Writer’s Cramp is the blog and site for B. Jenne’ Hall, writer, genius, and pathological optimist. She’s written her first book, is working on her second, and she’s trying to get published. Which from all accounts seems to be as approximately attainable as the gift of flight, but who doesn’t love a challenge?

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Merciful Zeus, I have finally cracked that damned 200k barrier. I have been flirting with that benchmark for excruciating months, once coming within a few hundred words before realizing that I needed to write a transition scene to accomodate the change I’d just made by removing a different scene (and with it, about 2,000 words), and I may have thrown a temper tantrum at that point. But no matter what revisions I made, I couldn’t seem to get below about 202,000.

So late Friday night, after I bid my dear husband The Prince good night and settled myself at the computer for a marathon writing session, I gave myself a stern talking-to. “Tonight, Self,” I said, “you are not allowed to go to bed until this word counter right here in the lower left-“, tapping the screen firmly for emphasis, “says 199,999. Sooner or later or not at all, it’s entirely up to you, but head does not meet pillow until there’s no longer a two in that far left digit, understood?”

More than two thousand hard-fought words later, (and a few times of waking myself up when my head tapped the keyboard) at 5:30 in the morning, I watched that counter finally, finally drop to 199,999. I waited just long enough for the file to save, then closed the laptop lid and hied myself to bed.

This is pretty much akin to running a marathon in 12 hours: it was slow, ugly, and painful, but at least I can say I did it. There’s still much revising left, and that word count is going to fluctuate the entire way. I may have to break out smelling salts if (when????) it creeps back over the 200k mark again. But chances are now better than ever that this book isn’t going to kill me.

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Reader Comments (1)

Another milestone reached! I'm glad the stern talking-to helped. It's a necessary evil from time to time. Congrats again! I'm sending good thoughts for your revising process, too.

December 30, 2012 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterTammy Camery

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