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Thursday, March 7, 2013

More Author Insight: Page Count Intimidation

As a reader, is there a page count at which a book becomes daunting to you? Does this affect you as a writer?

"No good book is too long, and no bad book is short enough. I'm not the kind to keep reading a book I don't like; if I make it through the first three or four chapters without putting it down, I'll be happily hooked to the end." - Dan Wells, author of Fragments. 

"I tend to prefer shorter books, both in writing and reading. So I admit to getting a little freaked out if I go past 80k words. I start to worry I’m over writing, and risk rushing. Thankfully, I rarely face this dilemma." - Natalie Whipple, author of Transparent

"It’s always the saggy middle, which is between pages 150-200 or so. This is where I usually have to just push my way through, knowing I can go back and fix things later." - Page Morgan, author of The Beautiful and the Cursed

"As a reader, I’m not scared of long novels. In fact, there is nothing so deliciously pleasurable as an enormous novel that absorbs and captures me for days on end. As a writer, though, I tend to get anxious when I wade past page 320 in a manuscript. It’s an arbitrary line in the sand that makes me feel like I’ve gone on too long and readers will lose all patience with me and flip on the TV. The final draft of 17 & Gone ended on page 320, if you were wondering." - Nova Ren Suma, author of 17 & Gone.

"I’m a slow reader, so I know anything over 300 pages is going to take me a while. Strangely enough, my books always end up at around 250-300 pages. It’s not a conscious decision, it just feels right." - Dave Cousins, author of 15 Days Without a Head

"There are many books that I don't finish reading. I usually give up on those after the first two or three chapters, mostly because I have so many other books to read. As a writer, I try to be fast-paced and end my chapters with a cliffhanger that hopefully makes the reader say, 'I am so damn tired. But maybe just one more chapter...'" - Suzanne Young, author of The Program. 

"Not really because I love LOVE huge long books. It means the story just lasts that much longer. I recently finished The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach and it is a testament to his tremendous talent that he was able to make me love a 500 page book about baseball." - Emma Carlson Berne, author of Never Let Go

"Not really. I’ll read anything that interests me, no matter the length. Likewise, I’ll write until the story’s done, no matter the length. It’s going to get cut down in edits, anyway." - Josin McQuein, author of Arclight

"No, page count is never a factor. The story length will be what it needs to be. Draft versions are generally about double the finished length, but over time the word count falls into place as I cut unnecessary crap." - Scott Blagden, author of Dear Life, You Suck

"No. I love long books. I might not always finish them (Team of Rivals, I will conquer you!), but I am up for the challenge. When my dad took me to the bookstore in junior high and told me I could pick one book, I picked the longest book I could find so it would last longer. This is what brought me to Watership Down and James Michener. Actually, I thought Hawaii by Michner was a travel book. A 1000 page travel book." - Lindsey Leavitt, author of Going Vintage

"At about page 400 I'm wishing there weren't a whole lot more to read. As a writer, I tend to lose interest in the characters by around page 300, but since I write for young readers, and I don't write breakneck-paced suspense and adventure, 280 pages would be plenty." - Lois Ruby, author of Rebel Spirits

Stop by Tuesday when the authors share the first sentence of their latest book!

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