On Monday night I started my novel as I planned. I’m glad to report as of now, Sunday, I’ve written out the introduction and the first two chapters. This basically totals three chapters, and if I can keep this pace up the first draft will be done in a very short timeframe.
I noticed that with writing them out by hand I do move on from one part to the next in a quicker fashion. Each chapter took two to three writing sessions, and I wrote every day except Tuesday. So the idea of plowing through this process might work. The key is to keep up this pace of writing regularly.
On the negative, the old way of typing up each chapter as I went along let me evaluate the writing a little better. With my sloppy hand writing, I’ve noticed I’m not even rereading what I wrote after a break. That makes writing regularly even more important with this approach. If a week went by without writing there would be no flow to it at all.
My outlines have helped greatly and keep me aware of the plotting and scenes in each chapter. Scanning over the outline and then writing quickly works well for me. I definitely think I can finish this first draft thanks to that outline and the philosophy of just spitting it out quickly.
Getting a first draft of a novel would be huge for me, but I know the first draft does not need to be perfect. Writing it out by hand, and writing quickly to boot means that the second draft will be a lot of work. Typing my scribble, evaluating the gaps, and what needs to be altered will be a challenge. But that I’ll worry about when I finish the first draft.
People have given me advice on not putting a deadline on myself, but I am going to do so anyway. If I can average 3 chapters a week, and I plan 33 chapters I could definitely complete it in twelve weeks. I have vacation in late April, and I want it finished by then so I can celebrate wherever I decide to go on that vacation.
This week was different in one regard, I was sick and did not exercise at all. So when I return to the gym on Tuesday and skating next weekend, I’ll need to adjust my time to allow daily writing for my novel. This week it was easy because I was housebound, but I’ll need to keep up the pace. They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so I’ll need to work on this everyday.
Also, with this blog I’m going to update my writing, and write on other topics as usual. However these entries will be different than before. I’m going to experiment if more people read my entries if they are shorter, but posted more regularly.
2 thoughts on “First week of novel writing, 3 chapters deep”
There’s a lot written about quickdrafting but the most important lesson I know about writing a novel fast is that you should be focused on the main plot. Too much divergence into subplots will stall you. I suggest not diverting your energies into subplots. Even if you wrote a subplot into your outline don’t get bogged down writing it out. That’s the advice I hear. Good luck!
My novel is a first person narrative. So it’s simply someone telling a story. Hopefully I won’t get too distracted with subplots with this type of novel.
You are right though, I think novels with lots of plotlines get confusing, and are probably more difficult to write.