Novel Writing Overdrive!

I’ve just been reminded that I need to have my novel for the Novel Workshop in October done by September 10th.  Glancing at the calendar, that’s really not very far away at all. Meep.

This wouldn’t be nearly as much of an issue as it seems like if I’d finished the novel I am currently working on (which is very nearly done, I’m over the middle hump but desperately trying to figure out how to make it long enough).  See, I don’t want to workshop *this* novel in October.  I want to workshop the one I intend to write after the current novel.

You know, that novel that I haven’t even started yet.  Oh, I have characters outlined, and a rough idea of what happens. And sort of the setting.  And I did some research, if you can call reading a few westerns and watching Deadwood and Silverado again “research”.  But hey! Who doesn’t love a challenge, right?

So it is time to go into novel writing OVERDRIVE!  You know, that magical “extra” gear that really tough people are supposed to have. Or race cars, or something.  Counting prior social obligations and leaving Saturdays free for “hi, still married” time, I have exactly twenty one writing days until September 10th.  21. Days. That’s like three weeks. Awesome.

Not a problem. Right?  So my goal will be five thousand 6250 words a day on each of those twenty one days.  This pace should give me two finished novels.  At least if I totally fail it I have the first finished novel as my back-up for the workshop.  But I’m not going to fail.  Even with a pinched nerve in my shoulder, I can probably find 4-5 6-7 hours a day for twenty one days to you know, do my job.  (I was almost at this pace before Starcraft 2 pwned my life).

And the plus side is that will leave me with the 10th through the 30th to actually write something for WotF fourth quarter.

Well, time to put the writing into overdrive.  Just think of it as my writer-fu leveling up. A lot.

Into the Dark

All right.  The (final, maybe? hopefully?) outline of Dangerous is done.  I’ve tweaked it as much as I can without actually starting to write the damn thing.  Writing begins tomorrow.  I’m terrified.  However, I can already see the shape of things to come.  Even the outline has more tension and peril than the rough draft.  I’ve removed extraneous plot bits and jammed it full of character conflict.  Will it be enough to make a story I like out of this mess?  No way to tell except to write and see what happens.

By my calculations I need to write about 6 pages a day to have the novel done by the time classes start.  I’d like to have a draft I can hand to people by then.  I’m not sure how feasible having a manuscript worthy of trying to sell by December is at this point, but I’ve got nothing to lose in trying to get it done.  Hopefully if my readers can get me comments within a month (and if the novel isn’t totally broken again), I can power through some mad editing and get a semblance of a decent book ready for queries.  It’s bad that I still don’t have any idea how I’d sum up the plot in a couple sentences, isn’t it?  Oh well, maybe by end of this draft I’ll have that nailed.  And a decent title.  Because “Dangerous” is a stupid title.  I suppose I could call it “Casimir” (the name of the city it takes place in) or some variation on that.  “Casimir Conflict”?  “Casimir Hypogean”?  I don’t know.  Any ideas?

I’m aiming for 18 pages this week, then 30 each week after.  And I’m taking weekends off, damnit. I will not burn out.  This is do or die time now.  It’s unlikely I’m ever going to have as much free time ever again as I do now.  Plus it will give me a decent feel for how well this whole writing for a living thing might work someday if I’m fortunate (and persistent) enough to be able to do it full time.