Welcome. This blog was started three years ago by four aspiring writers who are now three published authors of novels and short stories (Barbara Elsborg, Dawn Jackson, Arlene Webb) and one multiple award-winning writer (Laurie Green). We blog to keep readers updated on our new releases or other random topics. We hope you enjoy your stay. :] Coffee?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Some Monday morning thoughts.

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?

3 comments:

Flick said...

It's a big issue and one I've fallen foul of myself. The only things I've written under 100,000 words are novellas - The longest story I have is 160,000. I keep trying to cut but lose heart. Its frustrating when so many books in the bookstore are well over 100,000 and in fact, I LIKE thick books but publishers rarely take the risk on first time authors if they are over that magic 100,000. How much more cost can it add? The only alternative is to write one at 100,000 and find someone to publish that. Then they;ll take the longer one!! Ironic isn't it?

Dawn said...

Um hmmm, I've seen more than one novelist fall prey to heavy word count. But I really do believe there are some Manuscripts that a publisher won't pass on, those are the ones they can't put down.
We'll know more soon, when a couple of writers we know, send out their Manuscripts they've been slaving away on. One in particular, I don't think the word count will be a problem. One look and they are going to want it.

Laurie said...

Well, as you know I struggled with word count and P2PC because it is my first--or at least the first I am seriously marketing (more like my fourth LOL). I tried to keep it at 95,000 words and it just didn't work. The story is bigger than that. I did manage to shave it down from over 120,000, but it's still around 106,000. It needs to be this long (IMHO) to tell the story as it needs to be told. If an editor or agent wants me to cut it to get it published, then I'll start agonizing over what can go. LOL