#ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.
As writers, we all do things differently. We don’t write the same thing. When we look at the same prompt, no five authors will come up with the same material. We’re different. And knowing how you’re different is key.
There are a lot of variables in which knowing how you’re different is valuable. Planning your book. Picking projects. Marketing. Making publisher or agent choices. Identifying your target readers.
Some of these factors come naturally. For example, I have a background of writing epic fantasy and I’m also a jabbermouth. Writing short is not my strength. I know that I’ll almost always write too long on a project. It’s just how I write.
For me, I know to not target the short market. Why? Because my stories are bigger than a short story. Novellas are difficult. I always get dinged for readers wanting more from my novellas. It’s really not a good move for me to write short, which stinks because I’d like to do some shorter, more bite size stories to have more books out in a year.
On the flip side, I have a very good friend who writes novellas — and her readers love her for it. I once tried to talk her into writing a novel and I thought she was about to hyperventilate! Some things just aren’t in a writer’s wheelhouse, and that’s okay!
I don’t do well when I have to focus only on the hero’s journey. I have very active heroines who are as much, if not more, the focus of the stories than the husbands. It’s the type of story I’m drawn to, so I write them.
Two weeks ago now I thought I could write Hot Tango as a 20K novella. In a week. And be done with it.
The reality is that it’s going to be a 45K-50K category length novel that will take me a month to produce.
There are repercussions of my decision to write this book. Namely that I’m now in a big crunch on writing my next So Inked book. Had I been honest with myself I would have acknowledged that starting Hot Tango was a bad idea, but it’s been a hell of a fun ride, so I’m going to hold tight and hope this wave of fast writing carries me into the So Inked book!
How do you gauge the length a book will be?