So, here's a dilemma for all of you - when do you start worrying about the length of the piece being a problem? I'm a bit over halfway through my first draft (in terms of planned story) and I've blown through about 70,000 words (and I have about 90,000 if I include the unconnected scenes I've written for potential later use). I know a lot will be cut in revision, but it's already paced pretty fast and I get reader input that I might consider spending more time on description. So - how many words do I let myself write before I think this thing is getting too long to be manageable? And when do I start thinking about whether I have one book that's going to need edited down, or whether I have enough plot to break it into two books? Part of me is thinking the best way to do this is to end at an earlier point than planned and save the rest of the plot for a sequel - but that leaves me with a "book" that includes mostly what I consider to be the least interesting parts of the story, a plot that's meant to be an "Act I" rather than a complete story, a book that doesn't work as a stand-alone, and the need to rip out all the foreshadowing for my planned climax. It would probably work really well as a 140,ooo word book, but new writers don't get to do that (at least not outside the Epic Fantasy/Hard Sci Fi world). I'm writing newsroom/political drama set in the near future, so I'm not entirely sure which genre constraints I should be working with for word count, seeing as I'm pulling from the speculative genres with my worldbuilding, but from political and journalism fiction with my plotting. Anyone have any tips?