I broke 120,000 words last week.
The end is in sight now, both story-wise, and in the sense that I can actually see what remains of my outline all at once on a single page. This is slightly terrifying (the ever-present worry that it won’t be good/interesting/dramatic enough), and also very motivating, because I’m definitely going to finish this. There will be a lot of work to do then, since this is just a first draft, but that thought usually helps me get past the worries; it doesn’t have to be perfect now, and in fact it can’t be. But it can get better, once I have a full first draft and can go back with a full story to edit and revise.
Mostly, I’m just glad that I’ve been able to make so much progress in just a few months. I’ve found this post from Patricia Wrede to be helpful in my thinking on that regard. She comments:
“Writing takes time. Also some thought and effort, but mainly the whole “butt in chair, fingers on keyboard” thing. Regardless of whether you are an intuitive writer or an analytical one, a plodder or a sprinter, actual words-on-paper/pixels has to happen, and that takes time.”
I really love that “butt in chair, fingers on keyboard” quote, because that’s what I’ve managed to do this year, and that is what has gotten me where I am now. It’ll take a lot more of that, and some “butt in chair, pen on paper” time too, before I’ll consider The Wizard of Suomen an actual finished, polished novel, but having gotten this far makes me confident that I can go the rest of the way. That whole post from Ms. Wrede is inspiring on this point actually, because I’m not just sitting back and waiting for a perfect, “blockbuster” novel to magically appear in my head. Putting in the time and effort takes that time and effort…but it also leaves you much more certain that you are going to get where you want/need to go with something.
I think I can now tentatively estimate that the first draft will be 140K-150K words. Tentatively. Where it will sit after the major edits that need to happen, I have no idea.
Thanks again to everyone who is reading and liking or commenting! It’s my goal to have an even better story for you by the time I get around to a final version, so stay tuned! 🙂