At 160,000 words, I figured I had probably said what was necessary. It was only on re-reading and beginning the revision process that I realized how desperately needed many of their suggestions were. I wondered at the time: Is it possible to write a 200k+ word book at “a blistering pace?”—this was the speed of plotting I had originally gone for. Or was I kidding myself?
Recently I just topped 300 pages and 100,000 words on my novel in progress. It has been the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do with my life.
So I thought I’d spend a little time here talking about the horror of writing a novel and what I’ve learned about doing it.
The first thing I’ve learned in writing a novel is that it’s never good enough. Never.