1. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    I Can't Think of Another Word To Add

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by guamyankee, Mar 6, 2011.

    In an effort to reach 70,000 words, I added a sub-chapter to my novel that totaled 1,095 words. Now, the novel sits at 68,298 words. I have gone through it several times, and, really, the story is told.

    So the novel falls into several genres:

    Historical Fiction
    Science Fiction
    Short Story

    In just over 68,000 words, I have told nothing less than the history of the universe, with a focus on the evolution of man. The story tells the tale of 21 "Adams," (They are all named Adam), in various stages of human evolution, starting with the earliest fish-like creatures, and ending with humans of the future.

    I've asked this question once before, but I am now nearing the query letter stage and I want to ask it again.

    Given the genres that my novel falls into, and given my feeling that the novel is complete, how concerned should I be about the 68,000 word length?
     
  2. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    lol...epic!
     
  3. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    It's called LOTS of cutting, lol.
     
  4. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    that sentence was very ambitious....
     
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  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    68k words is definitely not a short story, and "short story" is not a genre.

    As for the word length, you're right in thinking that this is a bit on the shorter side. But I wouldn't force it and add things that may potentially mess up an otherwise great book. I'm sure there are agents and publishers willing to look at something of that size, so I say you should just go ahead and query.
     
  6. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    there is your answer
     
  7. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    I don't think it's a good idea to keep adding material to stretch the length if your story's done. 68 000 words is on the short side--I think it works out to 270 pages or something like that--but I have read novels of around that length. Seems to me that it's better than having written a first novel that's way too long.
     
  8. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Would be best to let it sit for a nice period of time and than read it over once or twice. Who knows, maybe one day a bright light will flash and you can add to it.

    Don't be forcing stuff into it though. if it's told, it's told.
     
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  9. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Yes, I share the same thought as others: don't forced the length. If the publishers and agents like your idea they'll be in a better position to tell you if something needs to be added. Submit it, and don't be sadden if you get a few rejection letters. You will probably get the professional answer to this question from those letters. Good luck.
     
  10. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I wouldn't force any more into it at this point, but you should be prepared for the possibility than a publisher will ask you to extend it if they're interested in publishing it. It's well under the usual length of a novel, especially for a scifi novel, so this may be an issue you have to face sooner or later.
     
  11. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Agreed, lol.
     
  12. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    I will give it at least a week, this is good advice. Really, great advice from everyone, thank you all.
     
  13. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Actually, short story compilation is a genre, though I'm not sure that's the primary genre of my novel. It is in essence a collection of 21 short stories, though there is a connection between them.
     
  14. Fiona
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    Fiona Member

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    I do agree that pushing words into your novel so it fits into a bracket might not be a good thing.. I understand that agents/publishers look for a word count, but I think if you write a book and send off sample chapters that an agent/publisher love, then they may not reject it because it falls short by a couple of thousand words. There are always exceptions - and if I were in your position, I'd rather aim to be that exception than to try to think up ways to lengthen my book. You may take a novel that's really strong and weaken it this way.
     
  15. Chickendancer
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    Chickendancer Senior Member

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    Hello Guamyankee.

    I agree with Speedy. Let it sit for a while then take another look at it.

    In the mean time why don't you drop your first chapter onto novels SYW and get some feedback?
     
  16. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    I've gotten feedback on my first two chapters, thanks to Leonardo Pisano, from this website. Also, I've gone ahead and started the query process. I've been patiently chipping away at this thing since July of 2009, and I guess I reached my limit. It doesn't mean I can't still refine the thing a bit too if I get new ideas.

    By the way, Mr. Pisano gave me some great advice, which I heeded.
     
  17. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

    -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
     

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