The Daily Grind of the Writer – The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover

This might be the most boring blog post ever, but I hope at least a few people find it interesting. This is my writing log for The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover, in which I tracked how much I wrote each day, and sometimes what I specifically worked on. “Ducal Service” was the original title for the short story, and I referred to it as both that and “The Duchess and the Stableboy” until the final title for the novel was chosen.

When this log begins, I already had a version of what would eventually become the second chapter of the novel. Note that the chapter numbers in the log are no longer accurate, because the new chapter one was added very late in the process.

2/20/06: some notes for possible expansion of “Ducal Service.”
2/21/06: 698 in outline for “The Duchess and the Stableboy” proposal.
2/22/06: 592 on proposal outline.
2/23/06: 505 on chapter 2 of proposal.
2/25/06, on plane: 432 on proposal outline.
3/1/06: 514 on chapter 2 of proposal.
3/2/06: 1011 on chap. 3 of proposal, since I’m stuck on 2.
3/4/06: 215 on proposal outline, changing focus of 2 and touching up the rest to match. 1684 on chapter 2, morning and early afternoon. 365 more in the evening.
3/5/06: 942 on chapter 2 (finished draft, 3822; chapter 1 draft, 3163). Edited outline to add more chapters, increased wordcount = 501. In evening, 1277 on chapter 3.
3/6/06: 521 on chapter 3.
3/7/06: 182 on outline. 1018 to finish draft of chapter 3.
3/11/06: 618 on edits.
3/12/06: 526 on proposal, both outline and chapters.
3/19/06: 85 words on chapter 4 of the duchess/stableboy. (Also worked on short story, 381 words.)

Sent proposal to agent.

By June, the proposal had not yet sold, but I was still working on the next chapters, to be ahead of the game should it sell. My enthusiasm for the project waxed and waned. I worked on some other projects, as well (logged separately). I worked on it only twice in July of 2006, four times in August.

6/7/06: 127
6/11/06: 773
6/13/06: 723
6/14/06: 555
6/18/06: 73
7/27/06: 603
7/31/06: 534
8/7/06: 525
8/8/06: 530
8/9/06: 575
8/10/06: 71
4/21/07: 1014
4/22/07: 686 morning; finished chapter 5 draft. 95 evening.
5/15/07: didn’t count words; did some edits on chapters 1-4. Didn’t finish editing chapter 4 yet. Changed spelling from Duc and Duchesse to Duke and Duchess. Trimmed out a lot of adverbs.
5/18/07: 729 on edits of chapter 4, setting up Maxime chapters.
5/19/07: 1006 morning and early afternoon, finishing major edits to chapter 4 and working on chapter 6. 655 on chapter 6 in evening; 1661 total for day.
5/20/07: 133 in morning. Outlined sex scene that goes in chapter 6; prepared files for chapters 7-12 with notes on what goes in them.
5/22/07: 736 on chapter 6.
5/29/07: 1017 on chapter 7.
5/30/07: 689 on chapter 7.
6/2/07: 1342 to finish chapter 7. 1085 on chapter 8. 35 words and some edits evening.
6/3/07: 735 in the morning on chapter 8. 1202 evening to finish chapter 8 draft. For a set value of “finish.”
6/4/07: 542 on chapter 9. First foray into Sylvie pov.
6/5/07: 1238 on chapter 9 morning. 1530 to finish chapter draft evening.
6/6/07: 2001 morning and early afternoon; 2006 evening/night on chapter 10.
6/7/07: 2025 morning on chapter 11. 438 evening, to finish chapter 11. It’s a bit under wordcount for other chapters.
6/8/07: 2435 morning/afternoon on chapter 12. 1278 evening.
6/9/07: 548, on chapter 13 and 16.
6/11/07: 500, on chapter 13.
6/12/07: 535 on chapter 17.
6/14/07: 611 on chapter 13.
6/16/07: 581 on chapters 13 and 17.
6/17/07: 532 on chapter 17.
6/19/07: 654 on chapter 17.
8/11/07: 1273 on chapters 13 & 17.
8/26/07: morning 1601, finishing chapters 13 & 17. 409 evening.
8/27/07: 1217 morning, chapter 15.
8/28/07: 1162 morning, chapter 15.
8/29/07: 1572 on chapters 16 and 18.
8/30/07: 1518 morning, on chapter 18. 272 afternoon.
8/31/07: 296 on chapter 18. Notes on 14, 16, and 18.
9/1/07: 330 on chapter 18.
9/5/07: 603 to finish chapters 18 and 15.
9/8/07: 1014 on chapter 16.
9/9/07: 516 on chapter 14.
9/10/07: 841 on chapter 14.
9/11/07: 533 on chapter 14.
9/12/07: 567 on chapter 16.
9/13/07: 529 on chapter 16.
9/15/07: 859, to finish chapter 16.
9/16/07: 353 and 1219, on 16 and 14.
9/17/07: 503 to start chapter 19.
9/18/07: 225 on chapter 19. Seems to be going in the wrong direction.
9/20/07: Cut about 650 from chapter 19. Added to chapter 18, editing it a bit. New start for 19. 1023 total.
9/21/07: 543 on 19.
9/23/07: Brainstormed 3 new proposal ideas. Edited outline for chapters 20-23. 541on chapter 19.
9/24/07: 1062 on 19.
9/25/07: 1012 to finish 19.
9/28/07: 581 on 20. Removed old chapter 20 (Sylvie/Maxime) from outline as unnecessary.
9/29/07: workshop.
9/30/07: 1293 on 20. 146 more in evening, and some notes on 21.

10/4/07: 73 on 20. Still recovering from cold. In the interim, lots of paper edits.
10/16/07: 539 on 20, and more entering edits.
10/20/07: In the interim, finished entering edits. 1029 morning to finish chapter 20 draft. 657 afternoon on 21. Notes in evening.
10/21/07: 1872 on 21.
10/22/07: 1009 on 22.
10/23/07: Added words to compiled document, approximately 1500. 264 on 22.
10/24/07: 925 during day. 1116 handwritten during day, typed up later.
10/25/07: 257 from handwritten from previous day. 1198 on chapter 23.
10/26/07: Approximately 1300 during day. 1032 on 22 and 24, night.
10/27/07: 2366 morning. 1674 evening.
10/28/07: 1335 morning. Done with draft. ending wordcount 89K. Submitted draft to editor.

Revisions on DMGL, based on editor’s revision letter: 5/10/08-5/12/08: notes, cuts, trifling edits.
5/13/08: 1005 on new chapter one
5/14/08: 570
5/15/08: 579
5/17/08: 1552
5/18/08: 1002 morning. 87646 total count
5/27/08: 729
5/28/08: 189. 88051 total count
5/29/08, 5/30/08, 5/31/08: writing by hand, about 4 pages each day. 5/31/08: 1678 typed. Wordcount at end of typing, editing: 89703 total.
6/1/08: 91142 total wordcount. 1623 typed and written new.
6/2/08: 91648 total. Cut some. Typed 662.
6/3/08: 93068 total. 1422 typed plus written new.
6/4/08: edited on paper.
6/6/08: entered paper edits. Typed handwritten words, edited, 597 words. 93646 total wordcount.
6/7/08: 483 words. 94034 total.
6/8/08: 1198 words, some new, some typed from earlier.
Final Revision Wordcount: 95193.

Edits after this point were done on paper, so I don’t have a count of them.

Related Posts: How To Write a Novel (in 72 Easy Steps!) and Zero Drafting.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. Her blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and occasional author interviews.
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2 Responses to The Daily Grind of the Writer – The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover

  1. LDWatkins says:

    OMG! I'm worn out just reading it. Do you have a good idea of the entire novel before you start writing, or just a rough idea, and it changes as you go along? Very interesting.

  2. Victoria Janssen says:

    I had a good idea that time, but a lot of things did change from outline to final novel. Mostly not outcomes, but HOW things happened.

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