This has always been a problem.
Diarrhea of the mouth, they used to call it. Now, it’s diarrhea of the fingers… well, it would be except that sounds gross…
The thing is, I received a rejection letter for my book, Climbing Maya, yesterday. Climbing Maya is about 90,000 words long. This publisher said they couldn’t use any book that was over 70,000 words. Normally, I’d have no objection to shortening the book a little but, in this case, that’s nearly a quarter! Climbing Maya was just too damned long!
Everything I had previously read seemed to point to 100k words as the length you’d need for a novel but how many words is it, really?
Yahoo Answers has a variety of… well, call them Answers at your peril.
They give numbers from 50k up to 80k. Truth be told, then, I might have been going a little long.
If that’s the case, though, I do have some good news as well. My present novel, Last Ditch, was laid out initially with an 80k word count. After this email, though, I’m dropping it down to 75k. Daughter of a One-Armed Man clocks in at 93k but I can edit that down to 85k pretty easily. Wormfood already clocks in at a tidy 76k. The new strategy, then, will be on shorter books with (obviously) tighter stories.
You know, cause one of these days publication would be nice. Honestly.