It’s been 21 days since I started writing this book and I thought it was a good time to share some of what I’ve learned.
1. Setting the right word limit is important – One reason I failed the last time was setting too ambitious a goal. I wanted to do 15000 words a week or a little over 2000 a day. That would have been OK if writing was my full time gig, but writing on just the evenings, it proved to be too much. I kept falling farther and farther behind till I had 5000 words a day to do on the weekend. That didn’t happen. This time around my goal is 1000 words/day and, so far, it has worked admirably. *crosses fingers*.
2. I need to do a better outline for the novel – I work best when I let the story define itself as I write. That doesn’t work as well for a mystery novel which is what I am writing currently. I had a rough outline when I started, including who and why. I also had a bit of the how, but as I wrote I started to realize the plot holes and spent some time fixing those. Once I notice a plot hole, I have to fix it immediately even if the chapter I’m writing right now is not affected. This got a little annoying on some days when I took as much as an hour to get started on the writing as I shuffled the plotline around in my head. Lesson learned. Do a better job of working out the plot before I start.
3. Don’t let the lack of a name stop you – I still don’t have names for my two main characters or a title for the book and I’m nearly halfway done. Use a placeholder to get started. This is the opposite experience from my last two novels where I had the titles and names first but just got stuck along the way.
4. Don’t edit as you write – Unless it works for you, in which case have at it. But if you have trouble finishing a book, keep moving forward and don’t look back. Don’t stop to edit even if your story has changed. It’s easy to get stuck editing and lose the momentum you have.
Word Count: 1110 (23127)