Good Wednesday morning! It’s looking to be a warm one here in Georgia. Thank goodness I’m working inside.
As for my writing, one of the things I struggle with is how long should my manuscript be. When I set up my writing schedule, it was important to know what count I was shooting for. As I looked at the work in question and worked on the outline, my mind went to many questions and I’ll share them with you now.
- Can my plot sustain itself into a 50k+ book or only a 25K novella?
- Will my story hold together and is it long book worthy? (Some books are best left short and sweet)
- Do I have enough of the book in my head to make the book work?
I know the questions sound similar, but they’re totally different. My plot has to be strong enough to sustain a book. If not, all I have is a couple of pages of short story. Then you have the story that goes into expanding the plot, is it strong enough to make a big book or a novella. I’ve had manuscripts before that I started out wanting a 50K+ book to come out of it, but soon I figured out that if I went past say 25K it would lose some of its strength. And who wants to read fluffy filler that is only used to expand the word count.
The biggie, and of course, if you’ve read my blogs long enough, then you’ve seen me talk about this before, is the story in my head strong? Most of my books come to me start, middle and finish style. If I can’t see the end of the book, most of the time I won’t schedule it until I do. If I can see the end, then I pretty much know the story has some merit, for one reason, then I know where it’s head and what it will take to get it there.
So, when you sit down to start a manuscript, do you have an idea on word count or is it a fly by the pants sort of thing? Since I’ve started scheduling my books and my writing time, I have to keep the status quo, but I was one of the pantser’s for several years.
As always, good writing and May God Bless you…
2 thoughts on “How many words?”
I once found a picture on pinterest – pure coincidence, I wasn’t looking for anything of the kind at the time I stumbled over it – that said how many scenes you have with a certain word count. If I remember correctly, an average novel needs about 60 scenes (give or take). So I started to plan my novels in scenes. The idea must always be strong in order to make it on the page, and cohesive. I write rather short novels of 50 – 60 k lately. I like novels gripping, suspenseful and capable to keep the reader interested to read them in one or two evenings.
Thanks Ana for the information on the scenes. Interesting! Amazing what you can find while browsing through social media.