Don't miss a freebie, deal, or new release.Join Now!
banner with headshot and name

Size matters

I'm struggling with my storyline, thinking that it's not “big” enough. Are my villains' (yes, there are two) motivations and goals big and interesting enough? Do I have enough layers? Do I need to flesh out my secondary characters more?


In a lot of the romantic suspense books I read, the villain has a reason to go after the hero or heroine, but their larger purpose is something big like human trafficking, or stealing women's eggs to sell to infertile couples, or…okay, well one of my villains is a drug lord. Is that high concept enough?

I keep thinking that I'm struggling to reach 80K because the premise is not quite large enough. Or maybe I just need to do a full-pass edit from page one before I get frustrated. The thing is, I want to get my plot hammered down before I waste time on the full edit.

I have some ideas for changing things up without completely changing the story structure. I'm pondering them now, and trying to decide if I should give it a rest for a week or so.

I probably won't.

I'm also pondering dropping my first four scenes. A depressing loss of 2400 words, some of which would have to be added back in to fill in the backstory the reader will have missed.

Why cut them? Well, I was thinking about entering a contest that is only for the first 1000 words of the MS, and I realized that I don't like them that much. The prologue maybe (I know, big no-no), but not the rest. They seem necessary, but I still don't love them.

I'm hoping for some guidance in the form of my beloved CP who is very busy right now. She's also in the throes of revision, and her poor husband has a busted wheel.

No matter how many words the MS ends up with, it's the size of the story that matters. I only hope that, by the end, mine's big enough.

Tell your friends!


  1. Christine


    Contest cuts can be different than the full MS… and I’d keep plugging along… besides, I know you will get there… be patient. A true ST is a 7 month endeavor start to finish to start again to finish again multiple times 🙂

    • Reply

      *Sigh*. I know. The contest just got me thinking, along with a couple of novels I’ve read lately. Gotta learn to just write what works for me. The rest will come.

  2. Pingback: What’s the big(ger) idea? « The Edited Life

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.