Asked • 07/29/19

Publication: What to do about a high wordcount debut novel?

I'm a strong believer in books/novels being as long as they need to be; if it turns out short, don't try to pad it out, and if it's long... unless there's chaff to cut out, it's long for a reason.That being said, I'm writing a debut novel which ~3/4 of the way in is pushing about 170,000 words. No doubt part of this is that there's plenty of chaff to cut out, so for the sake of argument, let's say it can be reduced to 150,000 words on a good day.As much as it may be 'as long as it needs to be', it's also going to be difficult as all heck to market a debut novel that's longer than the Fellowship of the Ring in its completed form. Publishers only have so much tolerance for epics written by authors that have yet to prove themselves.Herein lies the problem: I'm considering splitting the book into a pair of books so as to increase the chances of being publishable, but this course of action has its own problems. After all, I structured a plot with a *single* arc, and a novel with only half an arc is either going to keep a reader on the edge of their seat and buy the next one immediately or, as is most likely due to my status as a debut author, make them dismiss the work as trash.What answer, if any, is there to this predicament?Edit: This book is a fantasy novel at its core, albeit one more focused on human elements. I point this out in case it affects answers.

1 Expert Answer


Douglas L. answered • 07/31/19

New to Wyzant

Credentialed Teacher with 7 years experience on ACT/SAT/Essay

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