Pretty good actually! I love being able to say that.
I’ve now written about 25,000 words, which is just under a third of the 80,000 I’m aiming for. I know that realistically not all of these words will make the final cut, but I consider it a damn good start seeing how challenging I’ve found getting the writing off the ground.
My self-help book/memoir Become the Best You is only 20,000 words in its entirety, but a novel is different. In the self-help world the fewer words the better, people want you to get STRAIGHT TO THE POINT. For a novel, you need to set the scene and paint the picture, and make the reader feel as though they are right there in that moment. Writing the fluff that fills up pages, yet isn’t going to have the reader rolling their eyes and skimming onto the next paragraph is a real art form. It’s one I’m learning to embrace, but it doesn’t come naturally!
When I was piecing together the snippets I’d already written a few weeks ago, I was surprised to learn that I wrote the first chapter way back in April last year. Friday the 13th was originally a short story, which meant it had to have a distinct start, middle and end. I can’t remember why I decided to develop it, and attempt to turn it into an actual book, but I’m glad I did. I’m really enjoying writing fiction, delving into my protagonist’s mind and making up a world that bears similarities to my own, but is completely different in many respects.
Mapping out the story on index cards was a great move, and means that my half an hour here, hour there writing sessions are much more focussed because I roughly know what I’d like to say beforehand. I’ve also given every single character (even the ones who are only in the book for a few pages) an identity, which has made them feel much more real than they did previously.
I’ve been concentrating on a chapter at a time, not necessarily in order of where it comes in the book, and I don’t move on until I’ve written at least 2000 words. Some chapters have taken a couple of days to write, others a week or more. Each time I go back to it, I look for errors and give it a quick edit. By doing this I hope to have less editing to do when I go through the novel as a whole, but that of course remains to be seen. I’m not sure this is the most efficient way of writing a book, but it’s definitely working for me, and that’s what counts.
I’m aiming to have a first draft completed by my birthday at the end of July, but knowing how much life can get in the way, I won’t be piling unnecessary pressure onto myself.
**This blog has been written for what I’m writing, feels good to be back 🙂