Mind F*cked has surpassed 20,000 words. I expected it and agreed to extend it with 35k in mind. This is good as now I can write the story and allow it to finish in its own time instead of squeaking it under the wire with a hasty ending.
A group of authors was asked recently how they wrote contracted story lengths. The annoyance expressed by one reader clarified that he had read a book which seemed to carry right along until suddenly it ended. Plot lines were left loose and the conclusion left much to be desired. He asked if we proposed a length or were told a length by which to wrap up a full story.
It's a good question. I thought I'd post one of many answers here. I'm fortunate to have flexible publishers (with some exceptions. *Ecccccccccck* *Ecccccccccck* Sorry. Clearing my throat. *ECCCC!*) who give me free rein. Mostly, I send a proposal with my expected range and aim for that number. Experience tells me how complicated the plot must be and when romantic/sexual elements must be introduced.
One publisher will take a completed manuscript submission before issuing a contract. Another does a bit of both, depending on what slots they need filled (no pun intended) and if I am writing for a specific line.
If a story cannot be adequately told in the provided word limit, I ask the publisher if I can extend. I've never had them say no.
Other shit: Book two of the Darkness series continues to wait. Should have news of it's status in ten days. Thanx to those who've asked.
Other-er shit: I'm planning books into 2011 now. My writing calendar is slated to complete a work every month. Most of them are shorts and therefore not a risk to quality. The publishing world does not cease to amaze me. May there be room for them all.
Note to self: "Mia, there is much to be said for time-off. Why do you do this to yourself?"