Writing Progress and Wordcounts

It took a long time to edit the third short story, and I don’t think it’s complete yet. After rewriting substantial parts of it, I think I’ll leave it to rest for a while and come back to it later. So I’ve moved onto the fourth short story. This one, I wrote three years ago, and it describes the fortunes of a ‘changeling’ in a grim off-world prison when his ‘talents’ are called into service for the use of others.

My first novel, Betrayal, started out life as a short story, or rather a novella, and grew from there as I explored the various possibilities. I’m well into the second book of what is now going to be a trilogy. I see, in this fourth short story, the potential for it to also be grown into a novel, allowing me to develop the characters more, and expand the plot. But I shall resist. Maybe one day I’ll come back to it, if I run out of other ideas.

I think I said my revised date for the completion of the short story collection was Easter. I didn’t realise Easter was early this year. I could have done with it being a late one! I think I will miss that ‘deadline’ as well. I won’t schedule a revised date. I’ll just work at it, as and when. My plan was to reserve my evening writing for the short stories, but the second novel in the trilogy, Times of the Changes, keeps encroaching into it.

Talking of the second volume. I passed 100,000 words recently. This is too long in my opinion. I’m a slow reader, and I’m put off by over-long books. They’re too easy for me to give up on. I tend to shy away from books that approach, or exceed, 400 pages. Betrayal was around 90,000 words which, with the formatting I used, came out at 350 pages. Quite long enough. I don’t want to put off any potential new readers with something too daunting, especially from an unknown author. Another consideration is the cost of production of a paper copy. The higher the page count, the higher the production costs, pushing up the price of the paperback.

As a first stab at reducing the word count, I’ve decided I’m going to go back and rewrite the first six chapters (about 20,000) words to shorten what is basically an introduction to the main story to make it less meandering and more relevant, but I’ll need to cull a lot more when I finish writing.

I had set a target date of the middle of the year to have the book ready but I’ll probably miss that deadline as well. Hopefully it will still be this year.

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