As many of you may have remembered, about a month ago I wanted to try a 90-Day Writing Challenge where the basic premise was to hammer out a novel from beginning to end in 90-Days! Many of you probably felt like me and said “90-Days is NOT enough time!” Well, I’m here to tell you it could actually end up being TOO MUCH time!
When I began the challenge there was another tremendous Indie Author who had already begun to write yet another masterpiece. While dithering away on my novel I watched him and marveled at his speed! Garrett Robinson (if you don’t know him I suggest you go Google him IMMEDIATELY) was cranking out 2K+ words every HOUR! My mind was blown! At the end of day 17 of his marathon sprinting he had written 90K+ words and completed his novel! Yeah, in 17 days!
I immediately set out to challenge myself to beat him! If he could write a novel of that many words in just 17 days, so could I. My first thought, however, was that the 90-Day Challenge book idea I had would not cut it. I needed something I was so immediately passionate about I could write as much as 2K an hour. I was invested in The Prisoners, and I still am, but for this I knew I needed something different, unique, and just NEW!
The idea to write a Pirate’s Tale came to me rather suddenly and without much effort. When I thought of it and then the title I was hooked. And I figure if it’s a story where I’m hooked and just itching to write it then it must be GOLD! I went right to work on it. I gave myself just two days to outline it. On Day 01 I wrote a Simple Outline, but not just of the first book, oh no, this story was much too big and well plotted out in my mind for that. Instead, I write the Simple Outline for the ENTIRE series! That’s a 6-Book outline all done in one day. I then decided some of the characters I’d be writing about would be far too interesting to just leave them with a B or C story in my main series, so I went ahead and did Simple Outlines for multiple Trilogy story ideas I had. On Day 02 I took just book one and did a more detailed outline. One that would show me an estimate of how many chapters I’d need to tell the story. I wanted to do an even 40 chapters. I’m here to report I hit that 40 Chapters in stride!
After those 2 days (not counted towards my 14 days of actual writing by the way) I then went to work writing. I wrote upwards of 2.2K every hour long sprint I did. For the first 10 days at least, I was on fire. I’ll admit the final 4 days were a bit harder to get through and I cut my average word count by nearly half towards the end. But I wrote 39 chapters!
Why 39, if I said I had 40? Well, the 40th Chapter, while written, needs to be voted on. I wanted the final chapter to be an Epilogue. I had 3 great ideas for it and wasn’t willing to abandon any of them. So, my idea is to have them all written and then let my Beta-Readers vote on which one they like the best! This means at the moment I have 42 chapters, but once I eliminate two of them, I’ll be left with my even 40 and I did it ALL in exactly 14 days!
So forget the 90-Day Challenge. Be motivated like I was to write your story. Find the passion and drive that courses through your veins so much you just have to write the story down or you’ll explode. I believe every story you write should come with this kind of passion behind it otherwise you’ll spend years on it. Spending years on anything will eventually lose its luster. Don’t spend years on your story. Don’t beat it and whip it till there’s nothing left but remnants of that once amazing story idea you had.
Let it pour forth from you at the time you have it. Get it all down. Then walk away from it for at least a week. Let it rest there with all the typos and grammar mistakes. Then go back to it with fresh eyes. Do some self-editing, clean it up as best you can, and ship it off to a handful of trusted Beta-Readers. You’ll be glad you did! And as always, KEEP WRITING!