Last night I finally hit 50,000 words for the month of November! I say "finally" even though it's a little early, because I probably could have made 50k a week ago, if it weren't for all the yellow, orange, and red days you see in my calendar widget in the sidebar. I had a period of about a week when my word count really started flagging — I had a good lead, so I never actually fell behind, but there were a couple of days where it was a close thing to stay ahead of the game.
I don't have much left to write in the novel. I think a few thousand more words will finish it off, plus a thousand or two for a scene earlier on in the novel that I skipped over a couple of weeks ago, primarily because I didn't know what to write. I'll have to figure that out now, I guess. I'm hoping to finish the first draft entirely by Wednesday night, so that I can set it aside for a month or so before I edit.
What I'm struggling with now is whether I should get right to work on the next book in the series. I've been coming up with some good ideas for it while I've been writing this one, so once I finish the first draft I could feasibly start outlining, and then start writing. The best thing about that is that the characters and story are fresh in my mind right now, and I'm still excited about it, which is a good thing. Also, it might make for a more seamless transition into the second book.
I also see a couple of problems with this approach, though. One, if I start writing the second book before I finish revising and editing the first, I may have to make changes to the outline and/or what I've written if I make any major revisions to the first book. Two, am I going to be able to revise the first book objectively if the characters and story is still active in my mind from writing the second book? It might negate the benefits of putting your work away for a month or so before starting revisions.
Maybe I should restrict myself to just making outlines until I finish at least the first round of revisions on book one. What are your thoughts?