If you think writing the first draft of a novel in a month sounds hard, well it is. Especially when you’re juggling family and work responsibilities.
Day 6 is here, I’m just edging on 6,000 words written, and I’m already three days behind in terms of word count. But that’s the downside.
The upside is, I’m 6000 words into the first draft of my new novel WarRunner! I’m right at the end of the first chapter, and the story is finally starting to flow.
I’ve made life very difficult for myself, having chosen to write in the present tense; something I’ve never attempted before. And writing an historical fiction in the present tense is probably the very hardest genre to write in the present tense. I like to make things hard. I am also finding it very challenging to write this novel in a time period I am only begining to become familiar with. While the historical facts are quite clear in my mind and well-researched, I’m finding it very hard to add the descriptive colour and detail I am used to writing. How do I describe an Athenian agora? What do the Attika mountains look like? And what does it feel like to descend one of these early in the morning? I’m having to make some broad guesses, and leave a lot of what I’m writing very generic and open to a thorough revision. But, that’s the nature of a first draft.
I’ve also struggled quite a lot with not revising. And I have slipped back a few times. But I’m getting better at it, and I’m getting quicker, especially as the story becomes more interesting and the characters become more defined.
So it’s onwards, with the very real possibility I’m not going to get anywhere near the target of 50,000 words by the end of the month. But even if I only get half as much, at least I’m still half way there, right? It’s happening. But for now it’s happening slowly.