Monday, June 2, 2008

Slight Change

I've made a slight adjustment to my progress meter. I currently have a manuscript that is a little over 130,000 words in length. Last night I worked through the first 2901 words and reduced that down to 2551.

I then added that to the progress meter. Great. But my target isn't 130,000 words so 2551 isn't 2% of my real target.

So, using the formula, I've reduced the 130,000 by 10%. My new target is 117,000 words. If I can get that closer to 100,000, even better, but 117K is realistic. I've reduced the prologue by a touch over 12%. If I can keep that up, I'll get the book down to less than 115K which brings it into the realm acceptable by a lot more agents.

Lots of numbers and percentages which is not what writers want to be thinking about.
A story will take as many words as it takes to tell the story properly.
I can't remember where I heard or read this gem of advice but it needs an addition.
A story will take as many words as it takes to tell the story properly in the first draft.

In second and additional drafts, through revision, from learning your craft, from being succinct, from buddying up to Strunk and White, and many other factors, your story will take as few words as necessary to tell, and still convey exactly what it is you're trying to convey, in a manner that your ideal reader will find wonderful to read.

At least that's the goal--isn't it?

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