I Should Stop Measuring My Progress in Words

img_2117Apparently, it is not working. I wrote 1,400 yesterday, finishing a 2,250+ word scene, which was never supposed to grow that long. It just did, mostly because I had committed to diligently show things instead of telling the reader about them, but those things were—in my biased opinion—really worth showing, so… I am 1,400 words ahead of where I was before, and one tiny step closer to the main conflict. I still have to spend at least one more scene convincing my main character to do what she is supposed to do.

Had I an outline, which consisted of more than five items, I could have been measuring my progress by advancing along it, but, alas, in my case, I have been at plot point three for the last several months. Only the words keep heaping up—396,000+ as of this morning.

So there goes my tentative goal of 450,000 words total. It now looks like 500,000. Hard to believe that some time ago, I thought that I might be done at around 300,000. Ha. Ha. Ha.

It is, however, abundantly clear to me that if I did have a detailed outline, I would never find the strength to go through with this project. I would likely write a chapter or two, then calculate that it would take me over a decade to get to the end, and simply quit. There would be no way I would even get to the mark at which I am now. Discovering my way through, lets me successfully convince myself that I am actually going to finish it some day.

And it is way more fun than filling placeholders in an outline.

How do people manage to write 120,000 word novels? My prologue alone is 17,000+ and I consider it somewhat of a short story…