Today I hit 30 thousand words. It has taken until now — 30K words into my 7th novel — for me to have a true appreciation for the 30K-words mark.
It marks the place in the story where every important character has been introduced and the framework of the story has been put down. By this point, the reader should be (if I’ve done my job right) wondering what’s going to happen next to these people. But also, the reader doesn’t want to rush into finding out.
Because (and here’s where it really counts) if I’ve done my job right, the reader is happy to listen to my story. This one will likely top off around the 120K mark.
So 1/4 the way to the endeavor, I’m just hitting my stride — just getting into the rhythm of my role in carrying the people along the story arc.
From 30K words to 90K words, it’s mostly open road. No spectators, no water breaks, no cheering crowds. And here is where, I think, many writers hit a wall or come down with a case of writer’s block.
With the right training, this can be the best part of the run: quiet, solitary, peaceful.
Don’t get me wrong: the starting gun and the snap of the finishing tape are sounds relish; but the middle part isn’t so bad if you run with your chin up and shoulders back.