Goals and Shortcuts
2011 is the year I’m hoping to start AND finish a novel. It’s been something I’ve tried to do for some time now and this year I’ve made a commitment to myself to finish the job.
I’ve been working on the planning of this novel for some time now and finally started writing about two months ago. It started off pretty well. I set a realistic goal for myself with plenty of leeway built in to catch up if I fall behind. I spent a lot of time last year working on short stories so I was pretty confidant in the number of pages I could write daily and the schedule that I have set.
But as you might have guessed already, the work hasn’t gone quite the way I had intended. I’m a natural procrastinator so I’ll always find some reason to not work or worse yet, I’ll find a shortcut around the goals.
The problem started when I printed the first 100 pages of the novel to start editing. I realized that I needed to break up some of the chapters. When I broke sections into separate chapters, my page count went up without my writing a word. It was magic!!
So the next day, I restructured the chapters again and then I did it again and again. Now, I’m almost finished with my 500 page novel four months early!!!
(but each chapter is two sentences long).
Not really, but I did lose a few days messing around trying to up my page count. I came up with several extraneous paragraphs at the end of every chapter just to kick the chapter over to the next page. Those paragraphs will probably be tossed as soon as I start editing.
I’ve now made my daily and weekly goals word counts instead of page counts because it’s much harder to game the system that way. (although I’m thinking about making all the characters Canadian so that every sentence of dialog ends with “eh”).
(everyone’s favorite canadian, eh)
One last bit of good news before I get back to the grind – I’ve now written more on this novel than I have every written on any other novel that I started! That should be worth at least one day off to write a blog post, right?