Here on the East coast we were pounded by a big Nor'easter this weekend. I spent Sunday afternoon, shoveling out of two feet of snow, painting, and doing some critiques of several friend's Manuscripts.
The issue of word count came up in a discussion with one of the writers. She's marketing her first novel at 125k. Through our conversations, she mentioned that the plot is woven so tightly, cutting it will be almost impossible. We discussed chopping it in two and going with a series. It is a series already, and book two is well on its way to being as large as number one.
The writer explained that by breaking it in two, the ending would feel unfinished, leaving the reader hanging. Not good. So again, that was out of the question.
Then I mentioned the first novel of Diana Gabaldon. Diana lightly touches on this very issue in the acknowledgments of her first novel "Outlander." It has 850 pages and is over twice the size of a first time novel. Instead of cutting, chopping and destroying text, she rolled with it and found someone that was willing to work with her. That someone, has sold many more novels for her, all just as sizable and Diana, she's a New York Times Bestseller.
So, for you Epic writers, don't lose heart. A larger Manuscript may be harder to sell, but in the end the sell boils down to a couple of things.
1. How good is your writing?
2. How bad do you want your novel published?