Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A challenge to myself

Can I write a novel in two weeks?

Not a full length novel, I hasten to add, but an idea that has been bubbling away somewhere in the recesses of my brain for a year or more. It's more of a dark YA idea, very different to what I usually write, and it would probably end up at around 50,000 words, a NaNoWriMo kind of novel. To be honest, I probably need to get it out of my system, whether it ever has a hope of publication or not.

But two weeks?

Today I started it and managed 3646 words, in wonderfully short, snappy chapters. My calculator tells me that if I write that many words for 14 days, then I will get to 51,000 words.

Hmmm. I might run a sweepstake with myself.


Blogger Calistro said...

Wow! That's some challenge! Apparently "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho was written in 2 weeks and there's a vague memory in my head telling me that some long-dead author wrote a novel in 2 weeks when he was in prison/hospital for some disease. You'd definitely be raising the gold cup in the Novel Racers race if you manage it. Good luck!

8:08 pm  
Blogger Cynthia Reese said...

Hi, Kate ... I'm a novelist myself, and I found your post as I was googling WIP meters to keep fire under my lazy, no-good-for-nothin' muse. I am a firm believer in NaNoWriMo.

By strange co-incidence on Sunday, I cranked out just over 3500 words on my WIP.

My total wordcount so far is 8,620 as of now. If I can do ten pages a day (2500 words a day), I can get the rough draft of my novel done by August 18.

How about we do a challenge? That by August 18, you'll have your 50K done, and I'll have my 80K done?

10:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't speak from experience, never having tried NaNoWriMo, but from what I've seen so far, I don't think I'm a believer. I'm sure it's great writing exercise but other than that I don't see how anything that's essentially rushed is likely to be good enough to publish. I speak for myself, of course, as I have little natural talent and have to work very hard at my writing.

I draw a parallel between this sort of thing and speed rock climbing. Getting to the top is the challenge but doing it faster at the risk of safety seems pointless.

Is there some other external driving force behind your speed-writing challenge, or is it just for fun? In any case, I wish you good luck with it.

9:39 am  
Blogger Lucy Diamond said...

Bloody hell, that's some challenge! If anyone can do it, though, it's you, Wordgirl... Good luck! x

11:18 am  
Blogger Cynthia Reese said...

Captain Black, there's no way freakin' way that a novel churned out that quickly will be ready to be published. Note that I said I would be finished with my rough draft.

I find that if I write my rough draft quickly, my internal editor has less of a chance to get its evil claws in my psyche. Then I let my internal editor out to play once the rough draft is done.

And Kate ... I'm still waiting to see if you'll take up the gauntlet! :-)

2:10 pm  
Blogger Kate said...

Thanks for the comments, guy and gals. Calistro, hmmm: I've never felt the desire to read The Alchemist but it's certainly done him no harm! Captain, you ask if there's a particular external driving force and, yes, there are a few things in play...Just started scribbling them and then decided to do a separate post.

Cynthia, you're suggesting the kinda thing we did when we started over at Novel Racers. I would be up for checking in with you though for other reasons I need to do this probably sooner than the 18 but that's a good start. Will pop to your blog anon!

Lucy, it could be a step too far! Let's see...

Kate x

4:11 pm  
Blogger Cynthia Reese said...

Kate, if you have popped over to my poor blog, you will see it's completely deserted ... but I will blog now about our challenge!

10:40 pm  

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