Note: I’m reposting the following because 1) I am lazy, and 2) because I thought you might benefit from my many, many mistakes. So really, I’m doing this for you.
As I am currently editing book two of the Anaedor series, I thought I’d try to capture some of the problems I’ve found and pass them along to you to fix. I mean, learn from. Of course, I was nearly at the end of the book when I discovered something I wished I had figured out 400 pages earlier.
I use too many words!
The writing experts tell us novices that we should write about what we know. If I were take this literally, I’d be in big trouble. I write about mythical worlds and fantastical creatures. I’ve never been to a mythical world (if you don’t count my happy place) and I’ve never met a fantastical creature (if you don’t count my family). How can I ‘write about what I know’ when the topic is something that I’ve never experienced?
Obviously, the statement, “Write about what you know” can’t be entirely true. Or can it?
If you were thinking this blog was going to be about something else, I’m sorry to disappoint you. This article is about books…and how long they should be. That’s what you were looking for? Oh, well, read on!
The length of a book became an issue for me when I realized how long my second, third and fourth Anaedor books were turning out to be. Could such an issue as being too long really exist? Sensing it could, I did some research and found, to my horror, that for a novel, your book length should be in the range of 80,000 to 110,000 words.
The Anaedor books far exceed that 110,000 mark. They’re too big!
Or How to Give and Take Constructive Criticism…
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time handling criticism. Who wants to be told that what they have created, what they have poured their heart and soul into, isn’t perfect? Not me. I want people to praise me using as many adjectives meaning greatness as they can. For some reason, though, they never do.
When I first started to write books, I found it awfully hard going. I think that I’m a decent storyteller, but I’m not a natural writer – I really have to work at it. In the beginning, it didn’t take long for me to realize that getting all those grand ideas and visions of mine down on paper wasn’t going to be as easy as I’d thought. What sounded so good in my head didn’t always (okay, rarely) translate into print. Not like I’d imagined, anyway. This difficulty is why I think people put off writing, or quit after a few attempts.
That and the million other things going on in their lives.