Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kresh update - finding the finished form

Work continues on my two book (with potential for a third!) space opera, The Way of The Kresh. I'm up to 184,000 words and currently expanding the secondary protagonist's story line - and pouring on the pain for him just as much as for my lobster alien boy Jeldon. If a little suffering is good for the soul, these guys are preparing for canonisation.

I'm asked by writers what's the ideal word length for a novel. Of course there are many exceptions to the rule but for traditional publishing, the science fiction sweet spot is generally about 80-100 K. But really there's not a lot of point worrying overly about what length the finished article should be. The story needs to be the right length for what it is. If the book gets picked up your editor will tell  you whether you need to add another 50K or cut just as much (ouch!). As long as you're past novella length territory, don't sweat it. Mind you with the rise of ebooks, actual word count is becoming less of an issue because it doesn't impact on the ideal page length to minimise printing costs. So there's even less to worry about in this regard.

Having said that, with two books on the go I've been wondering where the split should occur. Happily today I found a natural break around the 85K mark with Jeldon finally escaping his war-wracked homeworld. Really it was a no brainer to break the story there, but I didn't see it until now.

More to come.

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