The word “Novel”
nov·el | ˈnävəl | noun a fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism: the novels of Jane Austen | she was reading a paperback novel.
A novel is defined in modern literary style and function by word count. ProWritingAid defines a novel in terms of length as follows:
Most publishers consider novel length as between 50,000 and 110,000 words. The average length is about 90,000 words. Big, epic stories can be 120,000+ words.
I’ve got to admit, when I first saw this numerically defined, I was taken aback. I thought to myself, I’ll never get 90,000 words on paper about this guy, this truck, and this girl. Then it hit me, I’m at 10,000 words on my current draft of the first chapter (written in 2014). That’s roughly 11%. Then, as I kept researching, I then found out that a 10,000 word chapter is a ridiculous monster that should be utterly destroyed. An average chapter should be about 1,500 words, or 2,000 words on the outstretch of things.
So, to break this down, you need about 60 sessions of writing 1,500 words to reach 90,000 words. To make this even an easier bite size portion, that’s two months of writing 1,500 words a day. Many authors, from what I can surmise, probably most experienced authors write about 1,000 to 2,0000 words per session.
That’s when it hit me…
…I can eat this sandwich. This is an eatable sandwich. It got the juices flowing. Driving 400 to 750 miles a day, I can’t write 1,500 words a day for a couple months, but what I can do is write 500 words a session while I am unloading and so forth. LP (propane) season is the easiest, for certain. If I have three loads in a day, I have 3 hours of unloading time, alone. These posts on this blog are around 500 to 700 words each. This isn’t as hard I have imagined it to be when I first laid eyes on it. With that being said, there’s a remarkable difference from writing a blog to writing a Story (yes I capitalized Story).
The Craft of Story…
…is something that we all see and hear. When you watch a movie or read a book, you are seeing Story Craft. It’s something I’ve witnessed, something I’ve took mental note of, something I’ve admired, but I know little about it. When I was in college on my second trip, I was going to major in European history and minor in Literature (probably English Lit). So, I had experience, but I need more experience understanding what a publisher and/or reader is looking for in a novel. To put it plainly, I needed to understand Story Craft. Antiseptically speaking, literary devices.
What I am doing here is showing you the progression of how I've come to where I'm at now at the end of February. More to come in the next few days.