85. The Adventure Goes On!

(Out of the frying pan…)

I was midway through my R&R yesterday when Laureen sent me a link:

http://us.macmillan.com/SubmitManuscripts.aspx

60,000 words. 57 days. Can I do it? Maybe; maybe not. Will I try anyhow, like every other young fool who thinks himself invincible? Hell yes.

2 screenplays in the pipeline, a NaNoWriMo project, a cyberpunk short story, and now a crime novel. If this isn’t the very definition of “biting off more than you can chew”, I don’t know what is.

What is quite alluring about the competition is that it specifically looks for unpublished writers – and by “unpublished”, they mean writers who haven’t published any works containing more than 40,000 words. Since Death and Other Things only totaled up to 16,000 words, and though Johann’s Fantastic Adventures Through Time is 42,500 words, it has not been published – I am, by their definition, an “unpublished” writer.

So there’s me – an “unpublished” writer, competing with other amateur writers such as myself for the elusive $10,000 book deal. My chances look good. In fact, I should just write this in place of my NaNoWriMon project, and bother The Swordsman next year – except that I cannot do that. Because for the manuscript sent over to them to be “unpublished”, no more than 10% of it must have appeared anywhere at all, and yes, not even on my own blog.

I can reach the deadline quite comfortably if I start writing just 1,500 words every day, starting today (1,500 words/day * 57 days = 85,500 words). Then when NaNoWriMo November rolls around, I’ll just have to add another 1,700 words to that daily requirement (1,700 words/day * 30 days = 51,000 words) and I’ll emerge a winner of 2013’s NaNoWriMo project. 3,200 words only sound like a lot of words if you look at the big sum; you see, if I chop it up into the hours of a regular work day, it’s pretty manageable (3,200 words / 8 working hours = 400 words/hour).

(I have read somewhere that the great Mr. King doesn’t allow himself to sleep unless he has written at least 1,800 words in that day. I guess that explains his phenomenal success at getting things done. The distinguished George R. R. Martin, on the other hand, sits at his desk and begins hacking away at the thing only during office hours – or until he gets tired of it and decides to play video games. I guess that also explains the non-completion of A Song of Ice And Fire)

At any rate, I should be starting the writing process as soon as I can. In fact, I should get to work on at least one of those screenplays, while NaNoWriMo hasn’t come to collect my soul and my sleep just yet. Over the next two months, I will be writing a crime novel, a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel, and a family comedy/drama film. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from biting off more than I could chew in the past, it’s that it makes for very strong jaws.

I do hope my jaws have been made strong enough for this epic chewing that is to come.

(…and into the fire)

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