One of the greatest difficulties a writer faces is novel-length writing. Be it fiction or non-fiction, many authors hesitate to get involved. Sometimes the largest intimidation isn’t editors or agents. It’s the thought of the commitment.
“I’ll Never Get It Done”
One hundred thousand words: a simple number simply comprised of six numeric digits. However, when you sit before a blank screen or piece of paper the zeros multiply. Suddenly six digits become nine and then twelve. It’s automatic panic! Just the thoughts of the time it’s going to take, the months and months of endless writing, editing, and researching can make your palms sweat and your heart race. The estimate we give ourselves leaps from a few months to a few years. In the grips of anxiety, we might even believe we’ll never complete the work.
A looming screen can make many writers back away, and return to thoughts of writing instead of the act itself. For many, there is nothing more frightening than a blank screen or piece of paper. When you shudder at the harsh realities of so many words, you may forget to listen to the creative voice. That’s when it’s time to slow the pace and concentrate on what is realistic and what is ridiculous.
I=NS (Interest = Novel Success)
Forget what’s popular and what’s trendy. Your writing must interest you. You should enjoy researching and reading your piece. It’s easy to forget that you play a dual-role in your craft. Not only are you a writer, you are a reader. Understanding this fact can make self-editing, even in the most brutal fashion, painless and easy.
If you are drawn into your novel’s plot and subject matter, it will show. If your characters are diverse and deep, readers will adore them. These qualities along with a genre and plot you are interested in will give you a wonderful piece when you are through. They’ll also give you more push when you feel discouraged.
Time Is Of The Importance
This is the main body of many writing fears. Time. You really can give yourself a good idea of what you can write with a simple equation. No writer can have a promise of uninterrupted writing sessions and knowing your abilities is key to enjoying productive writing sessions.
If you are unaware of your own capabilities you will become bored, frustrated, and angry at the seemingly slothful process. You can’t compare yourself to other writers, we are all unique. However, if you use this method, it takes much fear out of the commitment.
Here are the formulas you can use to monitor your progress and realistically guess how long it will really take before the anxiety sets in and you’re counting the years. Every one of these figures will take you to the 100,000-word mark.
- 50,000 words a day = 2 days
- 25,000 words a day = 4 days
- 10,000 words a day = 10 days (1week, 3 days)
- 5,000 words a day = 20 days (2 weeks, 6 days)
- 3,000 words a day = 33 days (1 month, 3 days)
- 2,000 words a day = 50 days (1 month, 2 weeks)
- 1,000 words a day = 100 days (3 months, 1 week)
- 800 words a day = 125 days (4 months, 1 week)
- 700 words a day = 142 days (5 months)
- 600 words a day = 166 days (5 months, 3 weeks)
- 500 words a day (or 2 pages) = 200 days (6 months, 3 weeks)
- 250 words a day (or 1 page) = 400 days (13 months, 2 – 3 weeks)
Even at the most slothful pace of 250 words, the equivalent of a single double-spaced page, in one day, you’ll still have your novel in just over a year. Just a few paragraphs at a time will give you a completed work of fiction. It isn’t rocket science or nuclear physics. It’s writing, plain and simple.