I Wrote a Book in 100 Days!
Can you believe it? A whole entire complete novel! In just One-Hundred Days! That’s about three months… started in mid-October 2017 and ended in late January 2018. I wrote a total of 92,465 words.
I must confess I had conceived the story and plot many years ago in another on-line class. I had even written the beginning chapters and sketched in much of the story line over the years. But this tale, titled “A Roaring Deep Within”, simply languished among many other “starter stories” in my files, never quite taking flight in my imagination.
Then I came across this website online: TheWritePractice.com/WriteABook
The 100-Day Book course divided participants into small groups so that we followed each other’s progress and exchanged feedback. The leaders posted writing tips daily by email, and there were webinars as well as written resources we could draw on for help and inspiration. I found there a “writer’s community” that was available night and day that gave me support and motivation to keep going when my energy dragged, or when I felt discouraged at a tough point in my writing.
The feedback from others was critical for me, and I eagerly read whatever critique was given me, as well as what others were getting. Learning to give feedback on other’s writing helped me view my own more honestly as well. It helped me grow more confident in my writing and less affected by that nasty little “Inner Critic” who typically spreads self-doubt all over my pages.
When I enrolled, I imagined that I would simply flesh-out what I’d already written, and therefore it did not seem like such a daunting challenge as it would be were I starting a brand-new story from scratch. But soon after posting the opening segment, my tale began to demand changes.
I changed the narrative from present tense to past tense, shifted the sequence of several key plot-points, and told the tale from the point-of-view of my protagonist looking back at her life.
Soon I found the story kind of writing itself… new characters appeared, new relationships between characters developed, my characters made choices and took actions seemingly on their own without any conscious decision or planning on my part! I became more intimately acquainted with my main characters.
I sat down to my keyboard on my days off from work eager to see what they would do next. The story grew week by week, until the 100 days were nearly over. Feeling a bit panicked at this point, because I still had not decided how I wanted it to end, I simply sat back and let my main character bring her story to a conclusion. I pulled together a surprisingly satisfactory ending and could honestly say that I had written a whole book in those three months.
Of course, this is not the final draft, but only the first full manuscript. Next comes editing and smoothing over rough spots and re-working much of the dialogue and narrative. But again, The Write Practice.com offers an on-going Writer’s Workshop that also asks members to post some writing once a week, giving and receiving that ever important feedback and encouragement.
Writing is ultimately a singular effort that must be tended by the writer alone. But having a community of others who are also toiling at their own writing helps me feel not so alone.