2010.10.16

(This post was originally written on 750words.com. It has been edited.)

I just discovered that I can write 750 words on my phone. I don’t know why, but I just assumed I wouldn’t be able to. The same way I can’t write in google docs. This changes everything. Now I can work on Nano during November and keep track of the word count. I can have this page open and work on it during the day. A little bit often, that’s how I’m going to get the word count. I have to work on my list of scenes. I want to add the first list I started. With those scenes, plus the spreadsheet I’m working on, I’ll have 50 easy. Then it’s not too far to 100. With 100 scenes ideas, I only have to write 500 for each one. That’s my ideal situation.

Now I just have to figure out how many I have to do in a day. Three most days; four on good days. If I can get one in the morning, plus the commute. Start the second on lunch and work on the way home, then finish up at night. Write more on my days off, obviously. Aim for four–2000 words. Easy. I don’t even need that many four a day days to get to 100. Just ten. And that’s not even accounting for awesome writing days. I hope to have a few of those early, so I’m not staying up late to make my 50k.

Now I want to check the calendar, see what I’m doing the first and the last of the month. The 31st of October is a Sunday, so I’ll stay up and write past midnight, but not too much. The 30th of November, though is what might be my day off, If the schedule doesn’t change again. That’ll be great. That’ll give me a chance to cram in as many words as I need. I’m going to need a lot of words, I can tell. Not only because 50k is a lot of words, but because I don’t type as fast as I thought I did on this thing. I’ve been at it, basically non-stop, stream of consciousness style as I do on my laptop, but when I checked the word count it was less than 300. I wasn’t expecting that I had gone over and passed 750 (I wonder if I get the same pop-up when I pass the limit), but I did think I have written more than that. I’m going to have to careful with overestimating.

That’s the main reason why I want to write in this text field. I like that it’s big and white and blank. No distractions. It saves automatically and counts automatically. But I can’t see the word count. I’m not tempted to look after every sentence. And it’s easy to, at he end of each day, copy and paste and dump into a google doc for later. I’m going to take a week, at least, then read the thing from the beginning, making only superficial corrections–spelling and grammar and punctuation. I imagine there will be a lot of typos, especially if I do a few of those head down, fingers up sessions.

But I don’t want to let the thing sit too long. Mostly because I know it won’t be long enough for publication. I’ll need to add another 20k, at least. I’ll do a cursory outline, then brainstorm what I can add. So that’ll be December: copy editing and more planning. Then January, I write more. Probably less than November, but it all depends on what I need, what the story needs. I think my January goal will be 1000 words a day. That’s two scenes, 60 for the month, and another 30k words. That’s 80k, which is a good size for a young adult book. I get the sense that everyone wants 100k these days, so that’ll have to be my next goal.

50k is already feeling like a crazy bar to clear. But you only have to pass it first once. After that, after you’ve done it, you know you can do it again. I haven’t done it once yet. That’s the first step to writing a novel, I suppose–getting the words out. So now I’ve planned myself up to February. February’s short. I’ll let the thing sit. Not looking, not reading, not even thinking for a whole month. Then, March, I open the doc and start revising. One pass for copyediting. Another for formatting and structure. Then rewriting, revising, revisiting. Then, print t all out and see how it reads on paper. Then type it all up again. Then we’ll see. Maybe by the end of March, I’ll have something to send to an agent. Then we’ll see if the query I started with can sell the book. After that, I just have to write another one, right? So that’s almost 850 words. Now I know that the pop-up doesn’t work the same way on the iPhone. Now I know that I can just keep writing.