One of the most important things I've learned as a writer is the value of goal making. Unfortunately, it took me a few years to figure out that in order to actually finish The Key of Kilenya, I needed to pace myself, have an end in sight, and force myself to be more disciplined. Towards the end of May of '08 I sat down and made a goal to finish the book by the end of summer. At first I procrastinated the actual writing, but once I started I couldn't stop. The story burned to get out so bad I had a hard time actually leaving my computer. It was finished, aside from smoothing things over, at the beginning of July - a month earlier than I'd planned.
Making and keeping goals requires discipline, but the rewards far exceed the pain of forced writing. :-) Sit down and decide when you want your book finished by. Then set monthly goals, weekly goals, and daily goals, making sure you reach them. Even if you end up deleting or changing what you write, it's still valuable. My first draft of KofK was 115,000 words long - 45,000 words longer than it should've been for my target audience. But, in writing something every day, I was able to delve deeply into the history of my world. I got to know my characters much more than I would've had I not written so much. :-)
How much do you want to write a day? Do you want to write for a certain amount of time, or do you want to write a certain amount of words a day? Some writers like to sit in one spot for two hours and not let themselves leave till they've written something. Others make daily word count goals. It doesn't matter which way you go, just so long as it works for you and you meet your end goal of finishing your book. :-)
Back to How to Write a Fiction Book Index