Approaching 100k

I’ve made it through the first-pass edits for all of Polaris Rising except for the final chapter. The word count currently sits at a little over 98k and I probably have at least another 5k to write. I hope you all like big books. :)

Luckily PR is a science fiction romance, which gives me a little flexibility with the word count. I’ve been given the go-ahead to cross 100k if I need to and it looks like I’m going to need to. It may get pared back down in second round edits, but for now it’s expanding. More Ada and Loch for everyone!

Originally when I wrote the book, I planned for it to be a series of multiple books focusing on Ada and Loch, so the ending was a little open. When my editor suggested we have a new couple each book, that ending had to change.

I struggled for a while with exactly how to change the end without wrecking the end-of-book pacing. I’m still not sure I’ve completely figured it out, but it’s always easier to edit something than nothing, so I’m forging ahead.

In other news, it’s about to be a three-day weekend here in the US, and I plan to be entirely lazy. I’m reading the book Ilona recommended and it’s fabulous so far. So it’ll be a weekend of reading and video games.

My husband and I are currently playing our way through Path of Exile. It’s fun, but when a friend asked about the story, I was like “uhhh… story?” We’ve been playing it like we play Diablo, which is to say kill monsters, get loot. The story gets skipped to get back to the looting. :)

What about you all? Have any fun plans this weekend?

3 Replies to “Approaching 100k”

  1. Hi Jessie,
    Just finished a long office day, nearly 11 hours with a problem at the end of day I couldn’t solve but I was like: Monday is not so far away, so leave it. But after all this at the office and some private errands where I also couldn’t solve everything I am sitting exhausted on my couch. And munching chocolate. I am in need of comfort food.
    I like to read your blog and that of Ilona. Grace Draven writes mostly facebook posts, so you three are my favourite authors with a blog.
    Questions: Is the advise of your editor or editors in general mandatory or optional? You also write that within you genre you have more flexibility with word counts. Are there rules for genres about the length of books/stories?
    I am really interested as I am only a keen reader but would like to know more of “the behind of scenes”….
    Weekend plans: with friends we visit a horse market for the first time. We have no horses, just out of fun. Hope for nice weather. Have a nice weekend!

    1. Ugh, I’m sorry your day wasn’t the best, and I hear you on the comfort food—sometimes it’s just necessary!

      Editor feedback can go either way. In this case, I discussed her thoughts about having different couples before I agreed to go with Harper Voyager, so it was pretty much mandatory (but I was okay with it and knew about the requirement going in).

      For other feedback, it’s usually a smart idea to follow what a (good) editor says because s/he knows the market. Hopefully by the point you get to an editor, you’re used to accepting critical feedback and improving your work.

      For example: I think I went through two or three self edits with friends’ feedback, then two-ish rounds of edits with my agent before we ever sent it out to editors. But if I ever got feedback I vehemently disagreed with, I would definitely discuss it with my editor to figure out our best plan.

      As for word count, it can vary. Take the following numbers with a grain of salt. :) Urban fantasy is usually around 85k. Science fiction varies from 50k for older classics to 150k+ for modern space operas. Epic fantasy can be well over 200k, sometimes getting close to 400k. YA can range from 50k to 100k+. Occasionally the word count is artificially limited to get the book to hit a certain price point—I believe the first Kate Daniels book was this way.

      A horse market sounds awesome! I hope you have a nice trip!

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