I am disciplined enough to meet my goals without these frequent updates.

Previous word count: 11,483

Current word count: 12,056
Today’s Progress: 573

Weekly Progress: 5885
Challenges: nothing new



Daily Word Count Check In

Words have been spilling from my fingertips the last couple of days. I’ve really gotten into a grove and I’m learning so much about my main character. She’s been struggling with some rough stuff lately, but I’ve enjoyed watching how she molds into a rounder character. I’m finding myself looking back at my outline and saying things like, “Oh, she wouldn’t do/say that,” which is a good thing. It means she is developing and I have to adjust as she develops.

Previous word count: 10,061

Current word count: 11,483
Today’s Progress: 1422

Weekly Progress thus far: 5312
Challenges: I have some big concerns about pacing. I’m worried I’m rushing through some scenes, but I’m resisting the urge to read back through it. I’ve just made a mental note to be sure to flesh out the things that need fleshing out and trot on through the things that don’t.

I’m looking forward to Father’s day tomorrow. I have plans with my stepdad in the morning and my father in the afternoon. The evening will be spent with my manuscript, soccer (the World Cup has not disappointed! Thrill after thrill!) and Game of Thrones (Season finale! Pumped!). Sounds like a great day.



Daily Word Count Check In

Well, I ended up hitting my 10,000 word mini-milestone today. 🙂 I’ll post tomorrow about how I choose to commemorate the small achievement. I’m not sure if I mentioned it previously but my novel would fall into the  young adult dystopian genre. I’ll be headed to the bookstore soon to stock up on some summer reads and I welcome any recommendation of books that fall into that category! I hope I can take more out of the books I read, now that I’m fully committed to writing my own. I also plan to go back and re-read some YA dystopian books I own. It’ll probably be easier to fochttps://elledesa.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpus on pacing and how the authors approach certain content when I’m not experiencing the plot for the first time.

Previous word count: 9134

Current word count: 10,061
Today’s Progress: 927

Weekly Progress thus far: 3890
Challenges: I had some hiccups when it came to expressing movement today. My protag was in the woods and ran into a few different people. I found myself stumbling over how to orient the reader (she’s behind the tree, now she’s walking, wait she’s hiding again, now she’s backtracking) without sounding dry or repetitive. I think I worked it out well enough for now but it will definitely need some cleaning up later.