Writing is about quality, not quantity

You have an average word count for every sort of novel, but is it really important? Writing is becoming more fast passed every day. While back in the day (I'm always referring to this) lengthy, slow moving books were what readers looked for, now a days most of your audience won't give you the time of day if you dawdle on about the weather for a paragraph or two. Instead they like sharp, interesting bits of setting, then right to the action.

I think aspiring authors sometimes get so caught up in the word count they forget about telling a good story. I know my book started out at over 300k words. Then it was 200k. Now that I'm editing the hell out of it, it's at 111,226, and dropping fast. But the quality of the story is so much better! I actually go back and get excited about what I'm reading! Not to mention I find myself adding in new scenes along the way that are sharper, more informative, and more suspenseful than anything I had written down before. I wouldn't have even thought about adding them in if I was too afraid to take things out. 

In short, don't worry about word count. Write your book with quality in mind. It'll be far easier to get yourself published that way.

Comments

  1. You're right, you shouldn't use word count as a measure of quality. But once I have a story in mind, I try to estimate the number of words it will take to tell it, then use my current word count as a measure of progress. I'd like to think I've gotten better at these estimates. In the first draft of my novel, I guessed that I could finish my story in 20k, and I aimed for that. I was way off. As I wrote, the story ballooned, and I ended up with over 100k. But that was after a couple of re-outlining and rewriting phases.

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    1. I never tried to aim for anything kind of work count when I started. More often than not I'd sit down and just start than be surprised by how much words I wrote. As you've noticed I get really wordy and detailed on my first drafts. Editing usually means taking out all that unnecessary stuff so the word count is bound to go down. lol

      How is your working coming along?

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    2. You'll see tonight.. :)

      "Writing is when we make the words. Editing is when we make the words not shitty." -- Chuck Wendig

      "Second draft equals first draft minus ten percent." -- Stephen King

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    3. I look forward to it! I like those quotes.

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  2. I hate the word count monster! Thanks for the reminder on this :)

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    1. Your welcome. :) Always a pleasure to help someone.

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  3. I so agree with you. I sometimes give myself a goal if I've been slacking, but it's always modest. That's why I won't do NaNo. I want the flexibility to write my manuscript or edit or critique or write a poem. I love writing, and too many rules will make it less fun.

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    Replies
    1. I give myself a daily goal, but not an over all, this is how long my books needs to be, goal.

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