Figuring out exactly how long a work will be before it’s written takes far more superior predictions than I’m able to make.
An outline definitely helps, but even then I am not sure how long a work will be.
Chapters, sure, I can guess at those.
I’ll inevitably be wrong on the *content* of those chapters, deleting some and adding others before I’m done.
Ultimately, though, it’ll stay about the same number as the original outline.
But in three different works (#4, #1, and #2, respectively) I ended up three different ways: #4, the only completed work at this stage, ended up much shorter than I had anticipated, even after I had a working outline; #1, the work that I have about 75-80% complete, is clearly going to end up exactly as long as I thought; and #2, the work that I am still researching, outlining, and deciding how I’m going to go about tackling? Much bigger than I originally planned. Much, much bigger. So much bigger that I have finally come to the conclusion that this work is, in fact, two.
This took some time to accept because I was still trying to stuff both parts into one book, and wondering why it seemed too impossibly massive. Once I realized I was dealing with two works off the same project, suddenly everything became much easier. Much, much easier. I quickly developed two separate and unique outlines and felt a lot better about the project, overall.
But that isn’t all.
After taking a closer look at all the sections of both newly minted outlines, I had another epiphany. Each section isn’t a chapter — it’s actually its own work. Not to worry, I did not, in fact, suddenly create 50 new books. That would be enough to make me back off completely! No, I had merely discovered that each section of both outlines would be best served as one in a series of short stories.
This is amazing! I cannot adequately express how freeing this is to take a huge project that I really do love, and want to do, and essentially break it down into very manageable chunks! Whew!