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I’ve been on a roll lately with the novel-in-progress. As it stands, I’ve got four more chapters to do before it’s done and ready to be spit upon and laughed at accepted warmly by an agent and, then, a publisher. This is something of a milestone for me, as I have been working on this particular item for nearly six years now. (And it will actually be longer than that, as this is only Book One of a duology.)

Of course, that six years is not one unbroken stream of work. Like most proto-writers, I used to go through periods during which I would consider that “I really ought to get some work done on the book” and yet, never actually do any writing. Never a day without lines is a tougher commandment than it sounds.

I’m a bit worried right now about the length of the thing. Currently, the word count stands at a little more than 135,000 words. Allowing for my average chapter length, I expect the novel to weigh in at 170,000 to 180,000 words. If one assumes roughly 400 words to a page in a mass-market paperback, that puts my book at around 400 to 450 pages or so. Somewhere I seem to recall encountering advice that first-timers should err on the side of brevity, but I may be wrong. And assuming that the book actually comes before an actual editor whose reaction isn’t “Send the form letter and bring me the next manuscript!!”, there will be a lot of editing to be done in the future.

Anyway, it’s still pretty exciting to actually be nearing a conclusion of sorts. And then it’s on to the second volume….

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