I Finished My Shit.
I’m not sure how to go about telling you that i finished my first novel today. You could watch the video embedded below, because i might not be able to articulate it properly here in text form. (Yes i’m a writer).
IT IS FUCKING, DONE!
How’s that? NO!?
Okay. This is an idea i’ve had in my head for a long time, i just hope it turns out good, but it’s been through some changes, first a movie trailer, then a movie idea and screenplay, then i re-wrote that screenplay because it was shit (this trend reappears later). Later i realised that i wanted to write books not movies, so i thought that this being a complete story idea i should start with that, because if i couldn’t write a book based on a complete idea then i needed to rethink everything. Again.
I took that 104 page screenplay and started converting it to an outline i could use to write my first novel. Then i sat here, at this very computer and typed it out. In the end it was about 100 pages and just shy of 40k words. “Dude” i thought to myself, “That is a novella, not a fucking novel“. I was pretty bummed by that, but i didn’t want to stop. I’d just re-written the screenplay but in novel form, i hadn’t adapted it to novel form.
I re-wrote the outline. Well i say outline, it was basically just 44 paragraphs, some were about a line and a half, some were 10 lines long. I tried to get started on it, saying to myself that i’d write for a few hours everyday after work. Yeah, that never happened. And again i felt defeated. Bummed that i might never become a professional writer, and live the rest my miserable life as a security guard, standing around all day, dreaming of better things to help make the time pass more quickly.
April 2013. I took a week off work to start this book, knowing that i wouldn’t finish it, but knowing that i’d get an idea of how long it might take. I decided that i should write to a schedule and keep that schedule. Wake up around 9am (Turns out that i didn’t even need to set an alarm), shower, eat breakfast while watching TV for an hour, you know, to get it our of my system. Then at 10am or 10:30 start. TV off, music on (The last few days i’ve been playing my Jason Bourne movie series soundtracks. It worked). I’d write in 3, 2 hour sessions each day. With a 1 hour break between sessions 1 and 2, and a 30 minute break between sessions 2 and 3. And for that week in April it worked, every day, i sat and i wrote, in five days i’d written 40k words, averaging 8k a day, over the last 3 days (The Saturday, Sunday, and the next Monday. I don’t work Monday) i wrote 13k more. I realised that i’d burnt out, became sluggish and slow, couldn’t think let-alone write anything. I felt bummed again, but soon realised that i shouldn’t work so much for so long. 6 hours a day, 5 days out of 7 was fine.
I was 1 third of the way through my outline, sitting on 56k words. I knew i needed more time off work to finish it, but i had no more left until September. So i waited. And i worked. And in August 2013 i booked off 2 weeks in September (Now!), knowing that i should be able to finish in that time. Expecting to finish on Friday the 13th.
Well here i am, day 9 of ten (Monday to Friday), Thursday the 12th, September 2013, it’s 8:09pm as i write this, it’s nearly 2 hours since i wrote the last word of that final writing session. 283 pages in Scrivener (It’ll format higher, 515 for the manuscript, and 410 for a paperback), 46 chapters, and 112,435 words. All together i’ve been writing this book for about 15 days. 15 days and i have a finished, first draft of a novel.
This means more to me then just finishing a book. This means that i can do it, i can write a book. All i need to do now is make it not suck. It’s still a long way to go before it’s out there, before i want it on shelves, real or virtual. But soon it will be.