Those Word Count Feelings

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this about their writing, but I have this particular feelings every time I reach a certain word count in my novels. I’ve been struggling to come up with a good post idea for today, so this is what you’re all getting stuck with!

0-5k: This is a reasonably slow period. I’m both incredibly excited, and a little nervous as to where this new story is going to take me. For me, this is really make it or break it time as to whether I’ll fall enough love with my main character to continue on.

5-30k: I breeze through this part. I don’t know why, but this section is always incredibly easy for me to write. This is usually the stage where I’m completely in love with my characters and plot, and I start to telling myself this is the best thing I’ve ever written.

30-40k: This is the most difficult stage for me. I’m starting to see plot holes, or I’m sick of my characters a bit. I start to stress myself out about all the editing I’m going to have to do. At that moment, the book will be put back down and I’ll struggle to write more than 300 words at a time. It’ll continue like this for months.

40-End: It really depends on the story as to where the ‘end’ is. Book number one was originally 66k, book two was 41k and book three is currently 44k with somewhere between another 5 and 10k to go. At this point, I’m still dragging my feet along from the previous section, and then one day I suddenly realise I’ve only got another few thousand words to go. Suddenly I’m working double time. I eat, sleep and breathe this novel, and there’s absolutely no way I’m giving up on it now. I finish the last word, and then I let out a sigh of relief.

So that’s how the first draft process usually goes for me. Do you share any of these feelings, or do you have ones of your own?

The YA Novel Recipe

Hello writerlies, and welcome to today’s cooking episode with me, Olivia-Savannah. Today we are going to be making the ultimate YA novel that any reader should be able to enjoy.

Step 1

First things first. You need to make a genre decision. Whether you want to end up with the fantasy baked cake, or the contemporary love pudding or either the crazy sci-fi planet cupcakes, the first step is always to choose. Sometimes your readers will even be able to appreciate when you mix genres together. Who said you can’t have a little paranormal biscuit with your mystery pie?

Step 2

As soon as someone bites into your cake of a novel, you’re going to want them to fall instantly in love. We’re going to add some exciting spiced jam to the mix. You want to kick things off with excitement, with mystery or maybe with something sadly beautiful in order to hook your readers.

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Step 3

In these modern times, a novel isn’t a novel without something crunchy in it too. Readers crave deep tough themes thrown into your novel for them to chow on for a while. Family issues? Mental health issues? Physical disabilities? Friendship problems or maybe self-acceptance? The truth is, whether it’s something more related to yourself or more to do with other people or situations, everyone in life goes through a hard time and your readers need a deep tough theme to be able to relate to. To let them know there are others out there who understand too.

Step 4

We need some chocolate sprinkles in here to serves as our beautiful descriptions. Readers fall in love with these, but only if they aren’t too long! Too much will make them sick. Take the lovely descriptions of food in The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, for example. I mean, I’ve seen YA readers trying to eat the book itself.

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Step 5 (Optional)

Throw in some eggs. It’s cliche and necessary. But for some reason, YA seems to be full of cliches. If you want something readers are familiar with, go for the love triangle egg, the insta love egg or the damsel in distress egg. Personally, I detest this step and bake my cakes with as few eggs as possible.

Step 6

It’s time for us to add a bit of flavour! Every YA novel, whether the main character is male or female, needs one kick-butt character who has sass, spunk and WON’T be defeated. Make sure you show ’em whose boss.

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Step 7

 

Pink food colouring is next. Trust me, EVERYTHING is better with a little pink. A little romance never hurt anyone. It doesn’t have to take the front seat of the novel. But many readers love when there is some romance thrown in there. Or at least, a hint of the possibility of one happening. Fangirls can go wild in terms of shipping two characters.

Step 8 

Because we’ve thrown things of all sorts into this cake here, we’re gonna have to water it down. And that means some tears have to be shed. Probably because you’ve just issued the death of a character. Or maybe some other kind of sadness. I don’t know why, but YA loves to break readers hearts. Or is it the readers that love to have their hearts broken?

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Step 9

Time to shove it all into the oven. We’ve got the get the ending just right. Whether it’s going to be a jagged cliffhanger that is a burned black and blue cake to make readers scream with frustration, or if it will be perfectly whole and neatly wrapped up, is up to you.

Step 10!

Now for the final step of all. Decoration. Whatever it tastes like, don’t worry. If you top it all off with a gorgeous cover you’re highly likely to get readers anyway. Why? Because probably 95% of readers will see a shiny cover and fall for it. Don’t worry about the actual writing.

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And there you have it! Your 10 step guide to making the best novel cake any reader will have eaten 😀

Do you agree with my steps? Do you think there is an ingredient I am missing for making a good novel? What do you think is a MUST in YA novels?

Olivia-Savannah x