In the previous post, My Milwordy Declaration, we discussed what this challenge is: One million words in a year. Now you might be asking yourself, what kind of words count toward the final goal? Drafts? Edits? Texts? Emails? Tweets? If I type out the phrase “She let out a breath she didn’t even know she was holding” 83,334 times, does that count?
I mean, I would get really, really fast at typing out a top YA cliché. So that’s something.
Everyone participating has to make the decision of what to count and what not to count for themselves based on what they hope to accomplish. Since everyone’s goals are different, everyone’s Milwordy will be different.
For me, the idea of writing a million words is not so much about the end products of a million written words and supersonic typing skills. It’s to improve my prose through practice. Tweets and Texts? Probably not going to help me much so I don’t plan on counting them. Not to say that those aren’t an art form in themselves, they just aren’t the areas I want to focus on. I want to improve my fiction.
That’s why I’ll be counting fiction drafting words and any prewriting that is narrative in nature. If say, I write a little vignette that is part of a character’s backstory, but will not be included in the draft, I’m counting that because it gives me practice at prose. If I’m writing a scene synopsis, that also counts. But if I’m making a list of character traits or settings or plot points, for example, those aren’t doing much to improve my actual writing so those don’t count.
Revision is a little trickier for me. If I’m writing a completely new sentence, that definitely counts. But if I’m just tweaking an existing one, does that count? Kind of…maybe?
I’m still working out some of the kinks. But I’m nowhere near starting on revision, so I figure I’ll stumble over that bridge when I get there.
Oh, and I’m also counting these blog posts because, although they are not fiction, I do think they will help with my overall writing skills.
So those are my own personal rules. Have you figured out your own yet? I’d love to hear about it!