Author Topic: I need advice on completing my longest novel ever  (Read 429 times)  

Offline sablewriter

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I need advice on completing my longest novel ever
« on: July 11, 2018, 12:22:53 PM »
Last year, I started my novel, an erotic romance fantasy titled Pleasing Xavier about a young woman who gets a new job as executive assistant to a hunky CEO who happens to be a fallen angel.

I abandoned it for many months and moved onto other works. At about 110,000 words, it's about 75% in. Phew.

My longest novel ever

Recently, I told myself... no more procrastinating, finish it already! So, I put it on pre-order, release date: August 28th ( happens to also be my birthday) :D

My novels before Pleasing Xavier have been at the most 80k

Well, I'm sure they are a lot of writers here, experienced in writing over 100,000 word novels...
What advice can you give me to make sure I finish it in time, no more delays this time...


Hi, my name is Sable Rose and I write erotic romances and urban fantasy novels
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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: I need advice on completing my longest novel ever
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 12:52:18 PM »
Just keep telling the story. I'm about 95K into my current novel, the longest I've ever written by almost 50% now, and still going. I'm not allowing myself to worry about anything else, only to continue to tell the story. Otherwise, I'll freeze up and it will never get finished.

You've got about a month and a half, plenty of time! :D
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Offline MissingAlaska

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Re: I need advice on completing my longest novel ever
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 12:53:14 PM »
A lot depends on your individual methods... However, I would write the ending first and then backfill the chapters leading to it.

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Offline sablewriter

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Re: I need advice on completing my longest novel ever
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 01:12:47 PM »
Yeah, keep going, scene by scene

Don't be sidetracked  :-*


Hi, my name is Sable Rose and I write erotic romances and urban fantasy novels
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Offline EllieDee

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Re: I need advice on completing my longest novel ever
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2018, 01:45:35 PM »
I tend to write long, 120-150k unless I specifically challenge myself to stick to a smaller word count and ruthlessly prune away story ideas as I write.  So my advice, coming from a plot-heavy 'plantser':

Do you have an outline for what's next?  Does it break things down into scenes, story turning points, major emotional beats, etc?  If not, stop writing now!  You may waste a lot of time and end up having to chuck a lot of words.

Instead, take a day or two to review what you wrote and create the outline.  I suspect you know how you want it to end, so write that down too.  Then come up with plot points to connect everything together.  This method also helps you make sure you 'close the loops' of all those little subplots that crop up in long stories, give mini arcs to minor characters, etc.

If you have all of this done already, great!  It's math time!

1.  Guesstimate how many words you have left by multiplying your number of remaining scenes with the average length of scene you tend to write at.  Calculate it from what you've already written if you don't know off hand. 

2.  Figure out how many days there are between now and your target manuscript deadline.

3.  Divide total words left by total days left to get a word count per day.

4.  Optional: round that word count up by whatever amount you think is easy to achieve.  Like if it's 900 words a day, round up to 1k a day.  That way, you will sometimes outstrip your overall target and earn yourself a cheat day when you can relax.  Or a day when life is setting your hair on fire and you just can't get your writing time in.

Boom: novel achieved.   8)

I'm sure other people have other methods, but this is what works for me  :)

Oh, I almost forgot - For big deadlines or projects I've struggled with, I dig out my paper calendar and put down a smiley face for each day I hit my goals.  Every ten smileys earns me a treat.  Yes, I am a grown damn woman in my 30s, why do you ask?

Offline sablewriter

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Re: I need advice on completing my longest novel ever
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 02:06:25 PM »
oh gosh, this is marvelous, thanks. I've started breaking down the next  scenes. Then, it's write time!


Hi, my name is Sable Rose and I write erotic romances and urban fantasy novels
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Offline NathanBurrows

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Re: I need advice on completing my longest novel ever
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 03:25:50 PM »
Just write it. When it's done, it's done. My advice would be to not let the word count get in the way of the story. You can always trim words afterwards, but agonising over the word count might mean you miss important stuff because you're focused on the word count, not the story.

I set out to write a 75k word novel that ended up being over 110k, and it sells. Not at the top but not at the bottom. I'm not convinced that readers are as bothered about word count as we are.


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