Friday, April 12, 2013

Five Ways to Add Word Count to a Novel

Have you ever had the same problem I've had where your novel was too short and you had to add drastically to the word count to make it long enough? If so, what did you do to lengthen your story?

I've been working on revising my New Adult Adventure Romance Novel, Jump the Line, for an editor who's interested and who asked me to add 30,000 words, make a love triangle, and change the ending. That's all! At first I wasn't sure if I could do it or if I wanted to, but I decided to give it a try and I'm glad I did.

With a lot of help from my writer critique friends—I never could have done it without you guys! Thanks so much!—and some hair-pulling moments on my part where I wondered if I should just ditch it, I'm finally almost done, and I'm happy with the results. I think it's a much better story now. At least I hope so after all that work!

I learned a lot along the way and want to share some of the things I did with you in hopes that it will help. Here are a few suggestions people gave me that worked:

1. I added a lot of details—something I love to do and usually overdo and have to try to hold back on.
2. I added more scenes, ones I'd skipped before.
3. I added more interaction and dialogue between the characters.
4. I also added more introspection for my main character because I tend to go sparingly on that, so my readers have no idea what my MC is thinking half the time. Not good.
5. I completely had to rethink and change the love story and add a lot more romance in, which was the fun part, but not easy to do since I originally had only one love interest. At first I wasn't even sure which guy she'd end up with, but I decided to go with the one the editor wanted, and it's working out nicely. I just had to do a complete "switcheroo" in my head.

I hope to be done with the story by the end of April (cross my fingers!) and send it in and hope the editor loves it enough to buy it. I'd love to hear some of your ideas on things you've done to add words to your novels.


  1. I'm so happy to hear the updates on Jump The Line! That's hard work revising so much, especially when you're changing the ending and a lot of the characters. I liked your idea of adding dialogue and more introspection. Can't wait to hear the update next time I see you!

  2. Thanks Heather. I really appreciate the encouragement. I'm so excited about this rewrite. It's finally al lfalling into place. I couldn't have done it without everyone's input, including yours, so thanks a lot.