Milestone: 2 Million Words


No, this isn’t my two million words. This is the rough draft of all 6 Daughter of the Wildings books.

I’ve blogged before about keeping a spreadsheet of my total lifetime word count. When I updated the spreadsheet at the beginning of this year, I realized that I was within close shouting distance of 2 million lifetime words, and that my goal this year of writing 1,000 words a day would get me there before too much longer.

Yesterday, I did it. I passed 2 million words. My lifetime word count, as of last night (which is actually when I was writing this) was 2,001,285. The two millionth word came four scenes into the rough draft of the third book of the follow-up series to Daughter of the Wildings.

Here’s how I count the words: I use the word count from Word, which seems to be the most accurate (although I don’t write in Word; I open my saved manuscript files in it to get the word count). I enter the initial count when the rough draft of a project is finished. Then, since the final versions are always longer (my rough drafts are often closer to an outline or summary; when revising, I write addtional scenes and fill out dialogue, description, and action), when the project is finished I update the word count to include all the additional words I’ve written. I usually add 20-50% or more words between the first draft and the final version.

Here’s how all those words are distributed:
741,682 – published works up for sale
632,176 – fanfiction posted on my fanfiction site or complete and intended for posting
402,897 – unpublished completed projects in various stages of revision, intended for eventual publication
224,530 – assorted fragments, unfinished projects, and first drafts in progress, and a finished novel or two that will probably never see the light of day.

All of this is strictly fiction writing; no blog posts, forum posts, emails or anything else like that is included.

It took me from 1990 to 2010 to reach 1 million words, from 2010 to 2016 to hit 2 million. If I keep at my current pace, assuming all is well and I’m able to continue that pace, I should hit 3 million in 2020.

And now the big question: Are any of those 2 million words any good? Well, I don’t know. I think so; I work hard to do the best writing I’m capable of, and I hope readers will enjoy what I write. One thing is certain; I’m better now than I was when I started 26 years ago, and I will work to continue to improve over the next million words.


About kyrahalland

Kyra Halland has always loved fantasy. She has also always loved a good love story. She combines those two loves by writing the kinds of romantic fantasy novels she loves to read, tales of magical worlds where complicated, honorable heroes and strong, smart, feminine heroines work together to save their world - or their own small corner of it - and each other. Kyra Halland lives in southern Arizona. She's a wife, mom and mom-in-law, proud grandma, and devoted servant to three cats. View all posts by kyrahalland

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