Writing a Book…in a Month?

I’ve been itching to get started on my next book, but I’m holding off until National Novel Writing Month officially begins this November 1. I read in the rules that writers are allowed to already have a book started—as long as the words you’re putting toward your NaNo word count of 50,000 words are new, not previously written words. I initially considered starting ahead of time, but I want to be a purist about it, so I’ll be starting on the first.

For me, this is going to be an experiment in seeing what’s possible. I want to know what I’m capable of if I put it out on the interwebs that I’m going to do it. So, I’m gunning to write more than 50,000 words. Yup. I’m that kind of loca. I’m aiming to write the entire first draft of 80K words. That’s 2667 words a day. A tall order, but I’m not going to stop for edits or re-writes. I’m just going to plunge forward, word after word. 

The reason is that I’m looking for the absurd, especially if I want to make this book funnier than the last. Through timed writing sprints of 15 or 25 minutes, I want to force myself to write down whatever comes to mind, without interrupting that creative flow with concerns of writing something perfect. I’ll be doing eight to ten writing sprints throughout the day, ideally two in an hour with a five-minute break in between.  

I’ve already plotted out my novel, along with a scene list. At this point, I’m still missing a few scenes to fill up the whole book, but I won’t be too worried about not having those going in. I’m not married to my plot, and from what I’ve heard, many authors aren’t. Often as you write more of a book, you might have to change a few plot points and even characters to push the story along and make it work. Sometimes you need to start fleshing out your story first, in order to see where it’s heading.

My guess is if I do end up finishing my first draft, it might be 5 to 10K words short of a standard 80K word novel, and that’s okay. What’s most important to me is that I’ll have written the main story. Then I get to go back and fill in the rest, which, to me, is the super fun part because that’s where I get to make things juicy and entertaining.

I don’t have a standard day job that I have to report to since I trade in the stock markets. Most of the time in trading, it’s a waiting game. I’m either waiting for the market to finish a reversal and stabilize (like right now), or I’m waiting for a trade to either set up or hit my price target. It’s during those down times that I’m writing or doing laundry or cleaning the house. So unless something like a days-long power outage happens to slow me down (which is highly possible here in Costa Rica), I plan to write this book by November 30!

Book 2, I’m ready to write you!

Author: Donna Fernandez

Author of contemporary fiction.