Sunday, January 12, 2014

It's getting loooong over here

My current work in progress, the fantasy novel The Company of Seven, passed the 93,000 word mark a few hours ago, and there is no end in sight. My original thinking was that this novel would be about 160,000 words, but now I'm wondering if it won't end up being more like 180,000.

But that's all first draft material. Who knows? Upon re-read, I might end up chopping out a bunch of stuff. Still, I can't imaging cutting away more than a few thousand words, but time will tell.

Either way, this will be the longest single work I've written.

That thought is sort of exhilarating, but in no small part because I'm having fun writing this novel, my first novel in more than a year and my first Kron Darkbow novel in two years.

Initially I had wanted to publish this novel in December in time for Christmas. Then I got to thinking that maybe it would be February. Now? Truth be told, it's likely going to be Spring before this one is ready.

See, I've still got a bunch of writing to do. Then a few reads and re-reads and my own editing to. And I've got beta readers to line up, and one or two editors. Of course then comes the cover that needs to be done, and the blurb copy, the formatting for digital and for print, etc.

And that's not all. No, sir. The Company of Seven is a stand alone novel, but it does tie in with events and characters from my last two Darkbow novels, Ghosts of the Asylum and Demon Chains. So, I'm planning on making those three books into a trilogy, which means I'll have to go back and do some work on those earlier two books, including new covers and formatting.

Since I would like to release The Company of Seven at the same time I release the new versions of Ghosts of the Asylum and Demon Chains, allowing all three books to be tied together with trilogy labeling on their covers, I have a fair amount of work to do there. And I don't even have print versions yet of Ghosts of the Asylum and Demon Chains (I've been putting that off because I knew this whole trilogy thing was coming up).

Yikes! That seems like an awful lot of work. And I've a looooong way to go.

But I'm going to do it. Even if it means I can't publish The Company of Seven until Summer, I am going to get through all this.

Also, I think about some of the better known modern epic fantasy writers, such as George Martin and Steven Erikson. Those guys are penning novels 300,000 words in length and longer.


There was a time not so long ago when I couldn't have imagined penning something so lengthy, though now I can. It would just take me at least a full year to write that first draft, maybe longer. Honestly, looking back, I couldn't have imagined writing something longer than 100,000 words, but I've broken that already with a few books.

The point of this post? Just that I'm busy, and that I hope to have some new work out this year. Even if it's just this one novel, at least it'll be something.

However, there are a few already finished works waiting in the wings for final approval by traditional editors and publishers, so maybe some of that material will be published later this year.

As always, time will tell.


Charles Gramlich said...

Cold in the light was the longest book I've done. It was about 112 thousand. I got close to 80,000 with Witch of Talera but everything else has been less than that.

Keith West said...

The story is as long as the story needs to be. If you focus on that, word count doesn't really matter, especially if you don't have a trad pub editor forcing your work into a specific length.

Frankly, I'm looking forward to more of your work. Since I've got some in the TBR pile, a later release will give me time to get caught up on the ones I've not read.