Thursday, May 23, 2013

How To Write A Book Less Than A Month

WARNING: Do not try this at home.
No, really. I don't recommend trying this.
NOTE: No animals, humans, jars of peanut butter, eardrums, computers, unicorns and various magical creatures, wands, lightsabers, swords, cookies or books have been injured in the writing of said book, or this blog post.
Well, some of the cookies were. Sorry, Alex. 
Important Pre-Requisite: Having the ability to type quickly will be handy for this. (This blog post has not been sponsored by Mavis Beacon and my third grade typing teacher, but they totally could. 75-80wmp, fools.)
First? Have it be the first day of the month, and finish editing the first-ish draft of your last ms. (HOORAY!)  Realize you should probably send it to betas/CPs and of course, freak the heck out. Do the whole, “OMG, NONE OF THIS EVEN MAKES SENSE AND THERE’S NO PLOT WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU THINKING, PRETENDING THAT THIS IS EVEN SOMETHING ANYONE SHOULD READ BLAH BLAH BLAH,” and then send it to two people, and resist the urge to throw up when you hit send. (The actual sending will happen a little later in the month, but even the thought of sending it will make you want to hurl)
Now, be in the middle of writing a DIFFERENT one of the 16 SNIs that you have. Have it moving along just wonderfully. Then, out of nowhere, decide to open up a different one of your SNIs- one that currently has a couple thousand words (3000ish), just to see what you wrote.
Read through what you have, and decide to keep writing.
Write and write and write and write and write till all of a sudden, it's been three days and now you're up to around 15,000 words.
Freak out a little bit.
Ask yourself where all the random characters are coming from, as in your mildly vague outline, there was no mention of them, ever.
Also ask yourself where the story is going.
Having no answer is completely acceptable.
Have a playlist of music on your iPod and listen to it on repeat. Remind yourself to add a few songs that are EXACTLY what the playlist needs, and then proceed to never do it. This is a shame, because they really are excellent songs.
Remind yourself to put the rest of your music on your iPod (the old one exploded, and your computer is gone, so finding all that music again is going to take a while), and then not do it, too. Because you’re writing.
Keep writing. Apply for a few jobs, which involves writing cover letters for resumes.
Wail in frustration, because you HATE writing cover letters.
Keep writing. Except for never on Fridays, because there is no way you can get any writing done on Fridays, because Fridays are busy busy busy busy, and involve you partying in the kitchen. Cook. Bake cookies. Bake lots and lots of cookies. Make a five-pound-of-flour batch of challah. 
Keep writing. Do other things like review books, write a few blog posts, and have an existential crisis or two. Bemoan the state of your life, and how everything in your whole life has basically exploded in your face, and wish that you could go hide in North Carolina, which minus the whole money thing, is totally doable. Write more. Be interrupted by things like the end of the semester (which we are not going to talk about *shudder*), another job that's ending, and then oh yeah- Jewish holidays.
Since you aren’t working (siiiiigh), end up doing the grocery shopping for the holiday. And then lots of cooking. Which is fun, because you like cooking. And feeding people.
And stuff.
Clean many chickens, invent various things to do with string beans, taste test your sister’s attempts at a new cheesecake recipe, and peel around twelve million pounds of vegetables.
So all of these things will knock off about a week from your writing time. So don't write for around a little over a week.
Holidays are over, and now one of your good friends is getting married. YAY! Spend the entire day of her wedding running around like a crazy person, and then actually go to her wedding. Dance your face off and have a fabulous time.
So, still don't write again. (So far, you've written around a week and a half) Chronologically, it's been a little over two full weeks.
It's Monday!
Do some writing, but not a lot. Read a whole bunch of books instead.
Tuesday, finish other job, and then decide to go to the college library and write.
Realize that going to write in the college library during finals week is not the greatest of plans. Also, it smells (Fast food, coffee, energy drinks, alcohol, urine and weed. Eau de College Library.). Bump into one of your besties (HOORAY!!!), and help her with her very fascinating research paper, and remind yourself to blog about it.
Think of many topics to blog about. Do not actually blog about them yet, but save them for other occasions. (An editorial calendar would be smart, probably.)
Write some more.
Go to B&N in hopes of writing all the things!
Be there for a LONG time.
Ask yourself who exactly you think you're kidding, because you can't write in public, you get too distracted. Make friends with the bookseller, talk books, and then go home.
Sit on your bed, against the wall, in the same position that you wrote 95% of what you have so far for your fun little WiP. (note to self: do not fix what is not broken) Alternatively bless and curse the fact that there is NO STUPID INTERNET in your house.
Which makes being distracted by fun things (Twitter, everyone else's blog in the universe, YouTube, specifically VlogBrothers and Lizzie Bennett Diaries because I am so behind the times on occasion, Pinterest, Twitter, Humans of New York, the Sartorialist, FoodPornDaily, Twitter, FoodGawker, CraftGawker, Twitter, and whatever else I stumble on in the black hole of internet) not as likely to happen.
Being distracted by people is still fair game.
Write, write, write like a crazy crazy person. Let the question, 'Does this even make any sense?' float somewhere in the dark recesses of your mind.
Ignore this voice.
Keep writing.
Take a break and go out and do some minor end of the semester HALLELUJAH partying with friends, because friends are gainfully employed and can not be out partying till the wee hours. This will come on the weekend.
Come back home.
Write more.
Write, write, write, write.
Suddenly, you’re contemplating an epilogue.
Keep writing.
Stare at the last sentence you just typed.
Gape with shock.
Holy, holy, holy, holy @%&#.
Write the magical words.
The two words, that before this year, you had never ever ever got to.
Write the magical words THE END for the second time this year. The second time, ever.
Freak the heck out, because that is what you’re supposed to do when you write the words THE END. (What? What else are you supposed to do?)
*explodes confetti cannon of celebratory congratulations* 
FINAL: Magical New MS: Draft One.
Officially started Thursday, May 2, 2013.
Finished Wednesday, May 22, 2013.
Word Count: 73,010
Current first word: It.
Current last word: Heard
All the words in the middle: HA. Like I was going to tell you all that now? Funny funny.
*collapses in heap because dudes, I just wrote a heck of a lot of words in twenty days (well, technically less, but whatever)*
*raises head up a little*
In a bit, after I edit the heck out of this, anyone in the mood of CPing a contemporary NA? (You are? YAY! Comment, tweet, or email and let me know.)
We now will return to our regular unscheduled programming.
Rock on, wonderful peoples. Rock the heck on.
PS: I'm over at the super fabulous DiversifYA blog today, talkin' about being an Orthodox Jew. Because, well, I am. :)

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  1. I'm seriously exhausted just reading this. I can CP for you after June 12th (once school gets out.) :)
    ~Dannie @ Left to Write

    1. Bwahaha :) I haven't really slept in a month, so there's that.
      And YAY!! I'll keep it in mind. (Good luck finishing the school year! xo)

  2. Wow, you go, chica! I'm impressed.

  3. I can't even contemplate writing over 70K words in a month! That's probably why NaNo doesn't tempt me at all, lol. And now I need a nap...

  4. Thanks for joining us. This post was very inspiring, also a bit dizzying. I think the shortest I've ever completed a draft in was about two months. Loved your DiversifYA interview, btw. I was on it last week and I think it's a great project.

  5. Fun writing journal, lol. i get it. Authorship is a wild ride, but as soon as the cart stops, I'm ready to sign up all over again. Best of luck.