100,000 Challenge

Posted: November 6, 2011 in 100000 challenge
Tags: , ,

November is NANOWRIMO month.

Don’t know what NANOWRIMO is?  Click this link.

I’ve tried for several years to complete the NANOWRIMO challenge but have failed miserably.  You see, I have a hard time coming up with an actual plot and those are somewhat necessary in a novel.  I can write you wonderful (in my opinion) character driven scenes and dialogue, but when it comes to setting those characters into motion and giving them an actual plot that moves the story forward I draw a blank… or feel that what I’d be writing is a poor imitation of something I’ve already read that was written by someone far more cleverer than I so why bother.  I’m not much of a self motivator when it comes to my writing… my blog’s ridiculously long hiatus this summer (after only 11 posts) is clearly a testament to that statement.

So then, why am I even writing about NANOWRIMO if I don’t plan on participating in this years challenge?  Well, mostly because it’s what inspired my latest idea.  I read A LOT of books.  Not all are good books –in fact most are trashy romance novels– but I average around 800 pages a week.

That got me thinking… what if I counted the words I read in a month, instead of those I wrote?  Well counting words just isn’t practical.  What else could I use to gauge how much I read?  What about the page count in a book?  Much more do-able, but how many pages should I set as a goal?  10,000 is clearly too small and 500,000 is probably too big… so what’s a good number?  Should I impose a time limit like NANOWRIMO?

These were all the questions I asked myself and ended up with the following guidelines after some deliberation and a brief conversation (via twitter naturally) with @dumptheblog.

1. There is no time limit; however long it takes is however long it takes.  (Place your bets now… seriously, there needs to be a betting pool for this!)
2. I’ll be counting up to 100,000 pages (with 500,000 being a stretch goal if I reach 100,000 with in 3 months of the start of the project… not bloody likely).
3. Novels and non-fiction books will both be counted (I tend to read historical books which are mostly non-fiction).
4. Magazines, newspapers, web pages, e-mails, work related reading (anything that is not picked up voluntarily) will not be counted.
5. The page count listed in the book is what will be used for the official count.
6. Table of Contents, Appendixes, Glossaries, etc.  will not be counted.
7. Hard copies AND electronic editions of books may be read (as I love me my NOOK color).
8. Favorite books may be re-read, but only if they are read in their entirety. (I re-read my favorites quite frequently, but only skim, scouts honor that I’ll read them front to back).

That’s it.  Not THAT complicated I don’t think.  I will of course attempt to review some of the books I particularly like as I update about my page count.

What book have I selected to start this project?

The Magicians by Lev Grossman.

I’ve just started the second chapter and I’m already enthralled.  How could you not love lines like (SPOILERS!)
“…she kissed James good-bye—she put a hand on his chest and kicked up her heel like an old-timey starlet—….”
“It was when he looked around to make absolutely sure that nobody was watching that he saw the dead body on the floor.”  

Want to join my challenge, by all means, I’d love to hear about what you’ve been reading!

PAGE COUNT:  29/100,000


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