I keep thinking my WIP is so much further along than it actually is. I keep writing words, but it’s like they pour into some black hole of completed novel underestimation.
For a more realistic view of where I’m at, I colour coded the chapters on Scrivener into three categories: first draft written (dark pink), first draft partially written (light pink), and first draft in synopsis (white), and it came up like this:
I had actually written Part 1 in its entirety, but once I got to the back end and also started getting some feedback, I realised certain things had to change, so I’ve removed the words that will no longer work (they’re safely tucked away), and interspersed what’s left with notes about what will need to be written as a replacement. The complete Part 1 I think should be a little under 30k.
Part 2 is pretty close to finished. It just needs some minor tweaks. Part 3 should be roughly as long as Part 2, so that’s only about half done. Part 4 has a lot of short chapters, because they start getting shorter as we get to the finale, so I’m going to guess I’m aiming for 30k there too.
This started off as such a simple story, a fairytale for my daughter about three sisters working together to survive a deadly Labyrinth. But turns out I am incapable of not complicating things. Now it’s a crazy, 500 page, action-packed, YA mystery puzzle adventure about the politics of fear. It’s still for my daughter, just for when she’s a bit older.
In other efforts at keeping the story straight, I have done this to my study wall:
That’s all the key points in my story laid out chronologically, with the stories of the 3 protagonists and the subplots running horizontally through.
Here’s a closer shot of the first bit. I’ve stuck in images where I’ve been able to find any that help me visualise the characters / settings / moods:
What about you?
Do you do anything to help you visualise or track your writing?