I was going to do this entire entry in blues verse. I got two verses in before realizing I'm not actually a songwriter.
As of this posting, the book I've been working on for three and a half weeks is up to a little over 70,000 words. I'm not bragging, I swear - I know I write quickly, and oftentimes that bothers me, because when I try to write fast, I write crap. I know I've talked about this before; I think I've done entire blog entries on this.
What's bugging me is that I'm nearly done with the first draft, almost to the end, and the book just doesn't feel long enough. Yes, I know, that's kind of ridiculous. I know that a book should be as long as the story takes to tell, no more and no less. And I know a lot of books aren't even that long, depending on the genre and the target audience and dozens of other factors.
But dammit, I have a ton of books on my bookshelves that are these GIANT TOMES OF AWESOME STORY and I'd really like my books to be like that. >_<
Yes, I'm aware of how ridiculous this is. I know all fantasy stories don't have to be massive epics that could serve double duty as doorstops. And I know that being able to tell a story without wasting a lot of words along the way is a sign of a skilled writer. There's something to be said for an economy of words, for being able to communicate something with a sentence that once required an entire paragraph. I've done a lot of condensing while editing previous works, and I know the story came out stronger for it.
But at the same time, having such a low word count when the story's nearly done makes me wonder if it's going too fast. The first page of my plot document is, largely, the first chapter of the story. Later on, a paragraph or two of the same document forms a chapter. I know that's not a comparison I need to make, because first chapters are not supposed to be the same thing as fourth or ninth or seventeenth chapters, but still, something about this just doesn't feel right.
And my plot is fifteen pages! I've written books well over a hundred thousand words with much shorter plots than this. I don't get it. I really don't.
I know I'll be able to add what I need to once I'm editing. (I say that assuming I'll be editing this; I don't think I'll hate this one when I'm done but I can't make any guarantees either.) I even know some of what I'll need to add. The city that much of the story takes place in needs more description to really get across what it's supposed to look like, being attached to a university of magical teaching. The wasteland where the rest of the story takes place also needs more description, as it's supposed to be this wrecked and glowing surreal landscape and I don't think I've quite nailed that yet.
There's emotional content to add as well. As I've said before, I don't always write character emotions into my plot, as I figure those will show themselves in the story itself. And when I'm just trying to get the story out, I know how the characters feel, but I don't always show it well enough. So there are scenes that I'll definitely need to go through and make sure I get all the characters' feelings across. I'm thankful to beta readers on previous books who helped me realize I don't always delve into this as much as I need to.
Yet, even after all this, I still feel like a fantasy story should be a good long tale. I still feel like what I've done so far just isn't enough, but I know I'm not going to drag out the third act to artificially pad the word count. So here I am, knowing that what's bothering me is foolish, and yet unable to shake the feeling that I'm doing something wrong.
I'll end this with my usual request for advice. Advice in the form of pointing out that I'm being a doofus is perfectly acceptable.