by Shelt Garner
After several years of hard work, I’m finally — finally — about where I want to be with this first novel. I’m now officially about to break the book (as you might say if you used magazine parlance) on the third act of this novel while being at about 100,000 words. That will put me still in the sweetspot of a first novel (80,000 – 120,000) once I wrap up this first draft.
Then I give myself a month off to read, daydream and generally develop. Then, around July 4th weekend, I’m going to throw myself back into the first novel. I’m hoping that I can keep the word count down. My fear is as the story gets better, the whole thing is going to balloon towards 200,000 words.
So, I’m going to have to combine a lot of scenes and maybe even reimagine some of the novel to make sure I don’t blow past the wordcount sweetspot. I thought I was going to do that with the first draft, to the point that I had a “second track” novel thought up that would be shorter and the calling card that I feared this novel couldn’t be because of word count.
But, now, I think maybe I can use this mystery-thriller as my calling card and the one I try to pitch to literary agents.
I always thought my first novel would be scifi. Oh well. Lulz. Let’s rock.