Bad Penny Update – 2 Chapters to Go

I just typed the last words of the climax!  The last 15,000 words have been a blast to write.  Heck, the whole thing has been fun. 

If you look at the progress meter, you’ll see I’m at 83,384 words.  It’s weird writing something this “short.” I figure I’ll end up around 90,000 words.  I did some analysis of the size of some other thrillers.  You can see it below. It’s not super rigorous, but BAD PENNY falls well within the range.

Dean Koontz 93,500 2
Harlen Coben 130,500 2
JA Konrath 77,667 3
James Lee Burke 153,000 1
John Grisham 148,000 1
Ken Follett 140,000 1
Lee Child 149,000 4
Michael Connelly 145,000 1
Ridley Pearson 114,000 1
Robert Crais 80,667 3

The average of all those books is 117,000.

So I have about two more chapters to go.  I’d finish them next week, but we’re taking some vacation for the 4th.  This means I expect to type “The End” in the second week of July. Then I’ll set it aside for a few weeks, revise it, and send it out to first readers, including my agent.  Here are the characters:

  • Frank Shaw – Ex-con trying to go straight
  • Sam Cartwright – Friendly neighborhood Mormon who’s trying to make Frank feel welcome
  • Dan Meese – A man with snakes in his soul, Frank’s former cellmate
  • Tony Shaw – Frank’s nephew and hacker
  • Carmen Escobar – The woman found tied up in the trunk of Dan’s car
  • Pinto Correia – Bearded gun nut and Sam’s go-to guy
  • Jesus Goroza – Zombie for a drug cartel & Dan’s employer

I really think folks are going to enjoy this one.

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6 Responses to Bad Penny Update – 2 Chapters to Go

  1. Shane says:

    As much as I enjoyed your book and look forward to your future books, I think what I like the most is following your journey as a writer. Writing fiction has always been my favorite hobby, and until recently I had many half finished novels and short stories, but never anything complete. When I started reading your blog and using the resources you posted, I learned all kinds of things that have made writing more fun and me more efficient. Your “On Writing” series, Rachel Aaron’s blog on being more productive, and the book “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business”, have all been amazing tools for me. Thanks for sharing so much of the process with us!

  2. John Brown says:

    Good to hear that, Shane. I hope to have two authors on shortly that will provide some wonderful tools and insights!

  3. Matt Hayes says:

    I almost laughed out loud when I saw “Pinto Correia – Bearded Gun Nut”. Larry Correia!

    It’s good to see you’re almost done with BAD PENNY. When it’s all done, will you be doing DARK GOD’S GLORY?


  4. John Brown says:

    Matt, if you can’t have fun with your friends, why write (grin)?

    I’ll most likely start on DGG. I’ve already outlined it. I’ll know better in a month.

  5. Rehcra says:

    For some reason I loved Carmen’s description.


  6. John Brown says:

    Rehcra, it’s because you have such good taste.