3 October 2012, Development - Incremental Goals
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
Here are my rules of writing:
1. Entertain your readers.
2. Don't confuse your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
Start writing. That is number one. If you don't start you can never succeed at writing. If you remember, I've written that you must write about one million words before you have enough skill to write well--so start writing.
The second goal is like unto the first--what do you want to accomplish? What are your goals. If you want to be a novelist, you need to start writing novel-length works. If you want to write short stories, you need to write those. The point is to define your goals. Once you define your goals, you can begin to achieve them. I know a lot about short stories, and I've written them, but they aren't my thing. You will learn some good ideas to help your writing, but I focus mainly on novel length works. I do write short pieces,... mainly essays and autobiographical shorts about flying, but my love is the novel.
Let's say your goal is to write novels. That's a great goal. Now you have to set incremental steps (goals) to achieve that major goal. The goal is to write a novel. If you want to write a novel, you have to write. When I began to write, it took me about a year to write a novel (I can write one in about a month now). Let's set a year to write your novel. For a first novel, a good word count is about 75,000. That is a goal. With 52 weeks in a year, you need to write about 1,500 words a week to finish a 75,000 word novel. 1,500 words is nothing. You can write 1,500 words in your sleep.
Here are your incremental goals: write 1,500 words per week (that includes all rewrites) and write every day. If you set aside an hour or two a day to write, you will easily achieve 1,500 words a week, and I guarantee that those 1,500 words will be pretty good ones. You aren't limited to 1,500 words per week--that's just your goal. With these goals, you can write a novel.
I'll move on to basic writing exercises and creativity in the near future.
The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor, http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.