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DeannaR
05-29-2016, 08:54 PM
I have (nearly) completed my novel(la?) it is out on Beta right now. I am happy with the pacing and depth of the story but it is sitting on the boarder of being possibly too short. It is literary fiction at 45k words. I am concerned that an agent will see the word count in the query and reject it based on that fact alone. While I have read many (possibly too many) articles suggesting that this word count will make it difficult to get read, I have read others that suggest this is fine.

I am wondering if my fears are legitimate, is my word count going to get me rejected?

Old Hack
05-29-2016, 09:16 PM
It depends on the book's genre. If it's YA, for example, 45k might be enough. But for adult fiction, that's a very difficult length for an agent to sell because so few publishers will consider full books of that length. There are good commercial reasons for their refusal to consider shorter books, but the main one is that they can't be priced at a level where readers will buy them.

If I were you I'd write something new, and make it longer this time. Don't try padding this book out: padding shows, and won't help your book's chances. If you do get your next few books published and they do well, your agent might then be able to shop this one and sell it as your established readership will make sales more likely.

Beware of agents and publishers who say they're interested in novellas: some good ones are, but many are only interested in what you'll pay them to publish you.

Laer Carroll
05-30-2016, 12:05 AM
Don't try padding this book out: padding shows, and won't help your book's chances.

I'd agree with that. I'd also suggest, however, that you finish the story and work on other material. Then when you can be objective read the story again. Is there more to the story than you first thought?

Most stories are about someone striving for a goal of some kind, maybe physical such as buried treasure, maybe an emotional, mental, or social goal such as self-respect, solving a murder, or winning a ball game.

There are many hard obstacles to most worthy goals. You may have made it too easy for your main character to conquer or avoid them. Or there may be too few obstacles: you may have not thought through all the likely obstacles to success.

Properly handled adding more and more-varied obstacles won't come across as padding.

blacbird
05-30-2016, 09:54 AM
It must be important, or they wouldn't ask about it.

caw

DeannaR
05-30-2016, 09:57 AM
Thanks everyone for the input. Much appreciated. :)

frenchpickle123
06-03-2016, 10:37 PM
Just to add a thought, I know that DIVERGENT was originally in the 50k range when Roth queried it. Her agent worked with her to make it up to just over 100k. Padding does show, when it is superfluous, but there are smart ways to do it. Not saying DIVERGENT is the best book out there, but it did sell a lot so it obviously didn't suck. You might be able to take a second look and find something you can add to get it to a more acceptable length. Just make sure what you're putting in actually deserves to be there. :)

Siri Kirpal
06-04-2016, 03:59 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I agree you need to finish the book first. Then give it to a few people and ask them for feedback. You may find (as always do), that you've written less than you should. I tend to add 5K to most books in the editing process.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

mccardey
06-04-2016, 04:20 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I agree you need to finish the book first. Then give it to a few people and ask them for feedback. You may find (as always do), that you've written less than you should. I tend to add 5K to most books in the editing process.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Agreeing with this. I'm not sure whether you're nearly finished your first draft or your last draft, but if it's your first draft you might well find that you write up in the next. I do that a lot. My first drafts are seriously truncated little things, and I always battle to get through the but that's all I have stage. My edits are usually about what I need to write in, rather than what I need to take out.

DeannaR
06-04-2016, 07:59 PM
Thanks all! It is on its final draft, out on beta atm. From the first to final i added about 15k words. It is complete and I am happy with it as it is. I was just curious how much of an uphill battle i was creating for myself. I have started my next so see how this goes :)