Writing that Novel

January brings us a brand-new, shiny year that is all fresh and ready for us to add things to buckle down and start fresh. Perhaps you are planning vacations or getting serious about going to the gym or writing that novel. Sometimes they are resolutions or just recurring New Year themes.

I’ve been very busy writing a new novel and what’s funny is that my house is either spotlessly clean while I’m brainstorming or avoiding time typing – or it looks like a band just left for the night after a big party – when I’ve been typing away and building the new world of the latest novel. There seems to be very little in between! LOL!

One thing all writers can relate to as they are writing that novel aside from lack of progress on domestic tasks is keeping track of word count. Novelists talk about progress in terms of how many thousands of words they are from their goal and how many they have completed that week.

Typically most novels range between 65,000 and 80,000 words, which generally speaking is close to 300 double-spaced pages in a typical word processor with an average font size. Novellas are much smaller than that at somewhere below 40,000 words, or about half the size of a regular novel.

I also pay more attention to word count than pages and, in my latest project, my writing goals relate to words per week instead of pages per week. For example, if you are starting a novel or planning the work, it can be helpful to think of the writing schedule in terms of words. If your goal is to write 80,000 words within 8 weeks, then that means 10,000 words per week to stay on schedule.

At the end of the day, writing a novel means A LOT of time sitting at the keyboard and carving out the time to keep forging ahead. In my case, it all means a rather messy house during that same time and I haven’t seen the inside of the gym since 2019 rolled out. But, I’m keeping up with my word count goals, so that’s the current priority.

Whatever your writing project of 2019, I wish you much success! Keep going and remember that building a new world within a novel takes time and a lot of patience. Remember that your characters will help you build things along the way and that you don’t have to have everything planned out ahead of time – there’s a fog in fiction that you can drive through a few feet at a time. Just keep going! Happy 2019, writers!


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