Over the past two years, I have participated in National Novel Writing Month, which involves writing a 50,000 word novel during the 30 days of November. This is roughly 1700 words a day. I didn’t find the process all that challenging, but I have a big advantage there: I did not need to squeeze my writing around another job. I just took on slightly fewer professional writing projects during November, and carved out 60-90 minutes daily to write what I had to write.
A key component of NaNoWriMo (as the kids call it these days) is that the novel need not be good. It can be downright awful. I obliged! But I actually want to do something with the novel draft I wrote in November 2015 (ideally, publishing it by the end of 2017).
So, I am doing a twist on NaNoWriMo. I am committing to edit my manuscript intensely for at least 90 minutes daily during November. At the end of the month, I want something I could actually get reader feedback on.
We are only one day into November, but so far so good. I got through the first 6000 words, roughly (the manuscript is 60k words — I suspect it will be about 75-80k when I am done). Of course, I knew as I was flying through that segment that these were probably the best 6000 words in the novel. The lifting will get much heavier as I go. There are whole chunks that have notes like SOMETHING BIG HAPPENS HERE. I should probably figure out what those crucial plot points should be.
In any case, if any readers are participating in NaNoWriMo, I would love to hear about it! And if you want an accountability partner to keep you going, let me know. As always, you can reach me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.
In other news: Interested in my fiction? Please check out my novel, The Cortlandt Boys, which is available as an ebook from Amazon, BN.com and elsewhere. It is not about productivity. It is about a high school boys basketball team that wins the state championship on an unlikely, last second 3-point shot, then sees the ramifications of that lucky break play out over the next two decades, forever linking them to their little town that has its ways of refusing to let you go. That said, if you read my time management books and liked my writing style, the novel is by far the best thing I have ever written. Thanks for giving it a read.