Word Count Crazy

Harlequin’s category romances have specific word lengths, different for each category. They like writers to adhere pretty much to those standards. And they count actual words, not 250 times number of ms. pages like some other publishers.

The series I’m targeting wants 55,000 words. I have 50,000 as of this morning. What I can’t figure out is if I already added 5000 words (I have been tracking) and I needed 7000, why am I still 5000 short? Admittedly I am not a math whiz, but this is ridiculous. I have to stop cutting!

It’s okay. I can still meet my March 16 goal of 7000 words and a revised ms. It’s just that I might have to revise it again, looking for any opportunity to enrich the love story so I can plump it up by another several thousand words. People tend to think writing romance, especially category romance, is easy, but trust me, it’s not. It’s fun, and it’s an exciting challenge, but it’s not easy.

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  1. I never thought that writing a romance novel would be easy at all! (Writing any book, as we know, is a hair-pulling, crazy-hard, wonderful-awful experience!) As for word count, I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have the word count indicator, or whatever you call it, on my word document program! 🙂


  2. Writing a romance novel sounds like puttiing a puzzle together, with so many pieces that need to fit. Do you think writing this way will have an impact on your writing in other genres?


  3. Sharon, I can see that to even have a chance to be published by a major publishing house, I have to let go of my personal vision somewhat. I have to shape the work to the expectation in that market. This is something it’s taken me a really long time to understand. I wish I’d learned it sooner.


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