After I got notification from DDP that I had been picked up for their 2013 release schedule, one of the things that really made me smile was that I would get to revisit my favorite world in these things called "sequels". It really is fun to write, and unfortunately, the words just pile up. I mean seriously...when I say the novel writes itself...IT REALLY DOES seem to write itself. I had days where I would do 6000 words in like three hours because I couldn't stop.
I had no problem coming up with content...like 120,000 words of content. And here's the problem. I'm only 3/4 through my story arc of the second book and I'm already at that word count. To quote my friend Steph Schmidt..."EEEEP!"
Luckily, I started this project last year about this time because I was bored. This was before I had ventured into the world of blogging which happened in late January 2011. Well, back in September 2010, I stopped working on that project because I realized that it may never see the light of day unless I published it myself or put it on a website somewhere. So I threw it in the closet, mothballed it, and wrote another book. This was a simple fantasy that topped out at 80k words that I started to query only recently.
Well, with the news from DDP...I threw that fantasy back in the closet and dusted off the ole sequel to re-read, edit, and finish so that I could send it to the editor that helps me get manuscripts ready for professional editors to look at :). As I'm re-reading and editing it myself, I see all over the place where I have taken liberal tangents. I still love these tangents, but if I have no intention on following up on them, they really don't belong in this novel. And my story is so huge that it will take multiple volumes to tell it right. I know I really shouldn't wander like this. So I'm having to slash paragraphs, pages, and even maybe a chapter and it's hard...it's really hard. However, I think I can slim this beast to 115,000 words and then finish it in another 25,000 words. 140,000 words is huge, I know. But it is a sequel, and the first book is 120,000 words so this is only stretching that quota out by 20%. That's acceptable, right?
When I finally get the courage to talk to my publisher about it, probably closer to this time next year, I hope that they don't mind that I write fat novels. Really, as an author, I despise word count. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. Why oh why must brevity be my Task Master?
Is anyone else out there like me? Do any of you writers struggle to fit within certain word counts?