d. i. richardson
Writing a Novel in Two Weeks?
Let’s start this off with the same little intro as the other three posts.
And now… two weeks.
Odds are if you’re reading this, you’re a writer. If you have finished a novel, don’t yell at me if my methods aren’t your methods. We can’t all be carbon copies. If you’re writing or want to write a novel though, consider this a good place to sit down and start. I’ve written eleven manuscripts from start to finish, so I’d hope I’ve learned a couple things in my writing “career.”
Of course it’s all subjective as well. There’s no right amount of time to write a book. I wrote a 155,000-word book in 2.5 months and a 56,000-word book over the course of two years.
Okay, here we go.
There are no damn rules here. Write whatever the hell you want because it doesn’t even matter. If you wanna write a book in two weeks, you’re a monster from some other dimension where weeks have more than seven days. (unless you’re Paulo Coelho).
Pick a genre, I don’t even care. It doesn’t matter.
Paulo Coelho wrote The Alchemist in two weeks, so he says. I believe him. Why? Because I wrote 45,000 words in one week once. Had I kept pace, I could have also written a novel in two weeks. It’s possible. Just hard. Very hard.
Plan It Out
Plan? This one? Hell no. You’re fuelled by your desire to give the finger to the world of writing and novels in general. You don’t need a plan. You need more caffeine.
By the Numbers
Okay. Math time.
Write an 80,000-word novel in two weeks. That’s 14 days. That’s also INSANE.
80,000 / 14 days of the years means we have to write at a pace of roughly 5,715 words a day. That doesn’t seem so bad, now does it? What, are you NUTS? That’s insanely high. You can’t do this, you brave but naïve soul.
Words Per Minute
For the average person, they type at around 40 words per minute (WPM). A novelist can crack 80+ on typing test with ease. There’s a snag with real writing though. Your WPM suffers because you have to 1) think about what you want to write, and 2) have to write more punctuation, including quotation marks. These all hamper your writing speeds to some degree.
For example, my writing speed on typing tests is average 87WPM. The means I could write our daily word count in 4 minutes, Except I can’t do that. Because that’s not how writing stories works. Novel words per minute is a different measurement.
Let’s just go ahead and assume novel words per minute (NWPM) is 35% of your raw WPM score to account for thinking and extra punctuation. So for me that would be roughly 30NWPM, meaning I could write our daily score in just under 3 hours. Of constant writing, mind you.
Humans can’t be creative for that long without getting burned out. And at that speed of writing, what kind of story can you even tell? Not a good one, surely. Prove me wrong though.
And none of this matters because if you pull this off, you’re a faster novelist than 99.9999% of writers anyway, so hats off to you. You absolutely smashed the six months to a year estimate most people give novelists.
This doesn’t even matter. Habits form after 21 days, not 14. You’re a high-speed train of thought. You don’t need habits or consistency. You need only caffeine to fuel your warped mind and nothing else. Sleep is an illusion to you.
And, finally, and perhaps most importantly: Just write the damn thing because nobody else can do it for you.
That being said. Prove me wrong and write a novel in two weeks. #CoelhoChallenge.
And if you can do that, prove me wrong again and write a novel within a week #CodaChallenge (not saying I can do it, but I am laying down that gauntlet).
So, what do you think?
Comment your thoughts!
Follow me on Twitter: @coda_cola_
And have a good wander, friend.