The pressure of word counts

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Sanderling
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The pressure of word counts

Post by Sanderling » December 1st, 2011, 2:48 am

I just posted this to my blog, but I thought it was worth reposting here. Even if you don't necessarily agree with my opinion (and it is just an opinion), it might be food for thought.

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Because of NaNoWriMo, and also because of discussions I’ve had with a critique partner who’s also in revisions, I’ve been thinking a lot about word counts. Word counts are a huge point of obsession in writers looking to get published. Much is made of a manuscript’s word count. Different genres have defined word counts which may cause some bias toward your manuscript should it fall outside of the prescribed limits, regardless of what you’ve actually written.

There is, of course, some reason for this: more words equals more pages, equals more expensive to print, which means, particularly for a debut author, publishers face a smaller profit margin on your book, especially if it doesn’t sell well. Therefore more words often means potentially bigger risk. I understand that.

But it seems like way too much is made over word counts. For example, in NaNo the goal is to get to 50,000 words or bust. I’ve seen blog posts helpfully providing various ways to "cheat" to reach that target, including over-flowery descriptions, addition of entire song lyrics, adverbs hanging off of every dialogue tag, etc. The thing is, all of that crap is going to need to be edited out of your draft once you reach revisions, so what purpose does it serve to deliberately put it in – except to pad your word count? You’re just making more work for yourself. Isn’t it better to wrap up NaNo at 40,000 words but know that there’s no deliberately-inserted crap that’s going to need picking out?

And on the flip side, cutting words. There seems to be a lot of obsession over this, too. And while it’s true that extra dialogue tags or over-wordy descriptions or rambling introspection can certainly (and often should) be trimmed, I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to cut words just for the sake of cutting words and bringing down your word count. I’ve seen blog posts on this, too, advocating how easy it is to lose 10 words on this page, 20 on that! At the time I thought, yes, this is great advice! I’m totally motivated to go back to mine and start trimming!

But I didn’t do it right away, and the more I thought about it, as I read through during revisions, the more I started to feel it was unnecessary, and perhaps even counterproductive. So what if there’s a bit of stage direction, so what if there’s an extra bit of introspection or backstory, or an embellishing word here or there? I think these things add voice to the writing. If Robin McKinley cut all the superfluous stuff out of her novels, they’d be 3/4 the length – but they also wouldn’t read like Robin McKinley books.

It reminds me a little of eating disorders, or at the very least of society’s pressure for women to have thin, shapely bodies. Why can’t a woman be the way she is and be happy about it, even if she’s carrying what society deems a few extra pounds? And why can’t an author’s writing be the way it is, even if it means the manuscript is five thousand words more than what’s targeted as "ideal"?

I think that, just like with weight, there’s such a thing as going too far with cutting from your manuscript. To get so caught up in the word count that you forget what the story experience is like. The novel isn’t just about the plot, it’s about the way it reads, too. Cut too much and you start to lose the voice, the flavour of the story. If there’re no seasonings in your soup because you want to save on money, yes, it’s still soup, but it’s a pretty dull meal.

So I won’t be cutting words from my MS, even though it wraps up over the "target" word count. I’ve read through it and carefully removed anything that I felt was becoming rambly or unnecessary; fixed up sentences or passages that read awkwardly or were confusing; deleted or rewrote scenes that were boring or superfluous. But I didn’t cut words just for the sake of cutting words. I’d risk losing my writing voice if I did, and I think it reads fine just the way it is.
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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by CharleeVale » December 1st, 2011, 3:01 am

I agree CP!

The first book I wrote (Which I recently discovered may be two books), was 150,000 words. I became so obsessed with cutting it down that I was losing hugely important chunks of story to get it down to what I thought would be appropriate for submission. Turns out that book won't be ready for submission for years. :P

But yes, I think that cutting words simply for the sake of cutting words is silly. Don't cut something that doesn't need to be cut. But if it cleans it up, makes it smoother, more beautiful, etc. then go for it!

I just happened to luck out with a story this time that landed around 75,000 words, so either way my word count goes through this round of revisions doesn't really matter that much, and it's a huge relief not to be pressing that button eery five seconds!

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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by polymath » December 1st, 2011, 4:18 am

I approach word counts from a different perspective than fitting a publication expectation, an approach or two. From a writing perspective, my planning process includes how long I estimate a narrative's word count will go based on the magnitude of its premises. High magnitude, long count. Low magnitude, short count. If the inspiration doesn't fit a categorical publication expectation, the narrative's target or audience or premises are adjusted to one that does.

Another writing perspective: I'm partial to the five act structure even for short fiction. I read one recently by a writer acquaintance that went 2,000 words and had a distinct five act division though not calling undue attention to the structure. Author Mark Richard (/Ray-chard/ he's Mississippi bayou born and bred), typically writes five act shorts of about 4,000 words. His The Ice at the Bottom of the World is a collection of five act shorts. Five acts: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement; each act with roughly the same word count. A three act: one fourth opening, one half middle with a major dramatic pivot or turn in the middle of the middle, one fourth ending. From those basic parameters and with an inspiration well in hand on the way to concept implementation, I can write to a predictable word count. If any one part is out of proportion, something wants adjustment.

From a publisher perspective, the physical size of a book is more significant than word count, though word count is connected to a large degree. 100,000 words results in a roughly 316 page book. The divisibility by four is a crucial number for book manufacturing. Basically, a signature is a printed sheet of paper folded so that trimming two or three edges separates into several leaves. The binding edge is uncut so that it can be machine stitched or bound some similar way. A typical casecover signature is four leaves of four pages or sixteen book pages: eight recto or odd numbered pages and eight verso or even numbered pages. That's for casecover books. Perfect bound paperbacks vary in what a signature's page count is, though at least divisible by two, up to sixty-four for some mass market paperback manufacturers.

The physical size of a book influences box size, and pallet size, and truck and warehouse fits, and if manufactured in China, and there's a whole lot of long print runs of English books done in China of late, shipping container fit. Since most actual print and bind runs of book manufacturing anymore are done by only a few factories, they've pretty much standardized sizes for economy of scale benefits. Special handling for special sizes disturbs production and storage flow and adds unpredictable costs.

If a novel, for instance, is a little long or short of an ideal word count and thus page count, a book designer adjusts typeface, font size, page margins, page sinks, line leading, line count per page--32 lines is ideal, some go up to 45 lines, adjusts margins, gutter, white space, word space, sentence space, or section break space, adds or subtracts front and back matter, adds or subtracts blank pages, any one or all of a number of somewhat unnoticeable adjustments. A word count might have page count variation per title and publication format up to 25 percent.

From a reader perspective, uh, audience, word count matters in terms of how much time an average reader will budget or can get away with during waiting room waiting, work breaks, transit commutes, vacation days at the beach, the ski lodge, etc. etc. Hopefully, not while driving. An average English reader reads about the same word pace as talking, roughly 150 words per minute.

A 2,000 word short takes ten to fifteen minutes, a midmorning work break. 4,000 words, about thirty minutes, a meal break. And so on. 100,000 words, ten to twelve hours. Many readers don't consciously choose their preferred reading length, but it's a decision weighing on their minds when they scan a potential acquisition. Digest publishers used to know all this word count stuff, by heart. I don't see it as being a conscious influence anymore, books or digests. Periodical publishers, yep, content space is directly tied to advertising space. They don't do word counts though, they use column inches. Digest publishers tend to select ideal word counts based on subconscious precedents they've carried over from their academic reading activities: high school or college. Book publishers, many don't read their products. They pay readers and editors to read for them. I guess they don't want to sample the product for fear they might become addicted or some junk.
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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by Hillsy » December 1st, 2011, 7:57 am

Sanderling wrote: The thing is, all of that crap is going to need to be edited out of your draft once you reach revisions, so what purpose does it serve to deliberately put it in – except to pad your word count? You’re just making more work for yourself. Isn’t it better to wrap up NaNo at 40,000 words but know that there’s no deliberately-inserted crap that’s going to need picking out?
Well, I kinda think this in indicitive of what NaNo has come to represent, rather than what it was originally set up to achieve. See for some reason NaNo has become about writing a saleable novel rather than the writing exercise it started out at. An analogy? Hot dog eating competitions. It's not about tasty hotdogs or a dining experience; its about getting as much down yer neck as possible. OK, not a great analogy as very few people consider this as an exercise to achieve something greater further down the line (save gastric issues), but I digress. NaNo is about movement and momentum - no more, no less.

The word count total is there to make sure you keep putting words down, keep hammering at the keyboard even when you think the well is dry. The theory is that by running on empty for a time, you'll find that spring of inspiration and the writing well (an inkwell? Ha ha) will refill, rather than stopping and succumbing to stagnation. It's an exercise about setting targets and hitting them, time managment, writing everyday, getting something down, even if its not very good, so you can move forward. AT NO POINT is this about making something of quality.

Again indicitive of modern culture, a couple of talented people pulled off something pretty amazing (which is statistically likely as it is), sold a NaNo novel and now Nano has become a novel factory where people think this is the new fast-track to publication. And so NaNo has become something other, albeit culturally rather than what they're promoting on the site, than it was originally intended.

It reminds me a little of eating disorders, or at the very least of society’s pressure for women to have thin, shapely bodies. Why can’t a woman be the way she is and be happy about it, even if she’s carrying what society deems a few extra pounds? And why can’t an author’s writing be the way it is, even if it means the manuscript is five thousand words more than what’s targeted as "ideal"?
I largely agree with you (as someone who's first draft hit 287,002, I'm likely too...hehe). This is another cultural phenomenom that I'm seeing more and more: blase' perfectionism. See you get told, almost offhandedly, to revise to a level that's frankly ridiculous. I'm not lying (though I may be misquoting) but I read a piece that basically said to take every sentence and ensure it applied to the story, moved it forward, provided some conflict, not to bore the reader, relate to character and maintain style and viewpoint.

Every sentence? Every single sentence???? WHAT??? Taken literally this is as detructive as being asked to write while whacked on PCP. It's bullshit, a vague hyperbole designed to ensure we pay a decent amount of attention to detail. Instead, after years and years of constant use and embellishment, it's morphed into something as ludicrous as "giving 110%", a rhetorical cliche.

The problem is writers give it more creadence than it deserves. Why? Because we're searching for objective truth in a medium riddled with more subjective pitfalls than most. As such, something as simple and as personal as "I liked this book - it was fun" gets deconstructed into some hideous Damien Hurst evisceration artform. First its unnecessary words to improve style and flow, then its additional description to help focus the readers viewpoint, then its extrenuous details to speed up pacing, then it's irrelevant characters to provide a clearer cast, then subplots, then world-building......until all you are left with is "Tom went to a mountain and killed an evil witch". Or haiku's. And who wants to read them?

So yes, there's no need to over-trim. Just make it "Good"....which is the advice that got us all in a tis in the first place.

Phew...well my spleen is empty now. Back to work.... :mrgreen:

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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by AnimaDictio » December 1st, 2011, 12:44 pm

I think 100,000 words is plenty of room to tell wonderful, powerful stories. Never mind that my first novel (work in progress) is already at 60,000 words and I've barely revealed the real players. I like the word count guidelines, but then I love challenges.

Also, I never take any writing advice/guidelines too seriously. My sense of what's good and what's not good reigns supreme over so-called standard writing conventions.

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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by writersink » December 1st, 2011, 1:23 pm

Everyone here has too high a word count. I, on the other hand, have written a science fiction that comes in at around 80,000 - despite people saying it is important to write more to build up a proper world. I agree with you Sanderling. Might I add that the reader, the person you are writing for, does not care about word count? Most casual readers don't know what the "ideal" word count for a certain genre is. Word count is a torture writers have inflicted upon themselves.
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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by Sanderling » December 1st, 2011, 1:33 pm

CharleeVale wrote:I just happened to luck out with a story this time that landed around 75,000 words, so either way my word count goes through this round of revisions doesn't really matter that much, and it's a huge relief not to be pressing that button eery five seconds!
Great endpoint for a first draft. :) I'm anticipating my current (drafting) WIP to wrap up about the same. As you say, it's a good, flexible length.

My revision drafts always seem to come out longer than the one before as I flesh out characters and strengthen the plot, and for the first little while with this latest story I was getting extremely anxious as I watched the word count number climb - my first draft was already over-target! And it keeps growing, not shrinking! But after about the fourth set of revisions I resigned myself to the climbing word count, and by the sixth I'd come to realize that the story is what it is, and as long as it's clean and polished the count ultimately doesn't matter.
polymath wrote:I approach word counts from a different perspective than fitting a publication expectation, an approach or two. From a writing perspective, my planning process includes how long I estimate a narrative's word count will go based on the magnitude of its premises. High magnitude, long count. Low magnitude, short count. If the inspiration doesn't fit a categorical publication expectation, the narrative's target or audience or premises are adjusted to one that does.

....

From a reader perspective, uh, audience, word count matters in terms of how much time an average reader will budget or can get away with during waiting room waiting, work breaks, transit commutes, vacation days at the beach, the ski lodge, etc. etc. Hopefully, not while driving. An average English reader reads about the same word pace as talking, roughly 150 words per minute.
I agree with all this, Polymath. Definitely the word count should suit the story itself, rather than an external pressure. Our first responsibility is to write a good story, and if the story is good then everything else will follow. I think publishers will do what they need to to be able to print the book (as you point out, they do have the ability to adjust typefaces and margins and line spacing, etc), and I think that readers will pick up and invest the extra time in a book that's good even if it's larger - especially if it's got strong word-of-mouth promotion. And so if it's between writing a good story with good voice, or reaching a certain threshold with the word count, I'd take the former every time. Although it's obviously rarely an either/or situation; most of the time there's a balance to be made. The challenge, as an author, is recognizing when the voice or story is being negatively affected by the edits.
Hillsy wrote:Well, I kinda think this in indicitive of what NaNo has come to represent, rather than what it was originally set up to achieve. See for some reason NaNo has become about writing a saleable novel rather than the writing exercise it started out at. An analogy? Hot dog eating competitions. It's not about tasty hotdogs or a dining experience; its about getting as much down yer neck as possible. OK, not a great analogy as very few people consider this as an exercise to achieve something greater further down the line (save gastric issues), but I digress. NaNo is about movement and momentum - no more, no less.

The word count total is there to make sure you keep putting words down, keep hammering at the keyboard even when you think the well is dry. The theory is that by running on empty for a time, you'll find that spring of inspiration and the writing well (an inkwell? Ha ha) will refill, rather than stopping and succumbing to stagnation. It's an exercise about setting targets and hitting them, time managment, writing everyday, getting something down, even if its not very good, so you can move forward. AT NO POINT is this about making something of quality.
I think that's true to a degree, Hillsy; definitely the goal of NaNo has morphed slightly from its original intentions. It's ultimately, as you say, about learning to build writing into your daily life and developing a habit with it. But I think this could be done without word counts. What if, instead of the target of 50,000 words in a month, they make the goal simply to sit down in front of the keyboard and type every day? Half an hour a day, for a month. Write what you can. If that's a couple hundred words, great. If that's a couple thousand, awesome. But you're in front of the computer, every day. Even when life starts to get in the way.

I've noticed a lot of NaNoers write in fits and starts, with periodic huge writing binges (especially at the end of the month) just to catch up and/or make the 50k target. If you're writing 10k in a day and then nothing at all for a week, this isn't doing anything to foster good writing habits and time management, or building writing into your life. It's going to get words on the page, yes, but it's not going to create discipline. It's like dieting - a small change that you carry out every day and develop a habit with is going to do more for you in the long run than a severe diet change that you can't maintain. Even forgetting for now the quality of the words produced, I think, from the point of view of trying to develop momentum, wrapping up the month with 15,000 words that were achieved by spending half an hour a day, every day, at the computer is better than 50,000 words that are the result of 8-hour binges and writing starts and stops.
Hillsy wrote:I largely agree with you (as someone who's first draft hit 287,002, I'm likely too...hehe). This is another cultural phenomenom that I'm seeing more and more: blase' perfectionism. See you get told, almost offhandedly, to revise to a level that's frankly ridiculous. I'm not lying (though I may be misquoting) but I read a piece that basically said to take every sentence and ensure it applied to the story, moved it forward, provided some conflict, not to bore the reader, relate to character and maintain style and viewpoint.
I've heard that one, too. As you say, it has the potential to be very destructive, especially because I think in many cases the writer, especially as a new writer, doesn't have the experience to know what purpose each sentence is serving, and the ones that are neither obviously moving plot forward nor exposing character, but are still adding voice and interest, tend to get chopped.

It's hard for many people trying to accomplish something where the measurement of success is entirely subjective. "Is this a good story?" has no concrete, irrefutable answer the way skill at sport or academics do. We try to apply a measure of objectivism to it just to give us something tangible to aim for.
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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by Sanderling » December 1st, 2011, 1:43 pm

AnimaDictio wrote:I think 100,000 words is plenty of room to tell wonderful, powerful stories. Never mind that my first novel (work in progress) is already at 60,000 words and I've barely revealed the real players. I like the word count guidelines, but then I love challenges.

Also, I never take any writing advice/guidelines too seriously. My sense of what's good and what's not good reigns supreme over so-called standard writing conventions.
Good for you, AnimaDictio - I think that's the toughest thing for writers (or any creative type) to do: believe in their own judgement.

And yeah, I think in most cases 100k is plenty. I do think SF/F tends to run over this more regularly than other genres, though, just because there's usually more world-building that requires a certain amount of story to establish; oftentimes the protagonist's goals won't make sense without that setup.
writersink wrote:Everyone here has too high a word count. I, on the other hand, have written a science fiction that comes in at around 80,000 - despite people saying it is important to write more to build up a proper world. I agree with you Sanderling. Might I add that the reader, the person you are writing for, does not care about word count? Most casual readers don't know what the "ideal" word count for a certain genre is. Word count is a torture writers have inflicted upon themselves.
I definitely think it's possible to tell a good SF/F well under 100k, writersink - once again, it's about the story itself, not the word count. If your story doesn't require as much worldbuilding to establish the conflict, and/or the central conflict isn't overly complex, you'll definitely be able to pull in well below average. Conversely, complex stories and/or worlds tend to end up on the long side, but that doesn't make them bad stories or the word counts too high, either. The count is what it needs to be to do the story justice without being bloated. And I agree, for the most part the reader won't know or care about the word count, especially if they've been recommended the book as being a great read.
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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by Cookie » December 1st, 2011, 2:39 pm

I'm going to have to agree with Polymath about the word count fitting the narrative. If your 150K is engaging from the first word to the last, then why trim it? However, if those words are filled with meanderings, over-long descriptions, and repetitive exposition, then I think you should consider cutting those parts. As a reader, it doesn't really matter how long a book is. In fact, some of my favorites are rather wordy.

As for NaNo, I like to use it as a practice in discipline. Which is probably why I never start with anything new. It forces me to sit down and write (although those Bransforum word sprints on twitter help more than anything!). For me though, writing that fast while blocking out my inner editor just means I have a lot more work to do later.
Sanderling wrote:I definitely think it's possible to tell a good SF/F well under 100k, writersink - once again, it's about the story itself, not the word count. If your story doesn't require as much worldbuilding to establish the conflict, and/or the central conflict isn't overly complex, you'll definitely be able to pull in well below average. Conversely, complex stories and/or worlds tend to end up on the long side, but that doesn't make them bad stories or the word counts too high, either. The count is what it needs to be to do the story justice without being bloated. And I agree, for the most part the reader won't know or care about the word count, especially if they've been recommended the book as being a great read.
Pretty much everything you said there. I'm aiming for about 100k with this draft, but if it's slightly over or under, I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I mean, there is a lot of world-building in this book, which was probably why the first draft clocked in at 153K. But it got re-written because it didn't work the first time. Interestingly, my current draft has all the same back story as before, plus better character and world building.

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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by Sanderling » December 1st, 2011, 3:03 pm

Cookie wrote:I'm going to have to agree with Polymath about the word count fitting the narrative. If your 150K is engaging from the first word to the last, then why trim it? However, if those words are filled with meanderings, over-long descriptions, and repetitive exposition, then I think you should consider cutting those parts. As a reader, it doesn't really matter how long a book is. In fact, some of my favorites are rather wordy.

...

Pretty much everything you said there. I'm aiming for about 100k with this draft, but if it's slightly over or under, I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I mean, there is a lot of world-building in this book, which was probably why the first draft clocked in at 153K. But it got re-written because it didn't work the first time. Interestingly, my current draft has all the same back story as before, plus better character and world building.
That brings up another challenge writers often face, Cookie - that what's engaging for one person may not be for another, but how to identify this. Using Robin McKinley as an example again, a lot of people find her writing style boring and meandering, but she's also got a large fan base who love her books. Hers is definitely not a fast-paced style of writing, but some people really enjoy slipping into a slower narrative. The advice we often get as writers is to cut out all the meandering and excess; and often, yes, the manuscript could seriously benefit from some of this (I know I tend to put a lot of it into my drafts), but that doesn't mean it's always a bad thing, depending on the writer's voice and what they intend their book to be. Ultimately we've got to trust in our own judgement, because we know what the book's supposed to be better than anyone else does.

Glad you've found your second draft to be so much improved over the first! (Be a shame to put all that work in only to find it didn't make much difference. ;) ). I occasionally think I'd find it interesting to go back and rewrite one of my early novel attempts, now that I've written more and gotten more experience with writing and crafting a novel. Those early stories of mine finished at 120k for the first (and only) drafts; I bet if I rewrote them they'd be a lot shorter now.
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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by Cookie » December 1st, 2011, 5:23 pm

Sanderling wrote:That brings up another challenge writers often face, Cookie - that what's engaging for one person may not be for another, but how to identify this. Using Robin McKinley as an example again, a lot of people find her writing style boring and meandering, but she's also got a large fan base who love her books. Hers is definitely not a fast-paced style of writing, but some people really enjoy slipping into a slower narrative. The advice we often get as writers is to cut out all the meandering and excess; and often, yes, the manuscript could seriously benefit from some of this (I know I tend to put a lot of it into my drafts), but that doesn't mean it's always a bad thing, depending on the writer's voice and what they intend their book to be. Ultimately we've got to trust in our own judgement, because we know what the book's supposed to be better than anyone else does.
Very true. For instance, I love LOTR, but my brother thinks it's too boring and overly descriptive (although he does love the story itself). As a reader, I definitely prefer well fleshed out worlds. And if that means a slower pace, then that's fine with me.

I don't necessarily think meandering and excess is bad. Like you said, if it works, it works. Which I know, can be really hard to identify sometimes (subjectivity can be a beast). I do think that some genres can get away with this more than others, like literary or fantasy. If you do it in a way that is interesting and engaging, then you can enrich your story without the reader feeling bogged down by the excessiveness.

JK Rowling is a great example of an incredibly done world. Her books are jam packed with amazing character and world-building, yet I never felt bogged down by any of it. Did we really need all that back story about tom Riddle, Snape, or even Dumbledore? Probably not. But she made the back story relevant to the future. their pasts were clues, important clues. By doing that, what could have been excessive info-dumping, became an integral part of the story.

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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by polymath » December 1st, 2011, 6:44 pm

Word counts, suiting content to readers (audience and decorum), timely topics (kairos), and a gamut of other pressures affect writers, editors, publishers, booksellers, and readers selection processes. The answers for the questions that raises that satisfy me are defining the audience and the creative slant. Wikipedia has a topic page on audience that summarizes the results of my investigations into audience. Creative slant has been more problematic and complex, though slant is heavily influenced by interpreting and understanding cultural coding conventions and current events (kairos again). My great hurdle is narrowing my focus. I love it all. Spread the love of the written word. Hmm!? I think I might make that latter my signature motto if I get around to it.
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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by Ryan » December 2nd, 2011, 11:35 am

I think you have the right attitude. If it works it works.

What's the saying? Quality not quantity?

I've seen a lot of documentaries that could have wrapped it up in thirty minutes but the directors and producers wanted it to be a feature length so it ended up dragging and losing its focus.
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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by writersink » December 3rd, 2011, 1:09 pm

I definitely think it's possible to tell a good SF/F well under 100k, writersink - once again, it's about the story itself, not the word count. If your story doesn't require as much worldbuilding to establish the conflict, and/or the central conflict isn't overly complex, you'll definitely be able to pull in well below average. Conversely, complex stories and/or worlds tend to end up on the long side, but that doesn't make them bad stories or the word counts too high, either. The count is what it needs to be to do the story justice without being bloated.
Sanderling, you don't know how relieved that makes me. I thought I was doing something wrong. Word counts are BAD ;)

Gypson
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Re: The pressure of word counts

Post by Gypson » December 3rd, 2011, 8:34 pm

I think this is the main reason I haven't participated in NaNo. The minute I turn my focus to the number of words or pages is the minute the quality of my writing plummets.

I also find that the quality of my writing improves when I remove unnecessary words and/or tighten my sentences.

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