On my 10th birthday, my dad wrote “Happy Birthday to my double-digit daughter” in the card he gave me. I don’t recall anything else significant about that birthday, what any of the gifts were, but I have always remembered that.
Maybe it was his alliteration, or maybe because it was Dad writing it, but something about the reaching of double-digits has stuck with me as an important marker.
About 10 days ago, I crossed into double-digits in the thousands column for the novel re-write column. Let’s be clear, this isn’t fix a scene here and there, this is a full-out start over from page 1 deal. I made a major change to a character that impacts huge swaths of the book. The basic plot is the same, but how the character reacts and gets to the end is changing.
As Word Nerd readers know, I’ve got two novels that are buried in a desk drawer. One might come out again someday. The other, unlikely.
Still, from my past attempts at writing a novel, I’ve noticed that there is something about crossing that 10K mark. Ten-K could still be a short story, a long short story, but a contained tale. But 10K, to me, means it’s working, there’s momentum, there’s plot and characterization happening. Most importantly, I’m still interested in what’s going on and I started getting excited for my 6 a.m. writing session.
From the 10K mark, I’ve clicked through another 3,000 through a couple chapters and heading for first big thing around the 20K mark.
Some days, it’s great; other days, not so much (this morning being a not a so much day…)
Still, this draft is becoming real. I like where the changes are going overall. Here’s hoping.