Does your MS go up or down in size?

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
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Re: Does your MS go up or down in size?

Post by Vio » March 11th, 2010, 3:10 am

My first draft ended up at 95k, then expanded to 110k in the first revision and shrunk back to 100k during the second. Which is caused by my habit to try getting the story arc right in the first draft, and not care much about show/tell issues. In the second draft, replacing telling by showing was why my manuscript was expanding, then the third run concentrated on trimming unneccessary bits again, mostly redundant description or characterization etc.

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Re: Does your MS go up or down in size?

Post by JaEvans » March 19th, 2010, 1:11 am

I think my problem is being able to condense. My MS started at 169,000 and after two careful revisions is sitting at 190,000. When I look it over I do not see any waisted space which makes it difficult to condense. I know there are many 200,000 books out there but not often first works. Now I have to try to get someone to request a partial. Geesh... that won't be easy with the word count. So I think if you can get it out in 60,000 to 120,000 words you are doing well. As for me, I like my book the way it is and will have to see how it goes.

"Life is a tragedy for those who feel, a comedy for those who think" Horace Walpole

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Re: Does your MS go up or down in size?

Post by Petronella » March 19th, 2010, 8:33 pm

My WIP is hovering around the 200K mark, and hasn't yet shrunk much since I haven't been seriously editing. Single words like 'that' disappear whenever I spot them, and they can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence the word is found in.

What will end up being cut is description. I love description, both when I read books and when I write. I think I overdo on the describing. However, no one who has read some of my WIP has ever complained about too much description. Mind you, whatever I describe is seen through the eyes of my first person narrator (MC) which would make a difference.

Anyways, I hope to cut it down to 150K at worst and 100K at best. The WIP is erotic science fiction.

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Re: Does your MS go up or down in size?

Post by ganstream1 » March 22nd, 2010, 7:52 am

My current WIP is going up and will probably go up another notch once I'm finish with my current edit.

The first draft was around 68k but now, it's hovering around 75k.
Read my blog novel at: Aku-Stories

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Re: Does your MS go up or down in size?

Post by Crystal » March 23rd, 2010, 2:04 pm

I'm still working on my first draft so I don't have an answer to this, however I think mine will grow.

In saying that I just finished reading Stephen King's On Writing and his theory, sent to him by an agent long ago, is this

Finished MS = First Draft - 10%

I can see how this works, just going over the first chapter I see a lot of useless words that I can (and do) take out.
Working my very first attempt at a mystery novel. 1st draft

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Re: Does your MS go up or down in size?

Post by JustineDell » March 24th, 2010, 6:32 pm


I've started a SERIOUS editing process and my MS has gone nowhere but up! First, I lost over 2K and then BAM! I gained 6K more. Seeing as how my story original (the first draft last year) started out at just over 70K and now it's up to over 85K, I'm going insane. Kidding, of course. It's amazing to me all the stuff that can be adde to make the story better. (Thank you beta).


"Three things in life that, once gone, never return; Time, Words, & Opportunity"

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Re: Does your MS go up or down in size?

Post by Matthew MacNish » March 24th, 2010, 6:39 pm

Some of you already know this but for someone as long winded as I am there is only one direction to go: DOWN. A. LOT.

The first draft of the first novel I ever wrote was over 477,000 words long. I'm not saying I'm a bad writer, just ... green. Sure I ended up adding a sentence or even paragraph here and there, but mostly I had to cut, cut, cut.

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