Book-Writing Milestone!

Hello friends, and welcome back to the River Blog! On this special occasion, I have a happy announcement to share:


More specifically, I finished the main rough draft of Part 1 of the first book of Outcasts & Runaways, the series I have in my WIP Books description. In case those numbers make you doubt why I’m celebrating this “little” milestone, here are some of the deets:


  • 14 Chapters and a Prologue
  • 198 Pages double-spaced
  • About 65k words (for perspective there were approx. 77k words in the first Harry Potter book, so)
  • At least 6 months working on this on and off and it’s only the SETUP AND CHARACTER INTRODUCTIONS, like we finally get to get into the fun stuff next!
  • This book/series is gonna be SO FREAKING LONG

(I should probably be ashamed of myself for using this gif. …I kind of am.)

I have my wonderful 12-year-old beta reader to thank for finally finishing the last 2.5 chapters; I promised her two weeks ago that I would have Part 1 to her finally, and while having that hanging over my head for two weeks was daunting, it WORKED! I spent all of Saturday finishing the final chapter so I could keep my promise. That NEVER happens. But oh the satisfaction of being able to hand over that pretty printed pack of paper at church on Sunday.

I’m taking a break before seriously starting the next part, but I admit it feels kind of refreshing (after a few days have passed in which I could quiet the usual “my writing isn’t any good” doubts) to know that I can start a whole new section. I think that if I view this as starting something new, rather than continuing an endless project, it will really help my morale. I CAN DO THIS!


Perhaps this milestone doesn’t seem that big to some. Or maybe it DOES seem that big to everyone else, but not as big to ME, since I can vaguely sense all the rest of this loooooooong story stretching out in front of me, still waiting to be written. But I think it is important to celebrate these milestones. Writing is HARD, I think all writers will agree; and if we don’t stop to celebrate accomplishments and remind ourselves that we are making progress, it can get pretty daunting.

But! This is a point I have been pushing towards for six months now (and honestly even LONGER than that; I have had this story, and the general events of Part 1, in my head for 10 YEARS). And that is a BIG DEAL, whether my pessimism wants to believe it or not! Finally, the part my brain has been insisting should be done already IS DONE (minus fiddly edits), and I can move on to the rest of the story and find out what new adventures will unfold (because let’s be honest, nothing ever turns out exactly like the writer imagines it, unless you are one of those uniquely gifted and organized writers of whom I must repent for being envious).

So thanks to anyone who wants to celebrate with me! Writing is hard sometimes, but if someone as unmotivated as me can keep trucking, SO CAN YOU! Let’s all get out there and WRITE ALL THE THINGS!

P.S. Would any of you like me to post the Prologue/First Chapter of my book on the site? Please let me know! Feedback/encouragement is my lifeblood.

~Jenn H.

“But regardless of format, we all have good days when the story just unspools and we feel like geniuses. And then we have bad days where it’s sort of like lying in a ditch covered by ravenous weasels while your friends lie in their own ditches shouting “I feel ya, buddy!” in solidarity.” – Ibardugo

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