I’m currently finishing up the second draft of my current WIP, The Obsidian Pyramids, still working to get better, still struggling to work through rejections and stay positive. I recently remembered the old adage, the first million words is practice, and I figured, once I hit a million words, I’ll magically become a great writer, yes?
Seems like I should be getting close, so I decided to run the numbers and see where I am.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written a short story, but I used to do so more often, before I got into writing novels regularly. I don’t think I have copies of them all, so I just have to guess at how many words these count for. I’m going to say 50,000 total, though that might be a little conservative. But we’ll start there.
Current total: 50,000
My first attempt at writing a novel came when I was a senior in college. It didn’t go well. I stopped after 20,000 words and didn’t attempt another novel for almost 6 years.
I have three other unfinished novels, none of which I’ll ever return to. In more than one case, leaving the project was me acting strategically rather than simply quitting, so I think I should be able to count these in my total. My estimate is that those four incomplete projects account for about 75k words.
Current total: 125,000
Then we have my completed novels:
- The Doorway: 105k
- Starcatcher: 160k
- The Book of Terrors: 180k
- Wizard’s Curse (YA): 50k
- Blood Price: 115k
- Daughters of Darkness: 115k
- The Obsidian Pyramids: 105k
Final total: 955,000 words. So close!!!