My husband knew I was not finding much time to write and although I made some progress each time I sat down I got frustrate because I didn’t feel my writing was cohesive. So he kindly bought me The weekend novelist as a birthday present. My birthday is in December, so once we had finished preparing and celebrating Christmas the first weekend happened to be 1st and 2nd January. This means it has become an inadvertent new year’s resolution that I will write a novel in 2011.
I have to say that so far (weekend 5-6) I love the book; the style really works for me. It is structured by weekend or group of weekends but it does not tell you which exercise to do which day, so if you want to write all day Saturday and not on Sunday there is nothing to suggest that is unsuitable. It has also meant I’ve been able to write on Wednesday when I don’t go to work without feeling I’m ruining the structure.
I’ve hand written about 5 sides of A4 in my new notebook and the exercises have got me working out my plot. With my novel I’ve had images in my head of very specific scenes, but no idea how they link together, this programme has helped solves this by making me think of my plot structure in different ways.
Unfortunately, I am complicating things because I am using the programme for three books at the same time. While the story is a trilogy in my head I don’t know if there is enough weight or interest to justify three books or whether they should be merged into one or just used as background information. I’m hoping by using the programme on all three at the same time I will realise whether this is potential for three novels and if so ensure there is a smooth overarching story to them.
Other writing programmes
If you want to use a programme to help you write a novel there are several available with different timescales. My recommendation is to ignore the timescales and select the one in the style you favour, because the duration will be dictated by the time you spend completing the exercising. Although NaNoWriMo is not a programme I thought it was worth mentioning as it can be useful to encourage you to write 50,000 words in one month.
Have you used a writing programme? Has it helped or hindered your writing?
How to write your first novel in under 4 weeks – blog post
Write a novel in 30 days – book
First draft in 30 days – book
How to write a novel in 100 days or less – free online programme
A novel in a year: from first page to last in 52 weeks – book based on articles available free from The Telegraph
The weekend novelist – book