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Size Matters – Tips for Enlarging Your Manuscript by Kris Bock
Posted By Jennifer Tanner On March 19, 2014 @ 12:34 am In Craft of Writing,Editing/Revision,Weekly Lecture Schedule | 14 Comments
You’ve typed ‘The End’ but your story falls short of the required word count. Now what? Author Kris Bock  shares her insight and offers tips on how to expand the length of your story.
Welcome to RU, Kris!
I write concisely. See that sentence? Direct and to the point. That comes from a combination of natural style, training in journalism, and years of writing for children, where you often have to write a story in only a few hundred words. In general, tight writing is a good thing. Stories automatically move faster without unnecessary wordiness, and many of my educational publishing contracts require me to pack a lot of information into a few pages.
However, there are times when less is not more. For example, several years ago I developed a series idea for middle school kids about a brother and sister who travel with a ghost hunter TV show and try to help the ghosts. My first manuscript was a tight, action-packed 20,000 words. An editor at Aladdin/Simon & Schuster said he loved it, but it needed to be 35,000 words to meet their standards for paperback series for ages 9 to 12. Yikes! I blogged about the process of expanding that book in detail here  and here . It became The Ghost on the Stairs, the first novel in my Haunted series .
Then, after years of writing for children, I decided I needed a change. Since I’d mainly been reading romantic suspense in the previous year, I took that as a sign of what I should write. In many ways, writing novels for adults is not that different from writing novels for children. But in one major way it is – most of my children’s novels are 35,000 words. A category romance is 60,000 words, and other titles are typically 80,000 words and up. That’s more than two children’s novels! I was afraid I’d write a draft and wind up far too short.
Over the years, I’ve become more of a plotter and outliner. I understand the appeal of “pantsing” it, but story planning and outlining saves me a lot of time. So for my first “grown-up” novel, I started by developing a detailed, 15-page outline. I estimated how many pages each scene would take. I added plot twists and complications until I thought I had enough material for an 85,000 word novel.
It actually worked. I couldn’t have done this when I started out, but I guess I learned something from 20 years of experience and writing more than a dozen novels.
That’s not to say Rattled  is perfect. It’s definitely action-packed, but I focused on plot twists over relationship development, so it’s really more of an action-adventure with a romantic subplot than a true romantic suspense, where the romance is as important as the action. In my following novels, I practiced slowing down, allowing the hero and heroine more time to bond and letting other relationships develop. I think I’m getting the hang of this complicated thing called writing.
People have their own processes, and you have to do what works for you – though I’d encourage you to experiment, as what you did in the past may not be the best thing for the present. I couldn’t outline successfully until I had enough experience with story structure to understand what would work. But if you have a problem with writing novels that are too short, or if you are about to experiment with a longer format, or if you need to expand a work in progress, here are some tips.
Here are several sources for analyzing your plot, which may give you ideas for ways to expand. Even if you don’t have length problems, these tools are also great for reviewing a manuscript for other issues.
Do you tend to write too long, too short, or just right? How do you control or adjust the length of a manuscript if necessary?
Author Kathleen Collins presents the Business Side of Writing on Friday, March 21st.
Whispers in the Dark  – archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins – is on sale for $.99 through March 21.
Bio: Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Counterfeits  starts a new series about stolen Rembrandt paintings hidden in a remote New Mexico art camp. In What We Found , a young woman finds a murder victim in the woods. Rattled  follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. Read excerpts on her website  or visit her Amazon page . Connect with Kris via Pinterest , Goodreads , Facebook  and twitter .
Chris Eboch writes novels for ages nine and up. The Eyes of Pharaoh  is an action-packed mystery set in ancient Egypt. The Genie’s Gift  is an Arabian Nights-inspired fantasy adventure. In The Well of Sacrifice , a Mayan girl in ninth-century Guatemala rebels against the High Priest who sacrifices anyone challenging his power. To learn more about Chris, visit her website or her Amazon page , or check out her writing tips at her Write Like a Pro! blog .
Article printed from Romance University: http://romanceuniversity.org
URL to article: http://romanceuniversity.org/2014/03/19/size-matters-tips-for-enlarging-your-manuscript-by-chris-eboch/
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 Kris Bock: http://www.krisbock.com
 here: http://chriseboch.blogspot.com/2012/06/turning-idea-into-story-making-muscular.html
 here: http://chriseboch.blogspot.com/2012/06/turning-idea-into-story-pump-up-drama.html
 Haunted series: http://www.chriseboch.com/index.htm
 Image: http://romanceuniversity.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Kris_Bock_for_web.jpg
 Rattled: http://www.krisbock.com/rattled_106908.htm
 Image: http://romanceuniversity.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/genies-gift-cover-500x800.jpg
 Kris Bock website blog page: http://www.krisbock.com/blog.htm
 Advanced Plotting: http://www.chriseboch.com/advanced_plotting_109133.htm
 Advanced Plotting: http://bookShow.me/B005FMBI18
 The Blake Snyder Beat Sheet: http://www.blakesnyder.com/tools/
 Let’s Schmooze: http://letsschmooze.blogspot.com
 Novel Metamorphosis: http://www.darcypattison.com/books/novel-metamorphosis/
 The Plot Whisperer: http://plotwhisperer.blogspot.com/
 plot mapping: http://tinyurl.com/kb2tyod
 plot tools: http://mollyblaisdell.blogspot.com/2013/05/blooming-plot.html
 Image: http://romanceuniversity.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Whispers_in_the_DARK.jpg
 Whispers in the Dark: http://bookShow.me/0615582230
 Counterfeits: http://bookShow.me/B00GQOEE9M
 What We Found: http://bookShow.me/B0094V0OD4
 Rattled: http://bookShow.me/0615462472
 Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Kris-Bock/e/B006WV4I5O/
 Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krisbockbooks/
 Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4735592.Kris_Bock
 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kris-Bock-Author-Page/174350342612332
 twitter: http://romanceuniversity.org https://twitter.com/kris_bock
 The Eyes of Pharaoh: http://bookShow.me/B004RR1718
 The Genie’s Gift: http://bookShow.me/0615905374
 The Well of Sacrifice: http://bookShow.me/0395903742
 website : http://www.chriseboch.com
 her Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Chris-Eboch/e/B001JS25VE/
 Write Like a Pro! blog: http://chriseboch.blogspot.com
 Dirty Little Secrets: http://romanceuniversity.org/2010/08/06/dirty-little-secrets/
 Weekly Lecture Schedule – March 17th to March 22nd: http://romanceuniversity.org/2014/03/15/weekly-lecture-schedule-march-17th-to-march-22nd/
 A Case For Story Structure by Adrienne Giordano: http://romanceuniversity.org/2012/11/09/a-case-for-story-structure-by-adrienne-giordano/
 JUST DESSERT: why a whole book can’t be a happy ending with Damon Suede: http://romanceuniversity.org/2014/07/23/just-dessert-why-a-whole-book-cant-be-a-happy-ending-with-damon-suede/
 A Matter of Timing: Positioning Your Major Plot Points Within Your Story by K.M. Weiland: http://romanceuniversity.org/2013/09/23/a-matter-of-timing-positioning-your-major-plot-points-within-your-story-by-k-m-weiland/
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