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On my first piece... (1 Viewer)

Jan

Senior Member
So I am currently (still) in the process of writing my first real e-book. It's quite fun but I'm taking my time due to having other projects going on and not wanting to do too much, only to get burned out. My main goal is to write something that other people can find entertaining. Thus my plans are to publish it on either smashwords or amazon. However, that's not what I'm here to ask about. What I'm wondering is if it would be logical to cut the story a bit shorter than it perhaps should. You see, when I started writing my fiction novel, I wanted to make to about 50k words as far as lenght goes. Then I got thinking that it's probably not going to be anywhere near a masterpiece, especially since it's going to be my first book. Maybe I should just cut it short to maybe 20 or 30k instead?

My main reasoning behind this is that, since the writing probably isn't going to be amazing. It would be quite difficult to entertain someone for a whole 50k. It would surely be considerable easier to write a good and entertaining book at 20k instead of 50k.

So what's anyone's take on this? Should I write a smaller story, that would be easier to edit to "perfection" afterwards or go for the full 50k and see where it goes?
 

SueC

Staff member
Senior Mentor
So I am currently (still) in the process of writing my first real e-book. It's quite fun but I'm taking my time due to having other projects going on and not wanting to do too much, only to get burned out. My main goal is to write something that other people can find entertaining. Thus my plans are to publish it on either smashwords or amazon. However, that's not what I'm here to ask about. What I'm wondering is if it would be logical to cut the story a bit shorter than it perhaps should. You see, when I started writing my fiction novel, I wanted to make to about 50k words as far as lenght goes. Then I got thinking that it's probably not going to be anywhere near a masterpiece, especially since it's going to be my first book. Maybe I should just cut it short to maybe 20 or 30k instead?

My main reasoning behind this is that, since the writing probably isn't going to be amazing. It would be quite difficult to entertain someone for a whole 50k. It would surely be considerable easier to write a good and entertaining book at 20k instead of 50k.

So what's anyone's take on this? Should I write a smaller story, that would be easier to edit to "perfection" afterwards or go for the full 50k and see where it goes?


Of course, you can do what you want, can publish probably anything you want on Amazon, but I doubt you would be able to realize any income with a 20-30,000 word piece of work. My thoughts are, either you're in or your not and you don't sound "in" to me, as far as a novel is concerned. Why publish at all? If you are unsure of your skill, it probably would be a good idea for you to work on that, as opposed to writing a novel, which is, admittedly, a whole lot of work. You don't sound like you are invested in working at it, but I may be wrong.

ClassificationWord count
Novel40,000 words or over
Novella17,500 to 39,999 words
Novelette7,500 to 17,499 words
Short story20 to 7,500 words





 

Kimoco

Senior Member
I think you should follow your guts. If the story you feel like writing is 100K words, then so be it. Try not to think about it being for this or that purpose. Just write what you feel like writing and then edit it to 40K or 12K. My thoughts on this is if you have enough material, then it's easier for you to gut out the parts that aren't as good, and be left with a reasonable word count and an entertaining story.
And if the story you write doesn't even make it to 5,000, then maybe keep it for a collection of short stories in the future.

Good luck!
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
It would be quite difficult to entertain someone for a whole 50k.
Here's where your experience as a reader comes into play. I'm sure you've read a lot, and most of us read to enjoy the material. In varying degrees, we pick up tricks and techniques of writing by example.

It's time for you to do that as a focus. Pick up your favorite book and read it again. Pay attention to all the elements of the story, and how the author sets them in a row to pull you along. How did that author get to 60K or 75K or 100K words? Whatever that author did to entertain you for the length of the novel, that's what you're going to have to do for your readers.

You're correct that your first book might not be all that great, or you might surprise yourself. One rule of thumb you'll find in blogs is some number of words (500K or a million or two million depending on what blog you read LOL) before an author starts to "get it" and produce good work. Like everything, it's true for some and not for others.

Write some stuff and post it in the Fiction Workshop here. You'll get critiques, and they will point you toward areas of your writing you need to study and work on.
 
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