Word Count and Under Writing

Posted Sonlight Press Author Blog, Gabby Wells - Book 1, Gabby Wells Novel

Even though the title of the first Gabby Wells novel was finally released (Kneel & Prey), I have been writing the first draft of the story since the beginning of August.  I originally set my word count goal at 50,000, but bumped it up to 65,000, because that’s the universally accepted length of an official novel.

I want each novel to be around 300 pages and I think I’ll need 65,000 words to get there.  I haven’t actually formatted the pages into the Createspace template to know how close my estimate is, but 65k is a solid goal none the less.


With the first draft, I hope to write between 55,000 – 60,000, because I tend to under write.  Coming from a screenwriting background where everything is direct and to the point, my first drafts often include many moments where the plot quickly moves from A to B without enough description, action, internal dialogue, etc. from the main character.

If I can make it to 55k in the first draft, I’m sure I’ll be adding a couple hundred words per chapter to effectively round it out.

You’ll notice in the graph that the novel, previously titled Skyway, has been renamed Sins & Suicide to follow the ampersand model for the rest of the books in the series.  You’ll also notice that there is one book that still has to be defined.  I have no idea what that story will be yet, but there needs to be a buffer between Lost & Found and Sins & Suicide.  Having those back to back wouldn’t really work.

Rebooting the Gabby Wells universe for the last time has been a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed it, for the most part, reintroducing the character and the world.  I will say, however, that I don’t want to do it again.  After Kneel & Prey I want to focus on future stories, not recreating the past.

I originally wanted to complete the 1st draft of Kneel & Prey by the end of August, meaning I have only a few days to pound out about 15,000 words to meet my minimal goal.  Not sure I will be able to make it.  We’ll see…

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