1. PMelol
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    PMelol New Member

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    Setting goals for yourself.

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by PMelol, Oct 30, 2013.

    I started a story. I don't have too much direction for it, but honestly I don't have too much experience writing and am used to just "seeing where the story goes" more or less. I would like to have a finished manuscript by December 25. Here we go!
     
  2. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    Good luck. What are you aiming for in terms of Length? Theme? Genre?
     
  3. PMelol
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    PMelol New Member

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    In terms of length, I'm probably looking for around 200 pages at least. The theme is basically teen angst. It's a coming-of-age story about depression and nihilism. It's a lot like The Catcher in the Rye, to be honest. We'll see how it goes.
     
  4. Easterly
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    Easterly New Member

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    Can I suggest you break your goal down into smaller objectives as well? That will give you more of a timeline, and keep you motivated better.
    Good luck!
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    First of all, you say you want a finished ms by December 25, but you don't say to what end. Just to say you did it? For submission to a creative writing class? To share with a group of friends? Or to be submitted for publication? All of those ends are valid goals, but they bring different levels of expectation with them.

    Secondly, what is so magical about December 25? Yes, I know it's Christmas Day, but what has that to do with your ms? Novice writers sometimes use arbitrary dates as motivators. My own sense is that such deadlines do not serve the writing well. Unless you have a specific reason for that particular day, I would forget it. Concentrate on the story you want to write.

    Thirdly, writers (and, more importantly, agents and editors) express length of a work in terms of words, not pages, partly because the number of pages varies depending on the formatting (font style and size, spacing, indenting, columns, etc). So, for example, published first novels for the adult market will typically range from 80,000 to 120,000 words, depending on the genre. YA novels range from 50,000 to 80,000. A novella might range from 35,000 to 60,000 words. And so on. Before deciding on the length, though, I'd think about the story I wanted to write and then determine what it might be - short story, novel or novella. Keep in mind that the type of work is not only characterized by word count but also by the complexity of the story itself. A novel will have a theme, a plot and often several subplots. A short story will usually have just one plot and be fairly simple.

    So, what story do you want to write? How many characters are there? How complex are they? What happens to them? Where do they start, where are they trying to go and what might prevent them from getting there? Do they succeed or fail?

    No, don't tell us. Those are the questions you need to answer for yourself.

    Good luck.
     
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  6. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    NaNoWriMo is currently active. They have a word tracker that could help you toward your goal! Dunno why but seeing that tracker totally motivates me. I've written 19,000 words in three days!
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    What exactly is the question here? How much you should write a day to get ready on time? I'd say that if you want 200+ pages it would be around 70K as a minimum(a little depending on how you format the pages), and to obtain that within that date you would have to write 1400 words a day, every day.
     
  8. Aurin
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    Aurin Member

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    Don't set yourself to work to a particular date (I'm assuming for a first draft manuscript), otherwise it'll come out rushed.

    Work out the word count rather than your page count - I knew my minimum was 80K so I set out for that, turned out to be 297 pages long - and work out how how many words you'd like to write every day. I aimed for 500 words if I worked that day, or 4,000 words if I didn't (essentially one chapter for me). Now I'm editing I still aim for a minimum of one page a day, though this rarely turns out to be the case, as long as I do something.Also join Nano, and test yourself against it.
     
  9. Lache
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    Lache Member

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    I agree with Aurin: Don't set a deadline for yourself. And similarly, don't set a word mark; don't try to write a novel, novella, short story, or whatever. Write, edit, and revise until you're satisfied you've written something worth reading. The time that takes could be months or years; but the important issue is the writing than the deadline or type, no matter what it's for. The only planning you should be doing is for structure, if you feel so minded.
     
  10. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    i was shared a nifty little XLS doc that had a similar sort of tracker on it, its set up for NaNo but im sure can be edited for whatever purposes it was needed for
     

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