This morning at 2:15AM, I wrote THE END at the bottom of the master Scrivener file for That Damn Novel. (Not its actual title, mind you…more an internal working title for the last few months.)
- 119,735 words
- 24 chapters
- 479 pages
- Almost, but not quite, twelve months from start to completion
And now the manuscript will go into a virtual desk drawer for at least two weeks before I pull it out and look at it again to start editing. I’d like to pare it down to less than 110,000 words, and if I’ve learned one thing from this whole novel-writing business, it’s that you can always cut 10% off the draft (and it will invariably improve and tighten up the narrative.)
This novel is the third one I’ve completed since 2006. The first two are 55,000 and 94,000 words, respectively, so if the manuscript growth trend continues, the next one will be a 150,000-word tome.
This one was also my Process Discovery novel. Up until now, I’ve written everything directly on the computer or the Neo. This one was a change from the usual process, as I was tinkering with different writing methods to keep the creative pump primed during the dreaded Mid-Novel Slump. I started writing it on the computer, continued on the Neo, and regressed to lower technology along the way. Chapters 13 through 17 were written mostly on the manual typewriter (Olympia SM-9), and from Chapter 18 on, I switched to pen and paper, transcribing the handwritten pages into Scrivener whenever I had a decent stack of them. In the process, I developed a serious addiction for the feel of a fountain pen nib on paper, and I discovered that the forced revision pass built into the longhand/transcribe method made for less wordy and more streamlined writing.
Now I’m going out into town to take my Saturday morning Dadcation, and maybe pick up a bottle for a private celebration tonight. The novel, she is finished!