Counting Words

When I originally finished Wings of the Sathakos, it was about 125,000 words.

After editing, that number came way down to about 105,000, which is where it’s at now.

That’s a little shy of the 120.000 mark that they tell you to shoot for with your first fantasy novel, but I’m ok with that.

The sequel is currently at about 75,000 words. The trouble is, I have an idea of where this one ends and I’m worried it’s too close.

As in, this thing could be done in another 10-20,000 words, falling far shorter than the first. After editing, it could get torn down further.

So the question is, do I purposely extend it with content that I know to be filler just to reach a word count goal? Or do I let it be short?

I used to be a musician. Writing music was my thing. I enjoyed the shows, the social nature of being in a band with others, touring, etc. But mostly I enjoyed writing music.

Most songs on the radio today are between 3 and 4 minutes. That’s the length that society has determined is ideal for songs in most genres. However, as a songwriter, I often felt that either a. a song could express itself in less time or b. a song needed more time to explore its various ideas.

So I came to accept that there was no ideal length for a song. Every song is unique. It needs to be as long as it needs to be.

The same will be true of my second book. It may not be as long as the first but I won’t add extra material that doesn’t need to be there. If the story can be told in fewer words than is considered ideal, that’s just fine.


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