Last Milestone of 2020!

Word processor word count showing 100,612 wordsWho has two thumbs and wrote 100,000 words of a fantasy romance this year? *points my two thumbs at my fantasy romance writin’ chest* The most recent chunk of words brought us to the final new location, paid off all my references to the Assassin Witness Protection Program, sprung There’s Only One Bed But We’re Not Having Sex Even If I See You Naked A Little, put us face to face at last with the oft-mentioned traitorous mentor, and introduced the heroine of the next book, who is plot-essential and not merely sequel bait. I even found time to noodle with her plot a little in order to keep her characterization during this appearance reasonably consistent with what it will be in her own book.

Based on what’s left of the outline, I’m going to guess the rough draft will be around 120,000 words. (If I can maintain 500 words per day and if that estimate is accurate, I’ll have a finished draft by February 4!) Since my rough drafts are usually sparse to the extreme (what’s a complete sentence? what’s a description?), the length of the finished book is usually nearly twice the length of its original incarnation. I don’t think that will be the case this time, and not just because the thought of a 240K book gives me hives. The first 10K words had to undergo some scrutiny already, so while they’ll need some editing in keeping with the big picture, they won’t need drastic expansion. The remaining bulk of this beast, although messy in terms of words-on-page, is much more tightly planned and executed structurally than previous books have been, so I predict I’ll have to add fewer scenes to fill gaps in the plot and may be able to consolidate some of what I have to tighten pacing. My gut feeling is that complete sentences, descriptive language, and otherwise making sure I get my point across will add, at most, 50K words. So fingers crossed for 500 pages instead of 700!

If I do a paperback version (“if” because I can’t afford Ingram right now and Amazon’s quality has been unsatisfactory post-CreateSpace), I may have to go up to 6×9 to get more words on a page and reduce the number of pages. I find that a physically uncomfortable trim size (I prefer 5.5×8.5 when trade is required), but you pay by the page in POD, and a $25 paperback is too outrageous to waste time covering and formatting for the zero people who will pay that much. Historically, I’ve sold only a handful of self-published paperbacks anyway, but having an official version does keep counterfeiters from filling the void by throwing up a crappy version copy-pasted from a pirated ebook. 

All of which is way, way, WAY in the future, but if I don’t feed my anxiety a steady diet of potential disaster and disappointment, I’ll die (or so it tells me), so I’m always looking ahead.

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