A page a day is a novel a year

Posted: October 10, 2011 in Events, Writing
Tags: , , ,

In recent weeks the work-in-progress has gone from tetchy to down-right flinty-eyed. Now the silent treatment has given way to full-blown tirades whenever I’m within spitting distance of the keyboard.

So you’re back, are you? Think you can just dump me, then pick up where we left off? After you’ve been running around with that little chapter book…Or that ridiculous short story. Oh yes, I know all about that, the one with the killer opening and cute little epiphany.

I avert my eyes. I can’t bear to see the accusation in her stalled word count.

We’ve been together a long time, the w-i-p and me. She’s a harsh mistress. Exacting and demanding. But you know what novels are like. They expect a lot from us, but then they give a lot too. And she’s been giving me heaps lately…

You’ve been lunching with that new publisher, haven’t you? The one who set you up with that Aussie Mate. Bet you didn’t talk about me, did you? Well, I mean, what would you have to say? You never come near me, you don’t write, you don’t –

I stop her right there. She’s right – about everything. I’ve let myself get distracted. Helping others to massage their stories into shape, but neglecting needs much closer to home… I don’t want to lose what we’ve built together, and I’m scared that if I fall out of the story, she’ll never let me back in.

I make wild promises. I even sign up for Queensland Writers Week  in a desperate attempt to prove my commitment. I swear to finish what we’ve started and earn my way get back into her good books.

I’ll take baby steps. A page a day.  That’s a novel a year. I can do this.

I promise myself and my sceptical w-i-p that I will dedicate at least one page to her, every day, until it is done.

No excuses. No exemptions. If I fail to write at least one page today, then I must write at least two pages tomorrow.

Hold me to this. In fact, put a smile on the face of your w-i-p and join me.

I’ll be recording my progress in the comments below.  You can too. Let’s celebrate Queensland Writers Week together, and get that novel written. One page at a time. Starting today.

I’m up to page 124 and counting. How about you?

  1. Ermilia says:

    You’re ignoring editing and revision. Our novel has taken two years in part because our manuscript analysis took several weeks where we could not work on it at all. The novel isn’t done just because you type the last word.

    • chrisbongers says:

      So true, Elia. I’m an inveterate polisher myself, and my first novel took the best part of four years before it was ready to be published. My second was written in less than nine months, and in book stores within sixteen months of the first word being written. Each manuscript is different. I guess my point is that all big tasks can be broken down into small achievable chunks. By writing as little as one page per day, you can produce a complete draft of your novel manuscript within one year. 🙂

  2. I’m not even going to disclose my sad little page count to you Christine. But I do applaude your wonderful mantra; a page a day is a novel a year. That is wall worthy in my book. (that is sticky up on the wall and really stare at it worthy). Thanks. Best you get on with it now.

  3. chrisbongers says:

    Dimity, I just finished a chapter book that ran to all of 10 pages, 2,300 words all up, and I’m still chuffed. Celebrate every page, I say. Picture books can tell their story in less than 43 words. Celebrate every word.But you are right, best I get on with it now. 😉

  4. […] with attention, no WordPlay; – Behind the scenes – Influências, no Crónicas Obscuras; – A page a day is a novel a year, no blog de Christine Bongers; – How to Get Started Mind Mapping Your Book, no The Book Designer; – […]

  5. kathleennoud says:

    Hey chickie. I should join you actually. I’m on my third job for the year and still swamped by all the house buying paperwork, so my w-i-p has been languishing. It was even giving me attitude when I was reading through it. (Cheeky thing!) I’ll let you know how I go and best wishes with your many projects. xo

  6. chrisbongers says:

    Kathleen, please do join me, I could do with the company. When I reread my w-i-p, it had been so long, it sounded like someone else had written it. By the time I got to page 123 I was dying to know what happens next…then realised that I would have to write it. Page 125, here I come.

  7. chrisbongers says:

    Oh, the delicious discipline of a deadline. Despite a full week of commitments, I’ve managed nine pages between appointments, and I can wangle another three writing slots this evening and on Saturday and Sunday mornings. If I continue to meet my minimum daily targets, I’m on track to achieve the real goal – a completed draft of my novel before school hols start (and my writing life becomes more logistically challenged). Feeling more energised and optimistic with every page!

    • chrisbongers says:

      Ten days into the new regime, and I’m reeling from the constant non-writing impositions on my time. BUT, I am still averaging two pages a day and that puts me on target to achieve my goal. **Fist pump**

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