I wrote a book in 25 days.
Lets cut straight to the facts as they are;
- I don’t have kids
- I live in a rural area
- I have a short commute
- I worked fucking hard at it
I love the book, I think it’s a great stand alone story and for me that’s a rarity.
It sprung into my head after I halted work on the Last Prophecy series because buying houses is expensive and the budget said no to editing. Hell the budget said no to my damn haircuts, but we negotiated over vodka. I gave up desserts for it as part of keto.
Scott, being the wonderful and supportive person he is, rightly pointed out it’s just a delay so those of you who’ve stuck with me this far, I’m sorry. I’m still writing the stories, but the release dates are totally out of my hands.
Instead I’ve done some beta recommended rewrites on Queen of Spades the last month, and this other idea I’ve titled Behind the Veil.
The book wouldn’t shut up. It wouldn’t go away. I sat down and wrote it with no idea what was going to happen. I don’t think it’s a steaming pile of garbage but the verdict is still out from the first beta reader.
So, how did I write it?
- Writers Block
When you don’t have an idea what happens next you need to think quickly and keep typing, keep writing, keep the momentum going. I’d start a chapter with a bang and finish it on a cliff-hanger of a comment which dragged me back into what happens next?
It kept the story moving briskly and my pace was very high. There was more to it than that but I’ve written articles on how I do this before.
Fellow writer Zack Riley runs a cosy little discord channel that allows me to do writing sprints. I normally run for an hour, and will do several hours all in a row with 15 to 30min breaks.
The sprints have a bot timer so you have a prompt to keep you on track. You start a sprint, add yourself & your word total, and go when the buzzer hits. There is no TIME to stop and think, you’ve got to write as many words as you can and you are only challenging yourself. It takes practice to do it on command, (I’ve been doing it for 5 years) but after a while you can just sit and work on the story.
When I started I’d be lucky to get a couple of hundred.
Now, on a bad session, I’ll get 1200 words or so. On a good one I’ll get 2.5k words.
There wasn’t one. I just wrote Letitia’s story as hard as I possible could. I kept the story going as much as I could. Letitia may as well have been possessing me for how this story spilled out on its own.
I like to credit my imagination, but I read a lot of horror, I’d just never written it before, and it was exciting to be doing this for the first time.
You should have some idea of where it is going, just don’t be afraid if the story turns into something else, if its pressing you to write it, then its exciting, not just for you but hopefully the reader too! If its becoming boring and predictable to you, how is it going to feel to the reader? Try just letting yourself go, and sprints is a great way to do that.
- No breaks!
No capes, no breaks.
I would get up in the morning and write, I would write at lunch, I’d get home and write, and I’d write for as much as ten hours on a weekend. I felt invigorated and refreshed by the constant appeal of not knowing what was going to happen. The story that was whispering in my ear, kept me coming back, even dreaming about it. By the end of it I just wanted to go back and edit it because I was in love with it.
No games. No TV shows. Nothing but writing and reading breaks (with the odd Armello game with Zack).
It meant I watched a couple of movies with my husband. We live alone, and we’re far from friends, so my time was able to be utilized to write, and knowing it was important he was incredibly supportive and reminded me to eat.
- You can do this too
I am lucky in that I don’t have kids or other commitments that consume too much of my time. I live in a rural area I’m new to which means I don have many local friends.
But I work 40plus hours a week.
I have a dog that needs walking twice a day.
Hubby & I share the housework evenly. Sure he might have cooked more, but I do my part.
It was how I utilized my writing time. Rather than socialize on Twitter, I told people I was writing.
Rather than stuff around doing other things I focused solely on what time I sat down at my computer and how much writing I could put into that time. It wasn’t something I could do when I started five years ago.
All of this takes years to balance and even now I feel overwhelmed and overworked some days.
You can do this too, remember what time you sit down at a computer and ask yourself what do you want to get out of that time.
Do the writing sprints and get better with practice.
Take the story other places, let it guide you, learn to listen to it.
At the end of this all I want you to take away is that you could do this.
You could write a book in 25 days.
Ask yourself how you are utilizing your time, and what you want to get out of it.
Learn how to do writing sprints and how to fly by the seat of your pants. Even if you plot, you really just have to know what you are writing next, sit down, and do it.
I had to give up on a part of my life that had never made me happier. The Last Prophecy series is my calling to write. But while its on hold, and while I can write like this, I know a two very important things;
I’ve never been poorer, & I’ve never been happier.
I’ll write my own stories, my own way, and every time I figure out a new way to do it I’ll share it with you.