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Saturday morning, I was looking at a long weekend, 91,000 out of what I thought would be 115,000 total words written in my first draft of my second novel. My goal was to finish those potential 14,000 words by the end June. So I figured, if I could write a couple of thousand words per day, I'd be really ahead of the game, and have no trouble finishing by June 30th.


So I started writing. All day. I didn't stop for anything but the occasional bathroom break and to shovel a little food down my throat. And I wrote late, into Sunday morning.


And then I thought maybe I could do this again.


And then on Monday, I got so excited at how close I was to finished, I not only wrote all day, but most of the night.


Bottom line: by Tuesday morning at 3am, I had written 30,000 words, almost exactly. I have finished the first draft of my second novel, which clocks in at 73 chapters and 121,000 words.


3 days and 30,000 words. YIKES! That's 3/5ths of a NaNoWriMo in 3 days. How did I do it?


1) Wife and dog were gone for the weekend. I had no other responsibilities.

2) Used the internet for research only. No social networking/posting/distractions

3) I had plotted out what each chapter was about, so I didn't end up spending hours trying to figure out what came next, or going in a direction that required rewriting previous material or that dug me into a corner.

4) Storyist let me have my notes and research always up, so I never had to dig around for anything.


So I managed to stay focused, alert, enthused, and actually write *reasonably well* for all that time (I say that not arrogantly; I've written enough words in my life that I know when I'm writing shoddy, "just get on with it" copy, and when I'm being fluid and creative).


It's a wonderful feeling to have the first draft finished! The plan now:

* Sit on it for a few weeks, then come back and do a rough edit—this is quick, a couple of weeks. I'm too close to it to do much good.

* Send it to a professional editor, to give it a really thorough development edit. This may take a month.

* Revise/rewrite based on the edit. This is the second draft. Which is basically "the rough novel." This may take a few months.

* Send the 2nd draft to a copy editor to make sure I didn't screw it up with half-deleted sentences, butchered copy/paste, and so on. This may take a month.

* Finalize the third draft. This is "the finished book." This will take a few weeks or month.


So with luck, I may be finished in 2011, depending how severe the changes in for the second draft are. As I think about it, I can already imagine beloved sub-plots and the like that I'll likely end up getting rid of in order to tighten the story. It's always sad to do that, but it makes for a better novel.


Onward and upward!


A very sleepy Orren

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I've done a few thousand a day but never ten thousand a day and certainly not for three consecutive days. This is an awesome achievement. Congratulations Sleepy Orren. You strike me as a man with a plan.


But remember how Mozart died.

The poor genius worked himself to death.


Expecting wonderful things.

- Thoth

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Congrats Orren! That's really impressive!

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