I passed an important milestone today. My novel draft has how surpassed my senior thesis in word count.
To be fair, my thesis was a bit short for a senior thesis at Reed. I wrote it over one semester, so the length requirement was cut down a bit. Still, my thesis is one of the biggest writing projects I’ve ever done, and I have managed to exceed its word count within about half the time. If that’s not something to be proud of, I don’t know what is.
Of course, some of this speed might be owed to the different type of writing. Academic writing requires a lot more setup, because you have to research everything. Novels also require research, but when you write in your own world, a lot of the history is in your head. The research largely functions to establish whether what you’ve imagined is at least plausible.
It’s also interesting to note that although I have passed my thesis in word count, I’m not even close to passing its page count. The reason for this one is far more obvious: I’m writing my novel single-spaced. I will have to double-space it when I send out the manuscript, but for now, I really do prefer to have it single-spaced, because it makes it easier to scroll around. It also keeps me from feeling like I’m being too long-winded. This is the first draft, after all. I have heard that most final drafts are anywhere from twenty to fifty percent shorter than the first draft. I can cut down on unnecessary material later; for now, I just want to get the story written and crafted, so that I know what needs tweaking when I look it over.
Perhaps the most fun thing about this is, I’m not even out of the double digits in chapter count. This book is going to be long… but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And now, back to the draft I go! After all, I still need to get up to my 2,000 words of the day.