100 Days to Write a Novel(la?) week eleven

I did a bad thing. I should be at 55k now, I am a lot less than that and it’s because of the bad thing. As I’d slowed, a lot, which is usual in the middle slog, I went back to the beginning and re-read. And edited. And lost a few thousand words. Oops. OK, I’ve done a whole bunch of posts of “doing it wrong” and not following received wisdom on writing and this is another one.

Received wisdom is ‘just get it down then fix it later’ and you are supposed to press on and not worry about mistakes until you go through second draft. However, the counterpoint I’d put here is that if the reason you are slowing down is that you’ve taken a wrong turn then ignoring that and carrying on is counterproductive. OK, no writing is wasted, as such, it’s all practise but. But… it’s possible it’s wasted effort on this project, right now.

The other thing I did is also possibly a mistake. I did a quick and dirty version of the second half – you know, just press on with it. No fancy writing. And I’m now wondering if, when it tops out, when I fill in the corners, that this novel is actually a novella.

There’s less than a month to go on this challenge and I will end up with an editable draft, because I already have that, but it isn’t going to be 70k words… currently it’s a little less than half that and I think will end up at around the 50k mark – so just novel length (if you believe NanoWriMo) but a very short novel. But then stories find their own lengths. I just wonder if the publisher will still be interested. Of course you’ll find out shortly after I do, because I’ll blog it.

Happy reading & writing – more next week.

Published by suttope

Pete W Sutton is a writer and editor. His two short story collections – A Tiding of Magpies and The Museum for Forgetting – were shortlisted for Best Collection in the British Fantasy Awards in 2017 & 2022 respectively. His novel – Seven Deadly Swords – was published by Grimbold Books. He has edited several short story anthologies and is the editor for the British Fantasy Society Horizons fiction magazine.

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