How Fast Can I Write a Novel?

I’ve repeatedly found that blog writing is something that I have an issue with. I run out things to say because my life isn’t always super interesting and I’m usually spending most of my time writing fiction anyway.

Solution? Mix the two.

I want to see how fast I can write a coherent novel. Like, something that could be published somewhere and read by people, and those people don’t cringe at how much of a mess it is. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo for the past two years, and won for the past two years, but both of those novels are going to be in an extended editing period because I left myself such a mess in writing them so fast. The details are all over the place, and since I didn’t have much time I didn’t go back and fix the conflicting details (which were most of them because I’d get to a point where I thought I’d go one way and then came up with something better that completely went against something that already happened), I have to spend my first edit sifting through everything I wrote to find a story that makes sense with the characters I created. Possible, sure, but very time-consuming.

You see my problem? Even that paragraph was a complete disaster.

So, I want to see how fast I can write something a little more coherent. Something I won’t be spending weeks writing and then years editing. I’m making up this challenge for myself as I go, though, so that could end up being the case once again.

But the one thing I didn’t have either of those other times was documentation. I didn’t have somewhere I could report on how things are going, and keep myself going down a straight line rather than a forever winding road. Maybe talking about it in a blog will help me. There’s only one way to find out.

So here is my proposal: I’m going to write a novel as fast as I can.

Some people need to take time to do their writing, but I’ve found that my best work comes from short bursts of writing where I don’t give myself a chance to over think it. Those two novels I have sitting around may be a complete mess, but they’re better than some of the other works I’ve got that I’ve spent significantly more time working on, mainly because there’s a complete story there, even if it is unreadable.

25 days is my record for NaNoWriMo. I’d like to beat that for this. I may or may not make it, but that’s the goal. Beat that record with a first draft of a novel that isn’t such a mess that I have to spend a portion of my life editing it into sense.

And I’m starting right now.

I’d like to pose a question to you all. I’d like to get you involved.

Which of these should I go with? Which story would you like to read most?

I’ve got a few story ideas roaming around in my head, and I’m not sure which I should go with. A popular opinion might be helpful.

For obvious reasons I’m not giving too much detail. I plan to write all of these out one day. I just need your help in deciding which one I should start with by telling me which one interests you the most.

I not only want to know what people are interested in reading these days, but I also want people to get involved, be a part of the process. I feel like that’s an aspect that’s often left out of writing.

Also, just for fun (though I’ll probably end up regretting it), how fast do you think I can write a novel?


The Magic of Pen and Paper

I spent my day in a weird place in my head, contemplating what it is about pen and paper that makes them such desirable writing utensils for me. It wasn’t an obvious answer for me, since I can certainly type faster than I can write.

There’s a notebook that I usually keep near me for stupid little ideas that need to be put down, and picking it up and looking at it made me see a difference between it and many other notebooks. It has no lines. I can write up and down and in diagonal lines without feeling any kind of guilt of going outside the lines, which is ridiculous because going outside of the lines is part of the fun.

Sometimes I just like the idea of having lines to guide me, though, so that’s one less thing I have to think about. My hand can just follow the lines as the words just flow out, usually somewhere between doctor’s script and illegible. More than once have I had to make a game out of figuring out what I’ve written, in any kind of notebook.

But no matter what I write in a notebook or on paper with lines on it, I’ll usually copy it into my notebook with no lines. I could make the feeble argument for organization, but it’s really that the lined paper, so optimal while actually being written on, just isn’t my style in the long run.

This was around the point that I began to think I was thinking way too much about the kind of paper I like to write on and not actually writing anything at all.

Still, I think for all the writer types out there, it makes for good conversation. The kinds of paper you like writing on, or writing on no paper at all. I knew a guy once who preferred stealing napkins from restaurants so that he could write on them. It just worked for him. Any preferences out there? Crazy or otherwise?