Ah, that divisive topic!
Publishers will all say the same “blah blah random book should be this long”, demands.
Writers? Meh. You know what? I don’t think we care all that much beyond if it the word count of a story meets a specific publisher’s call.
Nanowimo (which we all just bashed away at) insisted for years on 50k to “win”; thankfully, they’ve relaxed that a bit.
(er, sorry. Don’t know how Pink Floyd slipped in there** er, slightly edited. Warning if cursing offends you don’t click that link and check out the song/video).
But really. I’ve had this conversation with countless writer friends and that’s pretty much where we’re split: What are you going to do with it?
While I used to try to plan on making a book x-amount of words long, now, I just go with what the story demands. You know. I’ve everything from flash fiction to whoppers out there. I even have one manuscript sitting in the trash bin, er, footlocker that came in at (ready for this?) 300,000 words in it’s original form.
And you wonder why I suffer carpal tunnel. >;) And why I have to choose typing a book over typing multiple blogs a week.It’s because I used to obsess over word counts, daily, weekly, whatever. add to that the typing that takes place on the internet, and boy do I go way over the Nanowrimo 1600 a day. Yikes! (To be honest, I was doing 2000 or 3000 this November on the best of days so, you can see why I’ve tried to stay off the keyboard after that.
*Yes I’ve thought about using that Dragon thing/program; no. From what I’ve heard about it, it’s too wonky to suit my needs. I’ll just write what I can when I can.
As far as book length that I look for when I’m buying a book? While I have a collection of 700-800 page fantasy novels on my shelf, these days. I prefer around 45,000 to 55,000. For instance, even when I read classics–(like Tess of the d’Uberville I mentioned the other day), I’ve found myself thinking “gee this would’ve been shorter if he’d cut out…whatever it is that seems too much.
So, do word counts really matter? Depending on what you’re going to do with it, maybe but for me? No.. As long as the story is told, who cares how long it is or how many words you type per day?
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