Sunrise on a run

Sunrise on a run

Friday, August 02, 2013

Give me seven years and I'll give you the novel

So I've spent the last month participating in Campnanowrimo.  The premise is simple: you set a target and write.  The default target for the month is 50,000 words, I decided to move the goal posts to 30,000 and finally 10,000.  In the end I was a little short of 10,000 but I had 9,500 words of story with a strong feel for where it will go.

Having spent the past year doing an OU module on creative writing, it was good to be able to put what I've learned into practice.  I've not written that many words on one particular story so that's a first for a start.  I'm minded to continue into August and aim for another 10,000.

There's many different ways of skinning a cat:

10,000 words a month = 326 words a day
32 train journeys to and from work in a month (2 a day in 16 days) = 313 words per train journey = 626 words a day
9 evenings when Mr S is away = 1,111 words an evening
9 weekend days in August = 1,111 per day

Theoretically: 32 train journeys plus 9 evenings plus 9 weekend days = 30,000 words in a month.  Put like that (although a need a whizzy app and some graphics knowledge to turn it into an infographic) 10,000 words is a third of what I could theoretically write.  In fact, there's a bank holiday and I have a week's annual leave, giving me another 6 weekend days.  That's another 6,666 words (somehow fitting as Mr S is off to see Iron Maiden this weekend).  That and a stag do he's going to are another 2 evenings to write: 2,222 words.  So that's another 8,888 words - approaching 40,000 now!  

Now in reality, we will be out on day trips at the weekend, or at home building cardboard castles with the girls.  Then there's time spent exercising (ideally 1 run, 2 circuits sessions and some yoga), time spent doing paperwork and other domestic activities.  Additionally we are chicken-sitting for two sets of neighbours over the next few weeks.  Oh and of course time [wasted] on Facebook, Candy crush and general internet browsing, reading of books and writing this blog.

Then there's the writing process.  I'm tending to find it easier to write in longhand and then type up in the evening.  It's more comfortable than typing reams on the iPad and helps with the process of creative refinement.  

But what it boils down to is that there is time to write 10,000 words in a month. Joseph Heller took 7 years to write Catch 22.  Now my attempt at a pre-draft is nowhere near Catch 22's league of sheer geniusness but let's assume that Catch 22 is 50,000 words.  That's 7,143 words a year. Infographic anyone?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


george said...

Or best of all - give up your day job and write full time. Failproof.

Jane Wilby-Palmer said...

I find loss of sleep helps... Until you need one big sleep to catch up! I get loads done when the other half is away too! :-)