NaNo has just recently ended. You've written a 50K word novel. The thing is ... the normal novel length is around 70K. 50K is the bare minimum for a novel. What in the world are you going to do for that extra 20K that isn't going to be a lot of unnecessary fluff that's going to hurt the book? Maybe you're not doing NaNo, but you're just writing on your own and this problem happens or you wrote a short story and you'd like to make it into a full size novel. Whatever you issue is, I hope this post helps. Thank you Sara Letourneau for suggesting this post!
Recently (by the time this post was written anyway), I had to extend Red Hood by 20K, after shortening by 4K for one publisher then getting rejected then having another publisher want it longer. If it sounds frustrating, it kinda was. But ... this journey taught me a lot about cutting and a lot about extending,
Here are some techniques I used to get my book to that 20K. I'm putting them in order of least drastic change to most drastic change.
1.) Description - One of the number one things that gets neglected, especially when you're speed writing is description. At least for me anyway. Oftentimes we lack description in the first draft. We just give a basic idea then move on when we need more to get a decent picture of the scene. Look for areas in your story lacking description. Sometimes this alone can extend your novel by 10K to 20K. If you need more tips on description I wrote a post about it.
2.) Can You Enhance an Existing Scene? - Are there any scenes you can extend? Think like in the Lord of the Rings where they added scenes that included more character development and backstory and such. I've seen both the theatrical version and the extended version and the extended version is so much better because you get the know the characters and understand the world more because of those new and extended scenes. You want to have this kind of mindset. Can you make a scene a tad longer to show more dynamics between two characters? Can you weave in some worldbuilding? Can you add more action?
|This is one of my favorite scenes in Two Towers and it's so annoying when no one |
knows what it is because they haven't seen the extended edition!
|While we're on LOTR, yes my characters travel epically like this!|
|DON'T DO IT, CLAES!|
|Just switch it out to "POV" to "lever" and we're golden.|
Have you had to extend your novel? What are some tricks you used? Did you participate in NaNo?
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