How to Schedule a Novel

Everybody in my family is a reader, but my cousin Jens is a writer, too.

Yesterday, I was overjoyed to participate in a wonderful family ritual: I went to Half-Price Books in Arlington with said cousin . Walking among those beloved bookshelves, we chatted about books and writing.  Having finished his first novel in July, Jens told me how to finish mine. It seemed fitting that he gave me the secret to life in the comic section of my hometown bookstore:

Write 1,500 words a day. You will be done in three months.

This morning I got out the trusty calculator, and with math advice from both my mom and my cousin Jill, I made this writing calendar:

  • Today: 9,315 words written (nearly 10%)
  • January 16: 30,000 words (1/4 finished)
  • February 9: 60,000 words (Halfway!)
  • March 5: 90,000 words (3/4 finished)
  • March 30: 120,000 words (big party)

 Using the wisdom I gained from my master’s thesis horror, I added one day off a week into this schedule. Now comes the easy part…

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4 responses to “How to Schedule a Novel

  1. That sounds really ambitious. Hope you get it done. I usually have no deadlines unless I have something to do. I try to finish a book within four months. Good luck to you on your project.

    Ceylan

  2. Thats very regimented, good job ha ha.

    Thats how I view weight loss, it’s funny to see it in a book format :)

  3. Thanks for the encouragement! If it works for weight loss, then it must work for the lesser challenge of novel writing.

  4. I know I write best when I set goals for myself or I have some sort of deadline. I also think it is a good idea to have one day off (or more if you need it).

    My favorite period of writing was last April when I wrote a poetry draft a day for NaPoWriMo. It was awesome, and I can’t wait to do it again. I hope to get to the point where I can do it a couple times a year.

    I’m excited for you! Good luck!

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