So, How You Comin’ On That Novel?

You may recall that back at the beginning of May, I announced that I was planning to write a novel in 30 days.


Well, since no one asked it’s the official halfway point, I figured I’d give a little update on how it’s been going.

So far, I’ve written approximately 22,500 words. That’s roughly 45% of the 50,000 word target, or, about 1,500 words per day.

Not bad, right? Except that it’s all total and complete garbage. 


Guys, I’m not kidding. The stench of rotten manuscript wafting from my minimized items right now is almost too much for me to handle. I call it “Eau de Broken Dreams and Misguided Aspirations”

The thing is full of plot holes, it’s totally unbelievable, and I currently have four different characters named Sergei. But that’s OK. The goal of this exercise is simply to get my words on paper- not to fuss with silly things like grammar, sentence structure and plotline.



I won’t lie, it’s been pretty painful so far. I kind of want to kill myself/ throw my computer out the window/ eat 10 lbs of chocolate/ run away and never come back. But like a phoenix from the ash, out of my misery rise a few key lessons to be learned from all of this. Like…..  

 Writing Fiction Is Hard

Sometimes, I feel like the entire right side of my brain has been completely inactive for the past 10 years. Sure, I use it occasionally to write blog posts, but for the most part, it just sits there, dormant, letting its domineering evil stepbrothers logic and rational thought do all the work.


Writing a novel feels like grabbing the creative side of my brain with both hands, shaking it violently and waking it the hell up. As expected, for the first few days, ol’ righty remained slow, lethargic and low-functioning – sort of like me before I’ve had my coffee in the morning. 

But eventually it came around. Sort of. I’m still dealing with the giant hurdle of coming up with 50,000 words of original material in a ridiculously short period of time.  


Writing Fiction Is Fun!

(Did I convince you with that exclamation point? No? I didn’t really convince myself, either.)

Once you get past the fact that novel-writing is destroying much of your will to live, there are actually a few good things. Writing can be really fun when you’re not inhibited by pesky little parameters like “truth” and “accuracy”. Plus, it’s sort of cool to live vicariously through your characters. My main character is smart, sassy, and tells people off all the time- something I wish I could do more often.  

Plus, no matter how much it sucked, I still feel like this whenever I get my daily words in:


You’re Going to Run Out Of Ideas.. and That’s Where the Ninjas Come In

No matter how hard I tried, I still found it tough to come up with the recommended 1,667 words a day. I Googled some suggestions, and discovered something called a “Plot Ninja”.


plot ninja is something you drop into the plot whenever you are at a loss for ideas. Traditionally, this has taken the form of actual ninjas who come crashing into the scene, disrupting things, but it can really be anything you want. My plot Ninja so far has been my main character going for drinks with her best friend. She’s pretty much an alcoholic at this point, but it’s also resulted in a few interesting scenes that never would have ended up in the plot otherwise.

When In Doubt.. Make it up

Another thing I didn’t anticipate was how much research was involved in novelling. Part of my story takes place in Russia, and the first few days, I spent hours Googling everything from typical Russian surnames to what year the Kremlin was built. Eventually, I decided to either leave what I didn’t know blank, or just make something up and go back and fix it later. Currently, the characters in my story consume only caviar, drink an excessive amount of vodka, and wear fur hats everywhere. That’s accurate, right?


Be Prepared To Hate Your Life

Not to be a Deborah K. Downer, but I have to admit that it’s extremely mentally and physically draining to write this much every day while working full-time, trying to do blog posts, keep up with my 52 book challenge and actually maintain a social life.

…………..Yes, I realize I did this all to myself, and yes I would like some cheese with that whine.

Dawson knows
Only Dawson understands me

So to recap –  my first 15 days of Novelling: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

I don’t know what comes after that.

Question of the Day: Have you ever written a novel?

…..Any tips to keep me from strangling myself with my computer cord?

P.S.  I nominated myself  was nominated for Funniest Blog in the 2013 Badass Blogging Awards! I would love you long time if you’d please take a second and go vote for me!




33 thoughts on “So, How You Comin’ On That Novel?

Add yours

  1. I’m literally laughing at this… not laughing at your plight… ok I am laughing at you but not laughing at YOU! LOL! I love your sense of humour and I know you will do alright. Press on soldier! No more bar visits- next thing your ninja will have to check into rehab! 🙂 I’d love to see the outcome so go on write! (even when you feel as if it’s junk—-> it will turn to treasure soon). Persevere.


  2. This is hilarious and brilliantly written. I’m convinced that your book will be awesome. Just stick more Vodka in it and if writer’s block really does settle in then try introducing a dancing panda called Dave. It might just help. Especially if he’s wearing a fur hat.


    1. Thank you so much! I feel like now that you’ve mentioned it a dancing panda needs to make an appearance one way or another .. Even if it’s part of a dream sequence


  3. Keep at it, I’m sure it’s coming along fine. If it was easy, I’d do it. I wish I had some solid advice for you other than please don’t write another shitty novel, but I don’t. Good luck, I promise to read it if it’s ever Kindle material.


  4. I saw you were nominated earlier! Congrats!

    Writing fiction is hard. I can make things that actually happen to me hilarious, but I struggle to come up with fake things. I think my imagination for original fiction is in a permanent coma or something. Stick with it! I want to read about all the Sergeis!


    1. Thank you! I know exactly what you mean, when it’s true life you always have a starting point. Fiction is like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, I haven’t quite figured it out yet


  5. Congrats on being nominated! *goes to vote*

    Also, yes, this is when it starts to get very painful. And you feel like everything is absolute crap on a crap biscuit. But don’t worry…once it’s all over and you have a few months to not look at it at all, you might come back and say, “This isn’t that bad” or “This is salvageable” or “Wow, I didn’t think it was even close to being good”.

    I’ve written two NaNoWriMo novels, haven’t finished either one, but both I’ve gone back and read and decided that maybe they weren’t half bad. And could be finished and then attacked with a red pen, but still could be salvageable.

    Keep trucking! I want to read your novel when you’re done. 😀


    1. I really hope I can say this is salvageable but right now it’s not looking good! Do you ever think about going back to your unfinished novels again?


      1. Oh, all the time. The most recent one I was really determined to finish and begin the publishing process, but time and insanity didn’t work out in my favor in that sense (yet). But I would like to finish both of them. Lots and lots of editing is needed, but still I would like to. It’s amazing how stories take turns too. My first one wasn’t supposed to be supernatural at all and by the time I ended NaNo it had taken a turn toward that direction, and my second one I think I was at almost 40K before I was ready to lose it, but I would love to revisit it.


  6. I’m on my 5th draft of mine. I’m really good at starting over and over. I was over at the Indie sight thing voting for someone else and saw you on there and decided to change my vote to you. But I am bitter that I wasn’t allowed to nominate myself. Is that a sexist site that doesn’t allow men? What up with that?


  7. You had me at Adam Brody…….I’m sorry, what was the question?!
    I have never written a novel, but I have started wtiting a few stories on paper. None have manged to get more than a page or two before I got bored/gave up/forgot all about it, so I totes applaud you for getting so far!


  8. I wrote a 40,000 word novella (I guess that’s what it would be called) that I started in 2004, got about 7000 words in and forgot about it until late 2011 when I finished it in a couple of months. Some days the words came easily. Others….well, there were just other days.


  9. Great post! I am planning to do exactly the same thing in November. I have a plot and an ending – and that’s a start – but I’ve tried and failed before. I’m hoping that NaNoWrMo, which stipulates that you have to write a novel in 30 days, will give me enough disipline to just attack it daily. Unanswered questions include “What about work?” “What about the missus demanding that I stop and talk to her?” “How many times can my desk and PC survive me hitting them with large blunt objects?”

    We’ll see. I am psyching myself up as I type.

    Good luck with the rest of your novel.





  10. Haha great stuff! I put a vote in for ya, because this blog is pretty damn funny and I am very much enjoying reading it! As for your writing troubles, I wish I could be of some help, but I too have had some of the very same issues!
    My problem is I start off kickin’ some serious ass…and then slowly taper down to nothingness, and currently have NEVER finished a story I have started!
    Maybe I should give myself a deadline like you have, seems that it would be a good starting point 🙂
    Good luck and happy writings!!!!


  11. I’ve done Nanowrimo before… I “finished”, but it was a huge turd of a book about alien invasion and a rich family and a farmer’s wife and air travel. The whole thing was a plot hole. I hope I never read it again. But, at the same time – super totes proud I did it. Congrats on getting halfway!


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