Remember me saying numerous times throughout this blog that I don’t know the meaning to short and sweet?
Well, that problem is starting to look like a real problem, and making me start to doubt myself…
As I was working on my novel yesterday, I began to realize just how long this book is going to end up being. And as the first book in the series, I know they say that a long book is a bit of a turn off because people aren’t sure they’ll like it enough to stick with it all or don’t want to venture into a long read. People want the shorter books that they can read in a few days if they are avid readers.
But as I’m working through this scene I’m on, my mind flashing through the scenes that have yet to happen to get this book to its end point, I’m beginning to realize I am probably not half way through yet. I may be close, but I’m not even half way and already this novel is standing at 87k words and 183 pages.
The way I’m thinking now, this book is going to push 200k possibly and 300 pages, if not more. That’s on Word though, not on a standard book print size page, which I’m assuming would make it even a longer page wise then.
I know length doesn’t matter to a reader when the book is a good one, like the Harry Potter books, pushing 800 pages on one and how many chapters. Or even the Inheritance series, the Mortal Instruments, Twilight… All series that have large books.
But do any of those books have a long first book?
And that right there is where my doubt is beginning to creep in. The insecurity and fear of “who is going to want to read this when it’s so long?” and the added, “it’s not exactly a very happy tale through the first book, it’s rather tragic and dark, will people really want to read 300+ pages of this?” is suddenly starting to hit me hard.
Of course, I try to balance out the darkness to the book with the good moments, but this story isn’t meant to be an all happy one. It’s supposed to be dark, it’s supposed to show what can happen when you squeeze someone until they pop, it’s…
It’s supposed to show you a whole other side of the wars we wage internally with ourselves and who we think we are.
Now I’m running into the problem though of how long this book will be… How long all the books in the series might end up being. I know there’s a certain almost “standard” interval of word counts expected for different genres, and already I know mine is going to far surpass that of a fantasy novel “standard” — then there’s the fact I know publishers look at that, too. They look at how long your book really is. Do they really want to check out your story and spend all that time reading it to see if they’d like to publish it? It’s like an automatic caution flag to them.
But if I wanted to break this book into two books, it…it just wouldn’t be right. They would look too short to me, and I would hate to leave off at a certain part because it doesn’t then have the effect I want that first attention grabbing hook the end of the book would have to bring them coming begging back for Book 2.
I can’t break the book in two, no matter how long it becomes. And yes, I know, editing and revising could cut it down some in the end. Or, for all I know, it might add a bit to it. It’s impossible to tell until I reach that stage.
Only now… I’m wondering if I will reach that stage. I have hit that rut of self doubt where every author goes “who’s really going to read this?” and this time it isn’t just based on the content and plot.
So what do I do now? When all of this is leaving me discouraged and rather uninspired to keep going. I’ve hit the top of the hill in the roller coaster, and now I’m on the downhill.
My goal, and dream, of this series, this series that is my baby of everything I’ve ever written, is starting to look rather unrealistic. And I know I shouldn’t let it bother me but…
An author’s worst enemy seems to be their own mind…