Friday, April 19, 2019

Writing a Bestselling Novel With My Son

Last night, Theo and I were able to write up to page 59 of the novel that we are collaborating on. I checked our files and saw that the first time and the oldest that we had written was dated September 26, 2017. It has been almost two years now! Theo was only 12 years old at that time.

We did not write very often. But last week, I realized that no matter how much I wanted to make Theo sleep early, the earliest that he goes to bed is midnight. I have set the alarm at 10 p.m., signaling that it's time to prepare for bed, but his mind becomes more active. At 10:30 p.m., the lights are out and only the night lamp is left on.

My son, Theo, writing our future bestselling novel

Then, he starts talking to me about serious matters. He also talks about funny stuff. It is during this time that he initiates good conversation and it becomes a very precious bonding moment. How can a mother let that pass?

So, a 'light-bulb moment' suddenly occurred to me last week. We can actually turn that precious bonding time between 10PM and 12 midnight into the most creative, productive and adventurous hours of the day. WE CAN WRITE THE NOVEL!

Theo was thrilled at the idea!

Now, we are more determined and committed than ever to finish the novel. We know we cannot really write every night, because sometimes, we have to go out, like when there's a Feast Light. But we are now doing our best to write AT LEAST four times a week.

So far, we are able to write three to five pages of the novel per session. At the rate we are going, with a target of 300 pages ...

  • Average number of pages per day:  4 pages
  • Days to write per week:  4 days
  • Average number of pages per week:  16 pages
  • Average number of pages per month:  64 pages
  • Number of pages written as of this date:  59 pages
  • Number of pages that remain to be written:  241 pages
  • Number of months to finish the first draft:  241 ÷ 64 = 3.765 months
This means that our complete first draft will be ready sometime in AUGUST, 2019! Wow! That is something really nice to look forward to!

I have always believed in our story. There is no doubt in my mind that the novel will become a bestseller! (There is no room for pessimism if you want to be successful😉.) So, I know, spending time on this and sleeping quite late is really worth it. Besides, there's the bonus of spending fun, quality time with Theo.

This is what typically happens during our writing sessions.

We usually have dinner sometime between 8 to 9:00PM. After that, we clean up, feed the cats and do some last minute tasks (like checking messages and newsfeed, or reading an inspirational/motivational book).

At about 10PM, we are both excited to begin with the night's adventure!

First, we review and read the most recent pages that we had written.  Sometimes, after the end of the previous session, we already have an idea and discuss the next possible scene that will happen in the story. We jot down some notes or a rough outline so as not to forget, so we review those notes as well at the start of the next session.

Else, I play the last scene in my mind and try to imagine what happens next. I narrate it to Theo and he starts to play the same scene in his mind.

Then, I leave him to do the writing -- in his own "author-ish" style, injecting his brand of clean teenage humor, his language, his dialogues and his own version of the scene. When he is done, the finished product never fails to impress me. It always confirms my belief that Theo is a born writer. His way with words is something that I can never acquire.

There are times when I would ask him to modify, not because I did not like what he wrote, but mostly because, we needed to check how realistic or unrealistic a scene might turn out. These modifications, however, are rare and minor. Every now and then, we add some details, like the emotions that a character should be going through, or descriptions that we missed to include previously.

While he writes, I prepare some light snacks like milk and chips and it's so fulfilling to see him happy with what we're doing.

Right now, we are enjoying this activity tremendously that we simply cannot stop at 12 midnight. Usually, we end at about 2AM, sometimes even 3. I know this is not very good for our health, especially for Theo. So in the coming days, we really need to make some adjustments, like we probably need to start earlier.

Otherwise, this is my favorite time of the day! I'll be giving updates about our novel here, so do watch out for "The Launch" of our bestselling novel😉 soon!

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About the Author

Our Family | mamagoals.comJust call me MamaFel. I'm from the Philippines and I'm a work-at-home mom, homeschooling my 15-year-old son. I've been married to a faithful husband for 26 years now. This is my story.