Today I was chatting with my friend Nick and we were discussing the progress of our various writing projects. I referenced author William Meikle, whom I have corresponded with via Facebook and Twitter. Meikle seems to have a book out every few months and I asked him what his secret was. His response was basically writing 2,000 words per day. Nick has a novel he's working on, but as a teacher, it's easier for him to write during the summer when he has lots of time off.
Nick suggested we have a competition to write 2,000 words per day during the summer. I'm preparing to go to graduate school this fall and I've got various freelance writing clients I need to attend do, so I figured instead of 2,000 words per day, it would be better to set the word count by month. The way I currently do freelancing, work tends to pile up at the end of the month, so 2,000 words per day isn't very practical for several days.
So here's what we're going to do. We're going to have a writing competition covering the months of May, June, July, and August. The loser (by word count) has to take the winner (by word count) out to lunch. The minimum amount of words to be written is 10,000 words, which comes out to roughly two or three chapters per month. And that's the minimum.
Luckily I have three possible projects to spread this out:
*The Cybele Incident, my NaNoWriMo project from last November. As of today it's 15,000+ words written, roughly 20-25 percent done. I've been using my Lawrenceville writing group to give myself deadlines to have each chapter done, which has served me well in getting the first five chapters written. I've also gotten most of the next-to-last chapter done. Five of the 21 slated chapters complete, with one almost done--two chapters a month means it's done in seven months. Three chapters a month equals five months.
*The Thing In The Woods, my one-shot Lovecraftian horror novel that draws on some of my experiences living in and reporting on a small town on the southern fringe of Metro Atlanta. 1,517 words long as of today. I was thinking that this was something that, if I really applied myself to, I could finish fairly quickly, since it doesn't require the same degree of expert knowledge that TCI (hard science and Naval protocol) does and it'd be shorter and require less military knowledge than the Wastelands novels (more here later). Eleven chapters total, so at two per month that's five months and three per month that's three and a half to four mouths. Given the lack of need for research, all I'd really need to do is apply myself.
*Escape from the Wastelands, the sequel to Battle for The Wastelands. As of today it's roughly 25,000 words written, around 20-25 percent done. Given how this is a sequel and I haven't sold the first one, this isn't going to be a priority. After all, if I can't sell the first one, what good is a sequel? Unless I e-publish it of course, which I'd really rather not do. At present this is 42 slated chapters, but many of them could be consolidated and worst case scenario, it could get split in half. After all, I've done it before.
I posted on Facebook and called on all of the mutual friends of Nick and me to witness the challenge and nag us into meeting our targets and now Sean CW Korsgaard wants to join in. The fact he lives in another state could be problematic re: actually getting lunch, but he will be coming to visit Georgia sometime during the summer.
As I said on Facebook, let the games begin...in a month. :)
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