30,000 words and counting–beginning the hate phase

Yesterday, after a few word wars, I finally achieved 30,000 words on Tiger Eye.  It’s a big milestone for many writers as some ideas simply fall flat before you get 1/3 of the way through a projected word count.

I’m pretty happy with things so far. I’ve got notes on some improvements–mostly that my character is too passive in some instances and I need to do some research to fill in some gaps.  But that’s fine. This is draft 0 (zero) meaning that no one else but me is going to see it. It’s only after some edits and filling in the blanks, fluffing some details and killing some darlings that I’ll let any one beta it. But that is still months maybe even a year out.

Right now, I’m still in love with the story but the hating phase is approaching quickly.

If you ask any novel writer, they will mostly say there is a point where they begin to hate writing the story. It becomes a struggle to put words on the page and  a writer begins to doubt themselves and their story.  The hating phase usually occurs about half way through (somewhere around the 50,000 word mark) and can last until the writer sees the end of the story in sight (70,000 words or so).

I’m hoping that things will be different with this one. Of the two novels I’ve written, the first one had a long hate phase and the second a short one. I’m hoping most of my issues was not knowing exactly where the story was going and having to discover where it led.  I’m doing well with my modified outlining on Tiger Eye. I’m keeping with 2 scenes per chapter and giving things a bit of structure (outlining) as I start a new chapter.  It’s keeping me on track and keeping ideas fresh in my mind.

So what’s your ideas on the Hate phase? Do you hate some of your work? How do you get around it?
Thanks for reading!


2 responses to “30,000 words and counting–beginning the hate phase

  1. Oh yeah, the hate phase is a huge threat to the story. I’m at 62,000 + now, so I’ve gotten through the worst of it. But you hit it right on the head: you hate the story, doubt its validity and realize you’re a hack.

    For first – time writers like myself, I think what is crucial at this point is to make sure you’re in a position where you can put the world on hold for a couple weeks and just slug it out. It’s kind of like a war between you and your book and the only way to win is to keep writing it. This is *not* the time to put the book on hold and think about it, hoping things will get better. They won’t. The only way through the hate phase is through it, word by word. You can reintroduce yourself to your spouse, pay the electric bill to get the lights back on and renew your driver’s license later. Even your WoW clan is going to have to do without you for a while. (Yeah, it’s that serious.) Don’t get tricked by the thought of reading how-to stuff either. At this point, if you stop at the gun store, the bad guy is going to get away. The only thing that work here is word count.

    The hate phase is a matter of life and death for a novel. It’s the one time you need to suit up and be a superhero.

    I’m really super grateful that I learned this one on my first go. Seriously, it can stop a writing career before it even gets started.

    And I’m just thrilled to death that this little joy awaits even experienced writers such as yourself, meaning I get to do it all over again next time, just like you. Yay.

    “I want to be a writer.”
    “No you don’t.”
    “But I love how writing encapsulates the essence of humanity. I really want to be part of that.”
    “No, you don’t. Really”
    “How do you know?”
    “Here, hit your thumb as hard as you can with this hammer and we’ll talk.”


    • LOL

      Yep that last portion about sums it up. The mid-word count portion of the novel can be murder and you are absolutely right about plowing through it.

      Some things I’ve tried is to write things out long hand, outline, keep a regular word count, and talk what’s going on in the novel with someone. They can break up the feeling of hate and inadequacy just by interrupting your normal flow.

      And seriously DON’T STOP!


      *this post has been written before a sufficient amount of caffeine has been consumed. Please excuse any misspellings and/or confusing phrases.


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