Yesterday was a weird day. It left me feeling weird all the way well into this morning. Therefore I spent a lot more time than I could spare staring at an empty screen.
After a while of wasted time, I decided to run a word count and was a bit surprised to find that I was upwards of 40,000 words and not even a third of the way through my outline (or even into the actual plot of the book, but rather extendedly setting up the world). This was not good news. The average Young Adult/Juvenile novel is about a max of 80,000 words (for comparison, the first Harry Potter was about 72,000). At this rate, my book would be about 600 pages which, maybe possible, would be extremely difficult if I ever wanted to sell it.
I really didn’t want to run a word count. I didn’t want to try to shape myself to some arbitrary limits. I read plenty of books that are long (even in a younger oriented genre). But I think my book is already way too long! And it’s not about words, it’s about fluff. I feel like I’m about to have to pick lice off someone’s head and spend ages trying to figure out every superfluous word so far. I have too much happening to afford fluff. I need to get this thing as tight as I possibly can. The problem is… there’s just so much information! I know too much about it all. My world is too big.
So I went back to the outline and started trying to compress it as much as I could. I got it down from 29 chapters to 22 (but they’d be longer chapters). Sadly, I think a lot of what I’ve written already is going to have to take huge cuts so that we can get down to the meat of basic story and focus less on “look how cool I can make this place.” (Which is sad, because it was really cool!)
I also need to stop setting up future books. I need to almost pretend this isn’t a series, but a stand-alone. Start taking this project one book at a time. But it hurts! There’s a really big story here and I don’t want to put that aside to make it more marketable…
What’s better… to ravage some of my description in favor of the story or to screw limitations and just write?
With that in mind, I started Chapter Nine… I feel overwhelmed.