Thursday, September 03, 2009

Get me and my writing pants!

My children have been in school for two weeks now and as a result I’ve managed to establish my writing rhythm. People keep asking me when I anticipate finishing this draft. A date gets mentioned, and I say ‘that would be nice’ as though I have no control over it.

Last night I met my friend J in Starbucks. She asked me the question. I said I thought it would be great to finish by the close of 2009. “Actually,” I said, “I would prefer to finish by the end of November, then I could have a month before looking at it again during my non participatory skiing holiday.” I said that I could commit to writing x words a day… Her gaze became vacant and disappeared over my shoulder; I thought she’d seen someone she knew. Then she muttered numbers: “Yes, you could easily do that.” Cor, my mental maths is a bit more of a paper and pencil affair. So then I said “what if I do 500 words per day, five times a week?” She did that vague thing again, which now I knew meant her brain was whirring. “Yes; still possible.”

I suspect the nice round 100,000 words is not realistic. I think now that I’m talking nearer 90,000. I have some dates marked out in October just for writing (I just have to protect them) So that’s it. That’s the aim: the end of November.

11 comments:

ChrisH said...

Yay! All power to the Writing Pants! I think mine are getting a bit worn out with the supreme effort I've been making. May the Force of the Pants be with you!

Queenie said...

Great aim. 90k should be fine, my understanding is that agents/publishers are happy with 80k for a first novel (unless you're in a fat book genre like fantasy, which I know you're not). Go you and your pants! (And be sure to tell the truth at all times, lest they catch fire;-))

Caroline said...

Go you! Don't worry about the word count and focus on getting the story out. I tend to increase my word count on each draft. You're at the 'best bit' now - the end is in sight!

x

Carol said...

You are doing so so well!! I am most impressed and I can't wait to read it!!

Yay to writing pants

C x

HelenMHunt said...

Ooh exciting. I found I got faster as I got closer to the end, and it got easier to write as I knew exactly what was going to happen.

B said...

Nice one! keep at it :)

JJ Beattie said...

Chris, thank you. You've been doing brilliantly, haven't you?

Queenie, until I got a feel for how i was telling the story, 100k was just a random number I selected for its, uhm, roundness. I do think my pants might catch on fire at the rate i am writing at the moment!

Caroline, you're so right. It feels so much better. I didn't like the middle bit: all up hill. But this! Lots of juicy stuff coming out.

Carol, thanks lovely. You will have to be patient...

Helen, I did worry about what would happen without the obligation to send words to my mentor, but look! Lots of words.

Thanks B.

Debs said...

Go, JJ, go.

sheepish said...

Oh I know how you feel I keep eying up the end of the year I really do have to finish by then. This has been going on far too long and I must finish for my own sanity. You are doing brilliantly and a source of inspiration because i don't want you to beat me. A mini race to the finish, hope to be waiting for you with the medal for second place. How's that for a challenge?

Angie said...

Woo hoo! That's exciting. It's scary establishing a date, but it's a great motivator. Look at you go!
*rah rah rah*

aileen said...

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