Above and Beyond in Word Count
- By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jan 04 2007
A recent call for questions elicited a number of great replies, and bear with us, we’re getting to them as quickly as we can. . . .
Miss Snark has replied to a question I sent about word counts. She says 100,000 tops for a romance. I have written a novel which has 200,000. I have divided it into 2, but to submit only the first half does not complete the story! Should I cut out so much and lose half the story line! I dont know what to do and am helplessly lost somewhere in the middle. Please advise.
Miss Snark is right. My guess is that your story probably isn’t going to work if you divide it in half. Instead you are going to have to cut it down. 200,000 words is really long. Do you really need every piece that’s in it? I know it all sounds wonderful to you now, but take a break, start writing something else, and come back to it. My guess is that you probably have spots of intense description that aren’t needed and places where, honestly, nothing happens. Every scene and every moment in your book should be moving the plot and story forward. If it’s not, it doesn’t belong.
While I know that all of you can point out instances where authors have written romances longer than 100,000 words, it’s not the norm, and when you’re starting out it’s better to stick a little closer to the norm. Editing is probably one of the toughest jobs in writing, but learning to properly edit your own work is also invaluable.