Sunday, June 6, 2010

What's your magic number??

So, I've been working away on novel number two and loving it. BUT, I am slightly less than 20,000 words in. I ended up spending MONTHS getting the first five chapters just so. I could not go on until I felt like the set-up was perfect. That meant I rewrote those chapters from word one at least four separate times but I hope that since I finally feel like I've got them down, I can move forward.

Here's my question: Is there a point at which you feel like you've got this? Is it 10,000 words? 20,000?

I can't remember the magic number when I thought, "Yeah. I can finish this."

I don't mean to suggest that I wouldn't finish a book - as in put it down and start another. No way! I'm far too stubborn for that. I will work this mutha like a dog until it's a force to be reckoned with. I just wonder at what point do you kick into overdrive and zoom through the story. Right now I am still having to think through how my characters act and why.

Anyway...

15 comments:

ElegantSnobbery said...

You know, your writing process sounds like mine... my first 5 chapters were written, then ripped to shreds and rewritten multiple times over a span of 5 months. And then suddenly things clicked for about 5 chapters... but then I ended up hitting another wall and struggling for the next several chapters. Nine months later, I'm nearly done, and things are finally where I always hoped they would be... but it has been a long and tiresome road, with more deleted chapters than written chapters (my deleted scenes file is literally double that of my WiP). But it was definitely worth it!! I'm very happy that my hard work has paid off!

Good luck as you continue yours! I hope the rest 1of the chapters flow easily for you

DL Hammons said...

I've written two books and I'm also an outliner. For me the books clicks when I've completed the outline and I'm pleased with it. I honestly can't understand how the pantsers do it. :)

Christina Lee said...

I do the same thing-- it's like I edit as I go. If the beginning doesn't feel right then I can't move on. And I have abandoned books (two in fact)that just didn't fee right to me. Sigh. Oh well, it was good practice!

Katie said...

Ooo, Elegant Snobbery, I like your comment!

DL, I have no idea how to outline. sigh... Must try it soon. I think I feel boxed in - like I can't get creative in an outline.

Christina, you and me both sister.

storyqueen said...

It is so neat to read about other writers' processes!

I don't know when I reach the point...I like the feel of about 30k....but I will be so happy when I get to 10k on my current WIP!! Then it will really feel like a book.

(Never really edit much until the end myself...i am kind of afraid to, lest I hate the whole thing....)

Shelley

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

word 69,999 of 70,000....

Alexis said...

I have just started writing my very first (an attempt) book. I am so awkward and feel that if I ever get to even 10,000 words, I will be amazed with myself.
It is a lot of work, more than I had imagined but there is a fire that burns inside me and I like it!

JESSJORDAN said...

I never zoom through anything. My mind thinks and worries too much for that, and I envy those who do. Kudos on getting your first 5 chapters down!

Hardygirl said...

I'm bad to go back over my beginning a zillion times, too. And, my work usually flows better after that first 10,000 when I've let myself just WRITE.

I'm about to go back into one that I haven't looked at in months, and I'm kind of excited about seeing how it reads. Yikes. I might be disappointed .. .

sf

Jen said...

I don't think I have a number. I think it all comes down to feelings, whether that feeling comes at 5,000 or 50,000 you just know!

Great post!

Solvang Sherrie said...

I get about 50 pages in each time and feel stuck. I even did an outline this time and I STILL feel stuck. So now I'm just freewriting stuff that won't be in the novel, just dumping everything I know about the characters onto the page and it's helping figure out the story a LOT more than the outline ever did!

Corey Schwartz said...

Can't help you with the magic number (cause I never write anything over 700 words:) but GOOD LUCK, Katie!

Jessica said...

I don't know when my magic number is. I hope I have one. I'm writing my first novel, and I like to rewrite too. I'm glad I've found someone else who does rewrite's their WIP, and has finished writing a novel. That is encouraging.

Someone told me at a writer's conference that if I kept re-writing I'd never finish my novel.

I've tried using outlines too, but I'm more productive without them.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm with DL Hammon, though there's a big difference between writing an outine and writing the first draft. Usually things start to click near the end (climax). No idea why. Maybe it's because I prefer editing than writing the first draft. ;)

prashant said...

I'm very happy that my hard work has paid off!
Contextual Ad Network India

Our Motto

Our Motto