A Round of Words Begins

So, many of you know about NaNoWriMo. Or have heard about Forward Motion‘s marathons and writing challenges. Or used to Sweat with Sven. This month is the start of something different.

This time, I’m joining the Round of Words in 80 Days.

(This is more akin to Joely‘s MayNoWriMo, in that you create your own challenge, but it’s over a longer span of time. Hopefully that will make it more sustainable for me in the long run.)

Basically, the idea is to choose measurable goals for your writing. These can be anything that get the results you are aiming for, as long as they are measurable and realistic.

Without further ado, here are the challenges I’m setting myself for these next 80 days. The one additional note that I must add, is that while I say “daily”, I am also allowing myself one free day a week. Think of this as a rest day, a weekend-from-writing, whatever. If I choose not to use it one week, it is non-transferrable to the next week.

  • Spend 30 minutes daily in my world — writing, plotting, whatever. Not on Facebook. Nor Twitter. Nor blog surfing. In my world. I’m not even including research in this… make notes on what to research: good. Spend the time looking for the answers to my research questions online: bad. (I think several others have mentioned this, but I first saw it over at Susan Bischoff‘s blog, and I thank her for the idea.)
  • Average 500 words a day over the week-long span. So, given the free day, this comes to 3k words a week. (These do not have to be story words. They can be solid world-building words, plot notes, whatever.)
  • Blog regularly about my progress. Ideally once a week. (Not to be confused with my other, non-writing related blogs.) (Blog words do not count towards the weekly goal.)
  • Critique 2 pieces a month for my writing group. I’ve been slacking off on that… And it’s something that is a part of my writing life, and so needs to be included. (The critique words do not count toward the weekly goal.)

Now… a schedule for these goals. I have a story in mind that I am starting with. The tentative title for this one is Inventing Annie (my code: iAnnie), and it’s a steampunk story set in – I think – colonial America. Probably when it was still colonies and not actually a separate America. However… that’s all I know about the world. And one thing that I know I’ve been slacking off on lately with my writing is the prep-work.

So: back to that schedule.

  • January 2011: spend the month working on the world, the characters, and the plot for iAnnie. DO NOT do any actual story writing, with the exception of the odd bit of dialogue or description that pops into my head.
  • February 2011: continue to world-build as necessary, but also start the actual writing of the story. Get any last-minute plot details ironed out.
  • March 2011: concentrate on writing the story. Ideally I’d like to finish the first draft by March 24, 2011, when RoW80 Round 1 ends, but as I don’t yet know how long this story will be, I can’t say if that’s a realistic goal or not.

Should I end up finishing iAnnie during the first round of RoW80, I will revisit my goals and adjust as needed to incorporate that. However, looking at my schedule, I think it’s more likely that I will be finishing the first draft around the same time as the RoW ends, or perhaps a little after that. All told, I think this is quite manageable, and I can’t wait to get started.

I don’t seem to be able to embed the blog-hop data, but if you go here you should be able to see the linky tool where everyone signed up.


11 thoughts on “A Round of Words Begins

  1. Sherri says:

    Sounds like doable goals…wishing you all the best with RoW80 round 1!

  2. Chris says:

    Good luck!! It sounds very doable, as Sherri noted.

  3. A nice set of goals, easily measurable and hopefully easy
    to achieve. Breaking it down should make it easier to see your
    progress (at least I hope so, since I’ve done the same hehe). All
    the best!

  4. Funny, just a minute before I clicked on you blog from the linky thingy, I was calulating what 500 words a day added up to for 80 days. 40,000 words. Now that’s exciting. Good luck and keep up the good work.

  5. L. A. Burton says:

    Sounds like a plan.

  6. Brigitte says:

    If anyone can keep up to the schedule, it’s you. Again, I marvel at your ability to plan ahead! These days, I barely know what day it is!

  7. 365andMe says:

    Great goals! I’m so excited about this challenge.

    • Nicole says:

      Me too! And so far, it’s working for me, so hopefully that excitement will keep me going as long as it takes to make this challenge into a habit.

  8. CMStewart says:

    Now that’s a plan! 🙂

    While I’ve seen a few steampunk movies, I’ve not read any steampunk novels. I wonder if that genre is differentiated strictly by the technology, or if the theme and mood are specific as well.

    Good luck!

    • Nicole says:

      From what I can tell, the mood and feel have as much to do with it as the tech. Gail Dayton’s “Blood” series, for instance, is more magic than tech, but has a very steampunk feel to it. It’s a genre (sub-genre?) that I really enjoy reading, so I’m going to try my hand at writing it, too.

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