Yesterday, at around 4:30 pm I killed a god and thus finished my book. Now, when I refer to “finished” I mean the complete draft. It’s not really a true first draft because I have gone back and forth over the whole thing as I was writing it; changing plot points, characters’ traits, and other details. But the last of the climatic chapters has been written and now it’s completed. 114693 words in all which is exactly where I want it to be.
The master plan is I will now step away from it for a few weeks to let it simmer. During that time I’ll do some necessary research and compile a master list of all the little writing pitfalls and mistakes I want to avoid. There are things you don’t notice when you are writing fast and composing in your head and I want those flushed out of the text.
The number 114000 is very important. As I have noted before, most agents and publishers in the SFF market like to see novels from first time authors to be at or under the 120K word count. I now have enough breathing room to add little details and descriptions, a smidgen more flora and fauna, a few more grace notes for the characters, and definitely more introspection from my protagonists. Five thousand words is more than enough to do that and it is likely that there will be plenty of words pruned as well. I have no qualms about killing my darlings, especially considering the substantial body count in this thing.
Once that rewrite/edit is done I will email it out to all my friends who have volunteered as readers. While they’re chewing it up and spitting it out, I’ll get my list of agents ready and try to craft a query letter that I hope will snag someone’s interest.
So phase one is done. The next phases should be a lot easier, except of course for selling the book. But it’s done and I’m happy I saw it through. So as Robert Plant sings, “We’re gonna dance and sing in celebration, We’re in the promised land.”