Commitment Or "I've finally decided to write a novel. "

One of my greatest regrets about myself is my inability to tackle long-term projects. Just about the only extracurricular I've ever committed to was learning to play guitar, and even that I'm only so-so at. Well, over the past year, I've had this idea kicking around in my head for a story. It started with a question- why are fantasy worlds technologically stagnant? Magic - why develop medicine if you have a healing spell, for instance. And then, what would happen then if Middle Earth or the Forgotten Realms or any traditional fantasy setting went through an industrial revolution? Eventually the idea took form and I was able to sketch out a plot and characters and such. It was almost like half remembering a tv show or a book that I read but didn't remember all of the details of.

A couple weeks back, I decided that I was going to challenge myself to just sit down and write the damn thing. If I could hammer out a few pages a week, I'd be on a good schedule. As of today, I've just cracked 11,000 words. Now, my research tells me that I'm still about 90,000 words short of the length of the average first novel. But it's a start.

It's funny, really, because as I'm writing, it's like I can watch this world crystallize and take form in my head. I'm starting to hear and see these characters as if they were real. It's a strange feeling, and really gratifying.

I'm writing the thing in a live Google doc for now. I'd happily invite the community to check on my progress, invite critiques, or just read along. I have no dreams of quitting my job to become the next Stephen King, but if I can say to myself that I finished a novel, that something from my mind now exists on paper for others to enjoy, then I'll be satisfied. If it's any good, maybe I'll throw it up as an e-Book, who knows, but the important thing is writing it.

The book in progress is located here. I'd gladly accept comments (and encouragement if it's any good) from the Giant Bomb community.

14 Comments
14 Comments
Posted by ztiworoh

One of my greatest regrets about myself is my inability to tackle long-term projects. Just about the only extracurricular I've ever committed to was learning to play guitar, and even that I'm only so-so at. Well, over the past year, I've had this idea kicking around in my head for a story. It started with a question- why are fantasy worlds technologically stagnant? Magic - why develop medicine if you have a healing spell, for instance. And then, what would happen then if Middle Earth or the Forgotten Realms or any traditional fantasy setting went through an industrial revolution? Eventually the idea took form and I was able to sketch out a plot and characters and such. It was almost like half remembering a tv show or a book that I read but didn't remember all of the details of.

A couple weeks back, I decided that I was going to challenge myself to just sit down and write the damn thing. If I could hammer out a few pages a week, I'd be on a good schedule. As of today, I've just cracked 11,000 words. Now, my research tells me that I'm still about 90,000 words short of the length of the average first novel. But it's a start.

It's funny, really, because as I'm writing, it's like I can watch this world crystallize and take form in my head. I'm starting to hear and see these characters as if they were real. It's a strange feeling, and really gratifying.

I'm writing the thing in a live Google doc for now. I'd happily invite the community to check on my progress, invite critiques, or just read along. I have no dreams of quitting my job to become the next Stephen King, but if I can say to myself that I finished a novel, that something from my mind now exists on paper for others to enjoy, then I'll be satisfied. If it's any good, maybe I'll throw it up as an e-Book, who knows, but the important thing is writing it.

The book in progress is located here. I'd gladly accept comments (and encouragement if it's any good) from the Giant Bomb community.

Posted by GunslingerPanda

I wish you the best of luck, good sir.

Posted by dopplerganger

Courage duder, courage.

Posted by Ramone

Good luck dude. I've always wanted to do this but I could never motivate myself to actually sit down and write.

Posted by TheDudeOfGaming

I hope you'll last longer than me (insert joke about sexual endurance here), longer than 2 pages.

Posted by ztiworoh

@TheDudeOfGaming: Thanks - I'm at 55, so I've already met that milestone I guess.

Posted by InternetCrab

I tried to write a novel once, but failed miserably. I wish you the best of luck.

Edited by Vitor

@ztiworoh: Once I'm done with exams, I might just check that out. The idea sounds fascinating. Best of luck!

EDIT: OK, got bored and skimmed the first page. I don't read much fantasy but man, that's A LOT of specific jargon to throw out early on. Might be intimidating for some. It's all pretty basic stuff and you can infer general meanings but just something I noticed.

Posted by Cloudenvy

I wish you the best of luck, duder!

Posted by Mechanical_Ape

Good luck with it! It took me many failed attempted until I was able to finally finish a story and now I've finished three. Once you get that first one under your belt and see that it's nowhere near as difficult as you might have thought, the rest will become much easier. All of that pales in comparison to the hell and frustration of querying agents!

One tip I can give you is to not worry about a word count. It's better to focus on telling your story, particularly in the first draft. Once you've done that, it's much easier to go back and either add to it or cut it down as necessary.

Posted by TaliciaDragonsong

My first attempt at a novel ended up a 70k words, I'm sure I can crank it up to 80k with some more fluff but I'm happy nonetheless.
It takes commitment however, try to set daily word goals or something, those can really help!
 
Good luck, in any case.

Posted by Viking_Funeral

The idea sounds a bit like Arcanum. That said, don't go play that game. Create your own world first, then maybe after your first draft go check that out compare 'n' contrast. You don't want ideas from that game infecting what you could come with on your own and hurting your originality.

Good luck, duder!

Posted by ShadowConqueror

I would suggest not putting it in a google doc for a few reasons. First, if you ever want to get it published, no one will want to publish something that is already available on the internet for free. Second, while writing you should be able to feel free to go back and change anything and everything should you come up with a better idea, and having that already-written work available may make you hesitant to do so. Third, as Hemingway said, "the first draft of anything is shit."

Good luck.

Posted by ztiworoh

@Paul_Is_Drunk: Yeah, I've played Arcanum, it's only tangentially like that. They go for a more steam-punk/victorian feel. For one, magic is dead in the world I'm creating. Has been for 800 years or so. That's part of why they eventually invented technology. By the time my book happens, they're somewhere around our 1940s. There's a significant noir feel that I wanted to give the world.