I now have around 64,000 words of my first draft of my sci-fi novel, Between 80,000-100,000 is my goal. I worked on it some yesterday and very early this morning when I could not sleep. I am working on it now, though I have had very little sleep over the past 2-3 days. Various things have been keeping me awake at night (too much tea before bedtime, basic insomnia, etc.). Unfortunately, once awake, it is hard for me to fall asleep during the daytime and I have to press on to nightfall in order to sleep. I am writing now until I can no longer stay awake and will essentially pass out in my bed.
Anyway, I have been thinking about word count. Having set the desired word count for my novel, I find that at times I wonder: how in the world am I going to come up with ideas to reach my goal? At other times, I have so many ideas that I fear 100,000 won’t be enough words to express all my thoughts and I worry about how I am going to condense everything to fit within my limits.
One nugget of writing advice that I picked up long ago from the movie “Wonder Boys” (based on the novel by Pulitzer winner Michael Chabon) is that a writer must make decisions about what to include or not include in his/her novel. I am finding that to be very true. I have so many ideas at times that I know I can’t fit them all into 100,000 words, but if I try to go over the set limit, I will end up in the same situation as Professor Tripp in “Wonder Boys” and have a never-ending novel thousands of pages in length that I can never finish.
At times, when the goal seems nearly unreachable, I have to remind myself that I have written short stories nearly 20,000 words in length, and therefore writing another 20,000 for this novel is quite doable.
By the way, everyone interested in writing should watch Wonder Boys. Very entertaining with humor only a writer can truly appreciate..