I’m now a week into the challenge of writing the first draft of a new novel. If I don’t have it written by April 25, I’ve pledged to fork over $100 to an institution devoted to denying gays and lesbians the right to marry. Needless to say, putting money on the line like this has really got me motivated.
To help me, I’m using the daily writing exercises in Alan Watt’s book The 90-Day Novel: Unlocking The Story Within. Right now I’m in the brainstorming phase; apparently, I don’t start writing the real draft until Day 29. By rights I should have made the challenge for 90 days instead of 100, but I figured I might take a day off here and there over the course of the winter.)
It’s been a week since I started. How am I doing? For starters, I’m tired. Instead of getting up at 5:20 a.m. to write—my usual rising hour when working on my first two books—I’m now getting up at 4:45. My right wrist is sore from filling up my pink Goth notebook with page after page of increasingly illegible handwriting. (The book recommends brainstorming in longhand.) And the result? I have the skeleton of a plot and a few major characters, whose names, for now, are called A, B, C, D, E, and F.
Take that, anti-gay marriage crowd. You’ll never get my money!