Monday, April 13, 2015

Book in A Week? Are They Crazy?!

By Susan J. Berger
I went to a Boot Camp facilitated by April Kihlstrom called Book in a Week. It took place at The California Dreaming Writers Conference.
 There is a workbook for the course on Amazon. Take a look inside at the chapter headings.
 (I strongly suggest buying the paper copy. I didn't.)
I was most impressed with April. She did her first book in a week in fifteen minute snatches between work, and caring for her children, one of whom is special needs. This is the stuff of fairy tales. But she did it. I only 50% believe this is possible for me, but that's how I felt about NaNoWriMo. And I got a published book out of that. And another three first drafts worth revising.

April's workbook contains a series of excellent questions.
Names can set up expectations. How appropriate are your names for the characters?
For each character:
5 fears
5 physical reactions to fear
5 things he does when he is unsure of himself.
5 things that make them feel safe.
5 things he does when feeling safe.

Things April mentioned:
What stories do you tell yourself about you as a writer?
Focus on the good things about yourself and your writing.
Before starting the writing session, do something nice for your self to make your self smile.
After the session, reward yourself.
No editing.
No going back over what's written. (Omigosh! Not sure I can do that.)
No diving into internet research. (WHAT????)

Here's a link to April's Page. Hit page down 8 times to get to her handout at the Austin RWA Conference. Well worth reading.

Why am I doing this? 
I write better under pressure. I have been stuck on the same rewrite for a year. And maybe starting a new book will break me out of my rut. I have an idea for the book. No real plan.
I am aiming for 8,000 words a day. When I do a NaNoWriMo, I do 2,500 a day.

I've taken care of those chores I can anticipate, like writing my blog post for Pen and Ink and for Susan B. James. Taxes done. Bills paid. Will other obstacles appear? Hey this is life. You can't anticipate everything.

Thing is, if I start Book in a Week, I am already a success. The only way to fail is not to try. So I started Thursday April 9th. A friend lent me his house in Ventura. When I finish my stints, I will reward myself with a walk on the beach. I feel so lucky.
I'll let you know how it went. Write on!


  1. Sounds like a fantastic writing camp. And good luck with your wrwiting this month.

    1. I have 15000 words and wrote myself in a corner yesterday. Today I will write myself out.

  2. That's great, Susan. And a house at the beach is a perfect place to write. :)

  3. Keep up the good work! You're an inspiration to me. I tell everyone about your "Time and Forever" book, woo hoo. Penny (

  4. I am so impressed that you're doing this! Write on, sister! Can't wait for updates!

  5. This is NOT going to finish in a week, but I am still proud of me. I'm riding the rough spots and I am at ,22,000 words. Time to stop for a while and take a sunset walk on the beach.

  6. Faster! Faster!
    Fatigued Fingers

  7. after midnight, Day 6 Up to 27,800. Stopped at 11:30 answered email. This book will not be done in a week, but I am still proud of me. Excelsior!


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