Friday, July 1, 2011

Word Count

I'm back from Kenyon and writing, writing, writing!

I worked with a great group of writers under the direction of Nancy Zafris and Helen Hooper as her fellow.


We talked shop every day around a giant table perfect for workshopping...


I've been writing every day and no matter how hectic the last minute wedding work gets, I'm going to try my hardest to keep it up.

But....my new book is being so stubborn!

I finished the first complete draft at 30,000 words and have been working on fleshing it out. However, I can't for the life of me get it above 40,000 words. It's fighting to be a novella, and I feel like I'm loosing the fight. I love the story, but am having a hard time making it more.

Any suggestions? What do you do when you're revising? How do you add to a novel? What are your words counts?

6 comments:

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I keep having the opposite problem of reducing my word count. My early drafts are flabby, with too many unnecessary words and repeated information. Right now I am working on my first revision of my WIP and my goal is to knock it back at least 10k. (The 1st draft was 85k!)

As for fleshing out something that falls short of novel length ... I guess you can look at the overall plot and consider whether you have enough complications and sub-plots. Not that you should add something unnecessary, but is there a secondary plot-line that would add depth to the overall story?

Madeline Bartos said...

I'm afraid I'm going to have the same problem as you. I have 50k, but after revisions, I'm sure it will go down to at least 30k. Giving it some good flesh will be hard for me. Best of luck to you! :)

Kristan said...

I left my suggestions on FB already, but I'll reiterate here: I don't think you should force a story to be longer or shorter than it really is. But you can grow the story (with a new character or subplot) or else you can write more stories to keep it company! :)

Still jealous about your visit to Gambier. That place is a little bit magical.

Matthew MacNish said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with a story being a novella if that's what's right for it.

Personally I'm struggling to get my novel under 120k in this re-write. I'm doing my best, but it's going to take my CPs telling my what else can go to get it figured out.

Cynthia Lee said...

Whenever I need to add words and I can't think of which ones to add or how many, I make myself go for a very long walk with my Ipod.

Often, though not always, something that I need to do will bubble to the surface.

When it doesn't work, I'm usually so worn-out after the walk that I don't care anymore. ;)

Emy Shin said...

I tend to overwrite rather than underwrite. However, it's helpful for me to look at points in the manuscript where I can add a subplot that would make it better. The "make it better" part is key, I think. I wouldn't force a story if it refuses to be anything other than what it is.