''A Big Project'' Did You Mean ''Many Small Projects?''

1000 Hours of Writing: 160 - 180 Hours


We've all been there: lying awake while imagining worlds and stories; the perfect world that only exists in your head. Your eyes slowly falls shut you become more and more convinced that the next book award is going to be yours. The next morning you sit in front of the electronic sheet of paper and ... nothing. It is mocking you. So, you close the document and go about in your day. And yet, every once in a while there is a story that won't leave you alone. It shares breakfast with you. It uses the same shower as you, and wishes you a good night before going to bed.

I have had those stories: If you've come here regularly you'll know that in 2015 I started to write a 100 prompt story. Each chapter was one prompt, but unlike most prompt challenges I used them to create one big story-arch. Nowadays, I have already found enough material to continue it.

At first I had refused: what if it is the awful second part that ruins everything! But on a cold and boring day in July I decided to take this on! It couldn't be hard! It is hardly going to be as long as the first part had been (142,000 words). Still ... I was terrified! I wanted to catch the same essence as in the olde days, but I had no prompts to rely on. I was completely on my own! My worst nightmare. I didn't know how many chapters or how many words, where would this story go, would it make any sense at all? ... Before I knew it I hid under a blanket.

A big project is utterly terrifying. After a few days, weeks, or possibly months, I was ready to crawl out from under the blanket. I needed a plan!


Knowing where you begin is mighty fine but I discovered that it's far more important to know where the story ends. This helps to built an over-all arch, place small hints, and work on sub-plots which become important towards the end. Futhermore, there is a feeling of getting somewhere, reaching a goal. It is not aimless writing any more. Once I had these two points fixed, I knew where to go!

Next I made a cheat-sheet with smaller plot ideas; I still follow the idea of prompts despite not actually having any. This is why the working title is "Post 100 Prompts Prompts That Are Not Actually Prompts" or in short "P100" (which, again, is short for "Post 100") Some of the ideas are already part of the story; others might never find a home. This is nothing to be afraid of! Since it is big project you are going to work on it for a looooong time. Your opinions are going to change, you'll realize that there is a little bit too much drama here. Eventually, it is going to take on a life on it's own.

What has helped me the most to tackle this monster, was to cut it up. When I look at the story I always think oh the bit when they're in Australia, and here are chapters Honesty to Fixed.  I never look at the story and see it as 134 pages that stretch from July 2015 to November 2016. Those are split into batches that are made out of the individual prompts. This way there are many little steps, which are easy. Unlike a big jump, which is very, very hard.

Furthermore, since it's split into smaller chunks, I can work on a little bit of fluff here, when the fancy tickles me. The smut which came 30 pages earlier can wait until tomorrow.

It is rather simply: know where you want to begin and where to end. Then take little steps to achieve the big goal. It's the same with these 1000 Hours. I could not write 1000 hours in one go. But now I have almost finished 20% of the challenge. That's not bad. Especially when you consider that people still read about it!

Read more about my progress

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