Saturday, 14 November 2015

Writing a Long Book by Karen King

Most of the books I’ve written are quite short. Some of them have been under 500 words and most of them are under 20,000 words. Most of them have been commissioned too so I knew they were going to be published - very important when you write for a living.

So when I set out to write two YAs then two romance novels at around 50,000 words they were very long books to me. They took a long time to write, in between writing other shorter books that paid the bills.

Last year I started writing an even longer book. A contemporary romance of 75,000 words. I'd shown a synopsis of the story to a publisher at the RNA conference last year, they liked the idea and wanted to see the finished manuscript. So I decide to write it up. It was the longest book I'd ever written and only my third  'grown up' book. I thought I’d never finish it. There’s a lot involved in writing a long book. A lot more planning, revising, keeping an eye on time lines, sequencing, continuity, making sure your characters are consistent as well as creating the plot, subplots, conflicts and resolutions. I used a lot of post-its and note books, drank a lot of black coffee and demolished my finger nails.




I angsted a lot over that book, lost a lot of sleep, thought I’d never finish it but somehow I did. Then I worried again, what if the publisher didn't like it? What if no one wanted to publish it? To my delight it was snapped up by Accent Press. Then they gave me a contract for two more books. Two more long books of 75,000  words and I only  had six months to write the first one! I couldn’t believe it. I kept reading the contract to make sure I hadn't imagined it. I was so excited!

So here I go again, plotting and planning, angsting and worrying – what if they don’t like this book as much as the first? What if I can’t do it again?  But every time I doubt myself I take a look at the cover for my first book and tell myself if I did it once I can do it again. It is a gorgeous cover, isn’t it?




So you’ll have to excuse me bowing out of blogging for Abba for a while. I’ve got two long books to write and the first one  has to be finished soon!



7 comments:

Sue Purkiss said...

Good luck, Karen, and congratulations!

Karen said...


Thank you, Sue. :)

Susan Price said...

Karen, they'll love your book.

Karen said...

That's kind of you to say Sue. I hope they do!

هبل في هبل said...
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Becca McCallum said...

Good luck with finishing your books.

Karen said...

Thank you Becca. :)