Thursday, 27 October 2011

NaNoWriMo prep - Short novels

After I signed up for NaNoWriMo I quickly felt the need to justify what I was doing. A 50,000 word novel feels like a cheat. I had and still am aiming for 100,000 words with Fallen Warriors and I know many novels I enjoy reading come in at 250,000 plus.

I thought - why not see if I can find some recognised and celebrated novels that are less than 50,000 words?

To Kill A Mockingbird - everyone has heard of that, right? I remember it being an easy read; a short novel, right?

Wrong! Over 120,000 words!

I used Amazon Look Inside to allow me to count words on a page and then multiply by pages in the novel. Maybe the version I checked has been re-written...

Undaunted I checked another classic:
Of Mice and Men (Pocket Penguin Classics)
Average of ten words per line
28 lines per page
Paperback: 128 pages
35,840 words in total

Now we're talking! I studied this at school. I love the Robert Burns quote in the title and still get goose bumps thinking about the ending.

Time to check another one:
Enemy Mine
Average of ten words per line
35 lines per page
Paperback: 96 pages
33,600 words in total

Stormin! (I have to say I didn't enjoy Enemy Mine as much this summer when I re-read it. I have a memory as a teenager of deeply empathising with the characters but as an adult I found it quite shallow...) Still, that's two novels I have enjoyed (at some point in my life) that come in well under 50,000 words!

I'm hereby revising goal 36: To have written a 50,000 word novel in November 2011. (What's the point in having goals if you can't occasionally change them;)

Hold me accountable folks!

P.S. I wrote this last week, before contractors arrived to remove the roof from our house and the project I'm involved with at work hit new levels of stress. Is it physically, mentally and emotionally possible to complete NaNoWriMo while supervising construction work on your home and working full time, evenings and occasional weekends?

I can't quit now - I haven't even started yet!

1 comment:

  1. I loved "Of Mice and Men". Re-read it again recently and it's still great. I've also recently read "Grapes of Wrath" (also by Steinbeck). Much longer than Of Mice and Men, but an excellent book.

    What are you doing to your house?

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