.Book in a Day Challenge Results
I completed the “Write a Book in a Day” Challenge yesterday and wrote 5,600 words. That’s five times my daily average. The goal of the challenge was to write ten times as much as an average writing day, so I officially failed. Unofficially, I enjoyed the attempt and feel like it was a success. So much so that I’m moving my daily writing goal from 1000 to 2000 words a day. My “secret” plan is to slowly work my way up to 10,000 words a day. Slowly because I once went to 3000 words a day as my regular goal and made it. But after a couple of months at that rate I got bored of writing. Maybe that won’t be a problem now. At that time, I had only one writing project. I have many now.
I was hoping I might come up against some writer’s block. I had called it an illusion in “Writer’s Block: Myth or Reality?”. Maybe writer’s block is only a problem for writer’s of fiction. I know I used to get it many years ago. At one point near the end of yesterday’s writing, I realized I had written away from the outline and the main conflict had been resolved by having the protagonist cooperate with the criminals. To fix the problem, I used the Ten Paths solution. I wrote ten possible directions for the story in point form. Then I developed the best one. The timeline for ramping up the action was too long. So I used Ryoki Inoue’s solution to story problems. Dynamite. A character was returning to town with a cache of guns anyway. I threw a box of dynamite into his trunk. The conflict has definitely heated up again and with no waiting.
Did I learn anything from this exercise? I learned that I wouldn’t want to write 5000 words every day at this time. I learned that I don’t seem to have a writer’s block problem with fiction. I learned that it is difficult to have a day of only first draft writing. I occasionally had to look up information in the earlier parts of the novel. I also needed to modify the outline a couple of times as the story took me in unexpected directions. And I learned that distractions are inevitable.
I wonder now if everyone sets their “book in a day” challenge to ten times their normal output. I know I’ve seen the concept elsewhere. I’m sure it’s been around for as long as writing. When I do the next one, I’m going for writing five times as much as normal. Since I’ve doubled my daily writing goal, my target should be around 10,000 words again. Will I learn to produce 2000 words a day in the same time as I now produce 1000 words a day? I’m guessing yes.
While we’re on the subject, why do most writers report a daily word count of about 1000 words? At 32 words a minute, for example, 1000 words should only take a half hour to produce. There is the researching, outlining and rewriting, but even if the four parts were evenly divided we end up with only a two hour day. In 8 hours, it should be possible to produce 4000 words. I can’t help it. I keep giving myself these new challenges. I achieve more of them than I miss and if I didn’t give myself tough goals, I would achieve less.
Did anyone reading this do the challenge? Or will you?
Article by Ivan Izo.