So far, all the work on this novel, which chronicles the emergence of a truly synthetic intelligence and its impact on the human race, has been on chapters I’ve already written and that need to be updated. Yesterday, I spent some time writing a completely new chapter.
It’s a first draft and it’s not finished yet. I found I had a general idea what I wanted to write about, but it was pretty ill-defined. I needed to create one new intelligence plus several new characters pretty much on the fly. Some old, familiar characters also make an appearance, tying events in the latest chapter back to earlier ones.
Once the chapter is complete, my word count for the whole book will be somewhere over 40,000. I’ve found out that 40,000 is the minimum word count for a novel (albeit a short one). But that’s only halfway through my proposed table of contents.
That means I have a decision to make. Do I keep on writing, creating a work that would end up being between 60,000 to 80,000 words (or more), or do I split my proposed novel in half?
If I do the latter, is my current ending chapter a good place to stop, or will I need to add more material to make it a “cliffhanger” and also a natural lead into the next novel? Another thing. If I do end it here, will the proposed first chapter of the second novel be a good place to start that story?
I do have to say that if I create two novels, I have two killer titles for them. If I keep it one novel, I’m still stuck for a title and sounds cool.
Of course, according to this site, assuming my novel is about 44,000 words, and written in 12 point Times New Roman font single spaced, that’s only about 110 pages. Not much of a novel. 60,000 words is about 150 pages, and 80,000 is 200 pages. Maybe I want to keep this one novel after all.
Then again, I found some material on Formatting 101 that states double-spacing is the standard for a manuscript. But a manuscript isn’t the final formatting for a novel. However, even changing the spacing to 1.5, increases the page count of a 44,000 word novel to 140 pages, which is a little better. For 60,000 words, that’s 190 pages, and for 80,000, it turns into 254 pages, which sounds more like a real novel.
I don’t know. You writers out there, do you have any suggestions?