80,000 Words

This evening, I officially passed the 80,000 word mark on the novel. I wrote 1,350 words this evening, bringing the total to 80,800 words. I am closing in on the end of the novel. Even as I see it, it seems almost unreal.

I slowed down a bit last week while at Worldcon. I wrote a total of 3,500 words during the 5-day event, making an average of only about 700 words a day. Not bad, but it came on the heels of a truly remarkable August. In the month of August I wrote a total of 45,950 words, an average of nearly 1,500 words/day.

The end is in sight. This really is a remarkable thing for me. I know lots of writers, published and unpublished, who wrote novels when they were young, before they were published, sometimes many, many novels. As a young writer, I never wrote anything longer than a novelette. This is by far the closest I have ever come to writing a novel and the end is in sight.

One strange phenomenon I’ve discovered over the last few days is that I feel like I am rushing the scenes to get to the end. I don’t know if this is normal, or if this is something a first time novelist experiences. I am deliberately trying to slow things down a bit. It is still only first draft, but I feel like I am losing some of the form and style that I’ve built up so far.

I am also beginning to think of how I should go about celebrating completion of the first draft. I suspect I am not much more than two weeks away from finishing. How does one celebrate the completion of the first draft of a first novel? I am open to suggestions if anyone has them.

Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

2 replies on “80,000 Words”

  1. I celebrate my first drafts of short stories by enjoying a nice craft IPA and a good meal. This is obviously a much more substantial achievement, but maybe scaled out it can work: bottle of wine or beer (if thats your pleasure) and a good steak? Or go out to a nice meal with your wife and/or kids?

    And congratulations on being so close!! Looking forward to reading it when it eventually makes its way into the wider world.

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