In addition to the 13,600 words I already have written, I now have eight pages of handwritten notes to bring my story to probably a little past the halfway point. This part is based on Stevenson’s The Amateur Emigrant and Across the Plains, through which I’ve read and marked up considerably. Now that I’m plotted up to that point, I’m sitting down with two books: Silverado Squatters (with which the story will end), and Alexandra LePierre’s A Romance of Destiny: Fanny Stevenson (which is a terrible title). The Fanny bio should balance out what I’ve read about her in various RLS bios, as her character, good or bad, is famously (in some circles) debated. Ha…I realize I’ve given myself three days to do this. But Squatters is fairly short, and I only need to read the Fanny bio up until the point that she marries Stevenson and they go off on their honeymoon. I probably won’t make it, but that’s okay. I have more than enough to start writing on October 1st.
Here’s my plan. I’m writing at least 2,500-3,000 words every day of the month of October (except my birthday, the 18th, and Halloween). I have enough notes and enough plotted out to keep me well busy at least until my birthday, so when I’m not writing, I can finish up this reading and making the notes for plotting forward. By the time I take a day’s break and turn 40 (really? Really.), I’ll be set to finish up writing the final 3rd of the book. I expect to have a first draft (75,000-85,000 words, 20,000 words longer than the first novel) by the day before Halloween (celebration/party time).
I think maybe it sounds like a lot, or pretty ambitious, but remember I already have the thing started. Plus, there’s actually a lot of built-in wriggle room in terms of word count every day. Technically, with what I already have, if I wrote 3,000 words for 29 days, I’d end up with 100,600 words. And I don’t even want it that long. So, yes, wiggle room. Though, with the notes I’m making, I might very well write 3,000 every day. Maybe more, depending on the day and how I’m feeling. I’ve got my notes so that, at any given point, there’s room for change–freedom to be spontaneously creative–but basically there’s really no way I can get stuck.
I realized the other day that November is NaNoWriMo, and I’m a month early. I’ve always meant to do one, to officially complete it and blah, blah, blah. But oh well…I’m ready to get going on this. I’m not waiting a whole other month just to take part in what I should be doing a few times a year. Am I right, writers? ;)
So, yes. We’re just about ready to get going on this again. October, look out. Age 40, look out. 2014, I’m not leaving you until I have another novel fairly well written. At least a second draft. Then I’ll be looking for beta readers in 2015. Any takers? =)