Thursday, 14 July 2011

Let me walk through the fields of paper...

Let me walk through the fields of paper
touching with my wand
dry stems and stunted
butterflies....
~Denise Levertov, "A Walk through the Notebooks"


So how long should your first, second or third novel be? mmmm - I think this is a tough one. I read somewhere that your first novel should be 70,000 - any more and you will put off publishers and any less and they may question your ability to write. I have mentioned this before but Goa Traffic is 76,000 - It is a quick read by most standards. People who have read it have found it a comfortable length- as I said yesterday if you dont have something to say worthwhile - dont say it- surely this applies for a book as well. 


So'The book club' has started off at about 55,000 as I go through it I am probably adding 500 words per chapter. I reckon it will be around 60,000. Then I add the meat to it- I mean there is already some meat to it already and I am aiming for 80,000-90,000 words. I know someone in my writing group is trying to cut her novel down from 130,000 as this was suggested by a publisher but every time she tries to cut something out we protest that the first version was better. 


If i were her I would be true to my novel and keep it as it is- If they take her book on then I reckon she could do some cutting etc! but why before she is published or even taken on! 


Who knows how long a novel should be. Just be true to your work though. That's my tip! 



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