Stupid recalcitrant novel beasties

You know when you set out to write a novel and it’s supposed to be around 60-65 thousand words, like your last four novels, and knowing that you’ve calculated how much time you need, and how many words per day, and it’s all going along crackingly, and you’re meeting your targets, wrangling words—some of them are even pleasing words—when you realise that this novel is not, in fact, a 60k beastie, it’s more of a 75k beastie, possibly even a 80k or 90k MEGAbeastie? Well, um, that is somewhat sucktastic and hair-pullingly wrong.

Stupid recalcitrant novel beastie. I spit at you! Spit, I say.


  1. Jay Lake on #

    :: looks at 200,000 word first draft of most recent novel ::

  2. Jana Stocks on #

    *looks at 125K final draft of most recent novel* Nooo…no idea how frustrating you must be. πŸ˜›

  3. Jana Stocks on #

    Wait! FrustratED, not frustrating…rats.

  4. Justine on #

    Jay: Mate, you have logorrhea! I hear it can be fatal! πŸ™‚

    Jana: No worries. I can be very frustrating, though currently I am merely frustrated.

  5. Penelope Gray on #

    It is for posts like this that I love reading your blog.


  6. caitlin on #

    Is this the novel with the ’90s all women band as its inspiration? I know I’m going to feel like thonking myself in the head when I find out what song/band the book is based on.

  7. Justine on #

    Penelope: Thanks! I shall endeavour to share all silliness.

    caitlin: It is indeed. (Well, the title is the title of a song by an all women’s 90s band.) And, yes, yes you will engage in a spot of head thonking.

  8. hillary! on #

    What’s wrong with it being that long? Have you seen/read The Sweet Far Thing? There’s nothing wrong with that book, and I’m guessing that it is way longer than 60k words.

  9. doselle on #

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Um. Sorry. That was supposed to be a declaration of sympathy and understanding. Dunno what happened.


  10. Patrick on #

    Bigger is better!

  11. Justine on #

    Hillary: What’s wrong with it being that long?

    I have the time to write a 60k novel, not one that’s a third longer than that.

    The Sweet Far Thing’s word count is a hundred billion kajillion words. But remember it took Libba several years to write it. I have considerably less time.

    Doselle & Patrick: This is me ignoring both of you.

  12. Patrick on #

    Oh, I had it confused with you procrastinating writing more words. πŸ˜‰

  13. doselle on #

    You know the best part. Its hours later and Doselle still think its FUNNY!

    Get back to typing, Justine. The awards and accolades you are certain to win later will make it all worth it! πŸ™‚

    The Talented Mister Ripley

  14. hillary! on #

    I hope that writing this novel doesn’t make you as whacked out as Libba claims to have gotten in those years. I am glad she is writing a funny this time.

  15. Steve Buchheit on #

    Stupid recalcitrant novel beastie more than likely laughs in your general direction.

    I suggest a whip and chair next time, instead of spit.

Comments are closed.