As you may know I’ve been writing my master’s thesis for my English (Creative Writing) M.A. as a creative thesis–a novel. It’s based on an idea I’ve had for a few years now but never got more than five pages into it. So when I started my ENG 699 (Thesis) coursework this last Spring, I had the opportunity and drive and motivation to get off my metaphorical arse and actually get the writing going.
This last weekend I broke 50,000 words! That’s a generally accepted publisher and agent minimum for being considered a novel! (Approximately 200 mass market pages.) In my projected plotline, I feel I’m about 60, maybe 70% finished. About 90,000 words in the final project feels about right. (80,000-100K is considered the norm for novels especially from first-timers.)
I’m still behind schedule, however. I planned to have the 1st draft completed by the end of Summer, before classes start up again, and I’m not sure I’m going to reach that. I would need to write about another 76 MLA formatted pages (that whole 1-inch margins, double-spaced, Times New Roman @ 12 thing–the format style I’m using since this is first going to end up as my thesis) in the next three weeks. Not entirely impossible–I’ve written 15-page class papers over a weekend before (after having all my research already done), so in many ways this isn’t all that different. I have the overall plot mapped out in mind and this is only a 1st draft, not a polished version. I think if I force myself to work an hour a day, and then as much as I can get away with over the weekend, I can knock it out. (Cory Doctorow wrote all of Little Brother in a month, and it’s 120K words total. But then, he vowed he’d never do that ever ever again.)