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How to Write a Novel in Six Months, Week 17 Drafting Update: Confessing I Didn’t Write This Week

Updated on November 11, 2008

I’m not going to make any excuses about not making page count progress on my novel this week. In the big scheme of things one week isn’t going to make a difference. Just as it’s true with health and fitness, so goes with discipline in writing – what matters is what you do MOST of the time. So there you have it – I didn’t write and I don’t feel bad about it.


Continuing Toward the End

This week I sat at the halfway point of the rough draft. (Okay, except for those two little sections I couldn’t bring myself to write.) I’ve gotten to the big plot moment and from this point forward, more than at any other spot in the story, everything just hurtles toward the end. I read an interesting blog post this week (and I’m sorry I didn’t hold onto it to pass it to you) about writing the last line of your novel first. That was really interesting to me and I may work on that this week.

I did take some time to plot out the next chunk of writing, which is from the middle of the book to the three quarter mark. I’m living under the naïve assumption that this second half of the story will fall into place much easier because the options for my characters have been narrowed down so far.


I’m having a really hard time with a couple of things. I know what they really need is more attention – the slow, quiet kind of attention that comes with spending time on something in thought, if not action. However, I haven’t carved out that time, so these issues continue to haunt me. When will I learn? It’s just so stinkin’ hard to take time out from advancing the page count to do some very important things I know I should.

Subplots – My secondary characters are starting to have lives of their own, but it’s pretty clear that they initially existed only in service to the protagonist. While that’s a great starting point, they really need to have arcs of their own. And oh yeah – it all needs to tie together. Which brings me to my second problem.

Title – Okay, maybe it’s too soon for a final title, but it bothers me that I can’t seem to identify that overarching metaphor that really sums up my book. I’ve looked at tying the title to my main characters profession, but then I’m afraid that will take over due to its connotations. Plus, it’s just a subplot – not the main gyst of the story. What I may do instead is change her name, or the name of the setting. Not sure yet, and aching to get this behind me!

Fictional Setting?

Another idea I’ve been toying with this week is changing my setting to a fictional one. That may allow me to play around with it a bit more, and protect the innocent! Then again, I’d kind of love the marketing perks of using the real place. Any suggestions?

Until next week – wish me luck!

How to Write a Novel in Six Months, One Writer’s Journey

Week 1, Mapping Out the Six Month Plan

Week 2, Resources on Structure

Week 3, Index Cards Are My Friends

Week 4, Sketching Characters

Week 5, Researching Agents

Week 6, Outlining

Week 7, Detail Scene Beats

Week 8, Writing the Synopsis

Week 9, Drafting Update

Week 10 Drafting Update

Week 11 Drafting Update

Week 12 Drafting Update

Week 13 Drafting Update: Writer’s Block Week 14 Drafting Update: Appreciating Plot and an Awful First Draft

Week 15 Drafting Update: Formulas and White Space

Week 16 Drafting Update: Looking for an Agent


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  • Serenity Live profile image

    Serenity Live 9 years ago from Midwest

    I don't have studied suggestions for this, because the novel I'm working on has a huge mesh of fiction and non all throughout. Another writer once told me that was fine - especially in a rough draft, so I'm going for it. There's a real city that's a focal point and a fictional one for the hometown. There are references to actual people and things, but there are people and things among them that are fictional. I have yet to find out if it will work. :)