Tag Archives: Word Count Help

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.

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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:

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NaNo: Word Count Tips

Today I popped over to the NaNoWriMo site and discovered I could win if I had nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participantthe 50k written. I don’t and it’s the first time in years I’m not ready. Just in case you’re with me in this situation and need help to get those last few words down, I thought I’d share my approach.

I take a long look at my outline. Now that most of the work is down, my vision is clearer and I’m able to see what’s missing.

A lot of times I write about the relationships between my characters. Their overlapping backstory and why they feel the way they do about each other. Rarely, do my characters walk into my stories as strangers. Things that come up are old crushes, unfinished business, or grudges. The results add so much depth it boggles my mind.

When you consider the relationships, supporting scenes, plot points and plot twists appear. We all know intertwined subplots strengthen the main plot and reinforce theme.

I check the notes I’ve been writing all month for scenes that need recrafting and all those loose ends that need wrapping up.

Want the right ending? I rewrite endings, changing them until I find the perfect fit. For me that’s more of a hit and miss kind of thing, and I’ve read the first, second, or even third ending isn’t always the best choice. This is one of my works in progress. I’m working toward a logical surprise, but I’m usually too blunt. Lately, I’ve been working on stretching it out and striving toward reader satisfaction.

poppy-1525814_1920If all else fails, start something new and keep going until you hit the magic number. If you’ve run out of things in one storyline, it may mean a sequel is waiting in the wings.

Go off the rails and let your fingers take you where they will. These tips will help even after November is long gone. Don’t put your work in a drawer if the count is too low. Keep searching for ones that work for you.

Did I miss any? Got a suggestion that may save our bacon? Please, share.

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