Mulling My Novel’s Word Count

by Shelt Garner

The key issue with this novel right now is word count. I made something of strategic miscalculation at the very beginning of this process when I decided to use The Girl Who Played With Fire as my baseline for word count. I think it’s about 185,000 words, which is way, way, way too long. I think The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is about 1650,000, which is better, but still not good enough.

The “sweetspot” for a novel is supposed to be about 90,000 – 100,000 and I’m well aware that it would be very arrogant of me to think I can not at least try to work within those guidelines. But this is the first draft we’re talking about, so I’m going to just write the story I want to write and see what happens.

Once I have the first draft finished, then maybe I can dwell on how to pare things down some. I just don’t think I can get down to 90,000. Maybe something in the 120,000 – 140,000 range. The only reason why I’m willing to break this “rule” is I believe by the time I try to sell this novel, people will be so enraged by the Trump Era that maybe, just maybe, length won’t be quite such a big deal.

Though, lulz, what am I talking about.

Of course for purely financial reasons on the part of any prospective publisher, I’m really risking them rejecting me out of hand if the novel is too long, no matter how engaging it might otherwise be.

Anyway, I’m plotting this novel very methodically right now. It just takes time to do it the way I want to do it. So I find myself at times like this where mentally I want to work on it, but physically I’m pooped.

But we’ll see I might get some more work done tonight.

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

Leave a Reply