Writing Marathon

I have news! I’ve begun a new novel, and I’m thrilled about it. It’s not the sequel to the novel I’m querying, however. Getting bogged down writing a series should be avoided until you know it will sell, so as not to spend ten years on it and then find out it isn’t marketable. My current work in progress is a young adult contemporary stand-alone novel set in Missouri, with a distinctly rural flavor. (I’m loving writing about my home state.)

Writing this one is quite a bit different from writing SILENCE. Since it’s stand-alone, I don’t have to plot out a series before really diving in. It’s also one point of view, instead of 2, and in first person, not third. SILENCE is on the long end of normal, at 101,000 words, and this one will probably be 50,000-60,000. We’ll see.

One of the most significant differences is that I’m writing this one in a 40-day writing marathon. I’m setting myself week-day and weekend word count goals and cutting out much of the extra things in my life to get a first draft pounded out by September 1. It won’t be a polished, finished product, but it will be something with a beginning, middle, and end. I have some trusty beta readers who are sending me immediate thoughts chapter by chapter, and I’m bouncing ideas off the incomparable Nikki, but beyond that, I’m not revising as I go.

I hit 10,000 words today and I’ve been writing for 4 days, so I’m on target so far. I hope to post several times about the tools I’m using to speed up my productivity and about my progress in general, so stay tuned. One of the biggest challenges will be my day job- I’m not able to take time off for this, so it has to fit in around my normal schedule. But I am loving, truly loving, seeing something take shape so quickly.

Have you ever done a writing marathon? Do you have advice or thoughts? Tell me in the comments!

7 thoughts on “Writing Marathon

  1. No, but I think I need to do just that! In the past couple of weeks, I’ve totally re-worked the plot for Lost Girl Road. I did completely new outline and fixed POV issues that have plagued it from the start. I’ve been chugging along when I really just need to let the draft rip. Now that I’ve finally managed to overcome the majority of POV and plotting obstacles, my new plan that should have been my old plan, is to draft and not stop until finished.

    It will be interesting to see how your marathon plays out. I’ll be starting mine in mid-August.

  2. Kate, best wishes. I need to try that sometime. When I write a novel it’s like applying cement. I dump it all out there and then I spend months smoothing and cutting away the excess. I think your way keeps you from getting too involved in the research end, which is good. Sometimes I let the research bog me down when perhaps what’s needed is just to write. Checking facts, etc. can come later. Can’t wait to hear about your progress.

  3. Kate, good for you. My romance novel will be out in a few weeks, but it took way too long to get there. Not the writing of the novel itself, but everything that comes after it. I took off on a seven week writing marathon at my son’s place in a country setting … great place to write. In those seven weeks, I was able to write 118,000 words, though have since chopped off 11,000 words. Copy-editors (twice), rewrites, beta-readers, cover design, web site and blog creation, ISBN’s, author photos, etc., have eaten up a full year. My next novel, hopefully, will be under a year. I firmly believe that you are on the right track — write fast and deal with the rewrites and all that other stuff later. Wishing you the best.

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