Welcome to the second addition of Work in Progress Wednesday, which appropriately enough, is a work in progress itself.
If anyone else out there in the blogosphere wants to join in on the fun, simply post your own WIP Wednesday entry on your blog and leave a link to it in the comments below. Or if you don't have a blog, feel free to report your progress directly into the comments box.
For more detailed information concerning what all this nonsense is about please consult the original Work in Progress Wednesday posting.
So, once again I'm going to kick my own post off with thee ye olde word count meter.
82407 / 85000 words. 97% done!
That's right, I am 6% closer to finishing my WIP this week than I was last week! It's awesome, it's great, it's... not one hundred percent accurate.
You see, in an ironic twist worthy of an Alanis Morisette song I have been endlessly worrying since somewhere around the 50K mark that my book will not be long enough, and now it seems like it might end up being longer than my estimated 85K.
Waaayyy back in July when I first began writing this thing I was aiming for a final work count of 100K, but after I got several chapters in I realized that I had these kind of short little chapters in the 2500-4000 range. So I did a rough chapter by chapter outline and then pulled up the trusty calculator function. Here is my extremely skillful use of mathmatics (try not to be intimidated):
(# of chapters) multiplied by (estimated # of pages per chapter) = *smack head on desk repeatedly*
Yeah, it wasn't quite the 100K I had envisioned. No big though. I regrouped, researched, and realized that Urban Fantasy's should be more in the 85K arena anyway. So, things were back on track until, like I said earlier at the 50K range I started to worry that the story might finish before I got into the 80's.
At this point I did what I do best. I worried. I fretted. I stressed as if stressing was an Olympic sport and I was going for the gold (I would totally win it too, just ask my husband and he will roll his eyes in confirmation).
Then I did the other thing I do. I went on the internet seeking answers. I found an entry on The Swivet Blog concerning word count lengths for different genres. For Urban Fantasy it listed 80-90K as the range to be in. This posting became a sort of security blanket for me, whenever I was feeling uneasy about my word count I'd pull it up, look at those numbers, and give myself a little pep talk that went like this:
"Okay self, you can get to 80K. I know, I know. But what if you can't? If you can't that's okay too. You already know that there are holes in the beginning that you'll have to go back and spackle the hell out of. Once you take care of that it'll punch your word count up where you need it. Oh and self? The whining?So not attractive."
When this didn't work, I consulted another agent blog posting about word count - this one over at Pub Rants. This one specifically addresses the problem with novels that are too short and states that a full length novel is usually 70-100K words.
Now I am sure at this point you are reading this long winded blog post and thinking, "Really you were worried about having enough words? Because, honestly, that does not seem like that much of a problem for you."
And if you were thinking this then you are right.
By the end of this week I will almost certainly reach my goal of writing 85K words, but I don't think I will at that point be writing "the end" - that is not unless I want a book with a very very very abrupt cliffhanger ending, along the lines of:
"And then I... THE END."
Maybe I am wrong though, if nothing else this post has confirmed that estimating word counts is a very tricky business indeed. I guess I will just have to see what happens and update you during next weeks WIP Wednesday whether I reached the true ending or not. (See, now that's a cliffhanger ending, even I'm dying to find out what happens.)
What about you? Anyone else counting words like a crazy person, or are you somewhere else in your WIP?