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Thread: too many words

  1. #1
    Desiree' Vanderwal
    Guest

    too many words

    I read Steven Smith's post on word count. My problem is on the other end of the spectrum...way on the other end.

    My comlete work of fiction is at 214,000.

    Am I wasting my time even trying to get it published?

    I was thinking of going the "Kill Bill" route, and making it a two part thing. Not a book with a sequal, but two books, one story.

    Any thoughts on that?

    I'll post a bit of it as well if anyone wants to take a peek.

    Desiree'



  2. #2
    Sam Barrett
    Guest

    Re: too many words

    Desiree',

    I wouldn't consider the two books, one story, deal. The only way the 'one story' would work is with the second book being a sequel.

    If you can't cut the tighten the word count down into one book length manuscript of 90,000 - 120,000 words (I am assuming this is fantasy or sci-fi because of the length), then you would need to make this into a sequel type of work.

    The only thing in doing it that way is to remember that each book must stand alone. Each book must have a beginning and an ending. With novels, you can't have a two book story with the first book ending with a cliff hanger like an end of season TV series.

    If your work isn't fantasy or sci-fi, then you need to cut it closer to 100,000 or below for a first novel. If it is a YA, it needs to be even lower on the word count.

    A good way to judge on length is to look at what publishers you picture your work going to and see what their recommended word counts are.

    -- Sam

  3. #3
    Kimberly Farish
    Guest

    Re: too many words

    Just out of curiosity, how long did it take you to write something like that???????

  4. #4
    Stephen Aryan
    Guest

    Re: too many words

    My first novel, which is fantasy, came in at 210,000 and the sequel was 228,000 !!! Once cut down I would probably expect them both to lose a bit, but not a huge amount. They are self contained start and finish books. I agree that splitting it into two books is a bad idea.

    This technique has worked with well established authors like Tad Williamson, for his Sorrow, Memory and Thorn Trilogy, in 4 books! And again more recently for George RR Martin, who's third book in the Song of Fire and Ice series, I believe is in two parts. But there again, both of these authors write novels that flow quickly, despite the size of the books and they are well established international authors and had a captive audience by the third book in their respective series.

    Robert Jordan, oooh boy, that's another kettle of fish. That man writes slow. 800 pages and you can sum it up in about 2 chapters!

  5. #5
    Desiree' Vanderwal
    Guest

    Re: too many words

    A little over 2 years

  6. #6
    Desiree' Vanderwal
    Guest

    Re: too many words

    Are your books published?

  7. #7
    Desiree' Vanderwal
    Guest

    Re: too many words

    Thanks all for the feedback.

    It is a horror epic, but it has a lot of other elements and genre cross-overs. It has a little romance, mystery, fantasy.

    I think I will brutally chop it down for the sake of getting a publisher's/agent's attention, and hope that they will consider the full work...if not right away, at some point in the future.

    Thanks again...this forum is great.

    Desiree'

  8. #8
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: too many words

    Alan Dean Foster did that with Spellsinger and The Hour of the Gate, cutting a long fantasy into two parts. Of course, he was already an established writer. Dune was originally the first two books in the series, with four more chapters between them. Campbell helped Herbert edit them; you can tell by the change in style and quality just how far he got before he died. If there's a natural stopping point near the middle, break it there and polish the first half for publication. Then, once that's published, go back to work on the rest as a sequal.

  9. #9
    Rachael E
    Guest

    Re: too many words

    I didn't much care for Spellsinger....

    214 thousand is topping 900 pages. No agent/publisher in their right mind would except it from a first timer...

    In the words of my grandmother, "Snip, snip!"

  10. #10
    Rachael E
    Guest

    Re: too many words

    Ah, hum bug, that would be 'accept'

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