Today I completed the first draft of my first novel.
I started it on June 1, so it took me four and a half months to reach my goal of 90,000 words while working full-time in the ER.
I only wrote on days off but did so religiously, always meeting my goal of at least 1000 words, usually more. So what it worked out to is 1000 words a day for 90 days.
Is it any good? It’s good to me, so there’s that. I have no control over whether it’s any good to the person reading it; therefore, I don’t waste time thinking about it.
This is probably a good point to make note of some useful decisions I made when I started.
I didn’t second guess anything. Never once thought, Is this any good? Am I qualified to do this? Can I do this?
Never crossed my mind. Thinking like this would only fuck everything up and kill the fun.
I also wrote no outline and had no plot. Just three characters I didn’t know much about with a vague idea of how it would end. BTW, this isn’t all that unusual. Apparently, there are essentially two kinds of novelists — Plotters and Pantsers. Plotters plot and Pantsers write by the seat of their pants. Both are valid ways to work. You might be surprised by which camp your favorite author falls into.
For me, part of the fun of writing this way is that it allows me to discover the story and the characters as I go along. Since I have no idea what I’m going to write about the next day, I can sit back and let the characters tell me who they are and what they’re going to do next. It’s a very entertaining way to write.
Anyway, red-letter day here. Even if it never gets published, I wrote a fucking novel. To completion. And I had fun doing it — not many people can say that. Now I’m going to pack it up for six weeks or so and let the thing marinate in its juices.
Then I’ll get it out, read it fresh, and start editing.
Meanwhile, I’ve got other shit to write.