Posted in Creative

What Would Nora Roberts Do?

If that name sounds familiar, it is because she is the woman who rewrote the rules of romance. Even if you haven’t read her work, you have probably seen one of her books everywhere. She has written over 225 novels, and about 40 of her books are sold every minute. Maybe that should be my next reading challenge read every Nora Roberts book?

Aside from Stephen King, she is the most successful novelist I can think of. I look up to her a lot.

My favorite book by her.

As someone who wants to be a published author and have that be my career, it is impressive to see someone like Nora Roberts do that and maintain it for many years. She writes in very distinct genres, mostly romance novels; she’s written paranormal romance, fantasy romance, and crime mysteries.

Remember how I said she’s written over 225 books over the decades? She writes four novels in a single calendar year with no ghostwriter. In an interview back in 2011, she said it only takes her 45 days to write a book, and she only writes three drafts of each story. There is some overlapping in projects because she’s said she writes while she waits for her editors to get back to her. This woman stays busy; I wish I had her work ethic.

“My only job is to tell the story.”

Nora Roberts

She said credits her success to discipline, drive and desire. She writes daily, starting around 8 am and ending around 3 pm. And she doesn’t allow herself to be distracted by social media, tv, or the internet. She does allow herself to use the internet to look things up. And after she’s done writing for seven hours, she works out for 90 minutes. If only i had that energy.

So why did I write an entire post about a 72-year-old lady that doesn’t know I even exist? Well, I’m going to try to write like her. Write every day for 7ish hours without distractions. Jumping between projects if I need to and learning to push myself through the complex parts.

Following her three-draft method, maybe I, too, can finish a novel in forty-five days.

The first draft is the discovery draft. Creating the characters, the setting, the pacing, relationships, conflict, and dialogue. And just write everything you feel at the moment.

The second draft starts from the top. Going to page one and working more thoughtfully on the language and expanding or getting rid of things that don’t make sense. It’s the fix-up draft.

The final draft is to polish any rough edges and wrap up loose ends.

Wish me luck.

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