Phew, for a minute then, I lost myself. But, I guess that’s to be expected when you’re writing a novel in one month. I’m not sure when and I’m not sure how, but I’ve caught up with the goal. On the 9th day, a writer needs to have 15,003 words down to be on track, and I had over 17,000 words on the page. I then had a couple of quiet days, but I caught up and had 25,000 words down by the halfway point, yesterday.
But, the word count isn’t the most exciting thing here. What has the challenge done to my writing style and process? What have I written on the page? Frankly, it’s a mess of unorganized thoughts and scenes, but it’s an incredible mess. Some of it reads like the internal monologue of a troubled madman.
I’m into something now, deep. I’ve been writing with freedom, embracing every new idea without critique, for critique will come later. I think back to the first day and my failed attempt. Then, I critiqued myself and scrapped 750 words.
I still believe it was the right decision because I switched up styles to give me a better chance of completing the challenge of writing a novel in one month. And it seems to have paid off. So I’ve decided to use this post to share a snippet of the story (one of the more sane scenes) to give you an insight into the writing style and my character’s voice:
Writing a novel in one month: a snippet of my story.
I’d taken a bus south to Tsarevo, searching for a new place to pitch my tent. I left the station and walked straight to the coast without thinking. I wanted to see the sea. There was nothing else in my head. I didn’t expect to find somewhere for my tent there exactly, but I hoped I’d be able to see a couple of km north and south of Tsarevo for a forest. Although it was only 11 am, the heat was sweating my t-shirt through, and I looked forward to resting my backpack down. If the beach hadn’t been busy when I arrived, I would have thrown my luggage down and jumped in. Instead, I sat on my backpack in the shade of a café and watched the people on the beach.
A waitress asked me to order something or move. I explained in broken Bulgarian that I didn’t want a drink, but could I sit there? I wasn’t using one of their tables, and no one else was sitting outside the café. Sure, I was using the shade, but I was sitting at the edge of their seating area, practically in the street. Anyway, the waitress said I couldn’t stay unless I ordered something. I guess it made sense. But I only wanted five minutes’ rest. Just for as long as it took for my back to dry. It ruined my mood. I would have loved a drink. But their drinks were twice the price of the ones I could get in a supermarket in the town somewhere. So that’s what I did. I put my backpack on my shoulders and walked back into the centre for a supermarket.
I’ll report back on the 1st of December, hopefully with 50,000 words on the page. But here’s my prediction: it’s not going to be a coherent novel that makes much sense. It’s going to need a lot more than one month’s editing to knock it into shape.