“For me, there’s nothing more cringe-worthy than when a first-time author announces that their manuscript is over 200,000 words, or worse yet, 300,000 words. The worst part is that they usually say with pride, like they’re looking for praise. I’ll admit, writing that many words is quite an accomplishment and for that reason, they should be proud, but announcing a single volume manuscript that long tells me that the writer has not done their research in regards to how long their novel should be to fit established guidelines.
Now, most word count guidelines are just that; guidelines. That said though, there are practical reasons why those guidelines exist. That’s not to say that a 200,000 word manuscript can’t be published that way, but it’s less likely to be and it will run into a few problems trying to get there.”
This is a short and nifty article to help explain something I have seen dozens of writers struggle with, and in the past have struggled with myself. As I said in the comment sections of this piece, by the end of a story the story should be where it needs to be. There are some marvelous books that I’ve found myself extremely disappointed in because the author seemed to keep padding or seemed desperate to conclude their massive novels. Their editors are probably great, but after a certain point the novels simply declined between half one and two. As a reader I found myself asking “Did they have an editor who knows pacing and length?”. I think being aware of word counts is secondary, but it can be important to keep in mind when thinking about if your story is doing what it needs to do in the length it is.