So, the lovely gypsy girls over at Romance Vagabonds threw down the gauntlet and challenged one another to complete their WIPs by RWA National Conference in Dallas (starts July 11).

Since that’s my goal, too, they’ve generously allowed me to join them! In my case, it’s like an eight-week NaNoWriMo. I’m counting by pages this time, so I need to write about 40 pages a week, or 5-6 per day, to finish. I think I can! I think I can! I’ve got the little pagemeter over there to the right. Keep me honest, please!

You know, there’s a part of me that wonders if cranking out pages like this is the best way to write a book – that maybe I should be working more slowly and thoughtfully.

But then, this is what I did with GOTH, for the most part – except that was more like 4 pages/day. And it worked. I finished – where I’d tried and failed so many times before. Plus, if the ultimate goal is to become a successful romance author, ideally I’ll have to be writing a book every 6 months or so, anyway. Right? Might as well get used to working that way now.

(That’s me thinking like Lionel Shriver … see post a few screens down.)

Anyone else setting big, bold goals they want to share?

18 comments to “Do you VaNo?”

  1. CM
    · May 17th, 2007 at 2:07 am · Link

    I’m with you. I want to finish the first draft of Legalese by Nationals. That comes out to about 3-4 pages a day for me, which I think is actually quite doable, all things considering.

    I’m not going to push it if it doesn’t come, but I’d like to say “The End” before I get there. For a number of reasons.

  2. Lenora Bell
    · May 17th, 2007 at 4:12 am · Link

    Hi Tessa, sorry I missed your guest blog at RBTB. My parents left this morning so now I can get back to blogging. I’ll join in the goal to finish a WIP by July. I haven’t even thought about romance novels for two weeks, so I should be refreshed and ready to write. BTW, I love your TMI posts!

  3. Maggie Robinson
    · May 17th, 2007 at 4:25 am · Link

    Sorry, small and timid: MUST perfect the query for Third-Rate Romance(I need more rejections than 4 for it, with 2 as yet undecided). MAYBE I’ll finish Paradise by the end of the summer, in which case it would be my quickest book yet. I tend to do things in fits and starts and multiples (wait, this sounds like Tuesday’s post), since I work on a couple of things at once.

  4. beverley
    · May 17th, 2007 at 6:49 am · Link

    I would like to complete ATR by National but as it will only be the first draft, it won’t be ready for primetime, so i’ll be still looking to garner interest for AHR.

  5. terrio
    · May 17th, 2007 at 9:04 am · Link

    I VaNo! I do now anyway. I won’t be at nationals so my real goal is to finish by August 15. I submitted to a contest and this is when the results get sent. I’m pretending that my entry is so wonderful that I get a request for a full and must be ready. This is completely fictitious but if no one tells me that then I’ll never know. LOL!

    If I can get Letting Go done by mid-July, then I could have a month to do revisions and edits before my deadline. That would be even better!

  6. Kelly Krysten
    · May 17th, 2007 at 9:30 am · Link

    Wow, congrats on the big, bold goals! I haven’t made any for

  7. Jacqueline Barbour
    · May 17th, 2007 at 10:36 am · Link

    My primary goal is to patch up the holes in A Scandalous Liaison, rewrite large portions of the ending, and put the final spit and polish on it before Dallas. If I can’t do that, I can’t see myself pitching it and I have both an editor and an agent appointment, so I’ll feel guilty if I’m not ready.

    I’d like the finish the first draft of Lady Libertine by then, too, but I think that’s a pipe dream. Though I did hit 20,000 words the other day, there’s still a LONG way to go!

  8. Lady Leigh
    · May 17th, 2007 at 12:33 pm · Link

    My goal is to have The Unbound Heart totally finished and polished by July 1. The month of July I will dedicate to querying. After that, time off to be a new mommy, then start my next book.

    I can’t imagine writing a book in 6 months! 4 pages, 5 days a week feels like max for me. Not to mention all the research… But everyone has their own pace and style. I’d love to be able to write that fast!

  9. Lindsey
    · May 17th, 2007 at 2:14 pm · Link

    Go VaNo! 😀 Though I think we need Tessa more than she needs us – I think she’s nearly outwritten all of us combined since FanLit!

    I’ve been trying to work slowly & thoughtfully for months and haven’t made any real progress. So my new plan is to write fast & furious and revise slow & thoughtful.

  10. Tessa Dare
    · May 17th, 2007 at 3:55 pm · Link

    All right, ladies – the goals are here, posted for all the world to see! We have to meet them now.

    Great to see you back, Lenora!

  11. Ericka Scott
    · May 17th, 2007 at 8:21 pm · Link

    500 words a day. . . if I could just sit my butt in the chair and get it done. . .but alas, life (preschool, band concerts, and necessities like food) tend to intervene.

  12. India Carolina
    · May 17th, 2007 at 8:26 pm · Link

    First, let me say that I am in awe of Tessa Dare. I watched GOTH appear in a matter of months and I know what you put into it. The agonies you suffered with it. The guilt over devoting yourself to it instead of washing dishes. The rewrites. And now here you go with GOB. Wahoo!

    And the vagabonds and other posters–how wonderful that all these manuscripts will be ready by July.

    This is inspiring. And I do so want to jump on board. But I’m going to resist. Why? Because unlike Mrs. Dare, my prose needs a bit more polish. I’m learning so much from writing my first WIP. And although it’s technically complete, I know it can be improved. So that’s what I want to do between now and July. I want to study the craft of writing and then take what I’ve learned and make my manuscript the best it can be. Then I’ll move on. And I promise to do so by July. Honest, I will.

  13. Tessa Dare
    · May 17th, 2007 at 9:41 pm · Link

    Now, India –

    Ms. Dare does not believe GOTH has no need of polish. Ms. Carolina is in a good place to polish right now, because she has accumulated a lot of feedback from professionals about where to apply her polish. Ms. Dare is still waiting on same.

    Plus, Ms. Carolina’s book is the easiest book to pitch, ever! Ms. Dare’s first novel is … not.

    That’s why Ms. Dare desperately needs to finish a pitchable book.

    Ms. Dare did the dishes today. But no writing yet. 🙁

  14. Alice Audrey
    · May 17th, 2007 at 11:02 pm · Link

    It’s been nearly two years since my last submission. I intend to get queries for Zack in the mail by the end of May.


  15. ERiCA
    · May 17th, 2007 at 11:20 pm · Link

    It was my goal to finish by National… then life got in the way so badly I’ll have to write double-time to even have a chance. Best of luck!!

  16. Tessa Dare
    · May 18th, 2007 at 2:51 am · Link

    Uh, Erica – “life got in the way so badly?” You’re getting married, girl! Cut yourself some slack! If anyone’s got an excuse, it’s you.

  17. Alyssa Goodnight
    · May 18th, 2007 at 9:32 am · Link

    I think this quick, knock-it-out method (whichever one you use) works great for the first draft. You flesh out the story, get the basics on paper, and then start your revisions, working a little more slowly and carefully. But that’s just me. 😉 Good luck!

  18. lacey kaye
    · May 18th, 2007 at 9:16 pm · Link

    I’m all about knocking out the first draft as quickly as possible. Totally!