100,000 words. Unbelievable.
Honestly, when I started this little journey 111 days ago, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it this far. I really hoped so. I was willing to work for it.
But there are thousands of writers with novels tucked away that never got passed 10,000 words. Or even 5,000.
I know. I own a few of those didn’t-quite-make-its myself.
So tonight I’m going to celebrate the huge milestone with some old friends. 100,000 words. Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
I didn’t write anything yesterday, so today I did things a little differently. I was at 98,005 going into today’s session, so I simply wrote until I hit 100,000 words. Actually, 100,001, to be precise, just to cross the line. Because honestly, it has taken me long enough to get here. (I’d thought I’d pass this mark earlier this month… too many hiccups lately!)
For those of you curious what the 100,000th word is, it is: (DRUM ROLL…)
Yeah, I know. Pretty boring. The word “and” actually appears 2,526 times in the novel so far. That’s slightly over 2.5% of the novel, just with the word “and”. I wonder what that says about the book? Is there a way to gauge the quality of a book by looking at the number of times a specific word like “and” appears in the text? It couldn’t really be done before, right? But now in this computerized, ebook age, maybe there’s a way to find a correlation.
(Not directly, mind you. It could only ever be used as an indicator, I would think. For example, if better books used the word “and” less frequently, you couldn’t just remove a bunch of them and expect to have a bestseller on your hands. Sounds like a good Ph.D. paper though…)
BTW, the 99,999th word was “shooters” and the 100,001st word was “beer”. Slightly more exciting, don’t you think? Although those words don’t accurately reflect the book as a whole, it does reflect the scene I’m working on right now, so that is fairly appropriate.
Anyway, I’m very excited about this milestone. No matter what happens from this point onward, I can always say that I did successfully string together a novel-length work (even if it isn’t strictly speaking a novel yet…)
But more than that, I think it’s an inspiration. I had tons of fun putting down those 100,000 words, and it wasn’t nearly as daunting as I had first thought in the beginning. I think that’s largely because I focused on the hour per day, not the “final goal”; an hour per day is relatively easy to do (if you stick with it…), whereas 100,000 words can appear to be very, very hard.
Another milestone today: I wrote today’s session on my new Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, a Christmas gift I got yesterday. This replaces the old ergonomic keyboard that I had, which really has nothing wrong with it (anyone want to buy a used keyboard? Maybe I’ll keep it and sell it on eBay when the book becomes a blockbuster!), but I wanted one with some fancy new features like programmable buttons, sound controls, etc. It’s not as frivolous as it sounds — when you make your living at the keyboard, shortcuts and even bells and whistles can make the difference. It was really the only thing on my Christmas list. I have to tell you, it feels great!
Back to the novel: thanks to all of you who have offered support over the last several months. I’m not sure I would have stuck to it without your kind words, whether in the comments section, on my Facebook page, or privately. I must say I’m really enjoying sharing this experience with you all — I hope that you are getting as much out of this blog as I am!
Thanks especially to Noël and my family. They live with me “going down to do my hour” every day, and have been nothing but 110% behind me (even when it means something else has to wait…). I love them all for it.
(Novel Writing Totals)
Hours Today: 1
Words Today: 1,996
Hours Total: 73.5
Words Total: 100,001