95,000 Words

‘The Hunted Angel’ now clocks in at 95,102 words, and the 95,102nd word is ‘day’, but it won’t stay that way because the work still must be edited.

By the time that the first draft is finished, I expect that it will be in the region of 120,000 words, which is right on the borderline between a novel and an epic. A novel is 70,000 to 120, 000 words (with 100,000 being the average). An epic is anything longer than 120,000 words. After editing, however, the total will probably come down to more like 115,000.

Editing is a vital part of the writing process. It is only during this stage that you realise how crass your worst writing can be. Editing gives you a chance to put all of that right before anyone reads the book. Like many independently published writers, I do my own editing. For many of us, this is an unavoidable decision because hiring a professional editor can be an expensive business. There is another reason, though. By doing your own editing, you can really get to grips with the quality of your writing. This is where too many independent writers fail. They think that editing is simply a question of correcting the typing errors. It isn’t. Any word processor worth its salt has a spelling checker built-in, so there should be few – if any – typos to correct. Editing is about appraising your text and polishing it until it is as good as you can make it. That is a sophisticated task which can make or break a book, depending on how well (or how badly) it is done. I will go into greater detail on this when I get round to editing the completed manuscript.

In the meantime, rest assured that, unlike too many independent writers, I edit properly. I will discuss that in a later post as well.


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