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Hitting A Milestone

I hit the big 100,000 word mark with the book today, and (oddly enough) it's depressing the hell out of me. Mostly because I calculated the likely word rate of a typical first-author advance. Let me just say, I ain't in this one for the money.

On a brighter note, the themes and storyline are definitely coming together toward the end, with a strong finish. Well, that and the obvious hook for a sequel.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
100,300 / 120,000
(83.0%)

I realized that The Magister (working title) is the longest work I've ever attempted, by at least 20,000 words. Most of the game and world design projects topped out at ~60K or so, with Dark*Matter the lone exception. And because those works were more about setting and set-up than about character arcs, they break down into easier standalone chunks. With this one, stuff I said in Chapter 1 and 2 still matters in Chapter 37. Continuity is a bigger deal. And sometimes it's a pain in the tuchus.

Anyway, in the madness that is the drive to actually finish, it's gotten impossible to judge what's working and what's crap. Fortunately, in my delusional fugue state, it's all making sense to *me* (bwa ha!). Everything else in my life has become an annoyance and a distraction from Getting It Done.

As a further symptom of the chronic nature of my condition, I'm starting to think that the setting is rife with more stories to tell, and that the whole thing was a trilogy from the start. The first chapter of book 2 is looking so very tempting. I refer the interested reader once again to the theory of Novel as Marriage (per truepenny).

Comments

( 8 sutras — Your wisdom )
peartreealley
May. 16th, 2005 06:53 am (UTC)
I think I read in the amorphous somewhere that the amount of time->money put into a first novel (theoretically of the publishable sort) is less, hourly, than flipping burgers at McD's.

It's all about the love. I think of my wage slave job now as training me to not live on a high income ;)

Congrats on breaking 100k! That IS a milestone. I remember being very excited the first time I did that. (It was my third novel. The other two were 50k and 67k at first draft. The third one was more than both combined. Go figure.) I still get happy when I hit the 100k mark on a novel. It's not only a sign that I'm much closer to the end than the beginning, but it's a 6 digit number, and those are impressive ;)

Me. Babble.
the_monkey_king
May. 16th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the first one is definitely the "learning a whole new ball game" book. I think the pay is secondary to completing it at this point. I know there's an audience for it, and I'm very pleased with big sections of it.

Next job is convincing an agent or editor to see things my way. :)
sigtrent
May. 16th, 2005 03:27 pm (UTC)
Go Wolf
Keep on rollin!

Pretty soon you will be asking, "Now how do I actualy stop writing this book?"
the_monkey_king
May. 16th, 2005 05:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Go Wolf
Thanks! I think stopping isn't as tough as rolling; friction is stronger than inertia.

I already see there's a likely second book set in the same world, and I want to write a totally unrelated modern fantasy, and so many other books.

At a certain point, Warhol was right: "No work of art is ever finished, just abandoned."
varianor
May. 17th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC)
100,000 words
Congratulations! That's a great deal of verbiage. ( The title looks strangely familiar. :) ) I'll keep my eye out for it. I read both of your short stories for Monte and Sue's collection, which told me* that this has distinct promise.

*Both books whispered it to me. Honest.
the_monkey_king
May. 17th, 2005 09:09 pm (UTC)
Re: 100,000 words
Thanks! I told Monte and Sue to use the non-whispering paper, but, hey, they're the publishers so it's up to them.

As for keeping an eye out for this book: well, it might appear in 2006, but it might not. I'll certainly shout it from the rooftops when it does.
(Anonymous)
May. 18th, 2005 09:43 am (UTC)
Re: 100,000 words
As varianor said, the title looks oddly familiar - heh. have you mentioned anywhere what the novel is about, what genre, what setting, that kind of thing? Or is that still a big no-no?

Søren/Siobharek
Council of Magisters
www.diamondthrone.com
the_monkey_king
May. 19th, 2005 05:21 am (UTC)
Re: 100,000 words
I discussed it somewhere, possibly on the Alliterates web site or in a previous post. Here's the rundown:

The title is a coincidence; it's not related to the Diamond Throne setting. Hell, it's not even the original title. I've changed the title about ten times, and it could wind up a number of other things.

The setting is a fantasy Renaissance Europe, in Italy. I wish it were more like Tigana, but it's not that luminously amazing. That's sort of a goal to shoot for in the future. It's closer to Cherryh's Merovingian Nights series, with an alternate but recognizable Europe like Carey's Kushiel books (and rather less sex, though there is a sexual subplot). Since it's my book, I have to point out that it's really not quite like either of those, either.

None of that's a secret, as I'll be looking for an agent and pitching the novel to editors/publishers at the upcoming Writer's Weekend conference. If this one doesn't find a publisher, I've got two more books in mind that I'm looking forward to writing.

At this point, I'm enjoying the writing process, and I trust the books will find an audience eventually. With magic, swordplay, a little romance, one major battle, and intrigue among the magisters and courtesans, I think its chances of finding an audience are pretty good. And if I'm wrong, I'll write another one, even better.
( 8 sutras — Your wisdom )

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