Tag Archives: Adds Word Count

Author Toolbox 6: Adding To Word Count

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.


A new year and I’m hoping for new ideas that lead to new outlines. I’ve been throwing around an idea about dissecting and expanding some shorts and seeing where they might go as novellas or novels.

Obviously the short would be the core of the story but adding words means adding new ideas or/and adding sub plots.

Here’s what I’ve been considering:

  • add a reversal into the main plot line
  • add subplots and characters complications
  • dig, sift, and seek out places for more tension
  • deepen the point of view, descriptions, atmosphere, arcs
  • transform summaries into scenes
  • dig into the layers of the character’s past and add some regrets, grudges, and unresolved issues

The biggest challenge of lengthening a project is making the additions intricate parts of the story, to move it forward and not be bits of fluff I’ll land up cutting on my next round of revisions.

How do you add to your word count? Any advice for me.

Gleaned from:


Subplots and Why We Need Them

So for a while now I’ve been posting writing tips when I feel I’ve mostly mastered them. I’ll share what I’ve learned and share so the squeaky new writer can read my posts (along with others) rather than starting from scratch. I did the starting-from-scratching thing and it was hard; mostly because, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And the list was a long one.

Now I’m in the middle of my writing adventure (career) and it looks very similar to the middle of the three-act-structure. What I’m getting at is that ‘the middle’ is the biggest section. Anyway, I’m in the middle. I know somethings and still need to learn a lot about the craft. Some days I think I’ll never get out of the middle and I’m mostly okay with that. But each time I make a discovery I pursue it and store it away for reference.

Today I researched Subplots.

Also check out: Backstory: Past Events Build Character Subplots Add Character: Here’s How + Tracking Subplots and Why We Go So Far

Here’s why

I have only written shorts for publication. So how to do I jump from shorts to full length novels?

Add more words.

Right, but isn’t the main plot defined as a protag striving for a goal and antag attempting to stop him.

If this is true, and I believe it is, how do I add more words without bogging the story down?

Incorporate subplots.

What are subplots?

Before I researched, I thought they were secondary plotlines based on the supporting characters.

This is true, but there is so much more.

When you read a series, the subplot is what links the books together—common characters, location, or events. Additional plotlines humanize the characters by giving them their own character arc. They can clarify motivations, deepen tension, and interfere or complicate the protag achieving their goal.

If plot is a section of fence, the subplots are the vine(s) that grow upon it. Together they are stronger, more vines, more color, more intertwined action. It can be beautiful from afar and very complex under closer scrutiny. This apparently makes for a great novel.

Easy peasy? I don’t know, but I have a general idea of what I need to do. Is there anything you’d like to add? I’m all ears, and would love to hear from you.