50,000 words

If not for a dead battery, I would have passed 50,000 words yesterday in my WIP. I instead passed it this morning. Making a similar comment on Twitter yesterday, I pondered why I put so much stock in 50,000 words. Certainly it doesn't represent the end point of the manuscript nor the midpoint. I have never written a 100,000 word manuscript coming under or over that mark. I wouldn't have to do with NaNo because I do not participate. So what then?

And then I remembered why. Before--and before I mean when I would try to write but never finish--no matter how good a story was, no matter how clearly I could visualize it, no matter how much work I put into it, I would always quit before passing 50,000 words. The closest I ever came was with CAUSE AND CONVICTION, the first book of the Third World. That topped out just over 40,000 words. Then I wrote BLACK MAGIC AND BARBECUE SAUCE and hit 110,000 words. Since that first success, I have been able to work to completion on any novel that passes 10,000 words (with the exception of THE SEVENTH SACRIFICE, which I will be doing over once I finish JEHOVAH'S HITLIST).

Now, when I pass 50,000 words, it's a reminder that this isn't a fantasy. It isn't a dream. There are no excuses. This is what I do and I can see it through to the end. It's an incredibly satisfying accomplishment, one I have now accomplished four times in the last 20 months.

So, yay for 50,000 words!