So for the longest time I have worried myself with word counts. In the past, I’ve always tried to keep a quota of at least 3000 words per chapter, but this is becoming a burden. I found myself starting to structure my stories around trying to hit that quota rather than writing the story that I wanted to write. Occasionally some good has come out of it by forcing me to think of some interesting plot points to expand on, but more often than not, it becomes a headache as I try my best just to make up fluff in order to fill out this limit.
A good story doesn’t require a specific amount of words, either maximum, or minimum. What it needs is what is appropriate and what the writer feels comfortable with. If they look at the story and it is a thousand words long, but they’re satisfied with their creation, then they’ve written the appropriate amount of words. The same goes for an expanding tale that covers the life of a character and spans hundreds of thousands of words. If the author believes that they have done a good job, and not only enjoy writing it, but reading it as well, then I believe that they’ve hit that appropriate amount of words.
Writing for me has always been a passion, not a hobby, not a job, but something that I have loved doing ever since I was young. It has evolved over the years, but in these recent months, I’ve found the insight that I have cast on my own writing to have helped me to enjoy it more than ever. I’m slowly losing the chains that I had which tied me to what I believed others’ expectations were and just doing what I want, because I want to, otherwise there’s not really much point in it.
As soon as that passion we have becomes tedious, a chore, that is when we need to take stock of what we’re doing, and find out if we’ve outgrown it, or are doing something wrong, and I know I have not outgrown writing. When I think of what I love to do, it is always the first in my mind. Everything about it is what I have centred my life around.
So I’ve decided to forgo this word limit, and this chain. Instead, I have actually found that I have been writing more in a chapter now that I’m no longer constantly looking down at the word count, or up at the clock to see how close I am to my ‘average words per hour’.
I’m very excited to start focusing on the story and making that work. Bit by bit I will improve my writing, and so long as I improve even just by the smallest of margins, then I have still improved myself as a writer. But those are just my thoughts.
At my current point in progress, I’m finishing off the last chapter of the second part of Tales of Estrangia, at which point I’ll move back over to Dark City Chronicles to keep my mind from going stale, and I cannot wait to use some of the skills that I have gained in order to work on that story as well and continue creating better works.