Worried About Word Counts

How long is a novel? It’s probably one of the most commonly asked questions from aspiring authors-to-be, and it’s an important one. The answer depends on your genre and your target audience: a pulp romance won’t be as long as the first book in the trilogy for your epic fantasy, and stories for younger audiences are generally more succinct than those written for mature readers.

So, why do I bring this up? Because I’m struggling against a word count that just doesn’t want to increase.

Part of the problem is my reluctance to just dig in and write new content. The other part of the problem is word bloat.

NaNoWriMo is fantastic for the problem of getting your stories committed to paper (virtual or no), but in reaching the target word count, sometimes entire sections of what was produced in November is belaboured, repetitive, loquacious, or just plain awful.

So, with the NaNo well behind us, the time can be taken to excise the dead weight so that the healthy flesh of good writing can thrive. All the same, few things can be quite so disheartening as finishing a day’s work with significantly less words than you started with. It doesn’t feel like progress, and worse, it took you all that effort to accomplish.

So, I’m even further from my goal than before, but tomorrow’s a new day, to try again.

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