Word count: 183,984 words
Words written since Week 12: 13,722 words
I’m officially finished with FTR2. I celebrated with pizza, and tomorrow I’m having a frappuccino, although I really need to work on my coffee habit now that the opus is completed.
In the middle of the story, you think it’s never going to end, but you wish you were much closer to that end, because you have other things you want to do and you can’t do them until it’s finished. Then, when you reach the end, you don’t want to finish.
I have this quirk about finishing things, because I don’t want to miss them when they’re over. It’s the reason I haven’t watched Season 5 of Angel yet (although that’s on my To Do list for this month and one of my 2013 New Year’s resolutions), in spite of having the season on my shelf for years. Once I realized I was a scene and a half and then a short scene away from the ending, I started stalling and slowing down, but I forced myself to soldier on during my Sunday write-ins.
I’m happy that the work is finished, but I already miss my people. I miss being in the story and working through the story. I know I get to see them again next year (perk of a series over a standalone) and that the time between keeps me from getting burned out on the storyline.
But I still miss them, and I’m getting teary knowing that they’re going in a box for a while instead of hanging out with me, even though I’m excited to start the new novel in August or September. In the meantime, I have a few other editing projects to deal with, including the finishing touches on the nightmare novel before I start sending that out to agents.
Among the things that I need to figure out about FTR2 when edits come around is whether I’m completely off the rails, storywise. I may have to recruit someone to look it over and give me an objective opinion on the matter. I sometimes felt like I’d gone a little nuts with the plot, but that makes sense when I’m juggling more characters than I’m used to. Next novel should be 1) significantly shorter and 2) more manageable in terms of casting. Like the nightmare novel, the setting and cast is more contained than in the FTRs.
In Week 1 of FTR2 writing, I made a prediction of how long FTR2 would be. I was wondering whether I should split FTR1 into two novels to make them more palatable to agents seeking stories in the more typical 70-100k range. I’d decided that if FTR2 was over 150k (closer to FTR1, edited down to 183k), I’d leave FTR1 the way it is. Well, looks like FTR1 stays intact, which is a blessing and a curse.
It’s a blessing because I think the story is more complete when it stays together start to finish, and I like series where each novel is its own story within a grander story arc. Trilogies have more leeway for cliffhangers, but I don’t like being forced to buy the next book just because the story in the book I’m holding is truly a fragment. I feel it’s gimmicky and manipulative (that’s a personal preference, btw, because I’m sure other people like it just fine).
It’s a curse, because it’s still too long for most agents to take a chance on, which means that the FTR series will be trunk material for a while until one or several of my stand-alones make a big enough impression that someone’s willing to take a risk (self-pub is still an option, but the length is trouble there, too, when it comes to print publication, which I would want in addition to e-book publication). In my defense, my series word counts are relatively consistent with each other, as you can see. And it’s epic urban fantasy with a number of story lines going on at any given time. In the meantime, I’ll just keep writing them and building up my trunk of potentials.
Anyway, the prediction was that FTR2 would take me about three months to write, completed late June/early July, which is a check in the Correct column. The second half of the prediction was that FTR2 would end up closer to 150k words than 200k, an underestimate. Fortunately, late-July me will not laughing humorlessly and cursing the day I was born because I wasn’t finished yet. Because I am, due to the extra 20k I tacked onto June’s word count. 🙂
It’s been a great time, everyone, although I need to return to a proper sleep schedule and stop overdoing the sugary, caffeinated beverages. Writing these characters, the good, the ambiguous, the dark, the disturbing, is a treat – even if their thoughts and feelings bleed into me too often and too well. Like I said, a blessing and a curse, this compulsion and need to write. A blessing and a curse.
Okay, time for stats. The numbers aren’t important, people, but they are cool, and I enjoy counting and comparisons. Now that I’ve written two of the fairy tale remixes, I can compare and contrast at my leisure.
Final word count (FTR1): 195,545 words
Final word count (FTR2): 183,984 words (Shorter, but not significantly so.)
Chapters (FTR1): 19, plus epilogue
Chapters (FTR2): 18, plus prologue (Both novels have named chapters, and I quite love doing that.)
Pages at 11p Times New Roman, single space (FTR1): 253
Pages ” ” (FTR2): 255 (Must have had significantly more snappy dialogue moments, which increases line count but not word count. In case you’re wondering, at 12pt and double space, it reaches 610 pages. O.O)
Weeks to write (FTR1): 20
Weeks to write (FTR2): 13 (Upped weekly quota since last year. I like 13 better than 20. I think I was going stir crazy around 15 last year.)
Songs on playlist (FTR1): 33
Songs on playlist (FTR2): 58 (Apparently, a lot of music inspired me.)
For my nightmare novel comparisons between original and rewrite, I compared number of major characters added, but I really don’t want to count my character list right now, because it makes me go pale and weak at the thought.
Roses inspired me throughout the writing of both novels, which is why I use them for my weekly posts on the subject. I had different roses on my desktop throughout the writing. I don’t anticipate that will change for the next ones. I love roses, y’all.
Next up in the FTR series: FTR2 edits will begin some time in January or February, and FTR3 will begin in April 2014 if I know what I’m doing by then. I’ve got the beginning and the end, and I’m looking forward to them. Just need to figure out the middle. 🙂 Once I have FTR1-3, I’ll skip a year before I begin FTR4.
And this is why I can’t die, people. The world needs to go on because I have Things to Do. When I finally make it out of school and start working, I’ll have less time to Do Things. I’m trying to make my time count, but it would help if the world cooperates as well. Got it?
See y’all in a few months! I’ll post articles and things like that, of course. And if you have questions, I’ll be delighted to answer, as my paranoia allows.