It’s Wednesday today and normally the title of an article is the last thing I write before publishing. Today is different. In fact, every Wednesday will be different for the foreseeable future because henceforth, Wednesdays shall be the day I report my progress to the world (all four of you) on how far I’ve come with my novel. Today I’m at 10,953 words.
It’s a way for me to double dog triple dare myself to stay on top of it. You’ll know if I’m slacking from where I’m at with the word count. Feel free to send me your scorn if the numbers don’t look good.
My goal is the 70,000 – 80,000 word range. As I previously mentioned, word count is a terrible way to evaluate the quality of a story, but it is an accurate indicator of how likely it is to fit within a publisher’s criteria (assuming the story’s good). One hour TV shows are 45:00 – 48:00 minutes in length. Features need to hit at the minimum 84 minutes. If my novel hits the desired range, my options are better.
Measurements aside, I can feel my novel’s length as I write it. I hit the inciting incident of the story at around the 7,000 word mark. I cleared the point of no return at around the 8,500 word mark. In the world of feature films, you’d want to land these milestones within the first 20 pages of the script, or to put it another way, within the first 20% of the movie. So far my pace seems right.
I’ve got a long ways to go, but I’m not worried about it. I’ve seeded B, C, D and E stories into the A plot. Resolving these threads will take some time (words) and as I continue to massage and develop these ideas, I can see them all intersecting at around the 65,000 word mark – and if the collision of those five threads goes well, I should be well on my way towards a rapid acceleration towards a climax somewhere within my desired range.
That’s the theory anyway. Gots ta put the time in first. Time = words. Words = story. Story = my completed novel.