you never can begin to live until you dare to die...

Monday, January 4, 2010

We're looking for more than NaNoWriMo.

Devoted Scribblers! I'm back! I'm addressing YOU! Chew on this:
Keep in mind that for NaNoWriMo, you've got to write 50k. Fifty thousand words.

But also, look at some word counts from YA bestsellers:
Eragon: 151k

Brisingr: 254.5k

Twilight: Almost 119k

Breaking Dawn (most recent in the Twilight sega): 188.5k

The Hunger Games: 99k

Catching Fire (THG sequel): 80k

Artemis Fowl (First book): 58.5k

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox (most recent in the series): 82k

(Side note #1: Sadly, I couldn't find the word count for Scott Westerfeld's Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras. That's the other series I would have liked to put up here.)

(Side note #2: I notice that, aside from THG, the sequels are usually remarkeably longer than the first in the series. That's why I put up the firsts and lasts)

I look at the above and say, Wow. That's a lot of words.

Feeling a bit discouraged, aspiring authors? Squirming over there, Devoted Scribblers?

Read Gail Carson Levine's post HERE. I love her blog, btw.
Levine's post is encouraging when I look at my scant 60 thousand words. But the reason I'm putting up these word count estimations is that I don't want us to aim too low.

Let's not shoot for 50k. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of words here.

Short, as Levine said, is often sweet and apt.
But long is epic.

And while we're at writing hundreds of thousands of words, let's try to use our pens more skillfully than Stephanie Meyers, 'kay?


Hannah said...

I know what you mean. However, I have no fear of having short stories, as the nano novel that I'm STILL writing is at almost 60,000 words and only 1/6 of the way through.

One. Sixth.


Katherine Sophia said...

Thanks a lot. :) I was feeling good about 45,000 words. But you're right. They don't feel really complete at that length, too much is left untold.

Qwipster said...

*Hundreds* of thousands? Don't go overboard either...

Bracie said...

Wow, Hannah! That's long! I'm about 1/3 through my Marion story, and I'm at 60k.

Katherine: I totally know how you feel!!!

I hope you all know, however, that sometimes things ARE best told with fewer words.

Ada---I mean, Qwip: I was speaking of the cumulative words necessary for a truly epic series. Brisingr was literally a couple hundred thousand words, and I thought it was too long.

Jare and Lib said...

Brisingr was a little too long. But I like it when you have a HUGE book on your lap some where in public and everyone kinda just's fun to watch their faces over the rim of it. =)

Btw, I'm over half way through The Hunger Games and I'm loving it! ekkkk!

later band girl

Lady Nai said...

Hmm, I guess I'm a pathetic writer whose stories only LAST 60,000 words. :P At best, that is. Of course, I keep adding to Forest of Lies, so who knows.

Lady Nai said...

Hmm, I guess I'm a pathetic writer whose stories only LAST 60,000 words. :P At best, that is. Of course, I keep adding to Forest of Lies, so who knows.

Evergreena said...

In the science fiction trilogy I'm writing, the first book is 61,000 words long, and the rough draft of the 2nd one is over 103,000. I have no idea how stinkin' long the last book will be... but it's threatening to be a doozy.

In my fantasy trilogy, I'm hoping to keep the books under 100k each, though again, the last book will be longer because there is so much more to squeeze in.

I have no idea why my brain works in trilogies. :)

Evergreena said...

Oh, when I click on the link to Gail Carson Levine's blog, it takes me to your post about The Hunger Games. (I was so interested in reading her post that I went and found her blog on my own.)

Bracie said...

Evergreena-- Ooops. Wonder why that happened????

Jare and Lib said...

You have been awarded! Go check out RJD to see!

-Jare and Lib

ElizabethMarieKauffman said...

It would be really interesting to find out how long Scott Westerfield's books are. . . . I'm currently in the process of reading the series, and LOVE them!!!
But yeah, I agree, often we set our goals too low, I guess probably just to make sure that we WILL succeed in accomplishing them. We really need to stretch ourselves though, and go for the HIGH goals! :)
I love a good challenge. . . . .


Emma said...

Very much agreeable =]
Stephanie Meyer's books are just bad writing. I am in the process of reading New Moon (saying nothing of the plot) and man, I'm just struggling through. It's BAD writing! Just bad. I'm horrified, being a writer as I am.
Wonderful post, Bracie!