20,000 Words

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My novel has officially reached 20,000 words. That’s almost 5 chapters!

It’s all novel too. My notes are in a separate document. I’ve reached this many words before with another story, but a substantial amount was notes, not actual novel. I’m proud of myself. 🙂

I’ve been writing consistently for several days. It’s easy to pump out a page or four in an evening. I doubt it will last as I have a history of writing dozens of pages in the course of a week and then maybe a page or two over a month. I only write after extensive thought, research, and note-writing. It’s not writers block.  It’s just that I can’t free write.

I know experts recommend it, but I simply can’t. I only put fingers to keyboard when I know what I want to say. It’s how I wrote my essays in college: play solitaire for an hour, type three paragraphs, play solitaire for another hour, another three or four paragraphs, and so on until I finished the paper.  But once I was done, I was done. The editing had been done in my head while I played solitaire.

The same goes for fiction. I think a lot, testing plots in my head, changing characters, and creating dialogue. Sometimes the testing goes on without my even being completely aware of it, and most of the test runs never make it to paper in any form, even notes. But when I find what works, I write it down. Sometimes the storyline doesn’t end up working and I have to change it. After all, a novel is longer and more complicated than a research essay. But I still can’t free-write aimlessly, hoping I’ll figure out what to say.

I suspect this lightning pace will come to a sudden end in a few days, but I’m okay with fits and starts, as long as the plot is consistently being beta-tested in the back of my mind. Here’s hoping for another 20,000 words by the end of the summer.

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2 thoughts on “20,000 Words

  1. Your blog is now in my Google Reader. I’m ashamed to say it wasn’t before. Not that I ever stay on top of 300 feeds! 🙂 But it’s there now. 🙂 Miss you!

  2. Micah

    How people like, say, Stephen King can constantly pump out work day to day is beyond me. Every once in a while I’ll have a day where I go crazy and write five pages or so, but that’s usually just when I don’t have much else to do… and even then I’ll feel totally exhausted afterward. Plus, my usual writing speed is like a page an hour, unless I’m in a really solid groove.

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