It seems I’ve decided to take Secret Option C in reference to my last post on whether to keep writing my current work in progress or go back to my completed novel and spend some time editing – that is, to write and schedule a bunch of blog posts instead, thereby avoiding the dilemma altogether.
Anyway. I’m starting to look at my work in progress and what I’ve crossed off on the outline so far, and I’m feeling the first prickings of concern in the back of my brain. I’m at roughly 23,000 words right now, and I’ve made it through a third of the points on my outline. If things remain consistent, I’m looking at a first draft total of around 75,000 words, which is too short, as far as I’m concerned. And I have absolutely no idea what to do about it, other than wait until I’m finished and see how it all turns out.
This, this here, is the downside of outlining for me. If I didn’t have one, I wouldn’t be obsessing about this right now. It’s utterly pointless, it is. But I can no more stop myself from doing it than I can stop myself from biting my nails or worrying about solar flares.
Some time will definitely be spent this week poring over the outline and seeing if there’s anything I can add to it. I like to have lots of extra words at the end of the first draft so there’s plenty of room for cuts. If I start out with only 75,000, I’m going to end up with a novella.
Frustrating. Ridiculous, but frustrating.
You could always throw in some additional character/story development pieces to boost the WC, so that you have more to choose from later when cutting. I had this problem with my first book, and that’s what I ended up doing, and in the process of all the adds, the story itself changed to something I liked even better than what I had.
Of course, this could also backfire so proceed with caution 🙂
That’s what I’m trying, along with adding in more description and detail. Upon re-reading, I’d left a lot out or had very spare description. I added a couple thousand words just in the first five chapters. I have an idea for a new character that I’m going to try out too which should throw some interesting wrenches into the story, thanks for the suggestion! Not having enough secondary characters was something else I was concerned about, so it’s a neat solution to two problems 🙂
You never really know when a scene is going to explode on you. I know how useless it is to say “don’t worry,” so instead I’ll say “don’t that worry get in your way.” Let the story make the decisions and lead you where it may.
So far it hasn’t, I’m still plowing ahead. I’m grateful for the awareness of the situation though, because I made a couple changes early on and introduced a new character that I think will make it a better story in the long run. It is what it is, I guess! We’ll see where I end up. 🙂
Hah! I wound up with a story that was “too short” and added in far too much material, then couldn’t bring myself to cut a lot of it the first time through. 180,000 words in the first draft. I have since cut 50,000. Let the story be as long as it wants to be.
180,000, omg! That’s some serious editing, it must have been so hard!