I heard about this contest a year ago while reading someone’s blog. Then it seemed a gigantic task: complete 50,000 words of your manuscript/novel in 30 days. This year when Alisha asked me about this, I jumped at the opportunity. Obviously, I have written about this previously too: My writing goal is to get published.
So after deep thinking of less than one second, I went ahead with this. All I needed was a story.
Mid October to 31st October:
I decided to use the idea, boy meets girl and things go wrong. Simple idea, simple plot and leaving everything else to just conveniences. Just to make sure that I don’t loose my way through the novel, I made loose plot lines and decided in the beginning and end of the novel. I felt ready, I purposely chooses to reduce my workload and tell less people about this.
Unfortunately, I do not remember where I wrote this novel. I have a habit of writing on my mobile and my computer so I do not know where I wrote it first. I had a daily target of 1700 words which will amount to an exact 51000 words. First day, I finished my prologue. My mind was clear and focussed and I guess that is why my prologue turned out to be the best. I wrote 1700 words and thought, wow this is so easy.
I could not be more wrong.
I fell back. I tried to keep up and I just could not do it perfectly. I renamed my novel from ‘Started With A Date’ to ‘Convenient Caliber’ and tried looking for some ideas for covers. Oh and 9th November, my office colleagues gave me one of the best birthday surprises ever!
I picked speed again, catching up and finally reaching the daily target. I wrote now mostly during travel time on my phone. No more games and no novel readings. Only writing and more writing. I refrained from all sorts of distractions like twitter, Facebook or my own blog!
It finally got easier.
I joined Twitter and read up on people’s experiences. I was shocked to see other writers reach and cross 50k mark during those days. Even more dumbfounding was the fact that these novelists were aiming for 100k. Meanwhile, my writing suffered a little but I kept it up. I was so used to writing on my phone by now that whenever I sat on my computer to write, I fell asleep.
It was during this period that I read a tweet saying take the proposed end of your novel and bring it to to the middle of the novel. I used that advice, or tried to use it.
Day 28 & 29:
I finished and verified a huge 50164 words! Then, because only I knew the content of my novel I looked for a cover. I found an online cover designing website called Canva, free registration and free good resources. I kept my design minimalist and made my cover. There is an exact scene like this in the novel.
I shared it on Facebook and twitter. Congratulations kept pouring in, because they thought I had published my novel, which was far from the truth.
The hardest part was sitting to write. Not because I did not knew what to write but simply because I lacked the will to do so. Easiest part was writing. I was shocked my brains ability to seamlessly cultivate words and scenes which I had not even thought of before. I would be writing and the words kept flowing.
I had a lot of things happening in November. Amidst the worst time, I wrote because trying to make a fictional character’s life better was something of an excuse to do something. Unlike so many other great writer, I did not spend countless hours on character development and backgrounds. I kept it easy and I finished. It is the best feeling to set a goal and then finish it. 15 chapter, prologue and epilogue and I finished. I have not touched the manuscript(I think) from that time because the words are too fresh in my mind to try and revise the book.
Will I do it again? Definitely!
Should you try it next year? Hell yeah! There us no better motivation than watching your progress on a graph.