Guessing for Success

The entire point of this blog is this: starting Sunday, October 3rd 2010, I will attempt to write a novel that is more or less publication-worthy in six months. The last day of this challenge will therefore be April 2, 2011.  The novel will be approximately 125,000 words, which according to my research is more or less industry average for a science fiction novel, which is what I’ll be writing.

In other words, I’m kind of crazy. I’ve written 50,000-word novels for NaNoWriMo, as I mentioned in my previous post, and they’ve all sucked to various degrees. This one will be twice as long and I have much, much more grandiose expectations for it. Publishing? We’ll see.

So how will I succeed in going where I have never gone before? How will I fight off the inevitable ennui that arrives at about the 3rd week mark in NaNoWriMo? A couple of things.

  • Planning. The most time I’ve ever spent planning a novel was about 10 days for my first Nano novel, and that consisted entirely of jotting little notes in my Moleskine notebook. For my last Nano novel, I planned for about 3 days. It was also by far the worst of the three stories, which may be a coincidence. For the six-month novel, however, I’m going to spend a WHOLE MONTH planning it out. I have never done this before. I’m hoping that the character bios, outlines, and world-building notes will actually help. I have no idea if this is the case or not.
  • Experience. This is the only time that I’ve gone into NaNoWriMo as a regular writer. It had always broken a lengthy dry spell of writing for me, but by the time November 1 2010 rolls around, I will have been writing on a daily basis for the better part of a year. I know myself and I know what techniques work for me.
  • My wife. She knows exactly how to motivate and encourage me, which basically consists of choosing between a stick and a carrot, and knowing that you get more done with a kind word and a gun than just a kind word. Her encouragement has been invaluable to me in every walk of my life and writing is no different.

So there you go. Therein lies my chances of success, except for one that stands out above all others.

  • Humiliation. If I fail, everyone who reads this blog will know it. Since this includes my wife at the very least, I cannot fail.

Check back tomorrow for some more details of The Plan.

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2 responses to “Guessing for Success

  1. Re:Humiliaton – Look at the positive side. Me, I’m afraid to succeed. Yep. Now that’s annoying, I can tell you. 😀

    See, you can only succeed. (At least I hope so. I’m hooked, I wanna read that book one day.)

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