Usable Versus Unusable Writing

I don’t pay that much attention to word count anymore. I write and that’s it. I did during September when I was cranking things out, but now it’s just depressing. So I checked my word count today to see how things were going as a little pick me up. And then out of curiosity I checked how much I’ve written and discarded to see the damage from the month. With Scrivener, I save everything, absolutely everything. If there’s a chance that a past chapter has a line or a phrase that I can use, I’ll keep it around.

So this is what is useable (some of it is not posted online):

This is all I got from November...

This is all I got from November…

That word count is from today, a pretty good day for me. But this is what blew me away in terms of how much I discard:

November... good month...

November… good month…

I wrote 53k this month and I discarded over half of what I wrote just to get to a bare bones rough draft. Honestly, I thought I would ditch more. 20k is pretty good, that’s 40% usability for a rough draft. But that’ll probably drop to 20% because my final edits usually destroy what remains and only keep the ideas.

But this is also why I don’t pay attention to word counts anymore. It’s just fucking depressing to know that I wrote that much and I’ll only wound up with less than half for just a rough draft.

Now I really don’t want to think about it. It just makes my novel seem larger than it was before. At least I did NaNo this month, yay?


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