Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Concept

After years of being an aspiring writer, this year I finally managed to sit down and write my first novel. Yah. Writing challenge accepted and conquered. Now I could go back to my day job, which admittedly is not that thrilling but pays the bills.

Within a week I had started on the sequel.

I then attended a writers' workshop weekend and spent the Sunday night just jotting down all the plots for novels I had playing on my mind. 25 books. I had the concepts for 25 really very separate books. And that was without digging through years of creative writing journals or looking at statues of women with broken jars.

Well, that was fine. I would just do the sequel to my first novel (young adults supernatural story, still looking for a publisher, but it will happen my friend, it will happen) and then the sequel to that, to make a nice trilogy. God was on to something with the Trinity.

After I had finished that, then I might move onto one of the other series, in a few years. I had plenty of time. Though if it took me another 20 years to write the sequel, maybe not that much time.

But honestly, where's the fun in that? Where's the challenge?
If you plan to be so foolish as to consider a lifestyle as a writer, why then try and be sensible?

So I thought about it. Writing a novel is like a marathon. To me, running a marathon would be mind blowing, as I'm really more of a 10km fun run sort of girl. But for marathon runners the challenge then becomes ultra marathons. But a book which is 100 times longer than usually really isn't going to be a best seller. So, what do marathon runners do instead of ultra marathons? Multiple Marathons!
In my local Dymocks I found a book by someone who had run a marathon every week for a year, each in a different country. It was insane. So insane that it just happened to appeal to a writer.

Think about it, I have 25 books currently that I want to write, and once I start I know there will be more. As I am a writer, not a mathematician, I did some quick calculations and came up with 25 books a year, 100 books in 5 years. It took me a few minutes to realise why that didn't work, but the idea had stuck by then. 100 first drafts in 5 years. 20 books a year. Basically 2 weeks per book (including a nice 4 weeks of holiday, and 2 weeks every year of planning). Say the average book is 100,000 words (though my current series is young adults so slightly shorter) and I treat it as a normal job, that's 10,000 words a day, five days a week.
The fact that at my best while I was working on my first novel I reached 5,000 word a day has not scared me off in any way. The fact that I still currently have to work to pay my bills is only a small set back in my master plans.

Therefore, as of the 1st of July (yes, I'm working with financial years because I can't be bothered waiting for the end of the year, and hopefully it might give my writing the hint that it needs to be financially viable... one can always hope), I am going to take two weeks to plan out Phase 1: the first 20 drafts.

Along the way I intend to update this blog with the facts of life about being a wanna-be writer. I promise to do my best not to make it a pity-party. If I want to be insane and spend my time writing, I'll at least make it look like I'm having a good time!

Hopefully this blog will include the great advice and brilliant people I meet along the way, and tips on how to overcome anything that stops you from writing.



P.S. I should explain now: yes, my name is Elizabeth, but I have been called Buffy since I was born, which was long before any TV series or movies (high school was hard for all of us, in our own way). Since everyone else calls me Buffy, you may as well too.

1 comment:

  1. Buffy, you are utterly insane, but in a good way. May reading your blog inspire me on to a rate of one draft a year (on its own, a tenfold improvement for me. Though it goes against my hard-earned reputation of insanity, I fear I shall still take the sane but boring and less ambitious path).
    May fortune favour you upon your quest, the dreaded writers' blocks not impede your passage and glory be yours by quest's end.
    -Taswegian Nick