Novel progress

2022 Update

I haven’t had much time working on the novel in the past two years. The good news is that it’s because I wrote two screenplays – from pitch, outline, beatsheet to good draft and pitched at two film festivals.

I’m also learning a great deal from my writing group and this is knowledge that will help me launch the book.

As I mentioned below, the novel “Azurite” is already at the length it needs to be, however the plot is not done! So I’ll have to write to The End, then circle back around and cut, cut, cut until it ‘works’ for the style it is. It’s light comic fantasy and this style does not lend itself well to the doorstop-sized novel.

Photo by Shelby Miller on Unsplash
Novel progress
Photo by Shelby Miller on Unsplash
Jan 12, 2020 Novel Progress Update

Up to 113,750 words! Good progress in the last few days. I’m looking closely at the plotting towards the end of the novel in order to finish it.

Novel progress

Now at 111,786 words My goal now is not to generate thousands more words, but to refine and make sure it all ‘works’. I want to get to “The End” soon, but even if it’s a lot more words, I’ll be cutting it down some.

It’s tricky but it’s also satisfying, like a puzzle you’re working out.

Novel progress
Novel Progress November 2019

Words = 111217

Good weekend’s progress. Got over three thousand words done.

Novel progress
Cool mushrooms on a tree

Hope to have another good weekend of writing.

Novel progress

So…looks like draft 1 will be 120,000 words which is too long, but I’ll go back in and cut afterwards. I just need to get all the story bits written first.

Getting excited about getting to “The End” of draft one.

Writing cafe Novel progress
Cafe writing… at Blenz, Kitsilano

See home page for more information!

I will be starting a NaNoWriMo effort for November, too.

Novel progress
Photo by Lionel HESRY on Unsplash

AUGUST 31, 2019 Novel Progress

I promised my writer friend, Craig B., that I would finish the novel Azurite in two months! So by Halloween, I should be done!

I’ve decided to use Labour Day Weekend as a writing retreat. I’m not taking on any household duties, or shopping for any more back-to-school items. I’m working during the day!

Progress has been made! I’m up to 94700 words today! I jumped into it at my a cafe and at home. It seems like I can really work with Scrivener at home well.

My goal is 100k words but I realize my pattern is to overwrite, then cut, cut, cut. Short stories are frequently improved a great deal by cutting, for example. So I’ll need to overwrite because another about 5 thousand words is not enough to get the end of this massive fantasy epic (comedy) done. There are too many “Noises Off” as they say in theatre. A lot of threads to weave together.

So day one of Labour Day Writing Retreat at Home is a success!

Novel progress
My twitter @Cat_WritesSFF

APRIl 2019 Novel Progress

Still working…

Novel progress

Photo by Rafaela Biazi on Unsplash

Novel progress
December 2018 Novel Progress

Now that I’m over @nanowrimo2018  I can look at other projects again. I did what I’ve often done which is work the double shifts well for a couple of weeks in November, then get overtired and have to stop. 

This month and next I want to look to put some order on my wild novel. It was written in dribs and drabs of time while my daughter was at dance classes. So it’s very much a ‘pantser’ development. I enjoyed that at the start because it was so very different from my tv work. However, now it’s a bit of a problem, in a good way! I have to try to get all of that material corralled and flowing through the form called  ‘novel’!

I know some novelists have preferred chapter lengths, for example. Maybe I should try that?  Also, the story is paramount, so I need to get that sorted out as well.  It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m starting to see it as a bit of fun now, too. 

November 2, 2018 Novel Progress

Been busy. Submitted to Women In Film Dark Side competition again. This one is great because it’s an SFF/horror/pulp screen package. If you win, they give you great help to get your idea off the ground!

I submitted two story packages of logline, synopsis, 3-5 page outline and page on future episodes.  Wish me luck!

For more information on Women In Film, Vancouver, see the  Women in Film page

September 2018 Novel Progress

The novel is still at 92,000 worlds. It’s been a busy summer, also difficult in some ways. Lots of work, child had major dental, we did a tiring but great trip to Alberta, and so on.

I do have several stories out there now in the hopper, going from place to place looking for a home. I got some rejections that I was surprised by… at my age it’s hard to get surprised by the writing world, but it happens now and then. I’ve been lucky enough to get in a few publications in the past couple of years, too.

My garden plot interfered too, much as I loved it. I went there most nights and took on watering for others if they needed it.

Novel Progress Road Trip Calgary Con Summer 2018
Cat Girczyc at when worlds collide Novel progress
When Worlds Collide
June 26, 2018 Novel Progress

92,000 words! I’ve joined both Clarion West and NaNoWriMo Summer Camp to encourage myself. Trying to get to the end of the first draft.

My gardens are taking time but not interfering as I’m doing time at Blenz each evening awaiting my dancer to be finished her “Street aka Hiphop” class.

Novel progress
June 8, 2018 Novel Progress

I’ve hit 90,000!  I have Chapters 11, 12, 13 and 14 to go. In this rough state, each of these chapters is getting to be 8-9k (and I might split them up into smaller chapters later). So it means I have maybe 15-20k words to do before I see ‘the end’.  That means a rough cut length of max 110,000 words, which isn’t too long.

Considering how busy I am at work and with dance competition & recital season just over, I think I’m doing a-okay.

Novel progress
Point Grey Secondary
May 5, 2018 Novel Progress

88917! Closing in on 90!

May 3, 2018 Novel Progress

I’m so pleased. I’ve managed to get the novel up to 88005 words! Woot!

Part of the reason for the extra words is that I took a day off work. However, that was really to take my dancer to North Vancouver for another Synergy Dance Competition. Her Tap group got “Most Entertaining” in their category. It was fun to watch. Then we went to White Spot for lunch. The commute was long, via bus, SeaBus, and another bus. Then I did my month start accounting and looked at starting taxes.

Synergy Dance competition stage Novel progress
Dance Mum Day

When I got to Blenz at 4 my brain wasn’t clouded or clogged by workday cares. Finally, I could see the ending coming on and I wrote quickly. It’s a good feeling!

May 1, 2018 Novel Progress
iPad Novel progress

Up to 86550 words. Got a few hundred words done today despite it being one of those crazy days. Work explodes with people who actually want to talk to the tech writer (!) Then the kid forgets power bank for her phone and desperately needs it. So Mum races to deliver cord and bank between classes. Oh, and it’s laundry day but I miss the timing a bit and kid wears not-dry pants to dance. I ate my lunch at the desk despite working from home. But I came to Blenz and worked on the novel which made me feel better.Gorgeous cherry blossoms on 41st

April 20, 2018 Novel Progress
Thinking about the best way to get the last 4 chapters done…
Coffee ipad and work Novel progress
April 4, 2018 Novel Progress
At 85500 words!

A small increase but I’m tackling the ending which is tricky.

February 10, 2018 Novel Progress
Hit 85,000 words

Novel is at 84536 words now. I’m feeling like if I tackle it a scene at a time it works within my very tight schedule.

Writing at coffee shop Novel progress

February 3, 2018 Novel Progress

Novel is at 83540 words now. A slow slog due to day job requiring lots of overtime. I do enjoy my Saturday writing time, thanks to NaNoWriMo group!

Novel progress
January 14, 2018

The novel is at 82000 words now! At this stage I’m producing rough chapters of 7000 to 9000 words. I may look at creating more chapter breaks in draft two.

Novel progress
November 7, 2017

I finally broke the 80,000 word mark today!  I realize it won’t be as small a book as I thought. It’ll be probably  a one hundred thousand word item. But there will be editing going on before anyone else sees it.

NaNoWriMo has been good for me this year. Even though yesterday my work consisted of  cutting a story by a 1000 words. That too is part of writing.  Good editing skills are vital.

Novel progress
November 3, 2017

Up to 78026 words! I feel like I’m accomplishing a lot because I’m tying together the disparate plots of the novel, heading towards the ‘END’!

Novel progress 
grade 5 Erskine Alberta
Grade 5 Mrs. Doak’s class Canadian history play – I researched and wrote a lot of.  Probably where I got hooked on drama. That little girl on stage is me, in a long dress and one of Mum’s dressing gowns pretending to be a pioneer. My Dad made the plywood province cutouts!
October 20, 2017

Up to 76,000 words! Which is up about 2.4k words. That’s great for only 9 days work  in-between ‘life as we live it’. I’ve finished a chapter. Still think I need at least 3 large chapters to get to 100k words and The End.

I’m really motivated this season by the Angry Robot open call.

I aim for this open call, but I also realize the novel may not be ready for a submission in December, particularly because my experience with short stories is that in order to ‘land’ as my screenwriter friends would say, the stories have had to be rewritten numerous times.

Also,  I made the newbie mistake of rewriting as I progressed, so it is an odd mix of ‘done and toasted’ versus ‘half-baked’.  I’ll have to smooth that out and have it feel ‘done’ everywhere.  I honestly lost two of my characters, in a taxi at the end of a Chapter and as far as anyone knew, they were circling the city for the next 20,000 words! I have fixed that particular boo-boo, but I’m certain there are a lot more! But these are editing problems, which I’ll get to once I see The End.

halloween cupcakes novel progress
mushroom novel progress
October 11, 2017

Some progress has been made! At last!  I’m at 73618 words which means I’m cutting and writing at the same time.

I have about 4 large chapters to do until I reach The Endthe first time. That’s key because you can’t rewrite until you’ve written the first time.

I made a list and have some ideas of how I will work through to the end. I’m hoping to be able to get there by Dec 1 this year!

Once again, there is an open call by Angry Robot one of the leading smaller SF/F publishers. It ends Dec 31, 2017! So one must have a full novel done and proofread by then! Plus corporate job and very busy home life.

Angry Robot Books open door period for novels!

Below is Ollie, my friend’s dog celebrating Halloween!
Ollie Novel progress
July 20, 2017

Novel now at 75,500 words. Due to busy corporate job & VCC teaching, I haven’t been able to take days off for creative work.

I’m pleased to have found a tool on the NaNoWriMo pages for writing sprints. I put in 30 minutes and I finish with a few pages done. It’s added words!

Night shot of Nat Bailey Stadium – our annual baseball game – saw the Canadians & loved it! So summer in the city…

May 30, 2017 Clarion West

I signed up for Clarion West write-a-thon again this year. It’s a great way to encourage yourself to finish something.

To support Clarion and my writing sprint, go to:

ClarionWest Write-a-thon
Then search for my page.

-Am writing this while awaiting dance preview show rehearsal at JCC, Vancouver.

The crazy owl is painted on the side of child’s High School.

May 2017 Victoria Day weekend  in Whistler BC

Dance competition here & so I am too.

Gonna work, swim, walk and watch dances. I have some unscheduled time that will be ‘writing’ time. It would be nice to get back into the novel, but I’ve also get a couple of scripts partway done and some short stories to rewrite. The novel is officially at 70k ish but stalled due to time constraints mostly. I need a week to concentrate on getting the ending figured out, then writing it won’t be so impossible.

Got a lovely rejection letter from Hy Bender at Ghosts On Drugs ( an anthology). It made me realize I need to focus when I can on creative work.

Also have a course to prep for VCC on tech writing (manuals) which is new for me. Teaching is great but the prep time is long.

November 2016 NaNoWriMo

I’m starting a month of NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month!

I’m RussetCat there – if any  readers want to ‘buddy-up’.

I probably will not get 50,000 words done, my aim is to finish with 10-25 k words accomplished. I’ve always been able to generate first drafts, it’s the polishing I need to work on.

My idea  is to inspire myself to do my work more often, and to finish some projects. Obviously, the first is Azurite the novel! It’s at 71000 words now I’m having a lot of trouble passing the 75% mark in terms of even the first draft.

May 2016

I’ve just signed up for the Clarion West write-a-thon! It goes June 19 to August 29th 2016.  Again, my goal is to finish the novel – first draft – to get past that 60% mark!

@clarionwest, @MCG_Writer

I’ll report on my progress there on my member page.

My beautiful pony in Novel progress
Our pony  Brownie copyright Bill Pochylko collection

April 2016

Sigh. No work to report but secured another Beta  reader!

I feel like if I could get it done, I could either sell it or move to novel 2.
December 14, 2015

No time due to busy corporate job and life in general for the last couple of weeks! But am planning on taking a few days near Christmas to work through. I feel like I have ONLY about 10 or 11 thousand words to get to a ‘first draft’ stage.

Bill Pochylko collection, Stettler Alberta in the fifties in novel progress

November 19, 2015

At 69439

It’s difficult to get to the end.  I’ve been very busy this month, but  am making headway.

August 26, 2015

At 66301 words

Feeling my way towards the ending – at least of the first draft!  Although I do loop around during writing, revising as I go, I think I’ll need a real second draft for this one.

Novel progress
View from Jericho Beach

April 17, 2015

The novel has been stalled for a while, sadly.  I did do a tv spec script for a new show: Schitt’s Creek on the CBC.  I rewrote an older screenplay: Points of Attraction.  I worked on improving several of the short stories that I am submitting to markets. So, I haven’t been entirely lazy.  This also combined with heavy workload at corporate job. Plus child-raising a dance kid.

One of my new goals this year is to try and get an agent again. It is counterintuitive that I wasn’t looking for a new agent since the last one and I parted company.  However, I just wasn’t in a place where I could generate the scripts needed to keep up in TV. Now, I feel like I am there.  I’ve got some good plans for more scripts in the coming year.

I still want to finish Azurite, the novel.  It’s got one last long push to get to the end of draft one, for sure. Then there’s rewriting and so forth.

February 4, 2015
A new year and just passed my personal deadline for draft one of novel.
Lots of things delayed my work, some good, some not.
I’m determined to find my focus again. Short stories were fun, but I haven’t got much free writing time. If I do a story (and I did 4 lately) then I have less time to write on the novel.

December 20, 2014
Got to 66,000 words! Now I’m looking at it as 14,000 to my finished raw draft. Then, at 80 k or so, I go back and do a massive rewrite, to make certain I have a coherent narrative that works as entertainment!
My initial hope was January 2015 and I might make it to the 80 by then, if I don’t get distracted.

November 30, 2014

Novel: 63071 words
NaNoWriMo: 14038 words

Next push is to finish first draft of novel.  Might take some extra days off in December to work on it.  Might not. I have a very busy corporate day job, too.

November 21, 2014

I’m another few hundred words along. Some nice character stuff is happening now.

November 20, 2014
NaNoWriMo 11866 words – not all novel, some short story work, too.
Novel at 62,800. Progress but not at 80 k yet!
I don’t know if I’ll be ready to stop and rewrite at 80,000 words. It was just an arbitrary number picked because it’s like the shortest novel manuscript that most SF publishers consider ( excepting YA).

November 11
Got 7400 words done as part of NaNoWriMo so far.
Finished the Night Market story & submitted it. That was 6000 words.
Got back into Azurite got the rest.

November 1
Started Nanowrimo to try to get back into novel.

October 29
Submitted new 6000 word story (not part of novel) to short story market.
Am 1700 words into another story.

September 24

September 10
56800 – slow but am back at work.

September 2, 2014
Got to 56100 words during week off work. Huzzah!

August 15, 2014
Another Friday off corporate job. Novel going well.

August 4, 2014
45,100 words. So I am progressing. The best thing is that I’ve mapped it out better. My exercise in planning did work. While I can riff off a scene pretty easily, it’s harder for me to do the ‘connect all the dots’ exercise.
This month I’m taking Fridays off my corporate job, to spend time with child and to get more of the novel done.
I’ve had a very busy year so far, and a little less ‘day job’ focus should help my creative work.

Summer always difficult for writing.

July 7, 2014
No progress. Sigh.
Am up to 52 laps of pool though.

June 21, 2014
Have progressed.
Read it all.
Wrote down scene-by-scene notes.
Then did a tv trick- you put ALL remaining plot on 1 page of a scribbler. Some people use a legal pad.
This shows you, as the lost writer, a plausible roadmap to the end.



June 14 2014

Word count – morning 41349
Going to step back from stream of consciousness as a writing method & apply some of the old techniques from tv writing.
These are:
1. Index cards – physical ones – the app ones don’t work for me yet.
2. Paper Notebook and colored pens for plot paths.
3. Latte.

June 4 2014

Nothing done since April except lost a scene somehow upon moving text back and forth from iPad to hp laptop. Not the fault of the tech😞

20140609-152315.jpg A Kate Spade display in Holt Renfrew last week – reminders to write are everywhere 🙂

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