Novice to Novel: Part 7 – Preparing For Battle

The stats:

Words written this week: 615

Total words in the novel so far: 54,517

Chapters: 25

Version 3, Rough Draft

Let’s Fucking Go! It’s time for Camp Nanowrimo and I am pumped as all hell. I am challenging myself to finish the rough draft of my novel by the end of April. That is around 40,000 words in a month; or 1,333 words written per day.

I feel like this is my best shot at actually winning this challenge. I have attempted NaNoWriMo 4 times and have never pulled it off. Now, this isn’t really NaNoWriMo, so I won’t really count finishing this as winning NaNoWriMo but, 40k+ words in a month is pretty damn close. And most importantly, I JUST WANT TO FINISH MY DAMN BOOK!

With that being said, I do have a lot of things working against me. I am taking a Photoshop class and that eats up 3-5 hours of free time a week.

Side note: I actually really love that class and I am having fun with it. Here is a fantasy poster I made for a project:

Can you spot the dragon?

Anyway, this is also the busy season at work so I will be working at least 4 days a week, 30-35 hours. I also have a D&D campaign that I run once a week which is 3-4 hours and an additional 2-3 hours of prep work before each session. That is a lot of time consumption going on. That is why I needed a plan.

First, I needed to make writing as easy as possible. I decided to do all of the research and planning that I could, so that when I sit down to write I will already know a few things:

  1. Outline of what I am writing
  2. Timeline of events
  3. suggested word count
  4. important plot points and set-ups

I have created an outline for the remainder of my novel that has actually become quite detailed. So I took the outline that I made from what I learned from Save The Cat! by Blake Snyder and put the rest of the story I am writing into a google doc called Camp NaNoWriMo Outline. It looked something like this:

All Is Lost: 59k words total

The Low Point. The part where the reader says, “how the fuck are they going to pull this off?”

  • 2k words: The character finds out that he is going to die (continuation from the first chapter).

Dark Night of the Soul: 61k – 70k words total

The character goes through the “why me” phase and has to find the resolve to carry on. He starts going through the 5 stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (This is the start of the rest of the book).

  • 4k words: Denial. he pretends that it doesn’t exist and that he is just crazy. Goes looking for solutions and just finds more proof that what he has learned is real and that he will die in 2 months. 
  • 5k words: Anger. He starts being mean to people and lashing out, not caring about himself or anything else around him. He no longer cares about any of the consequences of his actions (to an extent).

I did this for all of the parts left in the book; including the heading, estimated word count, explanation, and important plot points in chronological order. This way, when I sit down to write I can look at what section of the book I am on and know what it is about and what the narrative focus should be. Basically, I then just write from one plot point to the other as creatively as I can, as long as it is within the estimated word count.

I have the whole timeline of the novel figured out with bullet points for each important event – be it personal or otherwise – that happens along the way. I also tried to anticipate any information that I would have to look up and did the research.

I am trying to set myself up so that whenever I have a spare moment, I can just sit down and start typing away. I won’t have to think about anything except narrating the story; bullet point to bullet point.

I am excited to take on this challenge and I hope that you will all come along for the ride with me. I will keep you all updated on my progress as frequently as I can and tell you all what is working and what isn’t.

If any of you are writers or just generally productive people, I would love your advice. I am not a disciplined person at all, but I would like to be, and I feel like I am going to have to become one if I am going to finish this challenge. I am going to try and come up with a schedule and post my final game plan on Thursday, right before Camp NaNoWriMo starts. I would love any input that you could give, feel free to leave it as a comment on this post.

Wish me luck, I am going to need it. Until next time.

~Chris Joy

Categories: Humor, Novice to NovelTags: , , , ,


  1. I wish you the best of luck. Although I don’t count myself as disciplined, I do follow a routine that is mostly “if I don’t get 2k words, I ain’t going to sleep!” And I love to sleep.
    I write for two hours, usually 7-9 pm but when I get caught up with something during these hours, I make sure to fix another time to write BEFORE I sleep. You should look for something you love doing and then set a routine to write before you do that. It could be gaming, cooking, watching sports, or movies.
    Hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

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