I am now at 100,000 words for Princess of Fire. I passed my previous high-water mark of 96,000 words a few days ago, but I wanted to wait to pop an (imaginary) cork until I cleared 100,000. I have, thank God, completely recouped my losses from the Great Word Massacre of August, and I am finally chewing into the central action of the novel.
It’s a great feeling.
Looking back over my history with the Divine Lotus series, I realize I should (maybe) cut myself a little slack. In the first place, I have never been one of those writers who can pound out 90,000 words in four weeks. I have a tendency to plod, which is what made the wildfire phase of Princess of Fire of about a year or so ago all the more remarkable. I also tend to lose my way, to doubt, to pull back and retrench in the course of composing a first draft– just look at the process I went through with Princess of Shadows. Throw in how easily distracted I am sometimes (writing this series coincided with my becoming entangled in the coils of Halo, of which I have previously written), and the necessity of making a living with a day job, and it can take me years to complete a novel. This has been as true of my trunk novels as it is of the Divine Lotus series.
As best I can recall, Princess of Wonders took me at least a year to get to a first draft, and probably longer. Princess of Secrets took another two years, almost to the day, to reach first draft status. Getting to a first draft for Princess of Shadows required another three years and eleven months, although, of that time, I was actively writing the novel for about thirteen months (the intervening years were much consumed with other projects and in trying to secure an agent for the first two Divine Lotus books, a tale of woe unto itself). For each of those books you can easily add another six months for a final draft.
Speedy I ain’t. How some writers churn out three books a year I’ll never know.
So, speaking hypothetically, if I got a first draft down for Princess of Fire in another three or four months (remember, hypothetically), and then spent another six months editing it, with a finished book seeing the light of day in September 2015 (nearly two years from when I started the first draft), it would really be nothing out of the ordinary. Looking at it that way makes me feel better.
Still a lot of work to do, though….