I have some amazing readers, the most thorough of which is my truly fabulous agent. I'm on my second round of revisions for her on my Too Hot For YA WIP. But the thing is, the first time I sent it to her, it was 76K words. Based on her notes, I revised and it grew to 90K. In this second round, I just passed 97K and it feels like the manuscript (not the story) is starting to take on a life of its own. (The story has always had a life of its own.) At this point, I'm pretty sure I'll hit 100K before I'm done.
Manuscript length is a hotly debated topic, but the truth is there's no "right" word count. But the thing is, whether your manuscript is 50K or 150K, each word has to count. Padding word counts is something I hear people talk about, but I don't understand it. If anything, I'd think as an author, we'd want to cut word counts. If I can tell the same story in less words while preserving the nuances of setting, emotion and turmoil, why would I want to tell it in more?
So, my last pass before I send this back to my truly fabulous agent and my amazing critique partner will be to cull out anything that's not essential to character development or plot progression.
I'm curious. Have there been books you read where you thought they were either too short or too long? Without naming names (unless you want to) why were you left with that impression?