I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Adding Words to your Manuscript

By Patricia Bradley

From Printmaster
Last month I talked about cutting words from your manuscript. This month I'm talking about adding them.

Someone asked me if it's easier to cut or add words. Personally, it's easier to cut words. Adding words means new writing and editing is always easier for me. 

Most of the time, when I write my first draft I'm laying down the suspense part of my book. Then I go back and layer in the romance, emotions, scene details and make sure the Inspirational element is solid. If I still don't have enough to meet my word count, I'll think about adding another subplot, with or without a POV character.

Another way to add words is to flesh out your main characters. Give them another problem to deal with. Or, in the words of Raymond Chandler, if you're writing along and the going gets dull, bring in a guy with a gun. 

It doesn't have to be a literal gun. It can be anything unexpected--an accident, a phone call, an illness, a burned meal, a body...you get the picture--any type of sudden shock will do.

I also go back and make sure I don't have talking heads. Characters talking back and forth without a setting. Readers like to picture where your characters are and what they're are doing. This is also the time to give your POV character interior monologues. Let the reader know what the character is thinking. It's also a great place to have her to say one thing but think another.

So these are a few of my tips for increasing word count. What's your favorite way? Or are you a writer who never needs to add words? 

Leave a comment and be entered in a drawing for a copy of either Shadows of the Past, A Promise to Protect, or my Harlequin sweet romance, Matthew's Choice.

Drawing limited to Continental United States for hard copy. An e-file will be available for all other entries.

Patricia Bradley
Follow me on Twitter: @PTBradley1
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Shadows of the Past - Revell February 2014 
A Promise To Protect - Revell October 2014
Matthew's Choice - Heartwarming September 2014
Shop Amazon for my books under Patricia Bradley

I asked God to teach me patience and He gave me a book to write


  1. This is good stuff, great tips and humorous. I don't think I have Matthew's Choice yet, but all of your books are super.

  2. Don't tell me I didn't give you a copy of Matthew's Choice when you were here!! Thanks, Dee.

  3. I always thought I was the only one who had to work at reaching a desired word count instead of having to cut large amounts. Guess it all depends on thought processes and tight writing.

    These are great tips, and I'll be sure to use them, because I'm revising right now. Thanks so much for sharing these tips with us!!!

    I'd love to win a copy either of A Promise to Protect or Matthews Choice! (I already have Shadows of the Past.)

  4. I haven't read Matthew's Choice, but would like to, Pat. And the only words I ever need to add seem to be vital scenes that I somehow neglected! ARGH!!

    Usually, my verbosity astounds me and editing much of it out takes forever, but does produce something readable in the end. Smile

  5. Awesome advice, Pat! I don't think I have Matthew's Choice or A Promise to Protect. I'd love either one.

  6. Oh, Teri, you should have gotten A Promise to Protect--I must not have your correct address!