Anyone who reads this blog routinely – both of you – knows I am writing a novel.
To be honest with you, it’s harder than I ever would have thought. I have … I dunno, maybe 75-80 short stories of various length (between 500 and 20K words). Short stories aren’t easy to write either, since you have to cram your entire story in fewer words – but they do have the benefit of having a quick beginning, middle, and end. When you write 2000 words, it’s pretty easy to edit in a single sitting. Hell, it’s easy to write in a single sitting.
A novel, though, is harder. Target novel length (according to publishers) for new authors is 80-120K words. That shows that you can sustain a story but not so long that readers may give it an unknown factor a chance. In other words, readers may slog through The Stand, because Stephen King is a known entity, whereas Jonathan Pembroke being a new writer, they may not chance an 800-page novel – but will chance a 250-300 page book.
Don’t get me wrong; I am making progress. I think I registered around 5K words this week. So the story is moving. But there is an exhaustion factor there I never felt in short stories. In most short stories, I told the thing and then was done with it, whatever the length. Now, I have to make it go …. and go, and go …. etc.
I know some folks that are terrified of writing a novel. I understand it. But if I can get it finished in good order…what an accomplishment that would be.
Enough bitching, on to the good stuff:
– As stated, I did about 5000 words this week. Good progress, plus I have this afternoon to add to it. I am starting to get to where the story really turns and sends the main character off in an unexpected direction. Unexpected for him and – I hope – the reader.
– I have a page full of notes for revision. I think I might have diluted the bad-guy pool a little much so subsequent edits will shake that out. Of course, once finished, I will be looking for beta-readers (hintity-hint-hint).
– I also have some revisions for the world writ at large. I mentioned in another blog post that world-building is not my forte but I think this one is coming together nicely. The meshing of technology and magic is always tricky; I even have a steampunk-ish flavor to some of the contraptions here. I think it works; readership will tell me one way or the other.
– Still searching for a title. "Omega Mage" isn’t a good enough one.
Okay, back to work. I did manage to get a rewrite request (separate project) in this morning, so fingers crossed.