Thursday, March 3, 2011

Trying To Write A Novel In 20 Days (Or Under)

The novel I'm currently submitting to agents (The Dying Process/Confessions of an Immortal Heart) took a total of 6-8 years or so to write, edit, find people to read, to take a break from and live life for awhile, re-read, write an appropriate end. I can't really remember exactly the year I started it (my journal is in my storage unit in Maine), but I know it was in high school.

Some Quick Math:
It took four years to graduate college.
It's been almost a year since I've been out of college.
I did not start that novel my senior year. 
So...I'm gonna say it's anywhere from 6-8 years of progress.

So I've been editing Confessions of an Immortal Heart/The Dying Process like it's my job (which it's not by the way. I have a full time job through Kitty Hawk Kites). While Tammy was finishing up edits/reading for me I myself got sick of it (which happens when you've nearly memorized every line, to the point that someone could say to me "You have a spelling error in this sentence: ' _______'" and I could recite the sentences before/after and go directly to the page to fix said error. Yea, I had been eating and breathing that novel....) So, I decided to wait for Tammy to finish up so I could take some time away then finish up as well.

Moral of the story: I feel like that was WAYYYYY too long to finish (mainly because I kept not having a suitable end, which I do now). Now, I want to kick it up a notch (and actually try something most people have said is crazy, or crazy awesome.)

But then I wondered....what to do with my spare time?

At AWP one of the panelists said "Just keep writing. It's the best thing you can do." So, taking that advice, I started writing something that's been going through my head a lot  (this was last Thursday).

Day 1--I wrote 6 pages before deciding to call it a night.
Day 2--I wrote over 12 pages.
Day 3--Wrote all day where I was able. Stayed up til 2am without tiring. It was this day I decided to set a goal:

Write 10 pages a day/night. 

Why? Because 10 seems like a reasonable number. And because my first novel is 210 pages. And because at a pace of 10 pages a day, I'd end up with a novel by around March 14th (right now I stopped last night at page 81, and will be picking up when I'm done with this blog.) And because I think it'd be cool to say, "I just wrote my second 20 days. Care to read/edit it?" (Okay, sort of kidding. After it's written, I would edit it myself....and then ask for readers :) )

Therefore, it's official. I am trying to write an approximately 200 page novel in 20 days or under. Thankfully, I have two days off a week if I don't meet my goal or if something comes up.

Wish me luck!


  1. Just saying I wish i had your ability to crank out pages. Whenever i try to write it usually results in me staring at one page for 4 hours (which is the same time it takes you to write 10!) Keep up the insane pace, I'm looking forward to reading your next novel.

  2. Reading starts today. I will start it and print it tomorrow. I will have one of the first hard copies. Excited to see more from you. I will let you know what I think of it when I finish. Glad to see you found something you are good at.


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