The Home Stretch

After months and months of creating, planning, and writing, I’m finally only a few chapters away from completing my first draft. Once I have the entire story written down, I can get to fixing up scenes.

But I need to actually finish first.

When I first began writing, I was told that the first 30,000 words would be the hardest. But for me, I think the last few chapters are giving me more trouble than the first few ever did.

I know exactly what’s going to happen, I can imagine the remaining events in my head, and writing it all down is proving to be exhausting. It may be because I’ve played it over and over again in my head, or that I’m not the best when it comes to action scenes.

On a positive note, it’s so exciting seeing everything come together! All these ideas inside my head have been woven into a story.






Word Counts

I think I have an obsession with counting how many words I’ve written.

While I realise that how many words I put down on paper doesn’t matter that much so long as I tell the story well without bloating it with unnecessary scenes, I can’t help but frequently check how long my chapters are. That little word counter in the corner of a Word document is the equivalent of a clock during an exam for me. Which means I basically stare at it instead of actually writing. I turn off my internet, music and keep my phone well away from me, and yet I still get distracted.

If I could write as fast as I find ways to procrastinate, I would be done my first draft by now. Probably my second too.

But I must say, it is rather interesting researching word counts in famous books, especially since I’m not entirely sure how long mine should be. I read somewhere that publishers prefer books to be between 80000 and 100000 words, so I’ve been using those figures as a very rough guide, and have come to the conclusion that I would like my book to be around 1000000 words. It’s helpful to see physical copies of books and know how many words are in them. In this regard, the Harry Potter books have been a great help.

And then there’s the issue of my chapter word counts, because they are terribly inconsistent!

On average, one chapter is around 4000 words, yet I’ve had ones that were only 3000 and ones that were well over 7000. Basically, I jump around a fair bit. However, I’m trying to stick with shorter chapters, and any long ones are broken up into sections.

Shorter chapters, for me at least, tend to be more appealing, as I like to read an entire chapter in one go and books with long chapters make is terribly difficult to do so at times. At least breaking up longer chapters offers places where a reader can take a break without being in the middle of something important.

So while keeping a tab on my word count is important, I probably ought to stop doing it every couple hundred words.

~~ Ari


Chapter Titles: Yay or Nay?

Given how much time I’ve spent trying to come up with titles for my books, one would have thought the topic of Chapter Titles would have come up earlier. Oddly enough, I completely forgot about them.

Until today that is.

Because a fair few books avoid having chapter titles, I think my brain somehow pushed them out of existence. Yet now I have to sit down and consider whether I want to include them or not.

Chapter titles do offer a good way to give the reader an idea of what the chapter may be about, a little bit of foreshadowing in a way.

They can also make it easier to remember particular chapters, as names can be much more memorable than numbers. I quite often flick back through books I’ve read to find particular scenes I like, and often it’s a lengthy affair as I can’t remember the exact chapter they’re in, just a rough location. Chapter titles make it easier, as they remind me what exactly the chapter was about and help me recall if the required passage is in there or not.

I’ve quite often seen that instead of chapter titles, books with multiple POVs label each chapter after the character who’s POV it is. Which is great, since you don’t have those confusing couple moments of trying to figure out who’s narrating.

I suppose it’s a lot about presentation too. A confusing chapter title may put off a reader, or draw them in. The same can be said for simple chapter titles. Mere numbers may be boring, yet using Roman numerals may look intimidating.

However, while I say all this, I find that I quite often don’t even notice them, especially if I’m engrossed in a book where I just want to get straight to reading the next chapter. Which makes me wonder just how important they really are.

So, today I found myself staring at my first draft and trying to determine whether or not I ought to include chapter titles, especially since I tend to write metaphorical titles rather than literal ones. Which could get confusing. In the end I relented and put them in, after all, it’s easy enough to get rid of them later on if need be.

Plus, coming up with titles is a lot of fun!