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31,000 words is a great start to a mystery! In the genre I write for, it is a good total length right there. The 30K to 60K novella is very popular with readers. Long enough to be emotionally involving, but short enough not to demand too much reading time. As for me, I have managed to start that fiction project I mentioned, and write the first 1400 words on the much-dreaded beginning. Hope the momentum will pick up soon. Writing dialog usually helps with that.

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Val -

With my ten medieval novels, my shortest one is 68,000 words and the longest one is 117,000. Aspen Allegations, which was my first murder mystery, was 71,000 words.

I don't aim for a particular length, but they end up being in that range.

It seems to be impacted by how long I keep revising it. The ones I've been revising for years and years tend to grow as I keep adding in more story bits smile

That's great that you have begun your project! Erase the dread smile. Mindsets impact our progress. Find a way to be encouraged about your project!


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My #nanowrimo August story is now at 126 pages, 34k words. I've finished chapter 16. I'm weaving a story and minding those loose ends smile

I'm now heading into the crescendo part of the story! We'll see how it plays out.

I am finding my planning efforts are helping me map out when to be where. I'm getting good "real time" information from the places I visit. For example, last week when I visited the golf course for one scene, a storm came in and they sounded the air horn to get the golfers off the course. So I got to build that into the story, to add texture to what happened.

The last "set place" is coming up on Sunday, and then the rest should be open. So that's good. I like playing things by ear, and going with where the story moves me, so I'll be able to do that more easily with the last third of the book, which I think is where it'll need it the most.


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Very good advice about the dread and the mindset. But I'm getting very intrigued with my project actually, and a lot of this is due to seeing how much progress you're making. I've never pushed myself to do a NaNoWrite type of thing, but I'm seeing the example you're setting. I think a lot of us fiction writers make the mistake of thinking that we have to wait around for the Muse to tap us on the shoulder. I know I wasted time on that when younger. Meanwhile, big congrats on getting to 34K and nearing the end of your location research. I'm picturing that air horn going off and all those golfers scurrying for shelter so they don't get hit by lightning!

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Val -

I think that's key. Definitely there's something to be said for inspiration. At the same time, machinery needs practice. You can't just wait to do a fantastic watercolor painting without ever practicing. If you practice daily then when the muse hits you're ready.

If you want to have fun biking, you can't neglect the bike for months in preparation. You should bike daily, keeping those gears turning, so when the muse hits you're ready.

The same is true with writing! Write daily, even if you're not inspired. Just write. That way when you ARE inspired the gears turn smoothly!


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My murder mystery is now at 148 pages, 40k words. I'm developing some cool plot twists thanks to people I am encountering each day.

I had some gap days with my busy schedule, so I'd just jot down notes on that day. I then go back and fill them in on later days. At this point I'm fairly caught up. There are still some holes to fill in, but that's OK. That's what a first draft is all about smile.


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It's now the last week of my August #nanowrimo mystery novel project. It's winding up well!

I'm also brainstorming a medieval novel, so that's all "in my head" for now.

How about you? What are you writing today?


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My August nanowrimo murder mystery is now at 165 pages, 43,000 words. Only a few days / chapters left before this wraps up.

I also started up my "skeleton document" for that medieval novel #17, to get the basic idea written down. That way it doesn't get too lost with everything else that is going on.

On the medieval side, I have 10 published. Another 2 are done and waiting to be published. Then I have 5 which are in the works, including this latest one.


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Birch Blackguards is now up to 178 pages, 47,000 words. Only 3 days and 3 chapters left on this summer #nanowrimo project.


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I just finished writing a short ebook on Conquering your Fear of Spiders. The main meat of the information is 21 pages long. I'm aiming to sell it as a 99 cent ebook.

If anyone is interested in getting a review copy, so I could have some feedback on what to tweak, please let me know! I'm happy to send along whatever version works best for you.


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