I'm still wrapping up quota for September, but I thought I'd note down a couple of points for myself.
First, if I get to 220,000 words on Prophecy, I'm going to consider the rought draftfinished. 220,000 words is freakin' long for two books and this is only supposed to be one. If I've written 220,000 words, I don't care what plot points are left to be covered; it's over.
Second: as you might guess from the first point, I am too long-winded by far in writing this monster. For example: at the end of August I had 39 chapters left to go (that includes ones started but not finished; I often quit in the middle of a chapter, or almost to the end of a chapter, even, as my inspiration runs out). At the end of September, I expect to have 37 chapters to go. This is not the level of progress I want to be makign. My revised estimate of the draft-completion date, based on the rate at which I am getting the plot-crucial elements written, is that I'll need until March of 2004. And it'll be about 217,000 words. *sigh*
In an effort to Do Something About It, I am going to give myself an alternate quota system and try it out in October.
The alternate quota system works like this: I currently have 20 unwritten chapters, and 17 incomplete chapters. I will assign the unwritten ones a factor of two. This makes 57 "plot points" that I need to write. In order to reach my year-end goal, I need reduce that count by approximately 5 points per week, or 19 per month. October is supposed to be a short month for writing (a week of "non -writing work" is supposed to get done in there), so let's say 15 for October and 21 each for November and December.
So, here's the deal: If my count at the end of Ocober is 42 plot points or less to go, then I will consider myself to have made quota for October, even if I've written less than 7500 words. Similarly, any week in which I reduce the remaining plot points by 5 or more counts as "making quota", even if I write less than 1500 words.
The idea here is not, however, to encourage me to write more, but rather to write more concisely. I'm afraid my current system encourages rambling and sloppiness on my part. I'm not sure if this is right or if it'll work. So I'm also keeping the old system as a fallback. I can either complete plot points, or I can reach the appropriate word count. Either one works.
I'll see how this goes in October. I will generally trust myself not to game the system and cut corners. Even I have to trust myself occasionally. ;)