90,000 Words. Not a party.

Over the summer I hit 50,000 words on the novel I’m working on.  I had a big party for myself and made chocolate avocado pudding and went for a nice run in the sun and was just generally very pleased with my awesomeness.

Now, over the past week, my word count has crept up to the 90,000 mark and instead of having a party, I’m kind of bummed.

When I started writing my book, I had no idea what it was about.  I had ‘great’ ideas for scenes and characters that propelled me up until about the halfway point, then I had to sit down and do some hashing of plotline.  It was only in the last month or so that I actually figured out what the book was about–and this was a book I had already penned a loving 70,000 words in.

So, does this mean I fail as a writer?  Most books in the YA genre (which is what I’m going for, because it would be too weird for someone who actually is a young adult to try to write adult fiction) are around the 80,000 word mark.  I’ve left that in the dust and have most of the plot yet to unfold.  ??? PANIC IS ENSUING.  Other writers do this too…right?!!

I’m hoping I can just pass off this lengthy first draft as my figuring-everything-out-draft.  Once I complete it and know where the whole thing was leading to, I can go back and cut the crap.  (I can already see some hiding in the exposition that desperately needs  to be modified and/or annihilated completely.)

Most times I think just being able to write and blog all day would be my ideal job, but at times like this, one year into the mass project of my novel and realizing I’ve only just begun…I feel disheartened.  In the spirit of NaNoWrimo, though, I just have to suck it up and move on.  Besides, if I do hit 50,000 words this month as per NaNo, I’ll have 140,000, and it can’t be too much longer than that.

Right??!

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4 thoughts on “90,000 Words. Not a party.

  1. Just make sure that when you go back and edit your novel, you delete everything that needs to be deleted, no matter how much you like that particular scene/idea/character, because if you want to get it published, most agents and publishing companies will only look at Young Adult fiction around the 80,000 word mark (75,000 – 90,000 is the general range). I’m in the process of editing my own YA novel now, and although it’s disheartening to do so much work only to find there’s so much more to do, it will be worth it in the end. When writing it helps to have the end in mind, perhaps even written, so you don’t stray too far off the path and create something never-ending. Good luck!

  2. Don’t feel disheartened! When I wrote my first novel, it came out at over 200,000 words. I chopped it in half, of course, and called it editing. 😉 It took me a long time to have the courage to shave my books down to the appropriate YA length. I say courage because I practically cried when the actual chop-and-edit began! Once I actually started, though, it was okay… I didn’t have any doubts about what needed to go or stay. (And I can’t really speak for other writers, but I think it’s pretty normal to go a bit mad on the first draft, haha. That’s the best bit, after all!)

  3. Thanks, Kristina and AvianStudent! Worthy advice! I didn’t expect anyone to actually take pity on me and help me out…but I guess you guys prove there is still kindness in this world. 😉 Novelling is annoying sometimes. But I’m not giving up just yet!!

  4. Pingback: To The Newcomers | The Girl In The Orange

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