I don’t know what it is about me that falls for these idiotic ideas. It’s like someone throws down a gauntlet when they say it can’t be done, and I have to rise to the challenge.
I picked this one up from a blog post, which was then thrown open to discussion on a forum. The notion intrigued me, and before I knew it, I used the tried and tested Robinson foot-in-the-mouth manoeuvre and said I was going for it. And now that I’ve said it, I have to do it.
Well, I don’t. I could fail. I probably will. Missing the target is, after all, another of my specialist areas, but this time I’m not worried.
Let me explain.
I don’t, for one moment, imagine I can write a completed, polished novel in seven days, but I do think I can hammer out a workable first draft of 60-70,000 words. It’s only 10,000 words a day, and my all up record was over 13,000 words in a single day. I type roughly 1500 words per hour. To save you reaching for your calculator, that’s 25 wpm; quite a slow speed by your average typist’s standard. The great stumbling blocks have always been:
· Pausing to correct errors
· Pausing to walk the dog
· Pausing for any other reason I can think of, most of which amount to “can’t be bothered”.
All of that will have to stop for a week, with the exception of walking the dog, but that only takes a few minutes because I’m bad on my pins and Joe’s a tired little so-and-so. I can’t do it and he can’t be bothered doing it (is there some old wives’ tale about pets taking after their owners?)
For the week of 9th-15th July, there will be no correction of errors, there will be curtailed walking of the dog, and there will be no “any other reason”. I will simply sit and type and type and type until I run out of words, patience, cigarettes, beer or any combination thereof.
And what of the outcome? Well we should feel sorry for Maureen. She’s already volunteered to verify the deal. On July 17th, coincidentally my eldest son’s birthday, she has the unenviable task of looking at this piece in the raw.
I, for one, do not envy her.
If you’d like to follow this crackpot plan, I’m blogging my preparation and progress at http://novelinaweek.blogspot.co.uk/ and your comments will be most welcome.