An article a day is a fine goal. Ten thousands words a day is a better one. It may be impossible for most of us, but some big name writers are doing it, given the number of books they put out.
I like setting tough goals for myself, just a little higher than I believe possible. I may fail to achieve them, but get more done than I would with a lesser goal.
I’ve written a lot about prolific writing in earlier articles. You may think I’m trying to promote pulp fiction, but my main goal has been to help you (and me) to write more. Pulp fiction methods are a way to write a first draft fast. Start with a quality synopsis and outline, write a quick sloppy smash-through-all-obstacles first draft, and finish with quality revisions. The final novel won’t be pulp.
The more you write, the better you write, especially if you keep learning and experimenting. This challenge is my latest writing experiment.
This challenge is open to anyone who’d like to jump in. Nobody will, but there it is. I did a one day challenge a couple of years ago. It’s been accidentally repeated a few times because I got in a good writing frame of mind. The only person certain to participate in this is me. Can I write 10,000 words a day for seven days running?
I’m not going to know for sure. I’m applying the challenge to the third draft revision of my novel (aka Book 5). Out of the 73 chapters planned, 15 require minimal re-writing and 18 need to be written from scratch. Of the 40 needing significant revision, many will be re-written in first person point of view.
How am I going to judge my level of success? I’m going to use the percentage of the revision that is achieved. If I make it to chapter 37, that’s 50% completion or a C grade. All the way to the end is 100% or an A+ grade. To keep it from being too easy, I have to work five 5-hour shifts this week as well.
Pulp Fiction’s Role in Good Fiction
I once read a story about a teacher who challenged their class to write the worst book ever written. That freed them from constantly editing and revising while they wrote the first draft. The class was a success.
Because of that story and because I write multiple drafts anyway, I’ll write the third draft of my novel using some pulp fiction techniques to keep the momentum going. To learn more about pulp fiction, check out my Prolific Writing articles. Like first drafts, the writing can be terrible as long as the story keeps making its way onto the page. The end result of the challenge may require some re-writing but my outline is now solid. Only the final revision for quality will remain.
Okay. Yes. At the end of the challenge, I may not have finished the revision. Whether I continue at a high pace will be decided then. What I mean by a “high pace” is writing while ignoring reading, TV, friends, the internet, editing, typos, etc.
I know many writers consider it unrealistic to think you can write a revision in a week. There are others who can write a book in a week. I consider this another of those challenges where someone says it’s impossible and then I do it. Maybe I will fail, but it’s never wrong to try.
I will still be posting writing articles on the blog during this challenge.
Article by Ivan Izo.