All project kick offs I have been to so far (a grand total of two) started out with fancy speeches and booze. I emptied my last beer yesterday and I suck at fancy speeches, so we’ll skip that and just dive right into it.
Since I declared this to be a project, I am going to be the good business major that I am and treat it as such.
A project is defined as a planned set of related tasks that are to be executed within a specific time frame, taking into account a set budget and/or other limitations.
To turn my plan – to write and complete a YA novel, document the progress on the internet and improve in the process – into an actual project, a few things need to be specified and made actionable. Before I get into that, there is one more thing I want to mention.
While plotting I realised that the main character that I came up with has a back story that is very relevant to who she is at the beginning of the book, but is not relevant to the story of the book. Because of that, the book will start after those events. Since those events are important to her character development, however, I will write this story as a seperate novella.
Moving on. Lets break down the project into tasks.
Set of related tasks:
- Plot, write and edit a YA fantasy novel (65.000 – 80.000 words) plus a corresponding novella (about 10.000 to 15.000 words)
- Regularly blog about progress and process
- Monitor and analyse development as a writer
4 month schedule with deadline on 10th of January, 2017:
- Finish Plotting, worldbuilding, research: end of September 2016
- Novella about main character (about 10.000 to 15.000 words): latest by 10th of October 2016
- Finish novel: End of November 2016 (participation in NaNoWriMo as rebel. There. I said it. I don’t care that I am supposed to write something completely new. I’ve done that about five times. Now leave me alone and let me use the magic of NaNo to get done what I want to get done. Thanks.)
- Let the manuscript rest. No really. Hands off until 10th of December
- Edit. Revise. Rewrite. Declare the bloody thing done: January 10th 2017
There. Easy. I’ve written a novel in four month. Oh, wait. Damn. That’s only on paper. This plan might look mighty tight to some folks, but (on the occasions that I have won it) I’ve usually finished NaNoWriMo within 20 days. Last years NaNoWriMo was 80k in 19 days, and it wasn’t all garbage (a big chunk of the plot was, though. But I tried my hand on mystery and guys, it’s hard! I failed! But I had heaps of fun).
I digress. The point is: this is realistic for me. I CAN write this amount of words in this amount of time. What this project is for is to make sure that I WILL.
So. I have a masterplan and reasonable milestones. All that’s missing are actionalbe short term goals, which should ensure my constant productivity (right now I am outright laughing at myself because I really am not on top of my productivity game. Which is how this whole, admittedly very exciting, mess started):
- Blog twice a week. One weekly progress update, one weekly update on process, writing in general, interesting writing related things etc.
- Write/ work on novel or writing in general at least 5 out of 7 days a week
- October: 7.000 words per week
- November: write 50k, win NaNoWriMo
- Take stock at the end of each month and review my performance, highs and lows
And that’s it. We got ourselves a project. I’m excited (okay, honestly, I am exhausted because it’s late and I am tired but SQUEE! New project! New characters! New world! It’s gonna be glorious.)