1. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    What is too long for a book?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Keitsumah, Nov 25, 2012.

    Hey guys,

    I was wondering how long a book usually is limited at. I'm writing a trilogy (or planning to as i am still in the first book) and the rough draft is over 100,000 words and still growing (this is based off of twenty-five chapters with a four-thousand word average). I'm wondering if it is becoming too long for it's type, but then i am doing it from two people's perspectives and that adds a lot more detail in order to clarify their current setting and their situations. Also, the draft is barely even half-way done in my opinion, but I'm concerned about a book that ends up being over 200,000 words. I'm not an overly "wordy" writer i think, but i need an opinion.
     
  2. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    Make it as long as it needs. Typically 300 000 words would be the limit, in my opinion.
     
  3. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    For a beginning writer, their first novel should be between 80-100k with 110k probably as high as you'll get. This is from guidelines. A series is a tough sell for a new writer also. The first book needs to be a total standalone and do well before a publisher or agent will be interested in sequels. Note: this comes from experienced people in the field.

    If you're looking at 200k in a beginning novel, I'm willing to be they'll be plenty of words, paragraphs and even chapter's that can be cut when doing hard copy high editing.
     
  4. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I just pubbed Days of Light and Shadow. 250k words, one hundred and twenty chapters plus an epilogue. It went on sale yesteray morning and two have sold. So if you self pub and do it all electronically, the limit is fairly much what you make it. If you go through a publisher, someone else will decide.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  5. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    Self published and already two copies? Share your secrets, my friend!
     
  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Look to the genre for your guide. What's the typical length? That's what to shoot for - but if the story requires more (and isn't just a matter of not being properly edited/revised), then go long. Just bear in mind, this is your first draft - the final product is a long way off yet, and there's a great deal that will most likely be dropped before then.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you self-pub, there's no limit...

    but if you hope to snag an agent and/or a paying publisher as a new an unknown writer, you'd best stick to their limits, or it's most likely your ms won't even be looked at...
     
  8. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Thanks guys for the tips. I think I'll just try to finish the rough draft first and (yes the idea is for me to self-publish) hopefully i'll get the first book done at some point (this thing has taken over three years so far to write and is the first major book im trying as i stink at short stories -ugh an i have like 15 other novels i want to work on). Maybe i was just overrreacting but then it's best to ask questions rather than not. lol :D
     
  9. Fife
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    Fife Senior Member

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    I just want to say that this is a question I was wondering as well. Thanks, though indirectly :).
     
  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    And how many writers on that list were first-time writers within the past 25 years?

    As Mammamaia said, if you want to self-publish or don't care about being published at all, no limit. But if you have dreams of being published, think smaller.
     
  11. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    This was a good piece of advice I was given in a different thread. :) hope this helps
     

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