Saturday, September 1, 2012

How to Write Book in a Month

Unfortunately, I can't accomplish the title of this posting. I've tried twice now, and failed both times. At least I'm consistent, right? At least for the second failure I reached the wordcount goal.

Part of the reason I haven't updated this blog in a while is that I was preparing for (and then participating in) National Novel Writing Month's two summer events.

In June and August, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) host Camp Nano. The goal is the same as in November. You're supposed to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days or less. In August you get 31 days... but that felt like cheating, so I finished up on August 30th.

In June, I failed to reach 50,000 words. I got to about 8,000, and then life happened, the way it sometimes does. You realize you need to do certain things (such as work, sleep, exercise, and eat), that interfere with attaining a productive wordcount, and before you know it, you're so far behind that there is no way to catch up by the end of the month.

That novel was about telepaths, and at least June's Camp Nano gave me a good start on it. When I return to that project, I will have a solid platform from which to continue.

In August, I reached 50,000 words. (Actually, it was 50,023, but who's counting?) This novel is nowhere near complete... and it's just the first in what I'm picturing as a trilogy. Think Supernatural meets Van Helsing, with a dash of the Kitty the Werewolf series. Add Amazons, the pressures of court intrigue, and a coming-of-age story, and maybe you'll begin to appreciate why 50,000 words isn't long enough. The book's working title is "Hell Hath no Fury Like an Amazon Scorned".

The main difference between my June Camp Nano experience and August's success was that I wrote with a higher level of consistency. I tried to write every day, but when that failed, I consistently made myself write more the next day. One day, I even wrote 4,000 words, which is a personal best for me in these writing events. I've heard about people who had 6,000-word days. That's an accomplishment I applaud, but hope never to duplicate.

The posting below this one is all about the trait that helped me reach my wordcount goal this past month... consistency. Have fun with it, and keep writing!

Prompt: Consistency is Everything

As promised in the post above, here is a writing prompt!


He could forgive anything except inconsistency. In the course of his long career, he had seen people who were phenomenal at their complex tasks and others who struggled to accomplish even the most basic of assignments.

However he didn't begrudge the less talented workers nearly as much as he despised the ones who were inconsistent. At least he knew what to expect from the consistent ones, whether their standards leaned toward accomplishment or toward failure.

"Sir," one of his more menial employees rapped lightly on the doorjamb and then spoke. "Sir, they're ready for launch..."