In my not-so-spare time, I have been working on a novel.
I’ve been writing for 1-to-2 hours per night for months, after a nearly year-long hiatus on the project while the duties of my day job spun my life into a 24/7 tech support spiral. I originally stopped working on it in May of 2008. I picked it up again almost exactly a year later after finding a new job that required me to spend less of my spare time working.
I actually began writing this novel while on vacation at Myrtle Beach in the early summer of 2004. At first it was a mere 1,500 word introduction to an idea without a direction. Really, I didn’t even have any characters at that point. I started with a simple description of a scene in my head. From there, the story just kind of grew on its own.
Tonight, that simple scene has produced words that form sentences, sentences that form paragraphs, paragraphs that form pages, and pages that form chapters, and chapters that form…well, 75,000 words. It’s a magic number in the world of novel writing. Everywhere you look online, you’ll see that 75,000 words is often the delimiter that defines the difference between a novella and a novel. Once you hit the 75,000 mark, you are writing a full-on novel.
To put it in perspective, what I have written so far is almost 2,000 fewer words than Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
That said, I am not done. I have begun the concluding arc in this tale, but there is much more left to do. One thing I can say at this point, though, is that I now have an expectation of approximately how long the first draft manuscript will be when completed.
And, yes, the 75,000th word in my novel really is the word “hand.”