Oh Boy. I Hope Having A Lot of Organic ‘Spicy Scenes’ in The First Act Of This Novel Makes It A Page Turner

by Shelt Garner

I measure the development of this novel not in words but in scenes, with each scene being about 1,000 words. So, I’m aghast that my first act has ballooned to 60 scenes. If you assume 60 + 50 (25 + 25) + ~30….oh boy. If I assume 60 scenes for the first act, then about 50 scenes for the second act and maybe 30 scenes for the third act…I got a problem on my hands.

“I can’t wait forever!” — President of Hollywood
I have a real problem on my hand. That would be ~140,000 words. And, yet, maybe not. A lot will depend on how long each scene is and I wildly miscalculated that issue with the second draft. I came in at 80,000 words after allotting myself 100,000 words. The issue was that all many of third act scenes were really, really short.

There are three ways to solve this issue.

One is to just accept that I’m going to blow past the sweetspot of ~100,000 words and take comfort in the fact that The Girl On The Train is about 140,000 words. Another is to hope that I’ve totally misjudged things again and the story will somehow magically fit into the around 100,000 word range. And, last of all, is the most drastic — cut the thing into two.

I think my best bet at the moment is it just finish the novel then take an assessment. If I fall within around 140,000 words, then I think I’ll just fight for that vision and try to pick a novel of that length.

Or I might write another — maybe scifi — novel that DOES fit into the ~100,000 sweetspot and then once I sell that use the success of that novel to sell my first, longer novel.

The point is to 1) finish the novel 2) tell a good story.

Everything else can be taken care of later.

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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