Pop over to read my Guest Post on the Nomad Novelists Writers’ Group site, on how ditching a novel you love isn’t always a bad thing.
I have a bone to pick with myself
Each session of writing begins with: A sheet of paper with the plot scribbled down,a pen to record word count every so often, ITunes playlist selected, and Me
With one eye on the start time, a glance at the plot, I pound the keyboard like a loveliest of words that must be poured or the universe could implode
Seriously, I write with passion.
But, at a certain point, before I want it to occur, my endurance levels sink. I’ve probably got down 1500 to 2000 words bashed out, and my mind wants to do more, but my mind says stop. Hang on – how dare my mind put me in a mixed up state of confusion. Stop telling me to write, if you intend to halt me.
In the end, I do slow down and find that the last six lines of each chapter are bullet points of what else I must write to complete the chapter
Groan… Why do I do this to myself?
Well… It’s not all bad. When it comes to the redraft, I may have to add further words, but that’s what redraft is all about. The first draft isn’t the final product. It is the voice of your thoughts that told the story. And modifying it is what makes a better story
The bone I intended to pick… I’ll leave it alone.
There may be instances when you struggle with a chapter. Don’t worry; just list in bullets what you think you need, and move onto the next chapter. You ca always come back to add, delete, update, slash, destroy, massacre and create ann another day.
24 days since I restarted the entire first draft of my third novel.
Target setting with a novel can be your friend as well as an enemy.
Previous posts will highlight how by Thinking-Less and Writing-More, I have come leaps and bounds to being capable of writing a 60k MS within 6 weeks. Believe me, back in the day when I was hitting 3 months to get anywhere near that level, current improvements are amazing.
What spurs me on is aiming for a 2k daily word target (or less if it’s a short chapter).
Now, by setting 2k, it can stifle productivity, because all we do is aim for the 2k, rather than going with the flow and letting the word count form of its own accord. For me – I do need a target.
It gets me going.
And I don’t just stop with 2k a day. I aim for 12k per week (a little leeway allowed rather than 2 x 7 days)… and if for ‘whatever’ reason I miss a day, or don’t hit the word count, then I have to pull in double time on the weekend to hit the 12k goal line.
Each session of writing starts with an A5 page that lists the key events planned for the chapter. Of course they can change as the story unfolds, but it’s a marker for me.
Then, as I write, every 10-15 mins, I take stock of the word count. In the past, I was averaging 400 words per hour. That is a terrible stat, and it was because I thought too much. Now, thinking less, I can easily hit 1000 words per hour. 2k per day suddenly became a doddle.
There’s nothing better than when you hit the point of having 500 words left to go… then 300… and soon 100.
So, if you can only put aside time to do 500 words a day, and you commit to it, then there’s a chance you can have a novel completed quicker than stop/starting whenever your mood allows.
Are you with me?
Adam Khan and the Desolate Djinn
There is potential for this to grow into a series.
At the moment I am at the 55% complete mark. Quite chuffed with that after 3 weeks. The rewrite has been an awesome one of change, and I’m digging where it’s going.
12 Days ago I rebooted my third novel:
Adam Khan and the ‘Something Something‘ – 10+ YA
And it’s come along rather nicely. I have hit the 34% mark with 23.5k words notched down. By my writing standards, I am well chuffed with that. However, today, I hit a stumbling block. Chapter 9 sounded like drivel collected from a sad-pit.
Yes – a sad-pit.
It needs some uber kick-a-tango to lift it. Don’t worry – I know exactly what it needs, and it’ll get it.
The point I wanted to make is that regarding my post of Write More, Think Less - it really does pay off. I mean, come on, 23.5k in less than 2 weeks! I could so get this novel done in 5 weeks. And that would be one helluva achievement.
PS: The attitude era I wanted to bring to Adam is really coming to life. He is one mean 14 year old. Loving it.