February 18th, 2013

Lisa Coffee

Writing a Novel Ten Words at a Time

Writing a novel is a lot like climbing a very high mountain.  It feels like an impossible task, but as long as you make forward progress, you'll get there eventually.

I recently watched the Imax movie "Everest."  One of the climbers described how she had to struggle to take every step on the day she reached the summit.  Her body, deprived of oxygen and rebelling against the extreme climate, longed to just rest.  She had to convince herself over and over to just take ten more steps.  Those ten steps kept adding up and adding up until she became the first Spanish woman to reach the top of Everest.

Even though they might seem insignificant, ten words--like this hiker's ten steps--will eventually keep adding up to a novel.  Anyone can sit down and write ten words.  Chances are that once you sit down to write them, you'll continue on.

Author Jennifer Hubbard recently tweeted something that captured this phenomenon:

So get to it!  Write those ten words today.  You'll eventually reach the novel summit.