83K Or Bust: Day One

Let’s do a little recap, shall we? As you know, (Bob), an indie author recently kicked off a kerfluffle by putting up a GoFundMe fund in order to write full-time, and revealed herself to have a totally unrealistic worldview on professional writing. After receiving both even-tempered remonstrating and plain old ridicule, she lashed out at her critics with, among other things, the following:

“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.”

You know me, I can’t pass up a challenge. I announced that I would go one better and finish an 83K novel (because I was already 3K into that crazy MF high fantasy erotic romance novel that wouldn’t let go), have it fully edited, proofed, and provided with a professional cover in six weeks, and release it as an ebook and trade paperback on November 1.

Let me take this moment to point out that every writer has their own speed. Some write fast, some write slow. Any speed you write at is fine. You do you, baby. But taking an 80K novel from zero to “Whoops, it’s on Amazon” within six m/o/n/t/h/s/ weeks is just not as impossible as some people seem to think. Part of this challenge is to show that it’s possible to do this without sacrificing quality, and while still maintaining something of a life.

So yeah, today was the official start of 83K or Bust, and Empress of Storms is now officially underway. Here’s my working blurb:

When widower King Matthias IV of Ypres has to fulfill a treaty with the neighboring country of Hellas and provide a royal consort for young Queen Danäe, the only Ypresian royal available for marriage is himself. Can he overcome his grief for his late wife and risk letting a blue-haired witch queen into his heart? And can Danäe, only half-trained as a water mage, root out a magical threat against Matthias before it kills the man she’s loved since childhood?

I’m pleased to report that it got off to a robust start. Here are the day’s stats:

Started With: 3,000 words
Wrote: 3,223 words
Total word count: 6,223 words
What else did you do today, Nicola: recorded, edited and released a podcast episode, signed up for RT, made a necklace and two sets of earrings for the Etsy store so that I could pay for RT (I’ve got some really cool Dia de los Muertos/Halloween jewelry up, just saying), ran errands, performed cat chores (feeding, watering cleaning cat boxes, breaking up cat fights), did two loads of laundry, cursed through my knee PT workout, fetched Ramon a Starbucks because I’m a nice wife, and took a shower.

At this rate I should be finishing the book on October 17th or so, which will give me two weeks to edit, proof, and put the ebook and print book together. I’ve contracted with the amazing Jay Aheer to design the cover (could have done it myself but the challenge stipulates “a professional cover” and I don’t want anyone to think I’m cheating), and I think it’s going to be absolutely gorgeous.

As for the writing, it’s not really much of a stretch at this point. I’ve introduced all the major players and am about to write Matthias and Danäe’s hot mess of a wedding (the treaty originally stipulated that Danäe was supposed to marry Matthias’s son Lukas, but the supposedly grief-stricken Ypresian heir disappeared after his mother’s death. So now she’s marrying the man who was supposed to be her father-in-law. Can you say awkward? I knew you could).

And I keep hearing Dawn French in my head whenever I write Flavia, Queen Danäe’s personal body servant, so that’s 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 21, 2015, in Empress of Storms, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Very cool, Nicola. I’m cheering you on. The irony here, too, is you’ll be done BEFORE NaNoWriMo – wonder if she’s ever written 50K words in 30 days? 😉

  2. I’m your cheerleader…Rah Rah Rah! 🙂

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