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  • Adam Cook

Act One

Whether the average reader believes it or not, books are divided into 'acts'. Much like acts in a play, each part of the book is divided into three separate parts. Today, it just struck me that as of Friday, I will have hit the end of my seventh chapter, which is the final chapter in the first act. Now, to me, this is amazing. I have made several attempts over the course of the past six years to get a novel on paper, and have failed routinely, only because of my own stubbornness. Stubbornness isn't good when trying to accomplish any task, least of all writing a book, and I was stubborn.


I was too stubborn to set myself to a daily word count. I was too stubborn to make an attempt to write out the chapters in full.


I was too stubborn to research- important when you're trying to write a murder mystery.


I was too stubborn to 'kill my darlings', meaning cut what needs to be cut.


I was too stubborn to actually hit my deadlines if I did set them.


All of this slowed my progress, and made it impossible for me to go forward writing my book. And, believe it or not, it took taking a creative writing class to actually force me to sit down, take a breath, and try to do things the right way.


And one of the things that I struggled with, and intimidated the ever living hell out of me was the idea of writing an actual lengthy chapter. I have two degrees: an associates in liberal studies and a bachelors in journalism. In journalism, your day-to-day writing tends to be in nice, neat little packages, capped off at about 900-1100 words. Editors for a newspaper will send the story right back to you if you make it much longer, because they simply do not have the space to fit all of your beautifully crafted words in it. Not so when writing a novel. Each chapter I have written so far has approximately 2500 words in it. By the time I write to you next, I will have 17,500 words in total in my book. The aim is 50,000 words, wrapped up in nice, neat little chapters. And I'm okay with that. I'm comfortable with that, because I can break it out every day into 500 words a day. For me, right now, that's short enough to where it doesn't scare the hell out of my journalism-focused mind, but long enough to where I actually see the progress. I'm content with that. And though it will be many months, and several hours of writing and re-writing, before I can debut my novel to the world, and to you, I'm loving every minute of it. By the time it's ready to read, I hope you will love it, too.


Until next week, friends.

Much love,


AJC

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