Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Down for the Count . . .

The last few days have brought some neat ideas my way.

First (and very helpful) is the idea that blogging doesn't have to happen every day. Completing the A-Z Blogging Challenge was intense and sometimes did take me away from that day's writing, though I gained much along the way. So, thanks to blogger Amy Tan's suggestions, I'll now post on the blog about 3x a week. Haven't set up a schedule yet, but already this feels good.

Second, do I really have a specific writing goal? Looks like we'll be going to Africa in Oct/Nov 2012 for about 6 weeks. As my mother would say, 'Ooofta!' I already know that will create a big hole in my writing, so it's time to figure out what I really want to do. That's easy. I want to finish the first draft of Years of Stone at roughly 90,000 words.

Do I have a schedule? Only six months takes me to October and the Africa trip. Can I complete this first draft in 6 months, sitting now at roughly 53,000 words and a good plot outline? That means some 5,000 words each month. That means 200 “good” words a day. Even on a bad day, I should be able to write 300 good words. Every day.

GOAL: 300 ‘good’ words a day.
GOAL: Complete first draft by October 2012.

After coming home (and decompressing -- and processing notes and pictures), I should be ready to go back to work about mid-December (if not sooner). So it's reasonable to send that my draft out to 'first readers' (a term used to describe those hardy and deeply trusted editing/writing buddies who are willing to read a first draft). If they return in 6-8 weeks, the timing is perfect.

Of course, I'm continuing to submit maybe 1-2 chapters a month (and critting an equal number plus) to NOVELS-L at the Internet Writing Workshop (an absolutely wonderful resource).

I'll keep you posted. So maybe writing goals don't need to be set only in January at the turn of the new year. How are your writing goals coming?


  1. I love the way you've worked everything out mathmatically. Not allowing for laziness or illness, you should achieve your goal. Fingers crossed. It took me a week to get back to proper writing. With my book on the final phase, I've now entered into the story again after the challenge. I'm a creature of habit, so I needed to change the blog cruise routine for concentration on my own work in progress.

  2. It is so easy to become obsessed with one's novels and curse the distractions of real life. I love it when I see authors embracing real lfe adventures, such as your African trip. These experiences, although cutting into wrting time, enhance our writing skills by immeasurable enriching our lives and psyche.

    Have fun and good luck with your budding career as a novelist.

  3. I'm so envious of your trip to Africa. What a wonderful opportunity!!!

    I'm always resetting my writing goals. The deadline for my next book is August, so I really need to get busy. Good luck meeting your goal.