Whether 1000 or 10,000 a week, aspiring novelists must be concerned with one main thing and that’s word count. Of course, quality is pivotal, but when writing a novel, there’s an acceptable word count one must reach. This can vary depending on editors but regardless, there’s a whopping journey ahead of anyone who decides to tackle the novel.
Not only must one write, but one must read and edit almost continuously. At times it can be difficult, especially if you have a full time job among other commitments, but the call to write is quite a strong one.
During my work week, I find that I don’t always have access to a computer to type, and when I have some free time at work or during my commute, it can be impractical to pull out a computer for the ride. What I have found myself doing is carrying a thick Moleksine and an excellent pen. As soon as I’m free, I take them out and write for as long as I can. At first I thought it seemed a little pointless and slow until I typed up the first ten pages and I had a thousand words to add to the novel and it only took an hour to write. The second time, at one hour and forty five minutes, I found I had 2300 words and so on and so forth until, after one full weekend of writing I had 4000+ words to add.
The added benefit of this? I found I could practically skip the first edit. Instead of having to go over my writing as a whole and look for flaws, I could focus on each page individually, ensuring to keep the voice the same and link it all into the existing writing. Further to this, I’ve found that as I write up the handwritten material, I find ways to change the whole narrative in ways that make it much better.
It’s a refreshing change to write while on the train, near the ocean or under a tree in the sunlight watching the sun set over the stunning Hong Kong/Japan skyline. Now, sitting at a computer can be much more efficient in terms of focus and concentration but, while it seems to be saving on some of the post-writing work load, I would definitely recommend using the pen and paper method.
But what do other think? How do you write? I’ve always thought of writing as a very personal experience, you’re really sharing a piece of yourself with the world and, as with any form of creativity, it can almost make you feel exposed. J.K. Rowling is famously known for writing the famous Harry Potter series on literally anything that would hold ink. I guess we all just have have different ways of doing it.