How Many Words to Make a Book?

The other day I wrote a post about perhaps not finishing a book I’d started. Multiple people told me about what they do when they don’t finish reading books they start.

One person said if she makes it to page 200 and still doesn’t like it, then she won’t force herself to continue. Which is fine, no one says you have to finish every book you start. But she proceeded to say that her reasoning behind writing a review for the book she didn’t finish and also including it in her list of read titles is because 200 pages equals 50k words, what she called the “rule of thumb for the length of a novel”.

UH NO.

Before the advent of NaNoWriMo no one would actually believe 50k words is the magic number in which your words and chapters become a novel. And just because people say it doesn’t make it so.

There’s a site I once discovered (I can’t remember it now) that would tell you the word counts of books. I played around with it for a bit and found just about every title I entered was well over 100k words. What if your favorite authors actually believed this. “Oh, I hit 50k words. ALL DONE!” It’s laughable that people believe this nonsense.

I just read an article on Writer’s Digest about word counts and the author of the article identified a good word count range for lower Middle Grade as 20k-55k words, but said anything written for a 12-year-old or older should be higher. Every other genre should have significantly higher word counts, in his opinion. Some well over 100k words.

Do you think 50k words is the “rule of thumb for the length of a novel”? I definitely do not. And have never heard an author or publishing professional identify it as such. But what do I know, right?

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A Second Book Idea?

Could it be? Have I finally thought of a new book idea? Yes.

A little back story here. I self-published my book more than three years ago. I didn’t come out of college with the goal of securing a good job or traveling the world, I came out with the single goal of writing a book. Some of you will recall the original name of this blog as Write me a Book, John!.

After I published my book I immediately began work on book 2. Cause I’m obviously a prolific author. I soon realized the second time around was different. The drive simply wasn’t there and the story itself wasn’t clicking. I made it about 30,000 words into that first draft of my second book when I abandoned it. My memory tells me I wrote myself into a corner I couldn’t get out of.

Early yesterday morning I came up with a new idea. And who knows, maybe I’ll get started on it sometime soon.

There are plenty of writers out there better than me. Better stories. Better ideas. Better writing backgrounds. Which means I have plenty of room for improvement. Leggo.

What do you do when you’re discouraged with your writing? I did nothing and it’s cost me nearly four years.

Just a Feeling

Once upon a time I was a writer. During high school. During college. Immediately after graduation. Writing was a constant for several years, though I have no idea where the enjoyment came from. Things just happen sometimes.

And sometimes they just don’t. I haven’t written anything of substance in almost three years. But something changes in your mindset and perspective after you read your own work, which I did this month. It takes you back to the hours spent staring at your computer screen just thinking. Thinking of what’s supposed to come next in the story, and thinking of where it’s headed.

I was also taken back to how excited I was to be writing a REAL BOOK. I don’t currently have any ideas swirling around inside my head, but I think I’m the slightest bit closer to getting back into my writing than I have been in some time. Encouragement and nice people don’t mean anything at this point because it falls on my shoulders and no one else’s. Either I’ll do it or I won’t, and nothing any person says is going to change that.

Who is Jamie Oliver?

The other night I’m on YouTube watching Jennifer Lawrence video after Jennifer Lawrence video from her press tour for the new movie Passengers. I easily did this for two hours straight.

Anyway, during her appearance on The Graham Norton Show she was joined by Jamie Oliver. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are probably the two biggest movie stars in the world today, so I’m sitting there trying to figure out who this other guy is with them. They talked about him having dyslexia and reading Catching Fire after seeing Jen as Katniss.

Then Graham Norton said something I actually couldn’t believe. This mystery man I’d never even heard of is the bestselling nonfiction author EVER in the UK. WHAA?

Tell me about this guy. I haven’t looked him up yet.

2016 Reading Challenge: MY BOOK

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that I’m in the midst of a mad dash to complete my 2016 reading challenge. I finished two more books over the weekend to see if I can ultimately complete it.

But today I’m talking about MY BOOK. I wonder if I’m making history right now by reviewing my own work. Hm. Anyway, let’s go.

Divided Within is set in and around Houston and follows Andrew Banks as he works his first case as a private investigator. His first client happens to be a teenage girl who suspects there’s something really wrong between her parents that they aren’t telling her about, only it’s much worse than she could have imagined.

A little history before I get into the good stuff. I wrote the book over the course of the first months immediately after I graduated from college in 2013.

Although it’s my own work, I still had problems with it. The first thing I noticed is I obviously forgot how to use commas. Seriously. I’m not sure what was going on. There were commas where there should have been periods and then there was nothing where there should have been commas. Ugh.

The other thing I didn’t really like after my reread was the language. It was unoriginal. It’s a crime novel, but I felt I used cussing at weird points in the story. I don’t feel like it worked.

The other thing that I definitely recognize, though I still don’t have a problem with is the story. I won’t get into the specifics because some of you all might actually want to give it a read now, but one of the complaints I received when I first published the book was that the story was unbelievable. And it is. But I’ll keep saying it over and over again that I don’t read any fiction to read something that’s entirely realistic. If that’s what I want then I’ll watch the news.

After more than three years my favorite aspect of the book is still Andrew and Sydney. I found a few points in which I didn’t like their dialogue, but their relationship is great. So many detectives have a new love interest every other book, but not Banks. You know that just from reading this first book.

I still find it crazy that I wrote this thing, but I did and it’s mine. It satisfied the requirement to read a self-published book for my 2016 reading challenge.

Have YOU read it!? Have you ever tried to review your own work?

Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize in Literature…WHAT!?

I see no reason to sugarcoat the fact that I hate this.

Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature yesterday. The committee got it wrong. One can list all of his accomplishments but it wouldn’t change that he shouldn’t have even been considered for the award. There are music awards. There are songwriting awards. There are sales awards and records. So why are we giving this man a literary award!?

What really irks me is that any knowledgeable reader could list quite a few authors who are plenty deserving of this award. But I won’t do that. There’s no point. I’ll only list one. Haruki Murakami. The list starts and ends with him. His work doesn’t need me to defend it because it stands well enough on its own merit.

So now we have a songwriter/musician with a Nobel Prize in Literature but one of the most influential and revered authors of the 20th century still doesn’t. Sounds about right.

Tell me your thoughts. 

Stephenie Meyer to Release new Book

Welp.

Stephenie Meyer is releasing a new book later this year. But thankfully it has nothing to do with werewolves or vampires or poorly written female characters. It’s actually a thriller.

Wait, what?

Yes. The author who gave the world Bella and Edward is now giving us something we all want. A novel for adults. I was surprised when I read it’ll be her second novel written for adults.¬†The Host was evidently the first one, which was always shelved in the young adult section at my store.

I think it’d be wonderful if she does what other prominent authors have done and starts writing in every genre imaginable. Because we need more of those authors, right?

Do you have any interest in Stephenie Meyer’s new book¬†The Chemist?