first heard about National Novel Writing Month last year, just as it was heading into full swing. At the time, I was already in the middle of working on a short story and didn't feel good about putting it down to work on something longer. I skipped last year but hatched a cunning plan instead. I would train for next year's event, and be completely prepared for some serious novel writing action.
Sometime in Spring, I was struck with a new mythological fantasy story, and decided to come up with a writing plan that I could use to keep me focused and prepare me for the weeks of NaNoWriMo. It was time for some calculations, 50,000 words divided by four would make up 12,500 words. I picked four because most months have four weeks in them. So if I could reach a goal of 12,500 words a week, I could finish a novel in time for NaNoWriMo.
OK, so the next task is to figure out how much I could write - while focused. I do most of my writing after dinner and before bed with some on the weekends. This means about three hours a night for three nights with about three hours on the weekend. OK, total of 12 hours a week. So to meet my goal of writing 12500 words a week, I would need to write about 1042 words an hour. Meaning each day I should write 3,126 words. Isn't math fun!
Since this was just training, I figured to start off with something a little lighter. and cut it down to 2,500 words a day for a grand total of 10,000 words a week. And with this schedule in mind I started my training montage using my new novel idea (cue: "You're the Best Around" from the "Karate Kid").
I wrote up a page outlining my writing commitments for the novel. The first was for the word count of 2,500 words. The second was for a limit of internet time (since my writing days are also the days I update my blog and do some surfing) to half an hour at the most! I printed this up and put it on the wall to the left of my monitor. It's there staring at me and actually helped me stay focused.
Did it work? Stop by for my next blog to see if I was able to meet my goal and how my first draft turned out.