1. JesGuy
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    JesGuy New Member

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    A writing milestone question...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JesGuy, Apr 17, 2007.

    Now I know this is different for everyone, but I was just curious of your opinion.

    When writing a novel, and lets assume you are using the 3-act method...

    How many words do you normally allow before you run into the end of the 1st act, or better yet...

    How many words do you allow before you run into the
    1st traumatic event???

    For instance, right now I'm nearing 20,000 words, and I'm still setting up the characters, their lifestyles, their relationships to each other, and their personal problems that they'll eventually overcome. The first traumatic event is in sight now, its just getting there that's tough.

    Yes, yes, it depends on my personal writing style, but that's not my question.

    What's your opinion and what has your experience shown you? How many words until your 1st big event, and have you ever found that you wrote too little or too much before getting to that event?

    Thanks, Jes
     
  2. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have always found that when I write a piece I write too little before teh action has begun. Usually starts after the first chapter, and been told that is a bad thing so I NEVER share short stories that I write because of that.

    ~Torana
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    imo, the '3-act method' only applies to writing screenplays... frankly, i've never heard it referred to in re novels...

    certainly, every story has a 'beginning, middle, end'... but i can't imagine using the screenwriting paradigm for a novel, since novels, by their very nature, allow for much more variation in structure and pacing...

    i think it's a mistake to use any sort of template for writing a novel... read enough of the truly good ones and you'll see there's no one-size-fits-all 'method'...

    if you've got 20k words already and haven't gotten to any of the plot/story/action yet, then you've probably lost your readers long ago... save the back story for later and start out with a hook that will keep readers interested enough to care about all that gluck you've bored them to tears with, so far...

    and for heaven's sake, toss all that stuff about counting words and this or that event... if you're not writing a screenplay, you don't have to be concerned with how soon you get to an 'event'...

    that's my two cents, anyway... btw, i've been writing for decades and been mentoring aspiring novelists and screenwriters for years, so do know a bit whereof i speak...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  4. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    I'm "working" on one novel. Four big events planned.The First happens on the third or fourth page.
     
  5. JesGuy
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    JesGuy New Member

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    Okay. Thanks. :D
     
  6. Lily
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    Lily Member

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    I'm so happy Mammamaia is a member of this website.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thanks, lily!... hugs, m
     
  8. sweetlilac
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    sweetlilac New Member

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    i dont know.. i just write.. and when i feel like stopping.. i stop.. i dont know..:)
     
  9. Jonas Grymm
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    Jonas Grymm Member

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    lol, i usually start off with something that really grabs attention then i build from there. At 20k words, you should be gettin to your first event soon.
     

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