5-year writing goal: first draft nearly done!

Five Year Writing Goal

do you have goalsI’m taking part in Misha and Beth’s Five Year Project and my five-year goal is to write a novel and get it published.

First step: write the first draft.

This is my monthly recap on how I’m doing.

The Reluctant Scribe

On the 27th July I sat down to write a historical novel set in the Tang Dynasty.
keyboard - flying -words, Ruth Livingstone
The words flew onto the page and now, three months later, I have written 82,000 words and the first draft is almost complete. What an achievement!

I’ve described why I abandoned my previous novel in this blog post: Why I abandoned my novel. Admitting I had failed was difficult, but I decided to learn from my mistakes and I wrote about my analysis of the problems in another post: Learning from Mistakes

Trying a different approach

Determined to be successful this time, I approached my new novel differently. Here is a brief summary of the major changes:

  • Switching genre: from sci-fi to historic fiction, after discovering that I actually like writing within constraints.
  • Writing the final chapter first: so that I know where I’m supposed to be heading from the start.
  • Sticking to one POV: to banish my own annoying voice and to keep from head-hopping.
  • Multiple doc files: to reduce scrolling and to make editing easier.

Have these changes made a difference?

Yes, yes, yes and yes. I’ve have been thrilled and excited by my own story as it unfolds. But I’ve discovered a new problem. With two more chapters to complete – I find I am slowing down. In fact, I haven’t added to the novel’s word-count for 3 days. Why is this? Am I trying to deliberately sabotage my own goals?
No. I think it’s because I don’t want the story to end!

Author: Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.

10 thoughts on “5-year writing goal: first draft nearly done!”

  1. I’m so happy that your changes are helping. And I love that the story is so good you don’t want it to end. But all good things must end, this story included. Can you write 4,000 words a day for the next couple of days? If you do, you will be almost done with your first draft. Maybe even done. You are so on the right track!

    Also, it’s okay to quit a novel that isn’t working now and again, but just remember finishing a novel that isn’t working is still a good way to get experience as a writer, and you may be able to make it awesome during revision. (Everyone needs like 1,000,000 words to be an expert, so I’m okay with it when I write something I won’t publish).


  2. LOL. I love your post Ruth. and I have just learnt a number of things from it one of which is keeping multiple files for editing. I’d never have thought it but it makes perfect sense


  3. The good thing is, if you really love the story & see potential for more storytelling within that world, you could always start a sequel! 😀

    I love the idea of a story set during the Tang dynasty. And I saw in your next post that you finished. CONGRATS!!!!


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