100,000 words

April 16, 2018

My longest published work is Dreams of the Golden Age, at about 96,000 words.

I have a trunk novel that’s 105,000 words.

The current work in progress passed 110,000 words last week. In fact, it’s just about a rough draft. A draft zero even. It needs a lot of work, but the last line is there, it has a beginning middle and end, and now I just need to work to make it all better.

This one has felt a lot different to write. Specifically, I’d been thinking about this one scene as the Big Climactic Scene. I got to around 60,000 words, which is when pretty much all my other books have felt like they’ve entered the homestretch, wrote that scene — and realized I was just at the bottom of the second act and basically had another 60,000 words to go. An entire second book to write. That was intimidating. There’s that one Big Climactic Scene, yes, but it wasn’t THE big climactic scene. That came later on. I kind of had to shift my whole thinking forward in terms of pacing.  Treating the structure as a series of emotional beats of increasing intensity, rather than thinking of the novel as a drive to the one big thing.

I don’t run, but I imagine it might be the difference between running a 10k and a marathon?

I’m learning a lot, writing this one. One of my goals has been to write past 100,000 words over the next year or so, and it feels good to accomplish that.




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