Whenever I complete another ten pages of my novel (as the pages are in my computer file), I run a word count to see how much I have written. I began the counts because I read that the average length of a novel was 70K-90K words, and I was eager to meet that benchmark.
I don’t try to shorten or draw out my stories. I write until the story is finished, and that is its length. But as my second novel progressed faster than the first – with fewer characters, a shorter timeline, and a simpler plot – I was worried about ending up with a short book. Now that I’m in the middle of the normal range and the characters are still embroiled in crisis, I don’t worry anymore. But I still run the counts. They’re kind of fun.