So I’m doing this thing where I add at least 250 words a day to each of three works in progress. I just started it on Friday and so far it’s going… okay, I guess. It’s kind of too early to tell.
The three novels I’m working on are fairly close to done, as in, the stories are either wrapping up or the end is in sight. (Well, except for one which I am considering putting aside for a while. It’s Book Five of the Academy of the Accord series and it’s giving me fits: maybe if I skip on to the next one in the series it will help define the range of this one. I might be too stubborn to do that, though.)
Something I’ve noticed is that they are all rather short.
Book One of The Other Mages trilogy is currently around 40,000 words. There are still a couple loose ends to tie up and some explaining to do, so I think I might be able to coax it to 50,000 without getting too bogged down in minutiae but I’m not certain. That’s still about 50,000 too short. Or at least 25,000 too short.
Sanguine is at just over 54,000 and should reach 60 – maybe even 70 – thousand without too much trouble.
(I’m not worrying about the word count in Book Five of the Academy of the Accord series right now – there are still too many decisions and revisions to make in it to get any kind of accurate idea.)
Fantasy novels, which is what I normally write, average a little over 122,500 words. (Book One of The Other Mages trilogy obviously has a very long way to go!)
And science fiction novels (Sanguine, and my much-maligned NaNoWriMo novel from this year, The Onyx Sun) come out a bit over 104,500 words on average.
So the storylines are wrapping up and the word counts are far below where they need to be.
The solution seems to be simple: write more words.
But where should I put them?
Yeah, okay, so I don’t have a lot of description of setting. That does tend to be a massive weakness for me, especially in first drafts: I can see where the characters are and I forget that everyone else isn’t inside my head
And along the lines of people not being inside my head, I find that I sometimes don’t fill in background information – things that I know but the reader doesn’t. (I’m not talking about spoiler type things that give away the ending: I mean things that pertain to the world of the novel – things that the reader needs to know so that what I’m writing makes sense.)
But I’m pretty sure that adding setting description and background info will give me the word boost that I need to make a decent-length novel, either.
And yes, there are a few places where I’ve told instead of shown: fixing those places will add words. But enough words? Probably not.
Which means that I need to add content somewhere. But I’m not certain that the novels need any extra scenes. They are complete as they are.
So maybe… just maybe… I should stop worrying about the number of words and just let the story be whatever length it is.
But I probably won’t.
(In case you’re wondering, the numbers used above came from a chart found here )