Monday, December 21, 2009


As milestones go 50K words when you're writing a novel is a pretty good one as the average novel size is between 70K words and 100K words. Why am I spouting off about word counts again? Okay, okay, I'm sure you already guessed it. Yes, I hit and passed 50K words yesterday.

Thank you! Thank you very much!

I actually am not entirely sure how I feel about it. On one hand I'm ecstatic that I've written as much as that and gotten as far as I have in the story. On the other hand, I have been writing in a thousand different directions putting in so many deliberate inconsistencies simply to get the story down.

I say deliberate and I mean it, although I am not happy about it. The thing is, I have a general idea of where the story is going. Characters will go to location A and then leave for location B before dropping character X over into a ravine before moving onto location C. So far I have done just that, moved my characters to the locations I want them to be. The trouble is, I'm not at all clear about their end games or their motivations. Only the conclusion of the novel can clear that up for me but as that is yet unwritten I have locations A, B, and C accounted for but the reason character X was thrown into the ravine only makes sense in chapters 7 and 9 but not chapters 8, 12 and 13.

This happens to grieve me deeply and causes no end to problems with writers block and irritation with my characters because I'm not entirely sure what they want. I suppose if this were my first novel, I might be able to live with it simply because Stephan King said so in his novel on Writing (a new writer's bible on the craft). However, this is my second novel I am operating on an entirely different way of writing than I'm used to. R.A.G.E. was edited to the T throughout every step of writing. I always felt really good about whatever was written previously before I went onto the next section.

Both ways have their pros and cons, although I find myself increasingly more frustrated with Risk, and not at all certain it will ever come fully together. For now I'll continue along the path I sprinting down, (I say sprinting because sometimes I feel like I'm running so fast, I'm stubbing my toes and tripping over rocks whereas with R.A.G.E. I was tiptoeing ever so carefully for the 8 months it took me to write it).

The editing phase sometime in January or February (if I can continue at this pace) will probably be just as much work as the writing phase. However at least by that time I'll have the ending and hopefully know all the characters motivations. I might even be able to save character X from that ravine.


  1. why haven't I been hiring you to write my papers for me? very impressive!

  2. Just write. Editing is by far more important, and will iron out many (most?) of the inconsistencies. I wouldn't worry about word count. I'd worry about idea count. Get all the ideas out on paper, as it will be better to pare down than scale up.

    That's the problem with Christopher Paolini. He's not a terrible writer. He *is* a terrible editor. His books have become progressively more crappy as he's sought to go for volume rather than quality. Quality is part of the editorial process, but his editors have apparently gone on permanent vacation.

    Anyway, 50K is a lot of writing. Just get the ideas out so that you can start the "unwriting" process. That's what will make your book as awesome as the ideas funneling into it.

  3. Congrats on the milestone - it is one that feels SO good! Quit stressing about the rest... at this point it is all about the story and it should suck and be inconsistent. Once the story and all the ideas about it are down the inconsistencies will work themselves out and you might find that there was some hidden reason you didn't even know for them to be there because at the end it actually all makes sense anyway, you just didn't know it when you wrote it! Can't wait for the editing phase to be over so I can become a reader instead of one of the pep team! :)


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