how I wrote a book in a month.
Technically, it was 29 days, but who's counting?
Hello people! For those of you who don't know me, hi! I'm Carolina! I'm a Mexican writer of Middle Grade and Young Adult books! Weird, I'm writing a blog. That's a new one. Turns out I don't like typing that much. Which is ironic, because, well, I'm a writer. According to the Nanowrimo count of my profile (@somethingserious), I've written 576,716 words (worth of books) in my entire life! That's a lot of typing.
I realize that what I don't like typing about, rather, is myself (call my therapist, am I right?).
As you can tell by the lack of face in my profile picture, I'm a very private person. With my work, my personal life, and my books. Heck, would you believe me if I told you literally no one from my 'real' life knows I am a writer? Yes, I'm THAT private. But hey, they are up for quite the surprise later on, won't they?
So yeah. This typing practice is to open up with my friends on social media, and you amazing person reading my blog who is subscribed to my newsletter, right ;) ? (insert Patrick meme saying I love u). My Twitter and Instagram pals and gals and gays. I just love y'all so much that I want to take this moment to share more things with you! And please feel free to hit me up (after you finish reading) and continue with the conversation!
Anyway, let's dive into this first issue.
I wrote 93K words (a full book, beginning to end) in 29 days.
The secret? There are a few of them, let me take you through them.
But first, disclaimer: this is not the first time I've written a book in a month. In fact, this is my ninth book completed, fifth book completed in one month. So I've been through this a lot. Ya girl knows what's up. Also, the book I wrote is a YA Sci-Fi I'll be calling DIS book for the rest of the blog. We love when an acronym fits well, am I right?
As you all probably know, I am a college student. I study a B.S. in Digital Transformation and Business (not impressive, I'm barely hanging on). I'm in my 7th semester (holy crap) and I'm also a full-time agented author (I love you, Tricia). Which means my time is always spread thin. Except when it's not, aka, vacation. Summer vacation has always been the time I bombard myself with all the writing I couldn't do while the semester is ongoing. It's the perfect time when I am free (both mentally and emotionally) to draft a book.
So, the first trick is: Know your schedule and know the holes within it.
In my case: I know July is a whole month that will be 100% cleared for me. Plus, it's camp NaNoWriMo, where the community unites in a writing-filled environment. Perfect to be in the writing mindset, and not get distracted with school.
Plan. Before my fellow pansters out there freak out, when I say 'plan' I say it VERY generally. To write a book in one month without any writer blocks, you need to KNOW what you are going to write about. This is no time for experimentation, there is no time to stop and think (god knows I don't think). This is time to get things done. Have a plan, as loose as it might be, I don't care, but you NEED to know what will happen in the beginning, middle, and end to get through to the very last word. I follow the 3 act structure, one I don't try to follow anymore for reasons I will get into in a later blog. But use a structure, scenes will fall into place.
So, the second trick is: Know wtf you are going to write about.
For DIS book I wrote I knew the setting very well. I also knew my main character's fatal flaw, I knew the premise, and I knew the twist at the end (which I ABSOLUTELY love and can't wait to mindfuck readers with). Know pieces of the book, the rest will fall into place. Like my romantic interest did, and the midpoint as well. This video also helped me sort out things in my outline.
Trust yourself. I cannot tell you how many times I said to myself: I'm going to stop for tonight, I'll write tomorrow. And it actually worked! I knew, for example, that on the weekends my writing daily count tends to go down. For reference, I had to write 3,300 words every day. So on the weekends, I knew I could only get 2K in. But on Monday, I would push myself harder to write 5K.
So, the third trick is: Know yourself, trust your process, and push your own limits.
For some quick, final tips, I'd say have a good playlist ready to put you in the writing mood. Find a good place to write (in my case, my own desk doesn't work anymore. Thanks Covid for that! I took my online classes on my desk so my brain won't allow me to be creative there. So I had my best writing sessions at coffee shops! Shout-out to Tim Hortons, sponsor me please). Watch movies and read books in the genre that you will write. Love your idea, love your characters. And know that it will suck. Embrace the Zuck, and trust your future self will revise accordingly.
For this book? It will be left untouched for a loooong time. I have too many books waiting for me to revise them. Firstly, my MG book that I am actively working on with my agent. Secondly my YA's last pass for my agent to read. And, a bunch of other books I've been neglecting.
What's next for THIS blog? Idk. When will my next blog drop? I don't know girlies, when ya girl isn't writing/tired/reading. Hopefully soon! When something big happens, you'll get a blog/newsletter about it. In the meantime, watch my Twitter @seriouslywrite and my insta @writingsomethingserious. And who knows, maybe you'll get to see my face soon?
Thank you for reading to the very end.
Con amor, Carolina J. Gómez.
This blog was written in August 2022.
Meme referenced above, para cerrar con borche de oro.