25K – Slow, slow, quick-quick slow

It’s taken a hard two weeks to write the last 5,000 words. Work pressures have been high, and not left me with much in the way of brain power to keep writing after a full-on day of IT intensity.

So I’ve reduced my ambitions to 500 words a day and 3,000 words a week. A bit more manageable, and also means I’m able to focus on quality rather than just churning out my daily allocation of words.

One issue at the front of my mind is pacing. With the last book, at the 25K mark I was well into the central mystery whereas in the new book I’m still putting my characters through the mill and dealing with a lot of character stuff. The plot proper will kick in shortly, but is it all too slow? How will I know?

The short answer is, when you are in the middle of the writing process, it is very hard to gauge the pace at which the story is moving. How do you know which parts are too slow (or too fast) without having the context of the overall arc of the entire finished story? I’m sure more experienced novelists develop an instinctive feeling for the pace of story during the writing process. However, for a newbie like myself I’m just going to plough on at the pace I’m going, writing all my nice character moments, and hope that I won’t have to cut too many of them during the first edit!

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