Yesterday I lugged all 450 pages of the Every Vow You Break manuscript – with line-edits and my own final alterations – up to London to hand over to Leah, my editor at Headline. Tomorrow, I start on Bad Jean. Although character, place and story are pretty well formed in my head, I have not yet written one single word. Eek.
Looking back over this blog, I realise, with a little frisson of horror, that by November 24 2010 I was printing out the first draft of Every Vow You Break. So, to say that Bad Jean – which is due to be handed over by May 2012 – is a little behind schedule is something of an understatement.
That’s seven months to write a novel.
Cuckoo took from November 2008 – March 2010 to reach proper first draft status (16 months). I started writing Every Vow You Break in May 2010; it took seven months to complete the first draft, and another five to get it into a place where I was happy for others to see it (12 months). This was with proofing and publicising Cuckoo (but after I had given up the day job).
So how am I going to do it, while proofing, launching and publicising EVYB and publicising the paperback version of Cuckoo (out 24 November)? By doing a novel marathon, that’s how.
I am going to have to write pretty solidly from now on. I am going to use NaNoWrimo (National Novel Writing Month) to spur me on – 50,000 words in November. But I’m also going to have to go in at that pace starting tomorrow, and for the rest of December, too. So I’ll have a draft zero by the New Year, and four luxurious months to edit into a presentable version. Will I do it? It’s a challenge, but one that’s got me rubbing my hands together. It’s not like I’m running a 250k ultra marathon in Nepal, or anything (like 72 year old Jennifer Murray, who was on the BBC Breakfast red sofa before me on Friday 7 October – but more of that later, perhaps).
As well as that resolution, I’m going to keep track of how I’m doing here, by updating at least three times every week from now on. So, if witnessing an author in meltdown is your thing, then subscribe now (using the button at the top right hand corner)…