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Novel Bootcamp Part 2

I spent the weekend writing a novella. Here's how it went.

I feel silly.

Last week, I wrote a post on my goal to write a novella in three days. You can read that post here. I was entirely too optimistic.

My goal was 10,000 words a day. The more experienced writers out there probably laughed at the idea. I know there are writers who can make 10,000 words in a day. I'm not one of them yet and I'm not sure I ever will be. Still, it was a great experience and I would definitely try it again.

Here's my day-to-day progress.

Day 1: ~3,000 words.

I wrote about 2,000 words in third person and then realized it wasn't working. This is a very character-centric story and first person just seemed like a more natural choice. But I'm not used to first person, so it wasn't my go-to point of view (POV). So, I switched POV and re-started.

Being me, I also re-thought everything, questioned myself and spent hours doing additional research on background information about the setting and some of the details, even though I thought I'd done all the research beforehand.

I ended the day with 3,281 words (not counting the original 2,000). On a good writing day, I write about 3,000 and on most days I try for the 2,500 word goal, so this wasn't an excellent number to end the day on considering it was my goal to write much more.

Day 2: ~6,000 words

I think the most I've ever written in a day has been 6,000 words, and today I did not break that record. I began the day by re-reading what I'd written the day before, fighting the urge to make more than minor changes. Then I wrote about 2,000 words, took a break to eat and wrote about 2,000 again, stopped for dinner and wrote about 2,000 before calling it a day.

I think at around 2,000 my brain gets tired and pleads for a break. Does this happen to other writers out there? At this point, I started to shift my focus from word count to just creating a quality story. In the back of my mind, I was thinking that two weekends to write a novella (rough draft) would still be amazing for me!

Day 3: ~5,000 words!

I don't think I have the endurance to write 10,000 words a day, so I just wrote as much as I could without focusing on the goal. Instead of the 30,000 words I was shooting for, I have a little over 14,000 words total of the novella at the end of the long weekend. That's about what I get at the end of a normal week, so it's not bad for 3 days.

One of the things that sparked the notion to write this weekend is a 3-day novel writing contest I saw online that happens each year on Labor Day Weekend. My goal this year was not to join it, but to see if it was something I might be able to do in a future year. My progress was not promising - unless I write a very, very short book, so I think that might be off the table. I won't rule it out completely, though, because who knows? Anything is possible. But that's for another year.

As for this week, I'm almost finished with Talismans and Turmoil and will do some re-writes and smoothing out of the manuscript this week and next. I fully expect editing and polishing to be done by the end of the month for release in October. I already have a few chapters of Tonics and Turmoil written, so I'll dive right into that next.

As always, thanks for reading!

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