By Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Most publishers have a word count range. Some are 60K-65K, while others are more broad such as 75K-100K. How close does your word count have to be? I always shoot for the middle of the range. That way if I'm a little under, I'll still be over the minimum, and if I'm a little over, I'll still be within the range limit.
When I say I'm over my word count, I mean that I'm over my projected, self-appointed word count, not above the limit for what is allowed by my publisher.
To avoid going too far over or arriving at my ended destination at being too far under, I always stop writing the first draft around 75% of the way through the manuscript. I evaluate what I've already written, and take an objective look at what is left to write. I try to pinpoint each unwritten scene, estimate word count for each, and make a determination as to what scenes need to be eliminated, combined, or if there are loop holes that don't give closure to all the problems in the story.This is where I may add scenes or change a scene I had planned to write.
What about you? Do you tend to over-write, under-write, do you always hit your mark? Do you ever stop like me and re-evaluate before you finish?