June 1st Deadline

Published Monday, February 1, 2010 4:49 PM
I mentioned last week that I wrote two chapters in my novel and the week before that I wrote one. In all honesty, that was starting over and rewriting or doing second drafts of the beginning I already wrote so that brings me up to three chapters in total this go around. I started chapter four today and got about half way through it. My goal is to write a chapter a week and start or finish the next, or finish a chapter and then write another, in essence scribe three chapters every two weeks, four if I can pull it off. I've talked about how you need to set goals and write everyday if you're going to be a successful writer. Writing everyday is something I've got down solid. The goals, however, have been a bit lofty and vague. So, today I'm announcing that I intend to have the first draft of my first book, in its entirety, complete by the first day of June. I'm not sure how many chapters exactly the work is going to be but I'm going to ball park at being somewhere between 25 and 30. There are 18 weeks between now and my deadline. If I write two a week that'll give me 39 (remember, I've already got three). If I do three every two weeks as I laid out above I'll end up with 30 (that's not counting the three I've already got), my high estimate of total chapters. There you have it, a fire under my ass and the math to fuel it.

To some, it might seem lofty for me to try and write so many chapters and essentially pen an entire book in four months, but I think I can do this for a variety of reasons. For one, I've been working on this project for a long time. I thought up the very broad, most basic part of the story in my ninth grade biology class (not that it has anything at all to do with biology) and I've been thinking about it since, slowly building on it and writing ideas down. About nine months ago I actually tried writing a few chapters, the chapters I edited or rewrote the last two weeks, so I've started already. And more than just a hand full of chapters, I've developed large quantities of background information and sketched out several of the characters as well as making outlines and maps and so on.

All that said, it's difficult to just assign yourself a deadline though. I know, I've done it before. What's different this time is that I'm announcing it to all of you here, in this public forum so all of you can hold me to that promise. Plus a little incentive helps. In addition to the incentive of making my dreams come true and getting a novel published before more of my grandparents pass on I've set the date around the time a friend of mine finishes an internship that is taking up all of his time. With that behind him and hopefully this enormous undertaking behind me, we'll both be in for a break. If I complete the project on deadline, JC and I are going to spend a few days relaxing and playing Zelda.

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished writer.

120 days until deadline, three chapters complete.

by DMI
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