Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Final Countdown

There are eleven days (count em) eleven days left in July and I have decided that within the next eleven days, I am going to finish my first novel (draft a bajillion technically, but draft 1 of this version).

I'm currently finishing up chapter 16 and I spent a good chunk of my writing time today revisiting the plot outline and at the moment it looks like I have 7 more chapters to write-which considering my writing output lately, is pushing it, but the last few chapters are pretty much already written from the original draft. So I think they will come out pretty easily.

This book is becoming more and more epic as the days go on. I am currently on page 354, which is crazy considering I have seven more chapters to write. If I stick to just seven and I write each at my average of twenty pages a piece, it looks like I am going to clock out on July 31 with a 500 page manuscript! Now how is that for my summer vacation since I started this draft on June 15th. Whew!

The extreme length of my manuscript is not lost on me. And I guess time will tell how much of a problem that is. I know we are definitely in the long end of the spectrum here, but considering the fact that this is a YA fantasy/romance, I don't think I'm too far off the norm. Of course I can always trim down the word count (a lot) but I'm starting to get nervous about that. I don't know why-it's an irrational fear. But I'm seriously worried about how to get this manuscript trimmed without losing the essence of what I created. In a way I kind of like how long it is. There is a part of me that loves to pick up a big meaty epic and know I'm going to get lost for a long time, or maybe a short time if it's a compulsive read, but the length still means I'll get lost.

I was asked over at Frankie Writes how to tell how you could tell how long a book should be, and I really don't have a good answer. I think every writer is different and every story is different and the only way to know for sure if its too long is if at any point you get bored with the story, find the story going nowhere, or realize you are reading scene after scene that does not further the plot or character development.

And I think plotting is the best way to avoid those types of issues. As long as you have a plot, a strong plot or at least a clear idea of where you are going, then it won't matter so much if your book is 200 pages or 600 pages, because you will be telling the story the right way.

If anyone else wants to jump in with a better answer or further this discussion feel free. But in the meantime I've got to use up the last few hours of day eleven...

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