One thing that ALL of my projects thus far this year have taught me is that I am a severe under-estimator when it comes to setting projected word lengths.
If you have any doubts here are my estimates for the writing projects I’ve started this year:
Skeleton Romance (working title) novella, I projected 20,000 words originally. I upped that figure to 30,000 once I saw where I was in my plot outline after writing 15,000 words. I then upped it again to 40,000. I’ve currently written 43,000 words and am just about to begin the final climb towards the climax, and as it stands I strongly doubt I can do the ending in less than 10,000 words. So basically, this novella is a novel.
Sugar Cane and Swamp Monsters‘ projected length is 7,000 words. I’ve written 6,000. Of course on closer inspection its a terribly slow start, and I need to ramp up the conflict before the inevitable appearance of the swamp monster (what, you thought there wouldn’t be one? Who do you think I am?). So basically, I’m going to scrap just about all of those 6,000 words and rewrite. Maybe I’ll come in a bit closer to the estimate this time…
Glass Slippers was to be a long short story/short novella (depends on your own ideas of what word counts define those terms) and I projected a 10,000 word length. In fact I was worried I wouldn’t hit the 10,000 because the market I intend to submit it to won’t take less than 10,000 words. I just finished it at 30,700 words. Frustratingly enough the market I’d wanted to submit it to has a roof limit of 20,000 words.
So, in case you missed it, I can’t accurately project word counts on my stories this year. I must have lost the talent last year while wallowing in the editing trenches.
On a slight side note, if my project Sugar Cane and Swamp Monsters excites you because you like swamp monsters go check out The Bandershin by Talitha Kalago for another Australian swamp monster story. Don’t forget to review it if you like it too!