1. kyle777
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    kyle777 Member

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    Word Count

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by kyle777, Dec 29, 2008.

    Okay. Need some input here, guys. I've just copied and pasted my entire unfinished novel into Word (because NewNovelist is completely without a word count option, go figure) and I found out my novel has reached a total of 103,000 words. Now, I'm only on chapter 22 of an estimated 33, maybe more. This is my first novel and I've heard publishers tend to shy away if the word count breaks 110,000.

    Should I just go ahead and finish out what I have in my head, or just shorten what I have left since I'll probably have to do that anyway. It's definitely possible to shorten what I have left, but there'll be less of a closure to a few subplots I have rolling. This is really driving me crazy.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    If you shorten what you have left, then you may be left with a sudden ending. So, I would say keep writing what you had in mind. Later, when you go back to edit, cut down on what is unnecessary and extra. Stick to the main plot first; subplots are secondary.
     
  3. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    You shouldn't cut down on your story.
    Continue writing and then when you are finished cut out what is extra and doesn't fit.
     
  4. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I would go through what you have right now, and find places you can cut. Break it down to the essentials of the story. Cut a subplot or two that are not needed for example. Chop some scenes that are not mandatory, or reduce them to a short telling paragraph.
     
  5. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Definitely finish what you had planned and worry about length later.

    You are about 2/3 of the way through your story now. So it seems you might go to about 150,000+ words. If you can make it to 160,000 with the remaining 11 chapters, an option open to you might be to make this two 80,000 word novels. I don't know your story, so I cannot comment further. That may not be an option.
     
  6. 67Kangaroos
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    67Kangaroos Contributing Member

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    i'm with the first two - go ahead and finish the way you want it, and cut during editing. otherwise you mind end a bit abruptly
     
  7. kyle777
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    kyle777 Member

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    That could be possible, but the second volume would be a long build-up to a climax, since that's basically what chapter 20-33 are. Maybe the climax should be sped up so as to not draw out what should be fast paced scenes?

    Nice advice. I'll just try and forget about the word count and just finish what I have. I'll worry about the length afterward. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Finish your first draft. That will not only give you a more accurate idea of how much fat you need to trim, you'll have a better idea o what scenes, subplots, even characters, that contribute the least to the novel. That will help you cut more intelligently.

    Most writers can afford to perform pretty drastic surgery on a completed first draft, and the more ruthlessly they carve away at that draft, the better the result will be. Having a substantial base draft to cut from is probably a good thing.
     
  9. Demief
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    Demief Member

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    As mentioned before, you can split it into two books if it gets too big. I believe that's what Christopher Paolini did with Brisingr and his fourth book.

    Pruning is always an option buy i imagine that you're reluctant to do it. You're nearly finished your novel with , i imagine, many drafts written in the process. You don't want to make a drastic cut, correct? Just continue on, and hope either inspiration comes or the will to cut.
     
  10. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, good luck. I sort of envy you. Having more words than I know what to do with would be a dream come true for my novel and I hope you can figure out what to do with it.
     
  11. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    This.
     

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