I’ve reached a writing milestone. Whoop whoop! I celebrated by dancing naked round the garden waving cheerleader pom poms. Okay, that’s a lie and a scary image. I celebrated with my hubby and my old pal Pierre Smirnoff.
The milestone was writing over 50k words in my Work in Progress (WIP). The reason it’s such a big milestone (apart from actually finishing obviously!) is that the end is in sight. The length of an average commercial novel is between 80-90k words long. So to pass the halfway mark means I can start to visualise a whole book.
When you start a new WIP, it’s easy to be carried away with the first flush of excitement as your idea begins to take shape. But then after the first few thousand words, reality chaps your front door in the form of a fantasy Writing Guru and delivers a harsh message, “This ain’t gonna happen unless you sit your fat ass down and type for hour upon hour upon hour. So why’re you standing there staring at me? Go girl, and get writing!” (The fantasy Writing Guru has a dodgy American accent).
So the word count creeps up but in the early days there’s always the danger that you’ll hit the wall and can’t keep up the momentum. I imagine that it’s a bit like reaching the 20 miles mark on a marathon and you don’t feel you’ve got the energy to keep running ( I’ll stick with imagining thank you. The idea of running at all is as frightening as the naked garden dance).
But I’ve been using the classic concept of the Story Arc narrative, so I’ve got a clear idea of the chronological construction of the plot of my novel and this has really helped me steer the characters up and over the climax. Typically, a narrative arc looks something like a pyramid, made up of the following components: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. I’ve already reached the climax and can picture the journey to the final resolution.
I’m confident now that I can make it to the finishing line. I’m not going to set myself a ridiculous target to complete the novel but if life doesn’t get in the way too much, I’d love to have it finished by the end of the
summer year. Watch this space…
Have you ever hit the wall with your writing? Is there a point when you know you’re within sight of the end?