Novel Deadline
Novel Deadline
Novel Deadline
Novel Deadline

thy will be done…



thy will be done...

I made a commitment today. Over the past week, I’ve been asking myself the same question over and over again – “What are you waiting for?” I never came up with a good answer.

Me: “I’ve got plenty of time for a novel, let me just get better with some short stories first.”

Socratic Me: “And how many short stories is it going to take?”

Me: “Well…uh… I dunno…just more. That’s all I know. I’m sure I’ll feel it when I get there.”

I just finished reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Let me tell you this. After closing the book, I was unimpressed. I thought, “What a bunch of abstract mumbo jumbo. There were no real solutions in there. Why all the rave reviews on Amazon?”

And not a day later, here I am. Posting this entry. Making a public declaration that I’m going to fight the Resistance that Pressfield talked so much about. I still may not have gotten everything out of his book that he intended to give, but I did get something; a realization that great things may not always comes to those that work for them, but it sure as hell increases their chances.

My novel will be done. It will likely be confusing, erratic, boring, imagery-poor, grammatically pathetic… It will likely be of interest to only me. But it will be done.


0 thoughts on “thy will be done…

  1. I like the timeline concept you’ve got going there, but I do have a few experiences I thought I’d mention that might help you out.

    Giving yourself just a month to write the first draft isn’t much time at all. I know that NaNoWriMo relies on that, but they stick with just a 50,000 word minimum which doesn’t really make any sort of novel really. The regular length of most printed novels is 80,000 to 120,000(depending on genre, fantasy/sci-fi can be on the high end while romance almost must be on the low end). That’s anywhere from 2666 to 4000 words a day(or more if you miss a day), and that’s kind of a lot. Like, it’s definitely doable, but if you aren’t used to writing that much that’s a 4+ hour time commitment per day. If you want to give it a try, that’s great, but personally I’d suggest giving yourself more time overall(unless you’re just going for something extra short like NaNoWriMo-style).

    Also, the editing part… and I don’t know if this is just me but… it takes me nearly twice as long sometimes to edit as it does to write(or at least the same amount of time, if I’m in a groove). The thing with novels versus short stories is that sometimes you’ll accidentally add in a bunch of useless stuff, or forget to continue on important stuff you meant to add in, and then you’ve got to write that in or remove it and rewrite parts that involved it, and it can be a huge mess. That isn’t a bad thing by any means, but I’m just not sure you’re giving yourself enough time to edit, too. Granted, you’ve got 2 edits written in, so maybe that’ll help.

    Anyways, not trying to tell you not to do this or anything. I think it’s a great idea! I’ve written 3 novels myself(nothing published as of yet), and I find it really enjoyable all the way through. I just think maybe you’re underestimating the amount of time you’ll need for it and as a writer who’s felt overwhelmed by writing before I know that it can feel more difficult than it has to be sometimes.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to add your insights and feedback, tscerys. I have great respect for anyone who’s written a single novel, let alone three!

      I based the ‘draft’ segment on the NaNoWriMo and other ‘Complete Your First Draft in 30 Days!’-style books… Maybe not the most insightful way to do things, but at this point, I decided it was more about putting a date down and preferably a tight schedule to give me that greater sense of urgency.

      I can already tell I’m going to struggle with the process and will likely miss those deadlines, but I figure it’s a start. That’s where I’m at now. I just need to start.

      May I ask why you never decided to publish your novels? At least through self-publishing at Amazon and Smashwords? Was it just something you did for yourself?

      Thanks again!

  2. The hardest part for me, personally, in writing is the editing. I enjoy the writing a ton, but the editing ends up feeling like a chore sometimes. Also, and I think this is the main culprit here, but I took some advice from a book I read(It’s actually a really good book in general, but this advice didn’t work for me. On Writing, by Stephen King).

    Now the problem mainly was that Stephen King and I are from vastly different generations =P This might not seem too bad, but I guess he prints out all of his novels and then edits them by hand, then retypes it all in. For me this is HORRIBLY WORK. It seriously bogged down the editing progress of my first novel and made it not fun at all. When I edit on my computer I do it a lot faster and I enjoy it a lot more, and this has been working for me really well. It still takes a lot of time(the same, or sometimes twice as long, as it takes me to write it out), but I’ve been getting a much better consistent rate and I don’t feel overwhelmed with it anymore.

    My website is actually a secret method I’m trying out, too(writing/editing on a deadline). It’s a serial story of 500-1000 word parts that I update weekly, which has gotten me more used to editing, too.

    As for why I haven’t published my novels, I’m not really big on self publishing. It can be fun, but overall it’s not the type of thing I’d like to do for my novels. I am actually going to fix up my serial story and have it up for eBook and small books through Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Google’s new thing, and maybe the Apple store, but I feel like that’s more for marketing purposes since I’m kind of already giving away the content for free on my site =P

    I’m just not a huge fan of self publishing for fiction(the amount of successes is minuscule to the amount of flops, and if you do it I feel you need an alternate reason besides just having it for sale). Self publishing for non-fiction can be really great, though.

    I’ve rambled a bit, but that’s my take on it all. Hope it wasn’t too unwieldy to read.

    1. You know, I recently read On Writing and I acted on that particular advice for my short stories. I actually enjoyed it, but I could see things being quite different when you’re talking about a novel that’s at least several hundred pages long.

      Right now, one of my biggest issues is my internal editor. He keeps blocking the doorway during the initial draft. I have such a hard time letting the words put themselves on the page as I’m afraid it will be a bunch of nonsense. And so I find it takes me way too long to crank out even 500 words. I’m practicing every morning now, forcing myself to just type words. Keep my fingers moving… I think it’s helping as my daily word count has gone up and I’m finding the finished product to be a little more cohesive each time, but I’m still working at it.

      I can see your point about self-publishing. It’s such a huge debate right now with a lot of different aspects to look at and neither self-publishing nor traditional is a one-size-fits-all solution. I put up some of my stories on Smashwords (distributed to other stores – iTunes, B&N, etc.) for free just to get my name out there and receive more feedback. I’ve only had them up for a month, but I’ve received a couple of reviews already from people who probably would have never found my blog. It’s so convenient now to just download stories straight to your e-reader and makes the review process a bit more painless.

      I’m following your website now. It’s a very interesting idea and I look forward to reading!

  3. Glad you decided to finally overcome yourself and get started! It’s so easy to say “I can’t”, so empowering to say, “I am”, and so satisfying to say “I did.”

    It can certainly be daunting, but it also slowly turns into an adventure as you write. Your characters will magically change and take on personalities of their own. It’s kind of awesome.

    Setting a deadline is good. It might also help to set little goals. Either daily word counts or “I’ll have chapter X done by X” and really hold yourself to it. It also helps to bring in a third party, who can guilt you into staying on task 🙂

    All writers are different, but I find I can easily do ~1000 words an hour when I’m in the swing of things. It’s not amazing prose, but if the idea is to get the draft down, it’s a pretty good clip. Based on my loose timing, I put about 87 hours in 85,000 words for my NaNo novel.

    I agree with tscerys; editing is the tough part. A lot of writers have a hard time seeing past their own creations. My best advice is to give yourself some time away from the draft (a week, a month). Distance brings perspective.

    But either way, enjoy it! It’s fun to see your ideas come to life. Let me know if you’d like any third party input, I’d be happy to help review (you can find my email on my blog).

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Oliver! It’s amazing how good us humans are at coming up with excuses. We become victims so easily. A belated congratulations to you as well on getting those 85,000 words down. A number like that seems so far away, but I try to remind myself… don’t focus on that, focus on what you can complete today.

      I’ll definitely keep you in mind when it comes to review time, appreciate the offer!

  4. Are you reading this reply? Tsk tsk, shouldn’t you be writing?

    Really though, I think it’s awesome that you’ve given yourself a deadline. I’ll admit that one month is very tight for the first draft. For my YA (which I’m shooting for 50k in 20 chapters) I’ve manage 2 chapters a week. I started at the beginning of the year and still have 8 chapters to go. If you do the math, you can probably see I’ve even missed a few of those deadlines.

    With that said, try and stick to it but I hope you don’t become discouraged if you are not able to reach it. At this point, the best thing you can do is just write on it every day.

    1. Haha. Yes, I should most certainly be writing. I’ve already had my first curve ball thrown at me as my wife just had some medical work done on her knees and I’m playing nurse. But I’m trying not to let it deter my writing… just adjusting my daily schedule!

      Thank you for the encouragement. It’s great to hear from folks like you who have worked through their own projects and are making such good progress.

  5. I’m glad for you. Go for it and keep us updated!

  6. […] just can’t seem to write in such a linear fashion. Also, based on the experiences of previous commenters, my dates are looking more and more unrealistic.  But, I’m okay with these things. The […]

  7. […] you remember that little schedule I posted about a month ago? Well, the early dates have come and gone, but I have not forgotten the […]

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