500 Words Challenge

I’m back on the wagon with my YA Fiction (or 10-14 or whatever age group might vaguely be interested in reading it) novel.

I’m still at the notes and planning stage but the outline (about 15,000 words of plot, fragments of dialog, events, asides and so on drawn from almost nightly story-telling sessions to dudelet from the first two and a half months of the year) is almost complete. I added another 600 words of the last-but-two chapter this morning thanks to an early ‘alarm call’ from little elf.

So I’m rewarding/challenging myself with the following:

The real heavy lifting – a first complete draft – is still to come, of course…

P.S. Justgiving, anyone? I’m still doing that thumping great walk thing across Hadrian’s Wall.

About Dad Who Writes (Gabriel)

Writing, reading, listening, parenting... On Twitter as @dadwhowrites. View all posts by Dad Who Writes (Gabriel)

25 responses to “500 Words Challenge

  • MrsW

    I’m always shocked that novels don’t spill wholly formed from the heads of geniuses (like poetry you know – I’ve said as much to Josie). YA fiction is my favourite genre these days …. I live with teenagers and an English teacher so it’s no wonder really. If I’m not nicking the kids books I’m forcing them to read stuff I’ve finished or working my way through samples sent to the school.

    We didn’t know Howl’s Moving Castle was anything but a fabulous Ghibli movie so thanks to yesterday’s post I now have three more books in my Amazon basket.

    I think what I’m saying is that unless you send me a free draft I will have to buy it. Sheesh!

    • dadwhowrites

      Heh! Well, you’ll have plenty of time to save up, knowing my work rate…

      We’ve been through all the Chrestomanci books as well and I’ve just started trying out Charmed Life on Dudelet to see what he thinks. Good excuse for me to re-read it very carefully as well. Older children might like The Time of the Ghost or The Merlin Conspiracy.

  • Heather

    That sound slike a good challenge to set yourself. 500 words, it’s not so much but it’s enough to keep it progressing at a good speed. good luck…you may have inspired me to pick mine up again. 500 words a day i think i could do…

    • dadwhowrites

      Worth a try – I’ve abandoned the one I’ve been struggling with (which means one novel at fourth draft, another part drafted and notes for a third I put together in 1995 or thereabouts that I found in the attic on Sunday sitting in various drawers) and am going full tilt at this one. Well, perhaps full-tilt is overstating it…

  • Dara

    Congratulations on getting so much done already. 500 words a day is a great idea. I’m horrible at actually getting things written properly.
    Hubby and I were talking about this just yesterday as I received a compliment (I think) from one of his coworkers who is rather stingy with her compliments. I was talking about how many medical appointments and such I have to bring our youngest to and all the “other” stuff and she asked how I find time to write my column. I explained that I spend all week writing it “in my head” and then when I get a moment to actually sit at the computer semi-undisturbed I pound it out. She said something along the lines of “I’d never guess you didn’t spend much time at it” (see what I mean about I think it’s a compliment?)
    Anyhoo hubby and I were talking about my writing and how much/how little I’ve been doing and he expressed that he was always amazed at how I managed to do the same with term papers and essays in university – just sit down the night before and pound them out. So I explained my writing “method” to him.
    And I think at that moment I realised why I haven’t written the novel, two scripts, and three childrens books that are in my head right now. No deadline.
    Not sure how to set myself a deadline as I’ll just break it if it’s only for me. And trying to write 500 words a day won’t work for me. I’ll just agonise over which 500 words to write. The problem with the things I’ve written in my head is that if I pull the plug and start writing them I tend to have to write it all or lose it. Which is also why I’ve never done well with outlines.
    Perhaps I should get a voice recorder or something . . .

  • Beta Dad

    Good for you, Dad!

    Dara–I do the same thing. Thinking about what I’m going to write all day, and then spewing it out in a burst. Since I started blogging, I’ve been cranking out maybe 250 words/day? Not too bad. But I find that I walk around with my head in the clouds, paying the most attention to things that are blog-worthy.

    In a semi-related vein, I just posted an entry on my blog that has to do with our conversation about social perceptions/constructions of fatherhood. But it’s much sillier than the one dadwhowrites wrote.

  • Achelois

    My oldest is 11 🙂 Looking forward to your fiction.

  • Dan

    I would love to have a book in me, but I haven’t. As soon as I try to pin down writing to any kind of structure/timetable I go completely off it and resent doing it. I’d never be able to write for a living in any guise.

    But 500 words a day sounds achievable even to me. I shall look forward to hearing you interviewed about your book on Loose Ends.

  • elizabeth

    500 words a day — or even 500 words 5 days a week — is a totally do-able goal. And, since word counts for YA novels average around 30K-40K, you are halfway done! Rock on! Looking forward to hearing more of your novel-writing exploits.

  • Gumbomum

    I think 500 words a day is a great goal! I may take on this challenge myself as soon as school is out in June! I’ve got a 60,000ish finished novel and about 15,000 words of a new one. I think I’m tired of both of them, though, and might just start something new.

    Good luck!

  • Selina Kingston

    I have two and a bit books floating around in my head that are starting to interfere with the business of living as the characters get in the way!! I know I should start putting down some stuff on paper but I haven’t got a clue how to start and if truth be told, I guess I’m a bit scared. I am so in awe of you !

  • cherishedbyme

    I’m with Mrs W, it’s my favourite genre too……I don’t have time for anything more nowdays and find them so much more fun than anything else at the moment. Good luck with the 500 /words/day challenge. 😉

  • ThirdCat

    I think 500 words a day is good. I was trying for 1,000, but it started getting me down, because I knew I was just typing in any old rubbish to try and get the word count. Whereas 500 can be 500 pretty good words.

  • drawingdad

    Brilliant to hear that you’re putting your head down and getting into the actual writing. That’s one of the biggest struggles, in my experience, doing more than just thinking about it endlessly but actually getting the words out. Looking forward to one day reading the finished book.

    As an aside, if you want illustrations for it, even just the cover, I have been known to do the odd drawing or two… No pressure, just saying. 🙂

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