Am I still revising?
Oh yes, with a vengeance. See the word-count thingie down there on the left? I’m past 75k words – which would be wonderful if not for the fact that I should by now have reached three quarters of my story… and I haven’t.
My first draft was overlong at over 114000 words, and when embarking on the second draft, I thought I had a lot of words to cut: scenes I didn’t need anymore, flowery descriptions, plot detours, even a couple of characters, you know the sort of things that seem great at first and then get cut.
So I confidently gave myself a 100000 words goal: surely I could find 14000 words to leave out – to begin with? And you know, I still think I could, too – why, perhaps I have already cut a good amount of those 14000 words… Trouble is, I’m also adding – as much as I cut, or more. And it’s not just a matter of meandering, it’s that the new (and better) shape of the novel requires a new scene here, a transition there, another piece of dialogue…
So I’ve finished chapter 9 and I’m past 75000 words. The first draft had 15 chapters… And no, not all chapters are created of equal length, but all the same, in proportion, I’m afraid I might reach 125000 words by the time I’m there. Too long for a first novel (which this one will and will not be) even for historical fiction.
And I keep telling myself it’s only a second draft, and I’m planning a third draft anyway, so perhaps I don’t have to worry right now. But worry I do… The good thing is, I rather like the way it’s shaping up. I hope I don’t end liking it too much for its own good.
Ah well, what can I say? I expect to wrap up the second draft by the end of March, and then… then we’ll see.