Many writers live and die by milestones: first submission, first rejection, first non-horrible rejection, first sale, first pro sale, first novel chapter, first novel… you get the idea.

I am definitely one of these writers. In fact, sometimes I go a little overboard. First 10 pages. First 12 pages. First 2500 words. First paragraph that doesn’t include the word ‘punch’! First non-horrible mention in Locus. First chapter written without the aid of caffeine or other mind-altering substances… you get the idea again.

Are these milestones actually motivational aids, or just my way of inventing success? Hard to say.

What I can say, is that my new novel broke 10,000 words over the weekend. It’s not much, frankly, but it’s a milestone, and it excites me. 10,000 words is about one-sixth of the book. I only have to do what I’ve done, a little differently, six more times—clearly this is cause for celebration! (Even if I end up cutting most of the chapters, and I’m actually at, say, about 3,500 words instead.)

Writers are wicked strange beasts. What are some of your more unusual milestones?

6 thoughts on “Above World hits 10K”

  1. Awesome indeed!

    Milestones for me… I think the best is when I have re-read the pages of the script I'm working on (I usually read from page 1 to ramp up) and I don't make any piddling changes. At that point I realize that those pages are solid and I have to stop procrastinating and make forward progress again.

    1. Wow. That's excellent. I'm not sure I've ever reached that point in a story or chapter, except through laziness. Nowadays, I read only far enough back to figure out where I am and what's happening. It's too dangerous to start at page one — I'd never make it to that "forward progress" part that I've heard so much about. :)

      1. Apparently I'm a mutant with regards to my method. Most people I've heard (my writing partner included) simply can't go back because they get mired in the trivialities and never make forward progress.

        I guess I have to feel like my foundation is very, very good to give me the confidence to continue.

  2. Hooray on hitting 10,000 words! I also do milestones by fractions as I write: ooh, I'm 1/10th of the way through…1/6 of the way through…. right up until I hit around the 1/2 or 2/3 point, at which I inevitably start panicking: There's so much left to do! It'll never all fit! And then I ignore the fractions from then until the end of the book because they give me panic attacks! (But it always works out in the end.)

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