Today is day 70 and I am happy to report that I have finished the first draft of my novel. It went 82,088 words which was 12,000 more than my goal. I don’t know if it will get shorter or longer in the 2nd draft stage, but I am guessing a little longer. I know that I have a few details to work out in the rewrite.
This book was the longest thing I have ever written. It is at least twice the size of my last attempted novel and about four times the size of most of the screenplays that I have written in my life. More importantly it is the first thing I have written in the last ten years that I truly enjoyed doing.
I will begin working on the rewrite tomorrow and will keep at it until it is done. I will continue to do updates of how the rewrite is going. I don’t really know how long the rewrite is going to take. I am guessing much faster than the first draft, but how much faster remains to be seen.
Some interesting numbers. The book had 439,466 characters. It was 20 chapters long. Each chapter averaged 4,104 words. I averaged 1,172 words a day. Which is about 5 pages a day. The final book would be about a 328-343 paged paperback. Of course that is with standard font which is rarely used in YA novels. So that is just my best guess. Last but not least, it looks really cool printed out and sitting on my desk!
Most of my friends, students, family, and acquaintances ask a very common question, “When is it going to be published?” The truth is probably never. It is incredibly hard to break into the publishing ranks. It doesn’t mean I am not going to try. I just refuse to worry about that question. That is the question that has dogged my efforts my whole life. It has almost always led to self doubt and self esteem problems.
It just doesn’t matter to me anymore. I am a writer. I will always be a writer. Publication is a wonderful perk but I will not let it define me. I finished this book in 70 days. I am going to edit it. Send it to some agents and start on the next one. That’s what writers do, they write.
This weeks preview from the novel:
The children forced themselves to swallow as many berries as their stomaches would hold. When they were done eating they formed up into a small group and began to run down the road. The darkling in front of them heard them coming. It turned around and maybe for the first time in it’s life stared in horror. Death was coming and this time it was coming for him.