Tuesday, November 30, 2010

25 days to finish

So in the beginning of the month I told myself that I would have book 4 finished by my birthday, which for those not in the know, is Christmas. Now, I glance at the calendar and see that December starts tomorrow. I look at my book, check the chapter and word count: 13.25 and 75,262 respectively. That means, based on my formula, I have 6.75 chapters and 24,738 words left to go, give or take a chapter and 5,000 words.

As a Capricorn and a writer I have to find a balance between my creativity and need for structure. I have a type A personality and need a plan. If I'm on vacation somewhere, throwing a holiday party or going camping I have plans and itineraries. I know, crazy. So in order for me to get a book written I had to have a plan. Your average novel is approximately 100,000 words, so I plan for my books to have 100,000 words. The average novel has 20 chapters, divide 100,000 you get 5,000 words per chapter. So if I write 1,000 words a day I get a chapter done a week. Now there is a new movement where chapters are anywhere from one page to ten, I could do that, but it would mess up my formula. I sucked at math in school, but this structure gives me a goal every day. Whats awesome about this goal is that I usually get more than a 1,000 words because I need to end at a point where I can pick up naturally the next day.

I know what you're thinking. "But Shauna, you've only got 4 weeks left! How are you going to get 6.75 chapters done in 4 weeks if you only get 1 chapter a week?!" Never fear my lovelies. Because I often get more than 1,000 words a day I can usually get 1.25-2 chapters done a week. Also, sometimes the books end before the magical 100,000/20 mark, and I'm fine with that. When I go back to edit/proofread, I may take out thousands of words or add thousands, it'll all balance out. A novel can be as short as 75,000 words, so really I'm at that mark now. Some of my books ended at chapter 19 and a prologue, that's cool too. And if I know my self-imposed deadline is looming then I'll write at night while the hubby is teaching or on the weekend if I can find the inspiration.

Thats the key though, you cant wait for inspiration. No matter what your creative outlet is, its still work and if you want it to get done you have to sit down and make it happen. But with the last few months I'm just happy I've been able to get my daily goals met. So while I have some time, I'm going to turn my attention that way.


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