Thank god it’s over. I finished work on PerNoFiMo – Personal Novel Finishing Month – on Sunday night. By that point, I had hit just over 40K words, doubling the amount I had written in that particular writing project to date. The work-in-progress, Whip It!, is still nowhere near done. I estimate the final story will be around 120K. But for now, I’m letting the story sit while I focus on other projects.
So, what did I learn from PerNoFiMo? Well, let’s see…
- I can actually turn out 40K words in under 30 days.
- About half of those words, if not more, are going to be pretty crappy.
- But crappy writing can be edited, while no writing is still no writing.
- Evenings after the kids have gone to bed make excellent time for writing. I loved curling up with the laptop in bed every night and just banging out words for two or more hours straight. This is one habit I hope to keep up.
- I cannot write and handle e-mail in the same time period. I can either write, or check e-mail, but doing one negates the possibility of doing the other. I lost an entire evening of writing to tackling a response to just one e-mail. Yeah, three hours on one message. I was not happy about that.
- Speaking of e-mail, I get too much of the damn stuff. It’s currently eating up at least 2 hours of my work day, and I still can’t keep up with the shit. Which probably means…
- I need to cut back on a few things, to cut down on the amount of e-mail, or else free up time to handle it more. Or possibly both.
- Final lesson – I cannot write a mystery without an outline. I must have the story blocked out first; not so much that I’ll lose all interest in the actual writing of the story, but enough to know what clues need to be set up and how to get from the crime to the solution without wanting to shoot myself along the way.
So, there ya go. PerNoFiMo – 40K words in 30 days, story still unfinished and half of what I wrote is complete donkey dung, but it’s progress none-the-less.
Where to go from here? Like I mentioned above, I intend to let Whip It! sit for a bit, possibly 2-3 months, before I return to it. On my to-do list, I have three stories for three different anthologies to write, and I need to get these done. That means I will once again be curling up in the evenings with the laptop to write for two hours before going to bed. Unlike PerNoFiMo, however, I intend to work at a more comfortable pace. I ended up writing just about every night for 2-3 hours, including weekends, and I started to burn out before the last week. Honestly, I like taking weekends off, and so I plan to not write on Friday and Saturday evenings just so I can curl up with the Hubster instead of the laptop and maybe watch some crappy TV. Or hey, even go out to a movie, or dinner, or have sex! Wouldn’t that be novel (as opposed to being a novel, in progress, every night of the week).
I took Monday and Tuesday nights off, so I plan to sit down again tonight and pull out that first story I need to write. Actually, it’s already written, but I really want to take another whack at it and make sure it’s good. Then I’ll get my other two stories written and go back to Whip It! I promise, I will get this story done.
Next week, I’ll try to post a snippet of what I wrote for PerNoFiMo, but for right now, I’ve got all that damned e-mail waiting for me to take care of it. Ciao, babies!