The 30-Day Novella

Inspiration at Shakespeare & Co., Paris

I’ve set myself a target to write a novel in 30 days. Well actually a ‘novella’. Technically speaking a novella can be anything from 10,000 to 70,000 words. I’ll probably aim for around 30,000. A lot of these words will be ‘the’.

But, the word count is the easy part. Anyone’s who’s ever written a University dissertation knows that you can churn out 10,000 words in an evening. The hard part is making them into something people would actually want to read.

The story in question is one I’ve wanted to write for around 5 years now. It’s a very modern, very facebook romance. But, although I’ve had the plot in my head for a long time, I realised recently that without setting myself a very public, very pressurised deadline, I probably would never do it. There’s a lot of projects like this that people put off. I’m usually think of myself as productive. But the things I find away of not doing are probably the things that scare me the most. In other words, the things I really should be doing.

Well, it’s about time I discovered if I’m a novelist or not. And whether my stories I think deserve to be told, can be told.

I was inspired by an email from Zen Habits to take on this challenge. If you haven’t heard of Zen Habits, you really should check it out. I am planning to enter the final work into the Paris Literary Prize in early September, which is being run by my favourite bookshop “Shakespeare & Co.”

Honestly, writing a something of this length is slightly intimidating. I’ll be balancing this with a number of other work commitments. But I think the point is, splitting it up and focussing makes it manageable and realistic. If I can sit down and work on it solidly for around 3 hours a day I’ll be finished with a first draft by mid-August. Then I can start typing it up. Easy… right?


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