Project October 2017: Week One


Yes, it’s that time of year again when I go on a partial hiatus to do a really intensive month of writing. Normal posts will resume in November but, in the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy an insight into this year’s Project October.

Week One: Preparation
Before I even start, I know this Project October won’t be like any other Project October I’ve done. Normally, Project October is about writing as many words as possible. Normally, I aim for 1,000 words a day, which equates to 31,000 words over the course of the month. But this isn’t normal. Because the book I’ve chosen to work on is Trine and I’ve already written 85,000 words. It doesn’t need another 31,000 words. According to my calculations, I only need to write another 7 chapters, another 16,000 words and I’ll be finished.

During my last Project October, I realised how close I was to finishing and contemplated doing an extra two weeks of intensive writing just to get it over and done with. It didn’t end up happening because the burnout factor when doing Project October is high and I just couldn’t keep going. That was over a year ago now and in between I wrote and published a completely different book.

I feel like I’ve been writing this book forever. I started writing it in 2012 and since then I’ve written and published three other books. Trine is the middle child that gets ignored in favour of all the other children, not because it’s not as good (in fact, I think it’s some of the best writing I’ve ever done) but because it’s hard. I think the old saying goes that easy reading is damn hard writing and I’m proud of it but I don’t always enjoy working on it because of how hard I have sometimes found it.

I think I’m also hesitant because I still don’t know how the book is going to end. I had a vague idea of how I wanted it to end but the closer I get to that point, it seems it lacks the twist or the punch. Should the bad guy die? Isn’t it horribly unoriginal? Should the main character die? She’s been through a lot and she certainly doesn’t deserve it. Should anyone die? It seems like someone needs to. I just don’t know who.

Anyway, I’ve printed out the 85,000 words I have already written and I’m preparing by reading it. I really need to. Because so much of it was written so long ago, while I can remember the big picture stuff, I can’t remember any of the smaller details. Hopefully, that means it will feel new and I will feel fresh as I approach it again.

But right now I’m nervous. I’m apprehensive. Writing endings almost always makes me feel this way. And not knowing what the ending is or should be makes it worse. It makes me hesitant about starting the Project October process. It’s not the best way to go into it. I should be excited and raring to go. Instead, the smaller goal is just making me think I’m going to fail in a bigger way than when I don’t reach the larger target.

Oh, this is exactly what a writer needs as she prepares for a month of intensive writing – not!


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