Too many words is a thing? I don’t know about you guys out there but for me I like books regardless of their size. I don’t discriminate based on page or word count. With that said I am not scared of a book with a page count that has a comma in it in fact I enjoy challenges like that. I was unaware when I first started writing that publishers and agents looked at that sort of thing and it could sway their decision to publish or represent you. I actually had one agent turn me down because they felt that the book was too large and that I needed to cut it in half. This was odd to me because they told me this prior to reading my novel. Now that I am at on my third novel I do take into consideration the page count and overall size of the novel while I am planning it out.
For me, I want my readers to enjoy the adventure of the novel and not finish it in one three hour sitting. I want my novels to take a weekend or more to really keep your thoughts about the story floating and keep you thinking about it as you go about your daily life. At least I hope that’s how it happens.
The key to this is to find that perfect balance. To not cut out so much that your story no longer makes sense and also not to leave so much in there that the reader gets lost in the chapter and gets bored with the overall story. I don’t know if there is some fast easy way to accomplish this all I know to do is to take my time and follow the story as I go through my first draft and then during the editing stages I start trying to figure out what to cut and what to keep or add.
I know that the way I write won’t work for everyone and that’s great, if we all wrote the same then books would get boring and repetitive. I am just trying to get a few ideas out there as to how I do things to maybe help someone along their journey.
I know when we watch movies or read books we typically on see fear for short periods of time. The hero of the tale fears the upcoming battle only to dig down deep and remember something his/her father had told them when they was a child. Using that phrase the hero pushes past his/her fear and overcomes the battle winning the day and ending the story in cheers and victory. Must be nice. Doesn't work like that in real life.
At least not for me that is.
We are going to get a littler personal here, if that's ok with you guys reading this. If I could be honest with you I would have to tell you that I battle fear. Constantly in fact. Some of my fear, a lot of it actually involves my writing. Is it good enough, is it worth reading, worth printing. I argued with myself and my publisher for weeks because I wanted to charge the least amount possible for my novels because to myself, I wasn't sure if they were worth it. I fear that people will hate my work, and thusly come to hate me. Probably my biggest fear is that one day I will look back at my life and say that I wasted all this time, money and effort for nothing. That my family struggled because of me and my dream and it wasn't worth it. That is just a small portion of my fear but those are real fears that cross through my mind, day in and day out. Every time I turn on my pc or pick up a pen to write I have to tell myself that I am doing the right thing because fear tells me to stop, and back away.
Why am I talking about this? Because I have a feeling that there are others out there who are on the brink of perusing their dream but fear is keeping them back. It did that for me for years. There are probably people reading this right now that are feeling like they are not where they are supposed to be in life but they are scared to take the first step. I know what you are going through, and it sucks. There is no point in sugar coating it and telling you that the moment you take the first step things get better, it usually doesn't work like that. I have been writing now for close to eight years and it is still a struggle for me. What helps me through it though are those short, amazing milestones that you hit. The first time I finished a chapter. The first time I finished ten chapters. The first time I wrote The End. The first time someone read my story. The first time I held it in my hand, bound and finished. The first time I saw someone reading my story. Those little milestones help fortify me and my decisions to write and fight for my dream.
They will come to you too and when they do it will feel like you just plugged yourself into an outlet. It feels like you are alive and at that moment you know you are doing what you are supposed to be doing. It might take years to get to your end game and that's ok. You might see others reach their endgame first or pass you by and that's ok as well. Don't compare yourself to them, you are not held to the same standard they are, you are held to your own unique standard. Good luck in following your dreams.
One of the most frequent questions that I get asked is about how I write. I get asked basic questions like how do you go about writing a book, where do your ideas come from and so on. Most of the time I find when people ask me about writing a book they already have a base line idea as to what they want to write about. It might not be a full outline or even a completed idea but usually they have some sort of start.
So they have a start and they want to know how to get from point A to point Z. How to go from a basic idea, a spark on inspiration lodged in your head to a completed, polished idea on paper.
Its a simple question to ask but there is only one single answer that truly fits the question. The answer is write, and write a lot. Write as often as you can and even if you don't want to. You can go online and find dozens if not hundreds of videos of writers trying to give advice and it all comes back to doing the work. There is no easy way to get it done, at least not correctly and if you want to be a writer and you want your name on the cover of a book or two then you won't mind putting in the work.
As a rule of thumb for me personally, and this is for me it doesn't have to be for you, I try to write at least on page a day every day I work, which is five days a week. And on my off days I try to get at least two pages done. There are times when I blast through a few pages in under an hour and there are other days I have to struggle to finish the first page. The important thing for me though is that I am writing. There is going to be a lot in your first draft that's not great, that's ok. Just put it on the paper and move on. That's why we go back through it a second and third time, to fix those things.
The most important piece of advice I could give a writer thinking about taking the plunge on a novel or story of their own would be to push through and don't lose momentum. Once you start don't stop till you type the two words that stand for our victory as writers.