Make no mistake, writing and publishing a novel is no small feat. The elite class of people who have accomplished this — either by traditional or independent publishing — are few. Finishing your first novel will be a challenge, but one you can overcome with careful planning and diligent effort. If you want to finish your novel within a year or less, there are several things that you can do to make this a reality.
Plan Your Writing
One of the most common questions writers ask when planning to write a novel is how many words or pages they should write. While some experts advise that an adult commercial or literary fiction novel should ideally be no fewer than 80,000 words with the most acceptable range between 80,000 and 110,000 words, the reality is that 70,000 or even 60,000 words can still be considered a novel. Your target word count will depend on your genre.
But for your goal-setting purposes, an 80,000 word novel is approximately 188-258 pages. To complete an 80,000-word novel in a month, you will have to write 2,667 words a day. While this may seem daunting, it can often be easy to bang out this amount or more when ideas and your storyline start flowing. Many writers designate a set time each day to write. Some get up before dawn to write while others toil away at their novels until well past midnight. The goal is to write consistently each day.
Set a Deadline
The key to getting your novel finished is to set a deadline. For writers who want to publish on Amazon, the site allows you to pre-release your novel before it is finished. Amazon will give you a date that the work must be submitted in order to be released on that date. This is a great way to impose a deadline on yourself that will propel you to complete your novel.
Leave yourself additional time for the post-work after you have completed your book. This means re-reading and rewriting, having the book professionally edited, formatted, and your cover designed. You will need to order an ISBN, arrange to have an author’s copy printed, and set up book signing events. Plan this time into your deadline to be sure your book is ready to go on your release date.
With the right amount of effort and planning, you can finish writing your novel in a month and be published within a year. By applying these few tips, you will become a published author and join the ranks of writers across the world who share this distinction long before this year ends.
Part 3 of a series for the aspiring novelist