Saturday, November 13, 2010

M. Word Count (I Hate It)

The most difficult part of writing for me to date has been word count.  For some reason the first draft consistently gets to about 60 to 70k.  Then we go through it again and try to bulk it up and again and again.  I understand that the world of publishing is a business and that a publishing house has to have a product to sell with the standard 80k to 110k, but at what point does a book just get fluffed like a pillow?  It isn't any softer or fuller, just puffy.I often read stories and blogs about other writers that face the exact opposite problem of having a book that needs to be cut.  Which is worse?  I guess it would be better to have too much and take some out, but then you have to be a grim reaper to your beloved and cut letters, words, and lines that you had spent so much time filling in.  Is there a happy medium?


  1. I'm in the "have to cut huge chunks out of my obese manuscript" group. If left to my own devices, I could write pages and pages of lovely, slow moving back story.

    Maybe the difference is in the writing focus-- if your writing style is plot based, it must be hard to flesh it out once the plot has done what it needs to do.

    I am more character based in my approach and I find I have the opposite problem. I could be entertained with only the bare minimum of plot and so my work balloons!

    Interesting post, thanks!

  2. Part of my personal word count problem comes from outlining and following it so closely. I like to know what is going to happen before pen hits paper and sometimes I limit my options when writing the story.