Passing 30k

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon this blog post. For those of you who don’t want to click through, the gist of it is that many novel-writers get stuck around the 30k word mark.

When I first read it, I was in the midst of writing my first novel. Or maybe I should say, figuring out how to write my first novel (I wound up rewriting it four times; I read the blog post partway through my second rewrite). 30k didn’t seem any worse (or any better) than the rest of it; and because I was doing so much rewriting I would have been hard-pressed to figure out when I was at this point anyway. I wondered if this was my “process” (ha ha) or if, once I was a little more experienced, I too would hit the 30k wall.

I’m currently writing my third book and second novel. I didn’t have any problems at 30k with my second book (which was non-fiction) but I have just, after several grueling weeks of little progress, made it past 30k with the third. I know a lot more about writing longer works now than I did with that first book. Is that why 30k gave me trouble this time? Or is this book simply different, and my relationship with it particular to its needs?

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