This will come as a surprise to those of you who know my writing style, but I’ve finished a fifth novel-length story, and it’s not even National Novel Writing Month. My first non-NaNoWrimo book was an experiment to see if I could write the story I chickened out of writing last year in favor of something more familiar. The experiment turned out well, and even without the NaNoWrimo pressure, it got done within a month. A young adult dark fantasy novel, it does a lot of things that pushed me as a writer. One of those things was writing a novel-length story in first-person POV. I used to use first-person all the time when writing short stories, but when I moved to novel-length, I made the switch to third-person limited and haven’t gone back since.
One of the biggest difficulties is keeping the character voice consistent. Because the character is now speaking through you as the writer, you end up casting your current moods and attitudes onto the character, which isn’t fair to the character because they’ve only had a few hours of novel-life to cope with what could be weeks of your life. I think I managed to keep it under control, but the first edits will reveal how well I did.
As usual, I kept detailed stats on the writing of the novel in case it sheds some light on the novel writing process, and, after five of them, it might shed some light on how a writer’s speed, etc. evolves over the years. I’ll add more statistics after I finish all of the editing drafts, so for now, this is just for the raw first draft.
Here we go with the statistics!
Time: 1975 mins (32.9 hours)
Words: 51,086 words (~204 pages)
Pace: 25.9 wds /minute
*vs. 24.7 wds / minute on Book Four
*vs. 23.5 wds / minute on Book Three
Fastest Pace: 37.0 wds / minute, working outside
*edges out my previous record of 36.9 on Book Four
Slowest Pace: 18.2 wds / minute, also working outside
*much faster than my slowest 8.9 on Book Four