Approaching the Big One

       At the end of last week I spent some time wandering through the lush jungle of blogging, writing and book blogs that exists on the internet, trying to decide which of the ones I like to add to my blog roll, and I stumbled across a short post on Block or Not about the link she’d made between time taken to edit a 640 word article, and how much time that would mean she’d need to spend editing her novel, which could feasibly end up around the 60,000 word mark. It’s scary stuff indeed: 94 hours straight, at the same rate, she worked out, although of course in reality editing throws up more writing which throws up editing which requires writing to fill in the gaps, so really, how long is a piece of string? To me, in my fragile, sapling state, it looks vaguely like enough of a challenge to stop you starting in the first place.

      Those of you who’ve read my little 'About' tab will know that as much as I love short stories and flash fiction (and I do, I love them so), I am angling myself towards the completion of the one big project i.e. something of novel length and content and appearance (i.e. a novel). Now, I don’t mind admitting that I’m really rather intimidated by the thought of writing something that long, and only have the vaguest idea of where to start. I’ve got a rough 20,000 words or so, but they are rough words at the moment, and I’m finding other things to do rather than making a concerted effort to progress. As I commented on Block or Not, the only way I can conceive the feasibility of the whole crazy idea in my mind is by thinking of the one big writing project as a collection of short stories, that just so happen to be chronological and linked.

     I just wonder, how do other people deal with this challenge? Do you just keep your head down, keep writing, and forget about the magnitude of the whole thing? Do people maybe write sections as they occur to them and then piece it all together later and hope they form something coherent? What I’d like to know is, how exactly do writers go about 'approaching the big one'? Answers on a postcard please (or below in the comments box!).

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