1. Chick xX
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    Chick xX New Member

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    Word Count

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Chick xX, Jul 4, 2009.

    hey, I'm writing what I thought would be a nice, long novel. However, Ive always been told to not write anything that doesn't move the plot forward. So, with writingout my plot the way it is, it's looking to be under 40,000 words, which worries me for getting it published. I've tried adding bits here and there, but it's still looking short.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to increase my word count without ruining my plot? Thanks so much.

    x
     
  2. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    What you need to do, if you removed a lot of scenes because you think they don't move the plot forward is to take another look at them. Scenes don't need to move plot forward necessarily. They do need to do something, though. Some scenes that you think were doing nothing for the story may have been, but not in an obvious way. They may give more depth to a character, help us to understand the relationship between two characters, allow us to get to know the culture and setting a bit better, or provide some information that may not be super-essential, but adds to the overall quality of the book and helps us connect to what is happened and make it feel real.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You could try to shorten it. A lot of the time, when I go back and revise, I find myself taking parts out instead of adding anything new. This might be a long shot, but you could try writing it as a short story and see how that works out.

    If you really want to make it longer, then maybe you need to focus on description. And as Rei mentioned, scenes can be used to focus on characterization and don't always have the propel the story forward.
     
  4. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    As long as the scenes and information you give is somehow useful towards the plot, characters, or setting you should keep them. Well atleast look at them and maybe work around with them so that they do something.
     
  5. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    why don't you eep the scenes in, leave it alone for a bit then go back and have a look at it again and then see what you think. as the others have said, the scened don't have to always move thepot along, there could be a few scenes here and there that focus on characterization. another thing you can do is maby have the characters have an argument or something to they are distant and have to solve there differences before they can reachh there goal, or something else that distreacts them from there goal.
     
  6. losthawken
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    losthawken Author J. Aurel Guay Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Also, maybe you could take a look at what was taken out, and see if it could fit as a 'sub-plot' of its own. If not, you may be able to generate one if you focus down on the relationships between some characters (not necc your MC either).
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Usually the problem is that the story needs more complexity/depth. Just padding a 40K word novel to make it 80K-100K won't work. You will probably need to grow the story itself, by adding more complications, conflicts, and so on.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yet again, cog has beaten me to the punch/advice!

    ditto that in toto...
     
  9. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Add more parts to the plot. Firstly, it will be accepted by a wider range of readers, and it will increase the word count, and lastly it could possibly enrich your characters and the main plot.
     
  10. Kathryn
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    Kathryn New Member

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    It’s important to keep the story on track, but bits on subplots and character development should definitely be left in. (unless you included those in your definition of plot…)
     
  11. *BK*
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    *BK* Member

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    I don't want to thread jack, but what is considered a normal word count for a novel?
     
  12. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    BK,

    There are a number of threads on this forum that discuss this in depth, so I'll just give you the short answer:

    For first time novelists, it is considered best to submit mansucripts between 80,000 and 100,000 words. With fantasy and possibly science fiction the word count maybe a little higher, for YA closesr half as much as compared to adult novels.

    Sure, those numbers are not absolute, but a good target to shoot for.

    Terry
     
  13. *BK*
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    *BK* Member

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    Thank you for the quick run down. I should have probably used the search button so I'll go do that. :)
     

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