News & Updates Till Death Do Us Party

By the Numbers: The July Writing Challenge

I did some writing in June. I even did some editing, too. Taking part in Twitter's #JulyWritingChallenge, I monitored my progress, which I am now sharing with you, dear reader.

July 1

While my focus for the challenge is working to get Till Death Do Us Party to a publishable place, you might notice that I like posting stuff on here. Like a 693-word review of Tenacity: The Determination to Continue by Louise Willingham.

Check the review out, then check the book out, and throw some money Louise’s way to support Galop, a UK-based charity, providing support to LGBT+ people suffering from domestic abuse. I queue jumped this review because the earnings from it are going to a brilliant cause.

July 2

2 July will forever be remembered (until I forget) as the first half of the mighty slog. That slog? Writing up my thoughts about the June Writing Challenge. I linked to it above, so I won’t link to it here, but after 849 words, I made it as far as 15 June and was ready to call it a day. I was actually ready to call it a couple of months and avoid writing, but that would have lost me the challenge.

I really don’t like to lose.

July 3

As 2 July will forever be burned into my brain as the first half of the mighty slog, 3 July shall be remembered as its second day. 1,069 words in total. Of these, 763 went into the previous article, and 306 words were added to this.

July 4

And here I am, back editing and undertaking rewrites on Till Death Do Us Party. It felt good to get back into it, where I spent two hours on Chapter 10.

July 5

Day five was a big one, where I got through not just Chapter 11’s edits, but also half of Chapter 12’s. Two and a half hours well spent.

July 6

Okay, my secret’s out: I can’t count past five. I would have used my fingers, but one of my hands was too busy typing out the above tweet. I got through Chapter 12’s edits, and about half of Chapter 13’s. That’s a big chapter, so the three and a quarter hours I spent on it isn’t an entirely terrible amount.

July 7

Did I say Chapters 12 and 13? I meant Chapters 13 and 14. Oops.

These two hours and forty-five minutes were productive. There was a fair amount of clean-up, but no real increase in words to make it worth tracking against the challenge. The editing and rewrites, though, really solidified that Chapter 15 (not 14!) is one of my favourites. It’s depressing, but I do kind of like the way I presented it.

July 8

The embarrassing thing about getting my chapters wrong in tweets isn’t that I got it wrong. The embarrassing thing is that I rely on the previous tweet to tell me where I’m up to. So where I said chapters 14 and 15, I meant chapters 15 and 16.

With these chapters, I’m back to pure editing, and covering pages in red pen. I will be writing a few things this month (which you will have likely seen before I publish this). Two and a half hours, with neither chapter requiring too much work.

July 9

Never have I been as disappointed by this site not publishing the GIFs I include in my tweets as I am right now, because you’re missing out on some Gary Busey goodness. So click the tweets and get your Busey fill. Both tweets, because I had to dedicate one to Mr. Busey, right?

While the tweets don’t specify the chapters (I didn’t want to get them wrong), I’m surprised I got through both in a single day, particularly in two hours and forty-five minutes. Chapter 17 was relatively straightforward, but 18 is the longest chapter in the book (though this could change as I edit others), and required me to scribble out a conversation. And yes, that conversation is all about Gary Busey. And once I’m back in rewrites, you never know, that conversation might show up in a newsletter (subscribe, because I’m shameless).

July 10

From 10 July, I am officially counting down until I have covered the remainder of the draft in red pen. It was only when writing the tweet that I realised I was editing Chapter 19 of 29, leaving me with only ten chapters left. It was a relatively small day – weekends offer me anywhere between a ton of time or very little, depending on the kids. This was on the smaller end of the spectrum, narrowly beating the target, with one hour and fifteen minutes spent editing.

July 11

As the countdown continues, I got a little more editing done on the Sunday, with two (not one!) hours and fifteen minutes, getting me through Chapter 20 and Chapter 21.

When the time comes to get into Chapter 20’s rewrites, it will become two chapters. It’s a longer chapter than average, but in re-reading this, the first few pages need to be expanded upon and should sit within their own chapter. I’ve made a few changes besides this, and added an extra scene, but when it’s done, what will be Chapter 21 will be about average. I expect Chapter 20 to be pretty short, but don’t quote me on that – estimating chapter lengths is not one of my talents.

The chapter currently numbered 21/soon to be chapter 22 is more of an average length. I’ve added a small amount to it and restructured a number of paragraphs. When undertaking my rewrites, it’ll grow, but probably not massively.

July 12

12 July saw me spending another one hour and thirty minutes editing both chapters 22 and 23 (which will be renumbered). Chapter 22 is the second shortest chapter in the book (in the first the first draft, anyway), but I only spent half an hour editing it. I will be adding a couple of scenes when writing the second draft, so we’ll see how it goes.

Chapter 23 is a little longer, the (again, as at the first draft) third longest chapter, which took the remaining time; all two hours of it. I’ve replaced a fair amount, and my gut tells me it’ll be a little shorter, but I’ll have to see what the rewrites bring.

That was a productive 150-odd minutes, and still leaving me with a little time to spend reading for my next review…and getting started on it, Between my updates for this breakdown and what I’ve written so far, I can also add 1,051 words to the mix. If only all days were this productive.

July 13

I added another 296 words to 12 July’s writing. The end result is my review for Er or Seau: AI and the Enhanced Race, an intriguing novel. Check out my review, and if you’re so inclined, check out the book, too.

The one and a half hours I spent editing got me through Chapter 24, and half of Chapter 25. Getting there…

July 14

Day 14, and I put in two productive as hell hours. This got me through the remainder of Chapter 25, as well as 26 and 27, bringing me really close to the end of these edits.

July 15

As you can tell from the above tweet, I’m pretty reserved about day 15. I only spent one hour and forty-five minutes editing, and it only got me as far as the end of Chapter 29…which so just happens to be the last chapter. So maybe that’s a milestone?

It’s such a milestone that after wondering where I was going to break to the next page, thanks to the odd number of days in the month, day 15 is the obvious choice.

Now, to get through the second draft, which I have a head start on. But I think I might take a little break, and write some other stuff before jumping back in. My brain needs a rest from Till Death Do Us Party.

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