Holy schmoly, has this been a ride. I projected the CURSE OF A DARK GOD to be 140,000 words. When I blew by that, I projected it would be 170,000. Today I just typed the last word of the first draft. It’s 230,000 words. For reference SERVANT OF A DARK GOD is 170,000 words.
The bad news is that while I’m really happy with this draft, it IS a first draft and needs some editing. I’m also behind schedule. I hit 140k words just a few weeks after my original deadline (in March), so I pride myself on knowing how fast I can write, but at that point I had, unknowingly, about a normal novel’s worth of material left to write. Obviously, I haven’t quite figured out yet how to estimate the size of these bigger works. The problem is that instead of getting a month or even two to revise, I’ve got two days. Then I have to turn it in to my editors.
The good news is that my editors haven’t canned me, yet. 🙂 And that they have great insight into story. And that I should have plenty of time to fix and polish this thing to make it shine. I just don’t like turning in first drafts. My goal with book three is to get back on schedule.
Having told you my scheduling woes, I am very excited about the characters and storylines and expect readers to enjoy this as much or more than the first in the series. However, I do wish I could get this process down so that I was 99% of the way there in one draft. There are some authors who can do that. Perhaps that will come with more experience. Until then, I get to enjoy revision.
Here are my stats:
- 550 hours to write, from pre-draft to the end, not including thinking thinking on walks and drives and discussion time with my wife who saved me thrice.
- The bulk of the writing was done in a 24 week period. I averaged 17 hours per week during that time. This is on top of my day job.
For those who don’t know, an average young adult book as from 40,000 to 80,000 words. An average adult novel is from 70,000 – 120,000 words. I’m very pleased I was able to finish this monster. I might not be the fastest writer, but what this tells me is that I should be able to finish two big novels a year if I should ever be so lucky as to go full time.