Friday, August 5, 2011

More words

I read on twitter that Harlequin Romantic Suspense is changing their writing guidelines by increasing the word count for submissions from 55k-60k work to 70-75k words.

As a reader, I am not sure I like this. 75,000 words is near main stream romantic suspense, usually 80-100k. One thing I like about Harlequin novels is the length. I don't have as much time to read as I'd like, and the shorter format means I can get to the happily ever after in a night or two of reading.

As a writer, my heart dropped. I have three completed manuscripts written to the 60k word count requirement. Could I edit those to be longer? If I did, would the story be as good? How can I use the extra words to have the most improved impact on my story? Should I start over with a fresh manuscript?

Thinking about the manuscripts I've written, there have been times when I delete massive chunks of writing or feel rushed at the end to tie up the story neatly and stay under 60,000 words.

So as the initial panic passes, I'm going to look at this way: This new challenge is an opportunity to stretch my writing wings. I'll just need to decide: revise or start fresh?