Challenge extended, Ms. Hawthorne? Challenge accepted.

(Or as L.D. Blakeley most cogently quipped, “Bring the Payne!”)

So I’m sure that many of you have heard of a certain kerfluffle regarding an indie author who put up a GoFundMe fund to support herself while she wrote. I actually have no problem with people being patrons of a writer. That’s been a perfectly functional income stream for centuries, and in fact Patreon exists for creators who want to use it.

Unfortunately, this indie writer made it clear that she was in possession of, let us say, a rose-colored worldview on writing, publishing, and all that comes along with the scribbling dodge. Things became more fraught when her call for funding was then picked up by social media, bloggers, and writers (the awesome Jenny Trout did a marvelously fair-handed analysis of the situation). Many people pointed out the worst of her impractical expectations, often in some rather harsh terms. In response Indie Author lashed out, first on her GoFundMe page and then on her FB page.

(By the way, never do this. Never. Just no. Write nasty letters to your critics and then delete the letters, burn the critics in effigy, make voodoo dolls of them, whatever makes you feel better. But do not go on social media to lambaste them with phrases such as “cock-juggling thunder cunts.” Although I did like the use of that line in Blade Trinity. But I digress.)

Now, I’m not going to criticize the lashout — I don’t know the lady, I don’t know what challenges she faces, yadda yadda. But I was particularly intrigued by one comment of hers, to wit:

“I’d like to challenge each and every one of these wonderful women to a writing contest. How about an 80K (that’s 80,000 words people, not dollars!) novel. It needs to be fully edited, proofed and a professional cover designed for it. Oh, and they have only 6 months to do all this. Ok, go.”


*pauses to look at WIP list*

*nods to self*

Challenge accepted. In fact, I’m gonna go one better. I hereby state to the internet at large than I am going to finish an 80K fantasy erotic romance novel and have it fully edited, proofed, and provided with a professional cover in six weeks. And just to make this totally fair, that novel will be Navigator’s Star, since I only have 3K of it done and a vagueish outline so total word count will be 83K.

UPDATE: I’ve renamed the novel to Empress of Storms. You’ll see why.

Official start date is September 21st, release date will be November 1st, and I’ll be posting daily updates on word count, editing process, cover reveal, et al on FB and Twitter with a weekly roundup here. So stay tuned. This should be fun.

About Nicola Cameron

Nicola Cameron has had some interesting adventures in her life -- ask her sometime about dressing up as Tietania, Queen of the Bondage Fairies. When not writing, she wrangles cats, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture...).

Posted on September 18, 2015, in Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hehehe, that was my response to her challenge. I thought, “Six months? It takes her that long?” But if it does, it does. I don’t predict word count because the story gets as long as it does, some longer, some shorter, depending on the story. But I know that so far this year (this would be the 9th month) I’ve written a grand total of 177K, which is at least twice her 80K. *shrugs* Good luck on your own challenge, Nicola (I have no worries at all) and happy writing. 😀

    • Thanks, Siobhan! We all know that writers work at their own pace. Some are slow, some are fast. Either speed is totally fine and cool. But her phrasing made it sound as if writing a 80K book in less than six months was just out of the QUESTION, how could that even been EXPECTED of a Serious Writer.

      What I’m going to do as part of this challenge is show that it’s possible to do this without sacrificing quality, and while still maintaining something of a life. I’m going to journal each day’s word count, if I used any tips or tricks to get there, plus everything else that I’m doing (housecleaning, making jewelry, going to a SF convention, entertaining friends from out of town, etc.). Sometimes people just need to see how something’s done to realize, “Oh, wait, THAT’S how you do that. I can do that!” It’s a personal challenge for me because I like challenges, but if it can help other folks achieve their goals of finishing a novel, bonzer.

  2. Seriously, this is awesome. I’ve bookmarked your site so I can follow along, and would love to pick up whatever Tip’s and tricks you have for us 😀

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