Monday, July 22, 2013

Writing a novel in two months (or six, but still writing)




Last month, Larry Correia, a man I admire as a friend, writer, and force for common sense, posted that he finished a novel in 2 months: 75,000 words despite what some of us would consider huge setbacks in our time and energy.  And if you don't know Larry's work, he's a multiple NYT best seller of the Monster Hunter series and the Hard Magic series, published by BAEN.  He recently retired from his job to write full time.  I've no doubt that the book is excellent.

It's my new kick in the butt.

Think about it:  75,000 words in 61 days is ONLY 1230 words a day.  1230! That's perhaps two blogs or a day's worth of silliness on FB, Twitter and Google +.    I write 500-750 an hour longhand; more when typing.  How fast do you write?  Even if you only spent an hour each day--four 15-minute sessions!--you'd have 15,000 words--that's a novella, or a novel in six months. That's an episode of sitcoms of reality TV--or for that matter, how much time are you spending on Facebook's Plants vs. Zombies?

Look how it adds up.  You don't have to spend all day slaving at the keyboard, day after day, drudge, drudge, drudge, to make an impact.  1230 words--BAM!  Next novel out of the hopper and ready for crits.  Play the heavy metal bagpipes!

Here's what Larry said about this on my Facebook page:

It is like I tell people, there are only 2 steps to becoming a successful professional writer. 1. Practice until people will give you money for your stuff. 2. Find the people who will give you money for your stuff.

Producing actual stuff helps satisfy both criteria, as the more you write, the faster you'll be able to write, and the more you write, the more you'll be able to sell. It is just like any other job where when you first start out you don't really know what you're doing, so you put in the time and effort to practice. I can write 3-5k words a day in a good work day, and I've done 10k+ many times. (my record is 16k). But the thing is, I'm doing this for a living and I treat it like my career. When I started out I was doing way way less per day. But like any other job, the more you doit, the easier it becomes. In this case, scenes that I used to struggle with and slave over, I've written so many now that I just bang them out because I know what I'm doing.

Basically what I'm trying to say to everybody is that it really does get easier the more you do it. My personal goal is 10k a week average all year. So some weeks more, some weeks less, but even with editing, tours, days off, etc. I've got to write half a million sellable words a year.

So, no more excuses for me.  I'm putting a post-it on my computer:  WWLD?  1230 When I feel like playing a game of spider solitaire or think I'm too busy or tired, I'm going to look at that paper and get my words out!

1 comment:

Prasant Saxsena said...

According to me 1250 words per day is not a big deal. Yes!! struggle with things and slave over it.

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