80,000 Words

This evening, I officially passed the 80,000 word mark on the novel. I wrote 1,350 words this evening, bringing the total to 80,800 words. I am closing in on the end of the novel. Even as I see it, it seems almost unreal.

I slowed down a bit last week while at Worldcon. I wrote a total of 3,500 words during the 5-day event, making an average of only about 700 words a day. Not bad, but it came on the heels of a truly remarkable August. In the month of August I wrote a total of 45,950 words, an average of nearly 1,500 words/day.

The end is in sight. This really is a remarkable thing for me. I know lots of writers, published and unpublished, who wrote novels when they were young, before they were published, sometimes many, many novels. As a young writer, I never wrote anything longer than a novelette. This is by far the closest I have ever come to writing a novel and the end is in sight.

One strange phenomenon I’ve discovered over the last few days is that I feel like I am rushing the scenes to get to the end. I don’t know if this is normal, or if this is something a first time novelist experiences. I am deliberately trying to slow things down a bit. It is still only first draft, but I feel like I am losing some of the form and style that I’ve built up so far.

I am also beginning to think of how I should go about celebrating completion of the first draft. I suspect I am not much more than two weeks away from finishing. How does one celebrate the completion of the first draft of a first novel? I am open to suggestions if anyone has them.


  1. Do a happy dance when you are finished, with lots of jumping. Maybe spin around holding your kids.

  2. I celebrate my first drafts of short stories by enjoying a nice craft IPA and a good meal. This is obviously a much more substantial achievement, but maybe scaled out it can work: bottle of wine or beer (if thats your pleasure) and a good steak? Or go out to a nice meal with your wife and/or kids?

    And congratulations on being so close!! Looking forward to reading it when it eventually makes its way into the wider world.


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