Reflection: Word Count

So, one thing I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is the word counts of my stories.  Recently, I realized I’ve hit a dilemma with the word count of Cromm.  It’s over 100,000 words long, 108,243 as of my last revision, to be exact.  I’ve seen books much longer, so I didn’t initially consider this terribly long.

But then, they say that longer books are more difficult to get published – publishers find larger works riskier, especially by an unpublished hobbyist like me, and 100,000 is, indeed, a lot of words.  It brings me to an interesting dilemma about shortening it.

Of course, I should probably try to cut a few things, but at the same time, I know I have issues with being not detailed enough at places.  When I workshopped the prologue, the edited version turned out 50% longer than my original draft.  Even if I cut like I’m building one of my papercrafts, I’ll still probably not end up reducing the word count much.

I guess Cromm really is just a long story.  Thankfully, it’s science fiction, which, as a genre, can be a bit longer than some.  Still, this is a dilemma I have to solve.

But even that brings up another issue with larger word counts – revisions.  Beta readers may be intimidated by these larger word counts, and I’m going to have fun trying to get the entire novel revised at a workshop.  It’s 82 chapters long (83 counting the prologue).  Even if I can get one chapter revised at a workshop weekly, I’d still be at it for over a year, and it would be very confusing for new members of the writing group to start in the middle.

I have a few other story ideas that may end up shorter.  Maybe I should try and write and publish one of them first, but then, I never found shorter works as satisfying to me – why I don’t put up quite as many short stories as I used to.

Well, I guess that’s my dilemma.  Anybody have any advice?  Or have something to add about word counts?  In any event, White Rakogis, signing off.


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