A Monstrous Amount of Words

Me: Woohoo! I have 11 chapters done in Isto so far.
Friend: Go you!!
Me: Scary tidbit: 11 chapters is 60K.
Friend: Holy f***, Dude.

I’m not even halfway through, and I’ve written 143K toward what I believe is mostly keepable content for Isto. Crazy right? Of that amount, I’ve only got 11 chapters worth of chronological, coherent story.

Isto has multiple POVs. I tend to hop into one POV and stick there until I run out of whatever I’ve visualized in my head. Maybe it’s that scene where Cameron gets literally kicked off a cliff, or the one where Derek gets kidnapped by the earth element. I just jump around and write whatever is most exciting to me and come back to tie the scenes together with transitions later.

She has her sword!

Yet in my hopping, I neglected MaTisha and LaTonya. I had placeholder scenes in earlier chapters (like 8 and 9–my goal from last week, which I accomplished BTW) saying “MaTisha protects the palace” or “LaTonya gets a sword”. But those scenes morphed as things do with my writing. They turned into three or four scenes apiece. In fact, I’m still trying to get LaTonya her sword (hopefully in chapter 12).

And the word count keeps growing.

At least I approach my words as I do my characters. I may have a ton of them, but there’s no guarantee they won’t get killed before I reach the end. *evil grin*

Do you tend to write a lot and cut later? Do you jump around and write whatever scenes inspire you or force yourself to follow a linear plan? What do you think of my LaTonya picture?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

19 thoughts on “A Monstrous Amount of Words

  1. I guess the words AND the characters had better watch out!
    I do tend to write whatever’s inspiring me the most. Except when I’m *sigh* editing. I usually do that in order. Which is why I’ll never get to the chapter I want to work on…

  2. Wow – that’s a huge accomplishment! Love your LaTonya picture. She looks fierce 🙂

  3. That is a scary amount of words. That’s two of my books put together.
    I tend to write straight through and usually don’t have to move or cut major scenes.

  4. If you’re enjoying the writing – and it sounds like you are! – then keep going. That enthusiasm will show up on the page, in the story. Of course, you’ll have to go back later and make sure everything works logically but for now, enjoy the fun. 🙂

  5. Sounds like an epic novel. If I like a story and an author’s style I’d rather have a longer book because I don’t want it to be over.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  6. Gulp. That’s a lot of words. 🙂 Multiple POVs will give you more though. I’m a severe underwriter but trying not to be.

    Nice illustration. 🙂

  7. Hi Loni. I am right there with you. I recently cut 8,000 words from my manuscript and you know what? That’s ok. So keep going with your awesome writing self and think about word count later 🙂

  8. That’s a lot of f***ing words. If you don’t use them all you’re going to have Tolkien-sized amounts left over that your grandchildren are going to be living off of long after you’re gone. 😛

    As you know I tend to write a lot leaner than that. While I do tend to move a lot around and tweak and revise, I don’t cut a whole lot simply because there’s not a lot to begin with.

  9. I definitely do a lot of cutting. It’s why I don’t keep much of a daily word count. 95% of everything I write will require massive rewrites, so word counts mean nothing to me.

    I did a lot of jumping around when writing my Hogwarts fan fiction. I worked on whatever scene intrigued me at the time, and worried about putting it all together later. Turned out the “putting it in order” part was more of a nightmare than I figured. These days, I start at the beginning and keep moving forward.

  10. That’s awesome! And a lot of words.

    I tend to be the opposite for the most part and write minimally which means I have to add things later. Things like senses and setting (and other stuff). I’m bad when I’m going full out trying to get the rough draft down.

    I normally stay linear, but I think mostly because I’m chasing my characters. Though there was one I jumped ahead to write the big battle scene because I was far too excited for it.

    And your LaTonya (and the others you’ve shared) are amazing! Teach me your ways? XP

  11. I hopped all over the place when I first started IPaB, did a whole bunch of scenes near the middle, then the beginning, then the latter third, then the first and going back to the middle before setting down to work chronologically just to get the darn thing done.

  12. Congrats on so many words. I’ve written a couple books that were high in word count. I did end up chopping 30,000 words from one of them.

  13. WOOT for that word count and those chapters!

    I do the same thing, where I stay with one POV until I run out of their scenes or whatever, then I go back and start the next. But I’m always jumping around, writing whatever I’m inspired to write that day. If I tried to write linearly, I’d never get anything accomplished (you know, less than the nothing I accomplish now…)

    With my Book 3, I’m also around 60k, and nowhere done (I don’t even have one complete chapter yet!), a fact that makes my writer friends’ minds boggle. But there’s always a nice extended period of cutting and replacing to follow when that first draft is all said and done.

    LOVE that LaTonya picture!

  14. Lately, I’ve been ending up with too few words and have to go in and add some beef. Then, I overwrite and have to cut.

  15. I usually have to cut 10,000 words or more (closer to 20,000 sometimes) per book. And though I go pretty much chronological, I do skip some things like “add sex scene here” or “finish fight scene, kill ___” etc so I can get on to what I am more interested in :p

  16. You have a lot of POVs so it’s going to take a lot of words. Plus, that’s what’s editing for. It’s not the number of words, it’s the story you tell!

  17. I’m one of those who writes novella-sized stories. (IF that.) I use very few words so to me this is ginormous. Can you split the book? Series and serials are popular. If it’s all keepable, keep it. If you’re loving writing it, I think that will show through and people will love reading it.

  18. On my first novel that I’ve shelved, I wrote a lot and cut a ton. If I do another novel, I’ll be more of an outliner. For now, I’m sticking with short pieces. It could very well be that’s where my sweet spot is, but someday I will write a dang novel. Someday…

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