Writing Matters: Hitting The 50,000 Word Wall

Reblogging because I like the image.

I ponder this, though. I’ve been reading a lot of writer’s posts lately, where they have set themselves targets or say they are stuck at the 50K mark. I guess that level – 50,000 – has been handed down to us by NaNoWriMo and other writing marathons.

For me, writing in a genre that expects 80-130K novels, 50K is only mid-point (in which case, I can perfectly understand getting stuck there). Though lately I have set the 50K as a self-enforced target simply for entering NaNo Camp in June, and possibly I will have to do the same if I wish to blurt out a part novel in November’s NaNoWriMo, just for the sake of the self-reward in “winning”.

In my mind, though, I know that a novel at that length just isn’t going to cut it, nor is it at all near completion. So, I try not to avoid thinking at that 50K level.

Rachel Funk Heller

Today’s post was inspired by Jennifer Lewis Oliver a member of my WANA class of last year, she posted that she felt stuck in her latest work, that she didn’t know what to do next. And when I participated in a fast draft with other writers, someone mentioned getting stuck at the 50,000 word mark. When I wrote the latest version of my novel, I was also stumped when hitting that number count. So of course, because I can’t leave well enough alone, this got me thinking, and hitting the books.

I went back to Blake Snyder, in his book, “Save the Cat Strikes Back” he talks about how the action just after the Point of No Return, or if you study Chris Vogler, he calls it the “Ordeal” is one of the toughest to write. If you do the math, and your goal is an 80,000 to 90,000…

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