Today I’ve read a really interesting post in Colleen Lindsay’s blog that reinforced some of the thoughts I had on wordcount and recent debut novels. Checking out the more recent debut novels there usually isn’t anything longer than 140k maximum being thrown in the market and yes I’m talking fantasy here.
With the exception of Patrick Rothfuss’ rather lengthy debut novel “The Name of the Wind” I just haven’t seen anything recent with a word or page-count exceeding 150 k/500 pages. Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, Jeff Somers (even though we’re talking urban fantasy here and those are shorter in general), but even Steven Erikson’s Gardens of the Moon hasn’t been a very long novel.
Sure now we see the Malazan books getting longer and longer, same as George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Though I have to remark the increasing length mustn’t be discounted as pure filler material with the latter one, not so sure with Erikson, but Martin’s 1100 page edition of Storm of Swords just majorly kicks ass!
Anyway looking at Colleen’s post from the publishing scene I’m just about confirming my latest considerations referring to my own enormous 200,000 word count up there in hat little widget. I guess the main reason why I set it that high was thinking “Well, I’ll have to crop it to about two third of its first draft size anyway.” So I let it go, thinking, hey it’s really not that much. But then again I’m looking at my 210 page count with the 55,706 words that I’ve already written (I’m using Courier New, 12 pt and 1.5 spaced, so approximate page size) and something inside me starts yelling WTF?!?
Seriously, I do not WANT to scratch half of what I’ll have written if I’d reach the 200,000 mark. But then again I really think that the first book of the Light triology will be done way before that anyway giving me a really NICE ending to tie the whole thing off with but simultaneously leading into the second book. Realistically the finished first draft will probably border on the 150k, but that’s still better than 200,000. I’ve been reading about some of the stuff that I wrote during nano and let’s face it, some of it has just been plain, fat, shitty filling material and that’s not how this novel works.
So once again, yay for finishing the first draft sometime soon (actually probably sooner than I thought. I actually kinda want to get it finished before November so I can use the second book as my Nano project for this year and try to write a little less filling ego-flattering blabla 😉
Cheers for that! First draft, to thee I raise my caffeine 😉