Thursday, February 16, 2012

Starting is hard

Starting a new book is hard. It's daunting and terrifying, even with an outline. But then, somehow, once I've started, it isn't hard anymore. Facing the blank page sucks, but as soon as I get those first words down, things start moving.

I find my first day or two is really about finding the character voice. I think I have that now, and while I'm pretty sure the first chapter I've written isn't great, I'll press on. I can revise later, once I've seen how the next few chapters pan out, where they go, if I can stick to my outline.

I've set myself realistic word count goals: 1500 words per day, 5 days a week. But I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't get there. I already know I won't get anything much done over the weekend, so I'm not too stressed about it. I know some days will be easier than others, and some days I'll sit down and nothing much will come.

Oh, the joys of experience. I'm struggling a little with knowing this is my 7th novel. 7th! That's a lot of words... So, onwards I go. I'll post weekly progress updates because I like feeling that I'm accountable. So, if next Friday I admit I'm still sitting on 3K, beat me up, okay?

How do you feel about starting new projects? Does it scare you? Excite?


  1. The blank page is a daunting thing, but I love the excitement and feverish writing of something new. Unfortunately, this means I am rubbish at editing because I just want to create new things. This is why you have 6 novels already and I have none!

    Good luck with number 7!

  2. I love starting new projects. Writing the rough draft is my favorite part of the writing process. Good luck with number 7!

  3. It is definitely hard because I want to get everything right this time and avoid past mistakes. But the more I'm getting into my new project, the more I realize those mistakes are necessary for me to learn my characters, setting, etc. and make sure the story is what it's meant to be. :) Happy writing!

  4. This is where I am right now. Nervously trying to put everything together in my brain so I can start writing and finding my character's voice.

  5. I'm the same way, getting started is the worse. Once I get going though it's hard to stop me. I know its geeky but I like to use an excel spreadsheet to track how many words I write every day. Seeing that running total climb is motivating!

  6. Good luck with your new novel!

    I'm a fellow ABNA particpant and wanted to say good luck!

  7. Thanks everyone! I like the first draft best too, but there is definitely something to be said for having one and just rewriting to make it work better....