It’s my goal, and I’m sticking to it: one thousand words a day. If I keep at it, I should have the first draft of my next novel-length manuscript completed in three to four months. I started my last one in May and had it finished by October, so I think this is an attainable goal. Sure, that one took five months, but I was also working on a dozen short stories at the time, drafting them, revising them, sending them out to magazines. But for the next three to four months, I’m just going to focus on my current novel idea and see where it takes me.

One thousand words a day. About four pages, double-spaced with one-inch margins—manuscript form. It’s doable. But I can be my own worst enemy. I have a bad habit of revising as I go, which can sometimes get in the way of whatever progress I’ve made. I need to take Stephen King’s advice from On Writing and save the editing for later, just let the story pour out of me in the first draft. Like Cecil Murphey said at a recent writers’ conference: “Just vomit it out!”

So, I’m writing a new novel-length manuscript (I won’t start calling them novels until one gets published; then I’ll be able to say: “I’m writing another novel. And Jeeves, while you’re at it, please lay out my dinner jacket.”) I put fingers to keyboard on it for the first time last Wednesday, and I currently have 6,714 words written. So far, not bad.

Now here’s where you come in. Yes, YOU. Hold me accountable. Check in periodically to see if I’ve met my goal for the day. One thousand words. Together, we will have a novel-length manuscript finished by March 2010!

(This post: 300 words)
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