I am writing my first novel, which I think likely will end up being several volumes. Although I have a lot of experience in poetry and short stories, this is a very different challenge!
My question is about estimating the length of a work prior to writing.
It is an epic scale story that I have planned out in great detail (while of course remaining flexible). I have outlined it and started to write pieces of it, but still am easily less than 1% into actual writing. In this process I realized that I need to decide if I am going to try to do this in one volume or multiple.
This will help me decide how to structure the overarching storyline, as well as:
- When to bring the story arcs together
- Whether I need to shape a wrap-up/cliffhanger for each volume
- What level of detail to give to elements of the story. If I were to keep it to a single volume, I feel I would have to condense things and be too superficial. On the other hand, if I go into the level of detail that I enjoy (and have used in short stories), it could easily spread into a series of several books.
I attempted comparing it to other works such as LOTR, which I think is only slightly larger in scale, but my limited experience writing long pieces makes it difficult to conceptualize the relative weight of different events in my story.
I looked for advice on this, and I found reading this thread helpful. However, estimating length isn't much addressed. Is there a method for this?