I knew this would happen.
The raw first draft of the novel was 50,718 words in length.
I figured during my read through revision that I’d add 10,000 words (because in revision, I always end up adding words — my first drafts are thin).
So I thought, Hey, I’ll shoot for 60,000, but I’ll give myself a little extra elbow room on this one, just because.
So I set my top limit plan at 70,000 words.
As of today, if I continue as I’m going, the novel is going come in at 81,000 words.
Eighty. One. Thousand.
My line-for-scenes build-out gave me 34 chapters, same as the raw first draft.
But this time I know what’s going on from the very beginning, I know the world I’m writing in, and a lot has to happen in each chapter to get me where I’m going.
I’m contemplating eliminating the three POV scenes for the villain — but that’s still on the table. If I don’t show him from his own POV, it’s going to be significantly tougher for readers to understand WHY he’s doing what he’s doing.
Word count for today: 254 words. It meets my one-chapter-per-day revision schedule.
Those 254 words comprise one full scene from my villain’s POV. It’s my compromise for now. I’ll do the villain POV scenes, but keep them short, tight, focused on his actions.
When this goes out to my bug-hunters, I’ll get feedback on him, and work from there.
FRIDAY SNIPPET (this is my current opening to the novel).
[The Snippet Disclaimer: This is raw first draft, Copyright Holly Lisle and All Rights Reserved. Do not quote, review, or bug hunt. The contents of this snippet are subject to change, and during revision I will not see any problems you find here.]
In the beginning, there was the Hero. And the Hero moved Heaven and Earth to create a place of Joy and Excitement, a retreat from the Suffering and Toil of Humanity. And the Hero declared that access to this Second World beneath the World — this glorious Underworld — should be made a human right given regardless of race, color, creed, or ability to pay to every human being on the planet.
And so it was done, and all of Humankind rejoiced.
Introduction to The History of The Underworld: The Authorized Edition, by Nathan Ardement
I just want to be one of the bug hunters. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for this one!
Less than 70,000 seems way too short for a novel of this scope! 80-90K sounds much better.
Speaking as a reader…I don’t care if it’s “too long”. If I’m enjoying the novel and want to spend time in their world, why would I want it to be shorter??