In my writing, I’ve always had a problem with pacing. My biggest problem? Everything happening way too fast. I was a master at using as little words as possible to say something. Flash fiction and me were best friends from the start. Write a story in 500 words, easy. I can write a story in 50.
But I didn’t want to write flash fiction, I wanted to write novels! So for months I worked on adding details into my writing. I thought carefully about character development. And I practiced and practiced and practiced on how to take one simple idea and write pages about it. And after a really long time, I finally got good at it.
But now I have a new problem.
As you might know, I’ve been working on my third novel for months now. I’m still hammering out the second chapter. The story really hasn’t progressed very far at all. But I haven’t given up, I’ve worked on it at least one day every week. Still, I was little bummed about how much more writing I still had to do.
So to lift my spirits, I checked my word count. I thought it would be somewhere around 5,000. What I found was that my word count was well over 35,000! My book is supposed to have ten chapters. If I keep writing at this rate, the book will be over 175,000 words long (and it will take me five years to finish). I’m not writing an epic tale, this book is supposed to be a fun little quick read.
How did this happen?!
My first thought was that I must have accidentally stuffed my book with filler. So all I had to do was find that filler and cut it out and the book would be fixed. Easy peasy.
I read though what I had written so far. There was no filler. Not even a little bit. All of the scenes were important to the story. A lot of it was character development. Actually, it was some of the best writing I had done, like ever.
So now what do I do? I can’t cut scenes without drastically changing the story, but I don’t want to write a book that long. I mean, what if this book ever got into print? If I dropped a copy of this thing on someone’s head, it could kill them!