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I write my novels everyday and now it's already more than 100 pages yet it's not half of the story...

Should I plan for ending or just keep writing?


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Should I plan for ending or just keep writing?


Read Sheri Fresonke Harper's answer to I write my novels everyday and now it's already more than 100 pages yet it's not half of the story. Should I plan for ending or just keep writing? on Quora

While my original answer to this question appeared on the thread linked above, my answer here on EelKat.com is longer and has more detail then the one posted on the original forum.














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Should I plan for ending or just keep writing?

My Answer To The Person Who Answered This Question Incorrectly:

I was just on Quora and say this question (as Quora decided to display it as recommended) and the question was this:

"I write my novels everyday and now it's already more than 100 pages yet it's not half of the story. Should I plan for ending or just keep writing?"

But the top answer was this:

"Depending on your genre a novel will be anywhere from 70000 words to 120,000 words. A 100000 words is about 400 pages and 50000 words is 200 pages."

How do such incorrect answers get voted to the top?

Your numbers are waaaaay off;

50,000 words - printed as a book - comes to about 75 pages;

Most publishing houses consider 50k to be a short story;

75k to 120k to be a novella;

120k to 300k a novel

300k+ an epic novel

If you are looking to trade publish - print paperback with a large press publishing house - know that their printing press machines which make your book, typically require a book to be at minimum 282 pages aka 120,000 words; this has to do with the machines that print the books up.

The average publishing house will refuse to look at any manuscript under 120,000 words, because their printing machines are not able to print books with fewer then 282 pages.

The numbers you cite, appear to be referencing, page count vs word count of the standard manuscript printed in 12pt font on 8x11 sheets of copy paper.

Please keep in mind that the standard printed novel has pages 4x6, with print space of 3x5, and a font size of 10pt.

Many people, whom have never worked in the publishing industry, are quick to hash out inaccurate answers on sites like Reddit and Quora, because they are simply seeking views and followers. This becomes a problem, because often, they, like this person here, answer the question by re-hashing an answer they read someone else say. And so now, not only was the first person who answered wrong, but now so too is every one else who answered and simply rehashed the first answer, falsely assuming that the first answer must have been correct.

No. I'm sorry, but none of the answers on the Quora question linked above are correct.



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Also, none of them answered the question asked either.

The first one answered by citing page count vs word count (incorrectly) and then each person after that did the same thing, using the exact same incorrect numbers the first person had used.

Ironically, the person DID NOT ask how many words or how many pages, their novel should be. They didn't ask that at all.

What did they ask?

"I write my novels everyday and now it's already more than 100 pages yet it's not half of the story. Should I plan for ending or just keep writing?"

THAT was the question.

It was the statement:

"I write my novels everyday and now it's already more than 100 pages yet it's not half of the story."

Followed by the question:

"Should I plan for ending or just keep writing?"

In looking at the answers, I have to now ask this:

Has the world reached a point that attention spans are so short, you can't even read two sentences?

Everyone who answered this, made the attempt to answer the statement which explained the situation, but not one of them, moves on to actually answering the actual question which came after the statement!

The question was: 

"Should I keep writing?"

And no one answered that at all.

My Answer To The Question Itself:

Well, now, since no one else answered the question, let's do that, shall we?

The question:

"I write my novels everyday and now it's already more than 100 pages yet it's not half of the story. Should I plan for ending or just keep writing?"

There are some things to consider here, and page count is not one of them.

The most important thing to consider is the fact that you are writing a first draft. If you plan to publish it, you will later edit it.

Then you will revise it, which is different then editing.

Then you will rewrite it, which is different then revising.

Once you have done that, you'll edit it again. Then you'll revise it again. Then you'll rewrite it again.

The average published novel goes through 7 edits. That means, also 7 revisions and 7 rewrites. Meaning you'll go back into your novel and re-do it a grand total of 21 times, before it'll be polished enough to send to a professional editor for actual editing.



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Sounds like a lot of work? It is. But it's what you have to do if you want to be published.

It is not uncommon for a first draft to be as many as 500 pages, keeping in mind that 11x8 draft pages, translate into 1,000 printed pages.

During the editing and revision process, a typical writer can plan to cut 300 or more pages of their draft.

And so with this in mind, we return to your question:

"I write my novels everyday and now it's already more than 100 pages yet it's not half of the story. Should I plan for ending or just keep writing?"

The answer is, when writing your first draft, do not worry about word counts of page counts. They are trivial items that mean nothing to you as an author. It is the publisher who has to worry about them, not he author.

Your job as an author is to write the story.

Get the story out on paper.

Just write.

Write. Write. Write. Write.

Who cares about word count?

No one.

Who cares about page count?

No one.

No one cares about those things at this stage. You are months away from those things being important.

Right now what is important, is getting the ENTIRE story, beginning to end, out of your head and onto the page.

No one vomits gold bricks on the page. You WILL remove more then half of what you wrote during the editing stage.

Do you know what that means?

It means if you stop right now with only 100 pages written (and 100 pages is only a novella, it's not a novel) and then you cut half of it out in editing, you'll have a finished product of only 50 pages, which is a short story.

To be a novel, it needs to reach 282 printed pages AFTER you cut it in half during the editing and revision process.

Meaning at this stage, you should be planning to write a 500 page first draft.



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I know, new writers look at that and say: "But I can't cut out half of my story!"

You won't be cutting out half of your story.

In most cases, the cuts do not effect the story at all. In most cases, the cuts are removing super long wordy sentences and replacing them with short, clean, easy to read sentences.

You see things in first drafts like:

"He ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and just didn't stop running until he got all the way to the top." (24 words)

In the finished novel however, you would instead see this:

"He ran all the way to the top without stopping." (10 words)

The story was not changed by rewording the sentence and cutting it from 24 words to just 10 words.

When you edit and revise your story you will go back and look at long wordy sentences and rewrite them shorter. But right now while you are writing the first draft, that part doesn't matter. What matters now is just getting the story out there.

Once you have the entire story out of your head and on page, then you can go back into it and play around with rearranging words and making it easier to read. But that comes later, after you've written it out first.

Just keep writing.

Write to the end.

Write it as long as it needs to be to tell the complete and entire story.

DO NOT, change your story just to write fewer words.

Just write your story.







This article was originally written on: June 26, 2017

This page last updated on: June 26, 2017



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