How I completed the first draft of my first novel : It’s easier than you think

After about a few months of ramblings and procrastination, I found out that I still wanted to write a book. I decided to do what I do when I need help in doing something.
I looked around for people who had written a book and ask for their advice, although not personally but with the power of internet and Google, I did just fine.

On a blog, I don’t remember which one, don’t ask me, eh. I read about NaNoWriMo i.e. National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

On the very same terms, I began to write a novel, only reducing my burden by restricting the work to a minimum of 500 words every day, if you do simple math the equation gives us 100 days to complete a 50,000 word novel.

The first four or five days were very easy, I knew what I wanted to write and words flowed like anything, I wrote over 1000 words every day for about next ten days. Then came the testing time. I had written about 10,000 words and now I was unable to find time but as always I persisted,forced myself to write, I always, always wrote a minimum of 500 words a day. There were days I wrote 2500 words in a day, there were days I wrote 500 words in a day.(Hint: There were a lot of 500 words days than 2500 ones)

My word counts, Day 1 and Day 2.

My word counts, Day 1 and Day 2.

But in the end, the first rough draft of my novel was finished in 31 days, I did not write 50,000 words because the story wrapped itself up in 40,000 words.

So, if you want to begin here is what to do:

  1. Start the next weekend, spend the Friday evening and Saturday morning planning what you’ll write. (Don’t ask me why, just do it.)
  2. Write at least 500 words on that Saturday and Sunday.(Hint: Writing more will not hurt but as always, if you have written 500 words, your day is a good writing day)
  3. Don’t stress yourself if you wrote 1500 words one day and 500 the next, It will happen. Your target should always be minimum 500. At times, because some days are better than others we think we can write 800 or 1000 words from now on, resist that urge, at least until you finish this novel. You can try that while writing your next book. After I wrote around 10,000 words in 10 days I imagined I could easily get 800 words out every day and that would help me finish off the novel quickly, but what happened instead was that reduced my efficiency because of adding stress. (500 words a day is really easy to pull off, if this is your first book, don’t stress yourself much, 100 days means only 3 months or so)
  4. Don’t edit ever before finishing. Just keep on writing, typos, grammatical errors etc can be taken care in draft number two. Getting all on the paper is important, you can edit later. This is very important and will help you finish quickly.
  5. Be accountable to someone, announce it on Facebook, twitter and to your friends that you are going to write a novel in next three months, then post the word count of the day, I did. It may annoy some people but to hell with it. Your friends will love that you are writing and will be supportive and if they are not, get some friends who will.
  6. In the end, the most sensible piece of advice I can give you is : WRITE EVERYDAY.
Me announcing the 100 days book challenge on my facebook.

Me, announcing the 100 days book challenge on my Facebook.

This Neil Gaiman quote may help, it helped me :

This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
― Neil Gaiman

Good luck!

If you need help, drop in a comment below. 🙂
Happy Writing.

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2 thoughts on “How I completed the first draft of my first novel : It’s easier than you think

  1. Pingback: Unashamed « After the Ecstasy, the Laundry . . .

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