First Novel Word Count Milestone – Halfway Point

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When I first started writing this novel in earnest I assumed, without really thinking, that I could bang the whole thing out in 50,000 words. That seemed like enough room to tell a story, and it was conveniently short enough that I felt it was achievable. It also happens to be the National Novel Writing Month goal and, absent any idea how much story was in my head, it felt like a good target.

As I crept up on that halfway point to that arbitrary number it became apparent that there was no way I’d be able to get everything wrapped up in that space. Hell, at the 20,000 word mark I’m pretty sure I’m just leaving the first act and there’s so much that needs to happen in the middle for the end to be satisfying. I’m not interested in writing a doorstop of a novel, at least not with this specific story, but I had to set a goal that better matched what I was actually writing. 80,000 felt right at that point, since I’m sure I’ll go over but then trim things down in the editing phase.

That being said, I just passed 40,000 words over the weekend on this first draft and it feels much closer to what I expected at the halfway point. Things are ramping up for the characters in ways I hadn’t initially anticipated, as they gain life and morph the outline to fit their expressed intentions. At this point I have most of the dominos set up and I’m about to start knocking them over. That’s when the real fun should begin.

I’ll be posting a mostly spoiler free except from my current draft later this week to celebrate my writing milestone and provide a sample of what might be expected in the finished product.

In non-writing related news, most of my time has been chewed up by re-certifying in Amazon Web Services. Say what you will about the behemoth that is Amazon, they make a snazzy product or two (or sixty) and they do not rest on their laurels. Between that and various life-related chores my writing time is almost entirely stolen from my allocated sleep hours. I’m sure this won’t be a problem.