Monday, April 24, 2006

My novels tend to have many characters and many subplots, so word count has been known to become lengthy. :o)

My release, Gossamer Wings, due out from Vintage Romance Publishing in October (Yes, new date, woohoo) had the word count of 117 000.
My editor, Dawn said that it had to be cut but 17 000 to bring the book down to a comfortable size for pricing.
At first this horrified me. I didn't think I could do it.
After much complaining to anyone who'd listen I made myself sit down and look at the manuscript with complete detachment. After four days of constant and exhausting editing, I cut 17 000 words and the good thing is I feel the ms reads better for it, much better! I hope Dawn agrees.

An author friend of mine, published by both Dorchester and Kensington told me that those two houses look for 90 000 words from first time authors, and a large UK literacy agency told my that they want novels 80-90k too.
So, after my experience, I'm making certain that any new novels I write will not go over 90 000 words because it's easier to add wording to a ms then it is to cut, cut, cut.
The thing with cutting is that if you take out just one subplot, you have to trawl the ms for any leads or hints about that plot. It's very time consuming.

So, for any of you writing current single title fiction and you're aiming at print book, (not ebooks) my advice, if you want to take it, is to target 90, 000k. :o)

If your book is very large, perhaps 150 000, then split it into two books, which is what I did for my novel Kitty McKenzie, coming out from Samhain. Kitty was 143 000. I split it up into two books because although they are coming out in ebook, they are also coming out in print.

Other news is that I sent my editor at Samhain the synopsis of Dreams of Yesterday, another historical of mine. She liked it and asked me to send the full ms.
Only, Dreams is approx 112 000. So, guess who is back to cutting cutting cutting!! :o)

Take care.~
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