“This is where it gets hard, in the perseverance of persistence, in the impetus to forge ahead when clouds obscure your way.” ~Theodicus
There’s a wall, not a literal one, but one that seems just as solid when faced with it. It’s called the 10,000 word threshold. By the time I get to it every single November I’m faced with a few things to chew on before proceeding…
- What realizations have my main character(s) made by this point?
- Am I digging deep enough into the back stories?
- Where do I need to go with the next 10,000 words?
- Does the dialogue reveal more about my character motivations and personalities?
- How can I avoid a lull?
- Am I being consistent?
- What about flashbacks?
This last point is one that I deal with most often because I like including flashbacks in my work, particularly in my novels. I’m a huge fan of revealing a lot of my characters’ backstories through flashback. But keeping it all straight — knowing what I’ve said through flashback and what I’ve omitted — can be tricky. However, 10,000 words in means I should have already set up significant flashbacks and that I have a lot to draw from when going back to the present. If not, then I need to go back in and edit.
That’s my process, such as it is, that I’ve pieced together over the five years that I’ve been doing this novel writing business. It’s still fascinating to me that I’m doing this, that I’m not still only writing occasional short stories and poetry. And I love it, the ability to craft entire stories, whole pages of intrigue and interactions, like I’m in the story myself. In a way, of course, I am.
Also, 10,000 words means I’m 1/5th of the way to the final goal of 50,000, but I’m still very much more toward the start of the journey. That helps keep things in perspective, but it also inspires me to write on.
Word Count: 14,064.