NOTE: This is an ongoing original fiction story that I’m currently writing. I started writing this fictional story back on October 2, 2020 and contribute ~1,000 words to it every day on this blog. I didn’t outline the story at all going into it but it’s slowly evolved into a tale about a data scientist in his mid-thirties from America who finds himself summoned to China where’s he’s been offered a job to work for the Chinese Communist Party on a project monitoring the Uyghurs in the Chinese “autonomous region” of Xinjiang. In China, the story’s protagonist, Dexter Fletcher, meets other professionals who’ve also been brought in from abroad to help consult on the project. My story takes place several decades in the future and explores human rights, privacy in an age of ever-increasing state-surveillance, and differences between competing dichotomies: democracy vs communism, eastern vs western political philosophies, and individual liberties vs collective security. If this sounds interesting and you’d like to read more, my fiction story starts here.
- Wrapped up Chapter 6! I also researched a bit today about ideal chapter target word counts. One more calibration! As I wrote on Reddit:
Moving forward, I’m going to target every chapter to be around 5,200-5,800 words and the total work will hopefully be ~25-30 chapters. This’ll put me in the ballpark of what I’m aiming for, I think. I’m basing these targets based on Lev Grossman’s The Magicians trilogy:
🧙 The Magicians – Ch01: 5,224 words (25 chapters; Books I-IV)
⚗️ The Magician King – Ch01: 5,576 words (26 chapters)
🔮 The Magician’s Land – Ch01: 5,235 words (31 chapters)
- Starting with today’s entry, Chapter 6.2, I’ve decided to increase my daily word target from ~500 to ~1,000 words. As I wrote on Reddit:
Previously, I had set my sights on ~4,000 words a chapter, seventeen chapters, and around 77,000 total words because I’d been modeling my writing on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. But now that I’m six chapters into my book, I’ve realized that HP1 isn’t the right mold. HP1 is a children’s book whereas the story I’m writing is for adults. Thus, after some reflection, I’ve decided to modify my daily and chapter wordcount targets. Using The Magicians as a model (147,480 words; 25 chapters), I’m going to now aim for ~6,000-7,000 words a chapter and 25 chapters total. My final story length will hopefully be ~150,000 words, double in length of what I was previously targeting.
If I still want to clear a chapter every week though, this will mean upping my daily target from 500 to ~1,000 words a day. It’s a 100% increase but I think I can do it if I write ~500 words each morning and then ~500 words each evening. Honestly, I want to just finish this first draft ASAP so I can hurry up and go back to start rewriting! So excited! 😀
- Starting with today’s entry, Chapter 5.4, I’ve changed Katherine’s name to “Kristen.” Katherine never completely felt right to me and I suddenly thought of “Kristen” today. I’ll use it for a bit to see if it feels right. Jury is still out!
- Starting with today’s entry, Chapter 5.2, Vanessa’s characterization suddenly turns inconsistent compared to previous entries. I haven’t exactly nailed down her personality yet but starting here, she no longer follows the “ice queen” trope. Need to figure that out still. Also, I’ve never liked her name either. Will continue to ponder that. It’s going to change; I’m just unsure to what yet.
- Starting with today’s entry, Interstice 2.1, I’ve upped my daily wordcount target to ~500 words per day (previously, was ~400). Writing just a bit more each day will let me clear ~4,000 word chapters in eight days instead of ten! 😄