How I wrote I Wish… in 2 weeks.

The title sounds like a get rich quick scheme, but I swear I’m not peddling anything. The topic came up on Twitter today when we were talking about the benefits of working from an outline. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of using an outline to work from and I think that it played a huge part in how fast I was able to write I Wish. I’m going to reconstruct my personal timeline as best I can using all dated notes, Onenote, and an excel spreadsheet.

According to my first blog post dated January 7th, 2011 I decided to write and self publish my first novel on January 5th. It looks like I started actually writing on January 13th according to this post. Of course at that point I was thinking that I’d be writing an 80k novel. I had my love write a spread sheet for me to fill in, but he wrote in the wrong formula so I spent the whole time thinking I was just flying along, when in fact it would have taken me probably 2 more weeks at the pace I was writing (2.5k words a day).  Oops.

In this post it says I finished on January 28th. Since I was there, I can verify these dates to all be accurate. That’s 15 days. And on two of those days I didn’t meet my word count goal. So, in theory, I could have been done 2 days earlier.

word count

Don’t ask me how this spreadsheet works anymore. I forget. He had some sort of 3 day projection going on or something. It also adjusted my word count up or down depending on how much over I’d written that day.

At that point I set the ms aside to start on my second project, but found that I’d frozen up. I was trying to work my scenes into a 3 act, 8 sequence story structure, but found that I just can’t do that. My brain doesn’t take kindly to that much structure. So instead I got distracted by shiny things like my new ereaders, my iPhone, and video games and I put writing aside for a couple of months. The truth of the matter was that I was dreading editing. My work came in way short and I knew I was going to have to try to squeeze in more words somewhere, but I had no idea where.

There was a gap between March 5th and April 15th on my blog where I didn’t even *think* about writing. I didn’t even mention editing my book until this post on the 19th where I basically summed up everything I just said in the above paragraph. I can’t nail it down much firmer than that. My handwritten notes all start on the 19th too. All accounts point to the first day of my editing/rewrites starting then.

I finished writing on Friday May 13th. I could pull up panicked tweets because I couldn’t figure out formatting on such short notice, but you’ll have to take my word for it. My love spent pretty much all day on Saturday with that and I was officially published by Sunday May 15th. So about 3 weeks and 3 days of editing? Of course that was with Twitter sucking all my attention so we all KNOW I could have been a lot more productive than I was. During the course of the editing I added another 12k of words and now the finished work is around 60k words. Not the longest book ever written, but it feels more like a novel now than a novella.

The purpose of this post isn’t to brag or anything. I’ve actually got a point.

I believe 100% that I couldn’t have written nearly as fast as I did if I didn’t have an outline. I’m going to set up a post to for tomorrow with screen shots of my outline and working notes. Maybe that will benefit someone to see it in actual practice.

The other thing to note is that I’m home all day. A lot of people have to squeeze writing in between a job or school or both. Me? I just have to deal with the minions. But that’s not really even an obstacle because they tend to follow me upstairs to my room (I like to write in bed, propped up by a pile of pillows). The littlest minion has a toy lap top he bangs away on beside me on his own pile of pillows and the 8 year old minion either plays with my art supplies or writes his own stories. We listen to music and keep each other company.

I’m not here to defend my work as the next big thing. I’ll never call it anything bigger than what it was meant to be: a fun book with commercial appeal. I asked myself what sort of a book would I like to read and then I wrote it. I sincerely hope to repeat the process many times to come. I’m challenging myself to actually write that elusive 80k novel in 2 weeks. That’s 5.5k words a day and change. I’m pretty sure I can do it. I’ll keep you guys posted.

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14 Comments

Filed under I wish, writing

14 responses to “How I wrote I Wish… in 2 weeks.

  1. Wow – congratulations. And thanks for being one of the few who promotes outlining. I think it is vital.

    • I have nothing but respect for anyone who chooses to write a different way than I do. Everyone does what works for them. But I’ve had nothing but good luck with outlining so I can’t help but spread the word. If it were a cult, I’d be passing out the Kool Aid.

  2. How long did it take you to construct the outline?

    • I started the outline around January 5th and was done on or before January 13th… so it was about a week it looks like. My outlining process is a lot of effort upfront, but saves so much time during the writing and editing it’s really worth the investment.

  3. I am reading your book and really enjoying it. I think you’ll find success in the next couple of years after a few sequels. I will definitely purchase the rest of this series (unless you jack the price up to 10 dollars…lol).

    • I’ll never go over $4.99, although I’d really love to price there. I suppose I’ll blog soon about how I feel about pricing, but $.99 for a novel irks me to no end. Now I’ve gone and gotten all heavy on you. Sorry! LOL

  4. .99 cents for a book is criminal. It’s funny how the same people who plunk down loads of money for a TV series (House? Glee? True Blood?) balk at the notion of forking over $15-25 for a book. Never mind that the stories for those TV plots had to be written….

    I saw you were freshly pressed so I poked around in your blog, found your tweets, and found your book on Amazon.

    I don’t own a Kindle, so I won’t be reading it. (I know that sounds so final. I just can’t bring myself to get an electronic book. I love the physical ones too much.)

    I have, however, subscribed to you on Twitter, and I’ll be adding your blog to my links.
    I’m glad you’re writing through the process. I’ve given it a whirl or two, but I keep getting distracted.

    Mebbe I’ll try again this summer. 😀

    Pleasure to meet you. 🙂

    Stacy

    • Thanks for stopping by, Stacy.

      I understand your feelings on paperbacks. I love a bookshelf groaning with books, but once I tried an ereader it was true love. I always appreciate discussing books though, no matter the format so it’s great to meet you. 🙂

    • .99 cents for a book ISN’T criminal. What people are able to spend on something varies quite a bit. I’ve never paid to watch “House” or any sports (and I love the Yankees and the Colts), but they still earn a lot of money. So if someone is not wealthy, like myself, the marginal use of my money is a cause of a lot of deliberation.

      In retrospect I would have purchased this book for 2.99-3.99 (giving a royalty of more than most publishers would) but the risk of a time investment gone awry makes me hesitant to try a new author for more than .99 cents. My ex post value was higher than my ex ante value for this particular book…. which is a really good thing for an author who plans on writing additional book (maybe at a 2.99 price point?).

      If you sell 100,000 books at .99 cents you cannot then say to yourself that… “if I had only priced it at 2.99 I would have tripled my royalties!” That wouldn’t be the case. An increased prices reduces a consumers propensity to consume…. it creates an increased opportunity cost… one would have to give up MORE to read something they are uncertain about.

      That being said… I gave Wren’s book a 5 star rating and though I trust my own judgement I have been burned in the past by purchasing highly rated books that were terrible… indie books at that!

      Most of this “economic” stuff is obvious and I’m sure Wren is aware of it as she swallows the seemingly counter-intuitive notion of pricing so low for something she worked so hard on. I honestly think Wren is in a good position to be the next Amanda Hocking’s as she gets her books out.

  5. oy. It just occurred to me how rude that was. So sorry. I was THINKING, “Bring it out in PB and I’ll buy it,” but the thought never made it past the first synapse. 😛

    I really like your blog, and I’ll be sharing it with my critique partner, as well. 🙂

  6. $.99 for an ebook seems sick to me, too. I mean, just because you are self-pubbed doesn’t mean you didn’t work just as hard (if not harder) than traditionally published writers getting the story written, edited, and published. However, I think that for indie authors, especially those who are writing a series, it is a good business model to start the first book at .99 and then have additional books at a higher price. That’s what I would do, anyway, because on the same token, I would be hard pressed to purchase an indie book that was $2.99 or more if the author only had one book out and/or had no reviews or bad reviews.

    Wren, I finished “I Wish” last night – I will send you a DM Tweet when the review is up on my blog, probably by the end of this week, okay?

  7. You are inspiring me to get back to the type of writing I always wanted to do. Thank you! ❤

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