Writing :: What happens at 15k words?

On August 13, 2010 by Aimee

Once I reach about 15,000 words in a manuscript, I’m usually into Chapter 4 (sometimes only 3, but not usually). Anyway, that’s when I go back and figure out if I started off my characters right, opened with a solid teaser and have shown my plot and given my main characters a goal. Often, I find I haven’t! Darn it!

Since I refuse to go further into the book without having set the stage for my peeps, I gotta go back. So often, I find the time it takes me to go from 15k to 20k is faster because I’m front filling the story line. (No, I don’t wait until I’m done with the book to do this because then I could be completely off tangent).

Given I’m now on book 5 (though with 5 others left to file 13) and I love this story, I’m highly motivated to go back in and make sure all this is there. If I’m not, then it seems the story doesn’t flow as well.

I find it interesting that I’ve done this for each of my four other manuscripts at this stage. Do you have a placeholder spot that gives you the same pause but then spurs on the story further?