In our previous FraeLea Conversations video, we talked about our writing experiment: to write and edit a full novel in one month.
Fast forward, and Spark of Justice is finished! That’s a full-length novel of 81,000 words written and edited in about 30 days. This experiment was an absolute success.
Some discoveries (some were expected, most were pleasant surprises):
- Being held accountable made ALL the difference for motivation. Knowing we had a small group of people waiting to read a new chapter each morning lit a fire under our butts.
- A much shorter feedback loop meant more agile corrections. Normally, authors write an entire novel, only then passing it along to their beta readers to receive critique. With this experiment, we were getting near real-time proofreading and story insights from our Alpha Team. As such, we’re confident that Spark of Justice and the characters within will resonate with the public.
- Each day got progressively easier. At the start of the month, it took 11 painful hours to write and edit a full chapter. By the end of the month, we were able complete three chapters in about six hours.
- Quality improved with quantity. Not only did the words-per-hour improve each week, but the story came together more readily as a “flow state” was achieved most days.
- Obsession was the key ingredient. We lived and breathed this story every hour of every day. We talked about it when we weren’t writing, dreamed about it when we weren’t awake. I’m convinced that this obsessiveness helped make the writing time more productive.
Prior to this experiment, we were averaging just one chapter per month (that’s pitiful, really). During our experiment, we were cranking out an average of one chapter per day, with bursts up to three chapters in a 24-hour period. We’re talking about edited chapters (averaging 2,350 words) requiring only minor proofreading corrections.
We’re still pinching ourselves to have accomplished so much in such a concentrated span of time. We are continuing this experiment and will be refining the process with each new novel.
Above all, we couldn’t have done this without our treasured Alpha Team. As our protagonist Ember might say, “Cheers, volunteers!”
Oh, and look for Spark of Justice (Magic City Chronicles #1) to be published by February 2018!
Transcript for FraeLea Conversations #7:
RaeLea: Hi and welcome to FraeLea Conversations. I’m RaeLea and this is Frank. About six weeks ago we started a writing experiment and I think we’re going to update you on how that went.
Frank: That’s right. It was a little more than a month and a half ago. And, for our second novel, as we announced in our last episode, we had a writing experiment where we had volunteers, called our Alpha Team. We emailed, every morning, a new chapter, sometimes two chapters. I guess, in a nutshell, it went fantastically. We had great feedback.
RaeLea: I think the number one thing was the accountability. That was perfect.
Frank: Right. We went from, basically, taking a month per chapter, to write, which is not a good speed.
RaeLea: Not sustainable.
Frank: To a chapter a day, sometimes two. At the end, we had three chapters in a day. It was fantastic and we can’t thank our Alpha Team members enough. As a way of thanking them, in fact, we renamed a lot of characters after some of our Alpha Team members. So, you’ll see some of that. We also had these awesome Spark of Justice mugs made. They’re fifteen-ounce coffee mugs that we gave to our more active Alpha Team members. Not to all of them, but to the ones who gave us a lot of feedback and a lot of useful insight.
RaeLea: Thank you very much.
Frank: This sexy little coffee mug.
Frank: Yeah, I think it’s pretty sexy. But, it features the artwork that’s going to be on the book cover for Spark of Justice. Which, is ready to be published, now at this point, and will be published in the first quarter of 2018. Along with its next successors after that.
Frank: So, we’re going to be continuing our experiment with our next novel, Investigator’s Creed, which is starting, like pretty much now.
RaeLea: Yes, so expect emails soon.
Frank: Yes, for our Alpha Team members. And, if you didn’t get a chance to be a part of the Alpha Team and you would like to help, or you’d like to read what we’ve written, we are going to be looking for advanced review readers. Basically, you’re going to be getting a copy of the e-book in exchange for writing a review on Amazon, or wherever when it gets published. Send us an email if you’re interested in that. A big shout out to our Alpha Team members, and thanks so much for all the help.
RaeLea: And, again, find us on frhurt.com.