If you’re a romance writer or aspiring romance writer you probably live and die a little by word counts. Or at least, I do. Since different lines want different lengths, it has to be something that factors in to my writing.
I was working on a novel (just completed!) to target towards Avon. They want 90-100k, but I’m finding that no matter how hard I try, at 75k I’m just tapped out. Not sure if that’s me as a writer, or if it’s just the stories that I’m writing aren’t complex enough for 90k yet. Either way, now I have to decide if I want to try and pump 15 thousand more words into it, or if I want to cut and retool towards Harlequin, or look towards a publisher closer to the actual word count it is.
Most of the Harlequin/Mills&Boon lines want 50-55k. I’m finding I work much better in this word length. I finished my current M&B medical submission in less than a month. It’s almost exactly 50k, but that short amount really gave me focus. I’ve started working on my eighth novel to target towards the Harlequin Romance line, and I’ve got a fourteen chapter outline and lots of ideas. Already it’s feeling a little bit smoother than the one I just finished.
Point being, as I’ve delved into the world of seriously trying to get published and begin to focus my writing towards a specific target, I feel like I’ve become so much more prolific. With a specific goal (not just the broad goal of publication) I don’t find myself procrastinating quite as much.
It feels great!