This morning, I looked at where I’m standing with my main project, and I thought I’d put the conclusion here to share with you who may be interested in such a thing. Consider this a “writing updates part 2” post, since Tuesday’s “writing updates” post was about my office.
For me, this is a major reassessment/self-evaluation/progress report. I knew from the beginning that I’d one day take stock and then adjust my targeted word-count accordingly. That day has come! My updated word-count target is 80,000.
The break-down goes as such:
- According to my hitherto targeted word-count of 60,000, I’m now 83% finished; I currently have around 49,823 words.
- Based on my word-count average for completed chapters, I’m fathoming I still have somewhere around 20,000 words left to write.
- Hence, my targeted word-count of 60,000 becomes 80,000.
This new target puts me at 62% finished at this moment. Thinking broadly of the material I have yet to cover (numbers aside), this seems more realistic.
Incidentally, a finished count of 80,000 words would place my project at the low end of a minimal word-count range generally accepted for a novel, and at the highest end of a word-count range for a novella.
I’ve been walking the line between novella and novel all this time. If the project does indeed end up at 80,000, it could be accepted as either. This wouldn’t be for me to decide. If anyone who could publish this work actually wants it, they would make that call.
The idea of a novella pleases me. Some of my favorite works are novellas: Albert Camus’ The Stranger. John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. There’s also Animal Farm, Billy Budd, Heart of Darkness, Ethan Frome, A Clockwork Orange, A Christmas Carol, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I Am Legend, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The War of the Worlds – all of these and many more popular titles are novellas.
Mind you, I’m not comparing the stature of my project to that of the above-mentioned fine literary titles! I offer these titles as examples because they’re well-known.
At any rate, my project will be done when it’s done, and it’s not really my business to predict when that will be. It’s my business to tell the damn story. (The story has become something of a beast, therefore warranting strong language.) These projections help to keep me on track, but the work will get done, regardless.
And so the writing continues.
How am I feeling about all of this? As indicated in this selfie I took on the freeway last night:
Blurrily determined, yes. That seems about right.
On that note… Happy Friday!