Snowy Days and Mondays

So Central PA got its first blanket of the white stuff. What’s the big deal? I hear a lot of complaining about the weather this time of year – usually from the same people that say it’s too hot in July. I hope you’re not one of them. Life is too short to grumble.

I hope you get a chance to think about this week’s question and check out the updated Featurd Excerpt, but right now we have more important things to discuss.

How many words does it take to create a novel? I hear so many different numbers floating around. I don’t know if there really is a correct answer. I’ve heard everything from 50,000 to 100,000 words. Take your pick.

But how do you develop a small idea into a full-fledged novel? It’s no easy trick. These ideas are not all-inclusive, but hopefully, it will give you some things to think about.

Once you get that idea that just won’t stay out of your head, write down every possible idea you can think of that relates to it. A thought may come to you while at the mall. Or maybe while you’re out for a Sunday drive. Use some real-life situations that have impacted your life. Whatever it is, write it down. If you’re like me, you won’t remember these things ten minutes later. You’re probably not like me, but it’s still a good idea to write them down.

Some people like to have the whole story planned out complete with outline and notations. I do believe it’s good to have a plan and at least a direction and goal in mind for your protagonist, but I still like to see where my story goes. In other words, I’ve found that often a story takes an unexpected turn, even for me, the author. If I plan too much, that option is taken away.

As I mentioned before, I’ve been using Freewriter. It allows me to fully develop my thoughts into organized ideas which eventually become organized words on a page. There are character blocks where I can develop my characters as much as I choose. There are scene blocks that allow me to go deep into description of the scenes I’m writing. But the ultimate question is – will it be a novel?

Remember, I’m looking for a minimum of 50,000 words (80,000 is even better). Once I have a pretty good idea where I’m going with the story, I need to come up with a word count for each chapter. If I have 20 chapters with 2,000 words each, I’m going to fall short of novel length. I have a choice. I can either add more chapters, or make the chapters longers. If I add an extra 1,000 words to each chapter (making a total of 3,000 words per chapter), I now have 60,000 words. You can decide if you want to call that a novel.

If I need 3,000 words for a chapter, and I have three scenes in the chapter, I need to spend roughly 1,000 words on each scene. That makes for more crafting to fit the word count.

Now, after saying all of that, I just write. The story itself will determine the word count. I’d rather have a good, short story than a bland novel. Writing a novel is a challenge, though. Stay at it. Let the creative juices flow. The end is in sight.

8 thoughts on “Snowy Days and Mondays

  1. Nikki, I can’t seem to reply to your comment below, so I’ll give you my thought here. First I love the title. I’ve not even read the first chapter yet and I’m drawn in.

    Secondly, you can have anyone that’s willing to write the forward for you. It’s best to have them read at least the rough draft so they can get the idea of what the story is about.

    Thirdly, I think the idea of mixing a comedy with a thriller is interesting. I could see the comedy being used to lighten up the suspense of the thriller. I’ll be waiting to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Bill. Thanks for your advice on writing a novel. Nothing is so easy to do. With 2,000 words, in each chapter, we’d be looking to do 40 chapters to get 80,000-word count. Or 30 with 3,000words. Whatever suits well.
    I did try freewriter on mobile but not available over phone. Would get it done on my laptop, now.
    Yes, I did Grammarly over my iPhone and laptop too. So helpful, it is. Thanks for your good piece of opinion. Much apprised of your support.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
    Have a good home time.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Bill. I have got it. It’s so useful. I have even started writing on it. My first novel. Let’s see how it goes.
        It’s a comedy thriller type. Name is ‘MY FATHER, THE MURDERER’. I wanted to ask how to get Foreword done and by who?
        And how these two genres sit by? I mean comedy and thriller.


  3. Hi Bill, I tried to get Freewriter but it is not compatible with my computer. Rats. Your information on word count was helpful. A good basic. Enjoy the white stuff. I’m one of the people who complain about the snow. I hate the inconveniences of power outages and being snowed in. I have never gotten the hang of driving in it. So I enjoy the beautiful view of it for five minutes than whine for however long it lasts. Last year we had a heavy snowfall one time (heavy for our neck of the woods). I live in a culdesac, right in the curve. It’s a narrow little street and the snowplow failed to recognize that I am a resident and proceeded to plow a four-foot wall of dirty snow right in front of my driveway. You have to admit, that’s something to complain about.
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving, but please, keep your snow you yourself:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure why you can’t get Freewriter. It’s really been a help to me. Maybe you could try Hemingway Editor. Freewriter works more as far as organizing your writing, but Hemingway Editor is good for, well . . . editing. It tracks your mistakes and word usage to help break bad writing habits, but at the same time, it corrects the mistakes. I’m looking into something called Power Writing Aid ( You might want to check it out. Oh, and would you like some cheese with that whine? Have a great Thanksgiving, Lori!


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