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Old 08-19-2014, 05:48 AM
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Default How long?


I read some where your first Novel needs to be no more than 100k words. It had something to do with getting it looked at and being your first offering many agents/publishers do not want to invest a lot of time.

Because of that I had put a 100k goal on my book. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

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Old 08-19-2014, 05:49 AM
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...how many pages would that be?
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:17 AM
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I've said before - do not write to a word count. It restricts you far too much. You either end up cutting out something good or adding a lot of fluff, words that serve no purpose.
When I first started writing the aim was 65,000 words to 85,000 words that would get looked at. My first published work was 68,580 words and was a piece of garbage I'm glad today I used a nom de plume with. (A preposition is a poor thing to end a sentence with.)
Of course, that was before a lot here were born. 65K was right for the price of the book. ($2.95! Really! I'm not lying!). 85K meant the book went over $4.00 - and nobody paid that for a book, except for collector's and first edition nuts, and that was used books.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:08 AM
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I understand what you mean by not word counting. It does make sense. Would you say 65k-85k would be the norm for a first novel today?

I should of used the word "limit" instead of "goal".
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:52 PM
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There is no limit, do not give yourself a limit.

A publisher will take a look at your work and say "bring it down to 100k in the edit," or whatever other number. That's the only time you should worry about word count.
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:51 PM
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...right now merely hope to get to that target. I'ma short story rider at the moment.
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by egrizzly View Post
I'ma short story rider at the moment.
Do you use a saddle?
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:33 PM
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Joe_, different genres have 'general' word count ranges so to say your "...first novel should not be more than..." is, quite frankly, nothing more than a warm and aromatic pile bull feces.

And, as with (almost) all 'rules', even those genre ranges are rules just begging to be broken. If someone tells you the average word range for a given genres is 65k to 85k but you have written a ms that clocks in at over 100k but anyone who picks it up cannot put it down until they reach the last page, even to the point of losing sleep for the sake of reading... It's going to find an agent, and a publisher, and an audience.

Write your novel. Don't worry about word count. If, when you get to the end and you find out your novel is outrageously out of proportion with the norm for your genre, go back and see if there is anything you can eliminate to trim down the count. (And you'd be amazed at how many unnecessary "that"s and "of"s and such you can take out and still abide by the writer's Hippocratic oath. (do no harm to the story, of course)) So you do that and find that your novel still clocks in at something well over the 'average', but there is nothing else you can take out without damaging the integrity of your ms. If you are absolutely sure your manuscript is as tight as it can be, then you are done. Start working on submission letters and be confident in your words.

And... Good Luck.
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Front&Centre View Post
There is no limit, do not give yourself a limit.

A publisher will take a look at your work and say "bring it down to 100k in the edit," or whatever other number. That's the only time you should worry about word count.
Unless you are a repeat published author, you are not likely to have a publisher even look at a work that needs edits. If you have an agent, your agent may make suggestions as to edits or changes but, even then, unless you have an ongoing relationship with an agent, they are simply not going to want to take on a client who has the gall to submit a work that is not polished to perfection prior to submitting. And that's not the way for an unpubbed writer to snag representation.

Whenever you make any overtures to someone in the industry, other than a proofreader or editor, who has the power to advance your career, you always want to present to them the absolute best you have to offer, and that does not mean offering up something that is in need of edits.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:04 AM
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Icon8 How Long?

Whew! That's a bit much.

You may be in over your head with 100,000 words for one book.
You must be into the Classics or Literary fiction.

Some Stephen King novels can go long.

Not like that, though.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:16 PM
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I've got about 20 releases out there and none are 100K words long. My first release was 90K, my shortest was 83K and longest 99K words. Really not about length, more about the storyline, voice, rhythm character evolution, and plunging the reader into a fictional world that pulls them away from the drudgery and pain of everyday life. You can do that with a 6K short or a 90K novel, really about the flow of your words not the length. In fact, for my last two novels, my editor made me cut them back about 10%.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:22 AM
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That is not true. I think it depends mostly on whatever genre you're writing. I have a post on my blog with word counts for almost every genre that might help: http://fictionwritingtools.blogspot....and-novel.html
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