Am I too wordy?

3 months ago | AdamBolander (Member)

Lately I've been trying to cut my wordcount down to more genre appropriate levels, and I noticed that this chapter, which consists of a dude stealing a thing and then having a conversation, is almost 4,000 words long. If anyone's got a minute, I'd appreciate if they could give their opinions. Do I need to trim that down?

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FSwF6DS1OWtDlpzozAdRqt9v-bgkgNGI5vfN8P220zU/edit?usp=sharing

Author of The Gray Ranger, The Slayer and The Sphinx, Juryokine, Amber Silverblood, and more! Read for free on http://www.bolanderbooks.com

Read responses...

Responses

  1. nippoten (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    Could definitely use a trim.

  2. Dary (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    It would be fair to say that, after reading a few hundred words of that, my fingers were itching for a red pen...

  3. DrewHayes (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    There are definitely bits that could be scaled back or pruned, but doesn't mean they have to be. As a fellow wordy mofo, I'd say not to worry so much about the number of words and just write the best you can in your own style. If its wordy, there's a market for that, and it's called Audible. :-)

    Super Powereds & Corpies
    http://www.DrewHayesNovels.com/
  4. Walter (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    I don't think so. The net isn't about to run out of paper or whatever. Write as much as you want.

  5. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    As long as the action and conversation is engaging, make it as long as you need to. I read a book where there was twenty straight pages of a guy talking to a voice in his head, while he tinkered with a piece of crystal, and I was engaged the whole time. And there weren't even any pictures! :P

    That said, you could probably cut some lines out of the argument, but I'm not sure its strictly necessary.

  6. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    My issue is that I'm doing my best to write YA fantasy since that's my favorite style of writing, but I always go double the maximum recommended wordcount. They say the book should never exceed 100,000 words, but both Juryokine 2 and The Gray Ranger have close to 200,000. I'm curious if I'll see more success if I cut back, you know?

    Anyway, what parts would you recommend I cut?

    Author of The Gray Ranger, The Slayer and The Sphinx, Juryokine, Amber Silverblood, and more! Read for free on http://www.bolanderbooks.com
  7. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    Do you think maybe those books could just be split into two? I know some editing can be ruthless, but is there a good stopping point halfway through?

  8. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    Possibly,but does that help much with webserials? Mt thought process here is that of I can make the chapters themselves shorter, itll be more accessible to my intended audience. The problem there being that I write things the way I think they need to be, either for world or character building, or just entertainment. That's why I have to ask you guys what you think needs to be cut out, because I honestly have no idea.

    Author of The Gray Ranger, The Slayer and The Sphinx, Juryokine, Amber Silverblood, and more! Read for free on http://www.bolanderbooks.com
  9. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    I guess I'm being dense, but, when you say "books", do you mean, like, ebooks or physical books being sold as a unit? Because I don't know if YA book publishing guidelines really count towards a serial? If your serial is 200,000 words, and that's what you feel you need to tell the story the way you envision it, I don't see why it would matter when you're posting chapter by chapter on a website.

    Alright, I'm not helping, I'mma shut it now. :|

  10. unice5656 (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    I've gone to town on your Google Doc for the first few paragraphs. As you can see, you can make the same amount of plot move with a considerably smaller word count.

    It's obviously some kind of foreshadowing, but you really don't need three sentences talking about someone's cape flaring out. It doesn't make the mystery character interesting.

    Another thing that I noticed is that you deliberately hold back the MC's name until someone yells it out, which increases your word count as you keep using "young man" as a placeholder. Again, I don't think it adds any mystery or intrigue to the story.

    Watch for redundancies in your writing. If you're referencing the same item/place multiple times in a row (e.g. "alleyway" or "crates"), you can probably take out half of the repeated words without confusing anyone in the slightest.

    Also, you don't need to be unnecessarily detailed when describing actions, such as when your character took a jar, tucked it under his arm, and then pulled out a parchment to put in the jar's place. People have plenty of firsthand experience juggling multiple items and their brains will fill in the gaps.

    More detailed writing that moves through less plot in the same word count isn't always wrong, but the main problem I see is that you have no shift in voice between the "action", tense part of the chapter, and the more relaxed part after the heist is successfully pulled off. Your action scenes then feel bogged down and fail to immerse the reader in the fast-paced excitement of the moment due to the lack of fast pace.

  11. Rhodeworks (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    Unice said basically everything I was going to say. That's what I get for writing half of it then getting distracted.

    I've noted a fair few serials doing 'the young man' sort of thing and it's really weird. It makes me think they're writing it like a TV show: who is this guy? The audience doesn't get to know yet.

  12. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    Thanks, Unice. I just want to point out, I wasn't foreshadowing with the cape flaring guard haha. I just meant for that to be something a young man like him would notice about somebody he doesn't like.

    Author of The Gray Ranger, The Slayer and The Sphinx, Juryokine, Amber Silverblood, and more! Read for free on http://www.bolanderbooks.com
  13. unice5656 (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    ...Even less reason for that to be there.

    Remember, writing a story is not the same as depicting a movie scene or laying out *exactly* what happens. It's about distilling your words to pull out the essence of the story and create the impact you want to create. The amount of words you dedicate to a certain topic or description should be directly proportional to its importance in the story. Three sentences about a nobody character that has no impact on the plot whatsoever and will never show up again is an insult to your readers' time and attention.

  14. Rhodeworks (Member)

    Posted 3 months ago

    And I mean, when you dislike someone, are you /really/ focusing on how they flourish their cape? When I see someone I don't like, I'm focusing on different things. If we were meant to think the protag didn't like cape guy, it doesn't really come across.

Reply

You must log in to post.