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Writing A Novel In 90 Days

A while back, one of my friends, Elizabeth Bear, aka matociquala, started a community called Novel in 90 over on LiveJournal to help another writer get on task with a project. The goal was to write 3 pages a day for 90 days and complete ''a novel-length manuscript in a reasonable time, under real-life conditions."

There are now 90 days, counting today, until the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, Ohio. Ideally, I want to knock out more than 3 pages/750 words a day, which is a short novel of 67,500 words. So far, I'm two chapters and 25 pages into the current draft. I've mapped out the next several chapters and I have a pretty good idea on what's going to happen throughout the rest of the book after these set up the action/reaction between characters as they respond to events. I've got love and obsession, as well as murder and revenge to put into words. And then there's the resurrection of a death goddess. All of which should add up to more than 67k if I sit down and do the work. I can't think of better examples to follow than Bear or Charlie Finlay / ccfinlay (mentioned in my first WordPress post back on July 16) when I comes down to planting your butt in a chair.

Call this a death march. Call this novel in 90. Call it gorgonzola if that's how you want to describe the creative process. The name doesn't matter ... heck, the title doesn't matter, as the book has a new working title and I don't think of it as Sacrifices any longer. Names and titles are only boxes my mind uses to arrange my thoughts and ideas. As long as I keep moving forward, all is well.

Hopefully, all this musing about the writing process will help me write the next novel, though I agree with the notion that each novel is its own unique entity.

So, call this Day One of 90.

Project: Sacrifices / Into Dust Descend
Total Word Count: 6,250
Target Word Count: 90,000 to 100,000
Deadline: October 27, 2010

Snippet: Confession is good for the soul, but a lack of conscience works wonders.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 30th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
If one could treat writing a novel like a day job--a 40 hour week--a finished novel would certainly be attainable. Too bad we all can't have that day job--would be sweet!
Jul. 30th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
It's one of those jobs where you have to succeed at it first to get it. :-)
Jul. 30th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
Truthfully, I think it just takes a lot of dedication, whether it's your day job or not. I was reading the introduction to the 20th anniversary edition of Dan Simmons' Carrion Comfort and he noted how he worked 80-100 hours at his day job while writing the book at the same time.

It's always remarkable what people can achieve when they apply themselves.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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