After a bunch of distractions this year, I feel like I’m finally back on track and making progress with my fantasy novel, City of Djinn.
I’ve gone back to what I know works from five years of NaNoWriMo – setting a daily word count target. I chose 1,000 words (about 1.5 sides of A4 typed text) as it’s quite easily achievable but also makes your feel like you’re getting somewhere. It’s also a nice round number.
Unlike NaNoWriMo, there is no total target where over or under performance one day affects the next. Every day is a new target of (at least) 1,000 words.
I’ve been doing this for a week now and have only failed to meet the target once (writing 357 words, which is still 357 more words than I’d have written otherwise.) Most days I write slightly more – 1221 was my best day, done entirely on my iPhone while I travelled on trains and tubes around London.
This approach to writing has lots of benefits. It’s not too onerous (no sitting down for hours on end every night after work) but slow and steady it gets your there eventually. It also keeps you thinking about your novel, even when not writing. Those little thoughts in odd moments – in the shower, on the train – are how plots get worked out and characters developed.
I’m now up to 11,300 words for this final novel section, which I estimated should be complete somewhere between 30-40,000 words. At this rate I should have the first draft complete by the end of April.