It's noon on November 30, 2016, and I am DONE.
Not with the 50K words. That happened on the 19th. I'm done with the first draft of Sanctuary, book two of the Immortal Soulless series.
It's 76K words right now, which is a little longer than the first book. And that's fine by me. I think a book should be as long as it needs to be to tell the story. No more, no less. No padding to bulk up the word count, no cutting necessary information or skimping on the writing to keep the paperback a little slimmer. Not too hot, not too cold. Just right.
This draft was by no means the easiest one I've ever worked on. I hit a few roadblocks and had to take full days off to step back, play "what if?", figure out problems I didn't spot in the planning stage, and re-orient myself. And there were questions that persisted right up to the end.
Questions like, "What the ever-loving fuck am I even DOING in this story?"
Not on a plot level, but thematically. With characters. With all of the golden threads that weave in with the plot to really make a story shine.
And I'm happy to say that I think I have my answers. It took days of struggling through the climax sequence and wrapping things up today in the resolution, but I think I finally know what this story is about (and what my main character needed to learn this time to get her ready for all the shit that's coming down the pipeline in future books).
So now I go back (after I let this thing sit for a month or so) and change everything that needs to point to that conclusion. Revise the heck out of this thing so that it's not just a series of events, but a story that means something.
Not one that preaches. Ugh. No. *shudder*
But one that leaves readers a little richer than they were before and maybe sticks with them for a while after the last page has been turned.
Revision is a beautiful thing. The first draft was a valuable exploration of the potential of the work I did in the planning stages, but I still have a lot of work to do.
I can't wait. :)