by Shelt Garner
I am well aware that the “sweetspot” for a published novel is about 80,000-100,000 words. But it’s not impossible for a novel to be published that is longer. In fact, the novel I’m using as my textbook, “The Girl Who Played With Fire” is in the 165,000 – 185,000 range.
That’s my vision.
I’m going to write a first draft that aims to be around 165,000 words and go from there. If beta readers think its too long, then I’ll do something about that. Or if an agent / editor tells me the only way it will get published is to cut its size, then I will.
Or, if all else fails, I’ll simply self-publish and be able to feel content that I did, in fact, write a novel after everyone told me I sucked and why am I even thinking about writing anything at all. (Fuck those people, by the way.)
One thing that is really beginning to hit home is how brutal the publishing business is in real terms. Nobody owes you nothing, as they say. But I really, really believe in the importance of my novel’s vision as-is. I believe the that I can pull off a novel that is such a fast read that you don’t even notice how long it is.
I’d rather fail in a rather spectacular fashion than limit myself and not even give myself the opportunity to excel.