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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Weekly Writing Update: NaNoWriMo-ing; The Great Experiment, and a New Tool (treadmill desk)

I am not officially signed up for NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month) as are 280,000 other writers this year, but I am essentially NaNoWriMo-ing.


This month is also, for me, The Great Experiment. I hope to write 40,000 words in November. I have never been this disciplined before. What this means is that I really am turning my writing into a full-time job this month. No trip to Arizona. No trip to Western Washington to visit hubby's mother; hubby will be going alone. I do plan to host Thanksgiving for the extended family. That will be serving dinner for 20-25 people--and they will help with it--but I'm not worrying about that right now.    

At the beginning of the week, when I unofficially began NaNo, I had written 30,000 words of the 72,000-75,000 word manuscript, plus 20,000 words' worth of notes. If all goes well, I will have a completed draft by the end of November, and then I can take a month to revise it. It will already be highly focused (due to the 20,000 words' worth of notes), and so revision should look more like editing, rather than true re-envisioning. That's because I have already re-envisioned the story (my notes!) three or four times and have come up with better ideas for scenes with each successive pass.

Pansters say they hate to plan, because they don't want to be boxed in. I am a thorough planner, and by the time I sit down to write, there won't be many big surprises or changes. Because I have already allowed myself, as I passed through the story 3-4 times, to try out different possibilities. The final quarter of my book has already seen three or four different ending possibilities that provoke the characters' final paradigm shifts so that they can end the story as different people.

Anyhew, if I can complete the draft by November 30, I will know that I can write a full manuscript in about six weeks. My next Great Experiment, on my next novel, will be to chart how long it takes me to plan a book in the first place. I began planning my current book while I was working full time. When I was writing, I was spending 99% of my writing time on a YA manuscript. I really have no idea how long it will take to plan a novel, now that I am not working full time outside the home, and I am not working on something else. I suspect I could do it in two-three weeks' worth of concerted planning.

That's saying I could conceivably plan, write and revise a novel in four months, even giving myself a tad bit of wiggle room. This information is something every writer needs to have a handle on, because once we are contracted, we will have deadlines and production schedules. The line I am targeting would love to see their authors write two to four books a year. It's how their authors make more money, get more exposure, and move to the head of the line with that publisher.

I don't know that I am that ambitious. Two books a year sounds about as much as I would ever want to write. I would also like to have a life . . . traveling, spending time with family and friends, scrapbooking, gardening . . .

But I do need to know what I am capable of.

I also have a new tool, which you saw in the picture above, and below. 



I mentioned a couple of months ago that I had bought a treadmill desk through Amazon. An inch of snow currently blankets the ground, so hubby put it together on Monday. Its home is in our basement. 

I love it! It's sturdy, and the table top is deep and broad enough for anything I might like to put on it. Such as my laptop, of course, but there is also room for a notebook, books and/or other essentials. 


Do you know reliably how long it takes you to plan, write and revise a manuscript? Keep in mind that you will need to have a firm grasp of the answer, once you have signed a contract with a publisher. They expect you to meet their deadlines! 

  

4 comments:

  1. Continued success with your plan.
    Sounds like you are on the right track.

    Love the treadmill desk!

    M :)

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  2. Ah… A treadmill desk … that is what I need, seeing as I am not doing any walking and very little writing :(

    40,000 words is a great goal, and I know that you will succeed!

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  3. Good luck with your NaNoWriMo project. I started one year, but couldn't keep up with it. Let us know how it turns out.

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  4. Ooh....love the new desk!Hoping my hubby can do something similar :)

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