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Novella Bootcamp

This weekend I'm trying a self-imposed novel bootcamp to write a novella in a weekend.

This weekend, I am doing something I've been wanting to do for a long time. I'm going to go into overdrive (or overwrite?) and exceed 10,000 words a day for three days in a row. That's right - 30,000 words in a weekend!

The closest I've ever gotten is about 6,000 words a day for a few days and that was when I was close to the end of a novel. Once I get to the two-thirds mark of a novel, I generally have the novel envisioned and can dash to the finish line with an extra rush of motivation. This is different.

This time, I'm going to try to write a full novella in a weekend. Sure, it will need rewriting, editing and a lot of TLC before it can be shaped into anything worthy of reading. Still, it will be on paper. As most writers know, on paper is better than in the mind - just like done is better than perfect.

Here's what I've heard is needed to make the 3 day deadline:

1. Have an outline ready.

I have an outline for a series of novellas. I've spent a little time here and there for about a month figuring out the series. It's a cozy mystery set in a small, fictional town in the USA. Although this one has no paranormal elements, it is a fun premise with a fearless female sleuth. I don't want to give too much away until it's written - especially since anything is changeable until its on paper.

2. Get up early.

I'll have to get the coffee brewing by 5am and I might just stay in my pajamas all day because who has time to get dressed when there's so much work to do? Don't worry, I'll still take time for personal hygiene and sleep - it's a literary bootcamp not a literal one after all. But it's up and at 'em at 5am each morning if I can do it.

3. Aim to get the book done in thirds.

I created a clear stopping point for each day. That way I can tackle the beginning (the crime and the suspects' introductions) on the first day. The second day, I'll try for the rising action up to the point of the sleuth uncovering what she thinks is the murder plot. The third day she'll confront the culprit - if it is the culprit - and ultimately she'll solve the crime.

4. Keep track of word count.

My goal is 1,000 words an hour for a 10 hour workday starting at 5am and ending at 4pm (plus an hour for lunch somewhere in there). It sounds easy enough, but, like most things, it's easier said than done. The 4pm stopping point I know will become 6pm or later, but wouldn't 4pm be grand?

I'll update with a new post next week to share the actual experience, but I'm cautiously optimistic that this will be a doable weekend project.

As for Talismans and Turmoil, I'm in the end stretch and I'll be spending this upcoming week on finishing Carissa's mystery-adventure. That leaves me the rest of this month for editing, so I'm still planning to make the October deadline with this one. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading!

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