On the Subject of Writing
Posted by Doug on May 11, 2010
I’ve been working on my novel (working title: The Mecha Monogatari: Twilight of the Fierce God) since April 22, a mere twenty days, but I’ve been making respectable progress, I think. Writing a novel with a length in the tens of thousands of words, seems like a pretty daunting task, and it is. But ever since completing the National Novel Writing Month challenge in November 2009 (which resulted in my first more-or-less complete novel, Hecatonchires), I knew I could do it. After all, I wrote fifty-seven thousand words in twenty-three days. All I needed to do was have a concrete goal.
Thus, on the 22nd of April, I set myself a goal: I would write at least one thousand words a day, to a total of at least sixty thousand words. Twenty days in, I am ahead of schedule, with, at last count, 24,482 words written. Sixty thousand words seems like an impossible goal, but one thousand is trivial. I can crank that out in an hour or two. It’s actually too easy–I’ve since upped my daily word quota to 1,500 words per day (I’m hoping to up the pace to 2,000+ words per day before too long, to get into the groove well before NaNoWriMo 2010 kicks off. I’m definitely participating again this year).
Of course, writing a lot doesn’t mean I’m writing well. To be honest, Hecatonchires is a laughably poor work. But then again, quantity has a quality all of its own, and you can’t get to the revision phase of novel writing if you can’t get the novel written in the first place, and so, I write. By mid-June, I should have the rough draft of my novel finished, and then I’m going to start revising it, editing out the terrible parts, cleaning up the iffy bits, fixing spelling and grammar errors, double-checking my research, the works. By the end of July, I’m hoping to have The Mecha Monogatari: Twilight of the Fierce God published in e-book format through Smashwords. I’ve already got an account on Smashwords mostly set up (my author profile page is pretty sparse), ready and waiting.
I’m under no delusions that I’m going to make any significant sum, but then again, who knows? If I put a $4.95 price tag on my novel, and if even only a hundred copies sell, after Smashwords gets their fair share, that still leaves me with over $400. A rather modest daydream, admittedly. That’s not much, but then again, writing is something I enjoy. Actually making some money off the endeavor would just be icing on the proverbial cake. With $400, I could afford some pretty nice upgrades for Hitagi (she deserves it–the novel would just be random thoughts floating around in my head without her to type it up on). I’m really looking at swapping out her 2.6 gigahertz quad-core for one of AMD’s new 3.2 gigahertz six-core processors and maybe adding some water-cooling…ah, and the voice in the back of my head is saying something about counting chickens before they hatch.
And with that, I return to my writing.