36,000 Words

nanowrimo_logov10Novels are so tricky to write. They’re the equivalent of going through labor, fighting through the pain, and coming out on the other side better for the experience. Every single time I’ve immersed myself in the novel writing process it has shown me another angle I had never seen before. The longer the piece the more involved it gets, and the more intricate the plot and characters become.

Writing a novel in 30 days is an even more intense undertaking, and the last time we spoke about it (at 24,000 words) I was deep into the exposition, and my protagonists had just gotten together, a meeting that had been a long time in the making. It’s interesting to be inside of their heads, which was complicated to pull off once I finally got them together. I think I finally hit the right mix between the two between when we last spoke and 36,000 words.

I started out way back in the day writing short stories and poetry, both significantly shorter than 50,000 words, so the shift to writing novel-length pieces was a monumental one, but one I’m so glad I decided to make. I even found that there’s a point of no return, and to me that point was 30,000 words. Once I hit 30,000 words there’s no going back. It will either be a novel or it just won’t get finished at all. After 30,000 words, though, there’s no turning it into a short story instead, so when I passed 30,000 in this novel I knew I was going all the way.

Now, at 36,000 words, I’m hitting the climax, and while it’s a detailed navigation it’s totally worth it.

Sam

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