It would seem that saying “two chapters and an epilogue left” is a kind of jinx. I type it out, I state it like some kind of decree, and then…
Huh. Still two chapters and an epilogue to go.
I know better than to rush a story. It’s foolish* to put a hard cap on a first draft, be that an ultimate word count or chapter count. By this time, I’ve learned to recognize when I’m actually adding to a plot vs. when I’m meandering around in search of one. (At least, I think I have.) So, if there’s extra story to tell, a bit of unexpected description or dialogue that feels necessary, I give myself the extra room and let it play out.
After all, if I need to hack for word count, that’s what the second draft is for. Also, if it turns out that what I thought was essential is meandering after all, my beta readers will let me know.
Thus: there is still a bit left to be told in this book. I have an idea of how many words I need to get there, but this time, I ain’t tellin’.
Though I do believe the end is in sight, and tonight I’ll go to sleep dreaming of revisions rather than new material.
Starting word count: 35912
Listening to: “KK and the Steampunk Orchestra” station on Pandora. It plays a lot of dubstep, which I’m now discovering and digging. I know, I’m years behind everyone else.
Tasty beverage: Dunkin’ Donuts, still hot.
Chocolate and other sustenance: Mini-Eggs within reach
Feline desk evictions: Sssssh, Pixel’s napping. DO NOT WAKE HIM.
*for me, YMMV
Current word count: 37,229
Words taught to Scrivener: “OOOOGAH!” as in, “AH-OOOOGAH!”, bendiness
Tasty beverages: Now-cold coffee, can of diet coke. Come 5:00, I crack the bottle of wine.
Chocolate and other sustenance: Too many Mini-Eggs
Feline desk evictions: Pixel 1, Matthew 5. If I vacate my chair for even half a second, he’s in it when I get back.
We’re not going to talk about how many chapters I am from the end.
Gettin’ kinda hungry update:
Current wordcount: 38,711
Feline desk evictions: Pixel 2, Matthew 6
Terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad things done to a character: 1
Unexpected moment of badass from a character: 1
HEY GUYS. If I can get this right, we might be down to ONE chapter and an epilogue!
(Oh god, why did I type that?)
Way too damned late update:
Final word count: 42,112
Reason for stopping: FINISHED THE BOOK WOO
Fingers: Can’t feel ’em.
Tasty beverages: Two glasses of wine and the dregs of this morning’s coffee.
Chocolate and other sustenance: The end of the batch of mango sorbet, at about midnight, while I watched Worst Cooks in America before plunging on to the epilogue.
Sooo yeah. I don’t know if the one chapter and an epilogue bit above was technically a jinx or not. Ended up being 2400 words that I broke up into two smaller chapters.
Tomorrow, if I can do more than drool on my keyboard, I’ll ruminate more on the mad weekend of writifying: what spurred it on, fiddling with fiddly bits that are still fiddly, etc. (That is not dirty.)
Also tomorrow, I will play Skyrim until my eyes bleed. Because I’ve earned it.