Friday, August 6, 2010

When starting a new project....

Do you plan out how long it will be? Just curious.

I follow a ton of writer's blogs and a lot of times I see the little WIP meter on the sidebar. So, it appears that they know when starting a project, how many words it will be once completed.

I usually have a round about number I want to be in. For example, A Bitch Named Karma is rather short, only 72,000 words. I never planned it that way...that's just where the story ended. But I knew when I wrote my next book, Spellbound, that I wanted it to be more of a commercial length- between 85,000 and 90,000. After all the edits and rewrites and such, it's complete at 92,000.

I am now writing a sequel to A Bitch Named Karma and I would like it to be around the same length as the first, because I don't's a sequel and it feels like it should be that way.


  1. I never know how long I want a story to be, but I like the counter to show progress. It makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something:)

  2. I'm sure some seasoned authors have a target length. Depends on the publisher they are subbing to... HQN usually takes something like 55k-60k, no longer (which is part of why their books are so inexpensive to buy). I know at LPI, our ideal length for print is around 75-80k (longer than that and the list price gets too high for anybody to buy), and we don't do print beyond 90k. So it's definitely something to consider. Something I knew nothing about when I typed out that first tome at 186k. LOL. Still working on cutting that puppy down...

  3. I'm an outliner and always have a specific word count goal that I intend to be close to. It's something I've always done - perhaps a throw back to writing short stories (where I needed to fall within a certain range).

  4. I never know until I start writing it. Oh well.

  5. Thanks for the comments everyone!!!

    Piper, my first MS ended at 135,000...and after a little bit of research, I learned that was way too long. I managed to cut it to 120,000. Maybe someday I will go back to it and try and salvage it...but it's so bad! There is a good story there though...just not sure how to pull it out!

    Jaydee...I started writings oem novelettes, with the intention of submitting them to a romance magazine I came across. I loved the length...10,000 word max...but I did find it kind of hard to stay within the limit. So many times I had wanted to expand on things but knew I couldn't. In the end....I expanded them and sold them to my publisher, who requires their novelettes to be 15,000 words! :)

  6. I'm a very "lean" writer - which means when I start writing, I set a target at 50k words, and normally have to add stuff in revisions to get there (except in November). LOL No way could I hit those 100k counts, ever.

    My serials can go either way - either around 30k words or 50k, depends on how the story goes. But 50k is my "comfortable" word count, so that's what I normally strive for.

  7. I never have any idea how long my WIP's will be. In fact I usually don't hit the word count button until I'm done. I just let the story flow from my mind and then cut a couple of thousands words out at the end. I usually come out between 75,000 and 80,000 words.

  8. I always aim to keep it 100k words or lower. I do periodic word counts as I write. If the number seems high halfway through I know I have some cutting to do.
    Thanks for commenting on my blog. :)

  9. Wow Trisha! That takes some serious will power!! I check my word count every day! It's the only way I can tell if I'm making any real progress! I strive for 1000 words a day.

    Thanks for stopping by Jaime, Trisha and PK!