The Clarion West Write-a-thon 2014

Once again it seems the Write-a-thon has come up awfully quickly. I haven’t had a chance to do much in the way of planning, as far as either writing goals or fundraising efforts. I have to admit it makes me feel better to see that a number of the other participating writers confess in their profiles that fundraising is not one of their better skills — I saw a couple of those confessions that were so refreshingly honest and charming that they made me laugh!

But it’s a bit depressing to be reminded that my Write-a-thon didn’t go very well last year, and particularly to realize that I’m still working on the project I’d hoped to complete then, even though I knew it was an ambitious goal. I’ve done other things in the meantime, of course, but I really want to get that novel completed, so I’m going to use it as my Write-a-thon project for 2014 as well.

However, I’m going to try approaching it a little differently this time. Instead of going by word counts, which many writers use to gauge their progress, I’ve decided I’m going to set a goal of six chapters, one per week. This is partly to keep the task from seeming too daunting (and the hope is that I will do more than meet my goal), and partly because it’s always been part of my novel-writing routine to work chapter by chapter.

It’s simply a way of using the old tried and true method of taking any large task and making it more manageable by breaking it down into chunks. Also, I find that when I get to the revision stage, it works well to polish a chapter at a time, looking at it not only as a part of the greater whole, but as a work that should be as cohesive and elegant as a good short story.

So we’ll see if I can at least get solid drafts of six chapters completed, and perhaps that will give me the momentum to complete the rest of the manuscript well before the end of the year. Hope springs eternal. 😉

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