Remember when you decided what genre you were going to write? Before you start actually outlining your book, you need to have a good idea of how long it's going to be. What if you wrote a great first draft, only to discover that you needed to cut...100 pages??!!
Oh, the horror!
Today is about the research mostly. Just like my picture today, you're going to plug things in. If you didn't get a word count or page count when you picked your genre, today's the day. If you can only find a word count, please remember that industry standard estimates 250 words per page. So, a 100,000 WORD novel is about 400 pages. Feel free to come in under that number for a first novel. And yes, established authors break that boundary all the time. But it's very unlikely that J.K.Rowling's FIRST book would have hit the shelves at 700 pages. By the time she got to such sizable volumes, she had established a very loyal following.
Me? Suspense runs at the 100,000 word average. Choosing Justice comes in under 80,000.
• Suspense is all about emotion. It generates the "I need more info, more action. Tell. Me. More. Now. feeling that keeps the reader turning the pages.
• Cliffhangers are tools to use to provide suspense.
• http://poster.4teachers.org/worksheet/view.php?id=125293 lists characteristics of suspense that are needed in any suspense story:
o At least 1 character described as genuinely afraid
o Something that presents a real threat
o Something important to main characters that is threatened
o Fast paced events
o Lack of certainty
• Risks must become greater and more intense
• Multiple layers of conflict
• Close calls to keep readers on their toes will prevent plot from being predictable
• Focus on details: knock on a door, turn of a key, creaking door
• Use setting to build uncertainty
• Mood and Tone are critical
• Plot twists and turns make the story unpredictable.
• Author is always thinking: "What is the worst thing that could happen now?" Then top that idea. Somehow.
You? Time to do some research for your genre. I've included a page to get you started. http://www.how-to-write-a-novel.net/novel-word-count.html
Your Genre Guidelines Template is here.
Your turn. Go.
Other posts from this series are here.
What genre are you writing? Let me know.
We are all prone to wander sometimes. But when things get hard, we run home. Return to the Lord.
May I be mindful of this each day: Return to the Lord.
In the good times. In the bad. In the day-to-day.
Return to the Lord.