Writing Tip #60

How long should your novel be? As long as it needs to be. I remember when I first contracted with my agent, she mentioned that novels typically run between 75,000 and 90,000 words. And as I wrote Baby Grand, I kept those numbers in my mind as a guideline. Something to shoot for. My first draft wound up being around 77,000 words, and after three revisions, my final draft was just over 93,000. But the word increase was something that just happened naturally, something the story called for. In my mind, it was important to stay true to the characters and the plot, and listen to my inner voice which told me when to continue writing and when to stop. Author Nathan Bransford also addresses the issue of word count in a blog post and generally says the same thing — although, as he says, it’s true that if you’re writing a 200,000-word novel,  you better be darn sure that each and every word of that novel is necessary. And who knows? It just may be.

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One thought on “Writing Tip #60

  1. So Dina, you are a puter inner. :) I happen to be one of them too. I write apparently, bare minimum and then add on the re-write. I find things in my head that I just conveniently leave out mentioning the first time around. Yes, you are right. Word count keeps me in line but if it goes over, well, that is what I needed. Believe me, my editor will tell me.

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