Recently in our ACFW loop, we’ve
been discussing finishing your
novel and time management. What does it involve to finish a book? Since
writers have their own way of working, that answer may be different for
everyone, but the point is if you consider yourself a writer, it’s
important to finish what you start.
Many authors enter contests with
the same first three chapters
they’ve been working on for ten years. What’s wrong with that? After
all, they get feedback and they keep improving their writing skills,
right? True, but ultimately, you can’t sell a novel unless it’s
finished. At some point, you have to commit to a story and make it
happen—even if it never gets published. Working writers finish books.
To be a working writer, you must work on the whole book: the beginning,
the middle, and the end.
Because we at ACFW teaching
writers how to finish a novel is one of
our goals, we have introduced Novel Track. Based on the popular
Nanowrimo, which is a month-long event every November to get authors to
finish a novel in a month, Novel Track is an active e-mail loop that
encourages members to set goals and finish them.
is active during the months of January, April, July, and October. The
goal is to see how many words that you can write in a month. We are
challenging our members to aim for 10,000, but if you can write more,
that is great. We hope you will. Can you write 50,000 (the goal of
Nanowrimo)? Why not try it? We’ll cheer you on with an attainable goal
that stretches you.
“Can’t I do that on my own?”
you might ask. Certainly, but just
like Weight Watchers provides its members accountability and a cheer
squad, so does ACFW. Not only that, but we also offer expertise if you
get stuck. Our loop is filled with working writers who can show you the
way out if you’re stuck or lost.
We have a loop coach who knows
your goal and keeps you accountable
as you keep her informed of your progress. Seeing that word count climb
is motivating, and if you’ve never managed to finish a novel, being
accountable is the best way to get it done. Many people say that
they’re going to write a book, but how many actually do?
Finishing a novel shows a
publishing house and an agent two things:
1) you have the ability to finish the novel (thus giving them something
to buy/sell); and 2) you’re serious about being a writer.
If you want to see your name in
print on your novel, the only way to
do it is to sit down and write it. You may think you have the chops to
do so, but if someone asked you to prove it, could you? Novel Track
will give you a badge to post on your Website and will add your name on
our website, showing that you have indeed finished what you started.
For more information on Novel
Track, please go to the page directly at
Find out more about membership
in ACFW at www.acfw.com.
We look forward to reading your