Novel progress: productive or not?!

January 19, 2009 in Novel, On Writing by pacejmiller

on-fireToday I had one of those days when I just kept writing away.  I wouldn’t quite call it ‘on fire’, but it was definitely my best performance in quite some time (which doesn’t mean much in context).

Instead of studying, which I should have done, I decided to get down and dirty with the writing – forget about all these writing techniques I’ve been trying to implement, forget about the quality of the actual writing – just get words down on the screen and forget about the rest. 

At the end of a few hours of gritty work (probably 3 or 4 or 5), I realised I got a decent 3,500-4,000 words pumped into my fantasy novel.  I should be elated, considering how slow progress has been lately (and equally worried, because I hadn’t been studying).

But the big problem was, I hardly made any progress at all in the actual story.  Despite writing around 16,000-17,000 words so far (by my shitty calculations that’s around 50 pages in a regular sized novel?), I’ve barely just made it past the ‘introductory’ stages of the novel.  The protagonist hasn’t even had his preliminary adventure yet! 

Should I be concerned?  Is 50 pages to set-up my fantasy world really not that much?  I mean, the plot has ben moving along at the same time, but I just fear it’s going way too slow for a novel that’s intended to be exciting.

Or should I just finish the damn thing and worry about length later?

I remember reading somewhere that Dan Brown said that for every page of The Davinci Code that made it to the final version, 10 other pages he wrote never made it.  So does this mean write away and tighten it all up at the very end?

Serenity now.