So for the past several months, I have been busy editing my novel. To keep myself on top of it, somewhat, I have been reading two chapters at a time for my critiquing group. Sadly, this is taking more time than I wish to take. My goal is to submit the novel to agents and publishers by the end of the year. To be more precise, I want it published by the end of the year, if at all possible. Considering I am only 1/3 of the way through the novel with my group, I am going to need to find other people to critique.
Of course, I have been editing well ahead of the group. They are at Chapter 14. I am currently on Chapter 31 out of 35 (plus epilogue). It has been hard. There are a few intense scenes (which really take it out of me), I added several chapters, and I have been struggling with tying up loose ends. And on top of this, there is the problem of word count.
The conventional wisdom is that a novel starts at somewhere between 50,000 and 55,000 words. When I was first writing this book, I was worried about whether or not I would hit that goal. Now I'm worried I have too many words.
I've been dong my research, trying to maximize my chances of actually getting picked up. I want to know what I am getting myself into. I have read that 90,000 words is about the limit as far as a new author is concerned. Any longer, and the publisher would have second thoughts about taking on the novel. In essence, they do not think people would be willing to pick up a book that long by an unknown author. Now, I do not know how accurate this statement is, but it does make a certain amount of sense. I was told that if my novel is longer than 90k, I should consider splitting it into two books, maybe even three.
So here is my dilemma. I have a definite break in my book, where the main characters go from Earth into the Afterlife. There are a few scenes people have talked about wanting in the first third. I don't know what to do. Should I take this advice and split my novel into two parts, or ignore it and keep it as one? I have been planning on a sequel, but that sequel isn't plotted out yet.
What do you all think?