Milestone Checkin

A few months ago, I announced my intention to update the eighth chapter of my fencing novel, Gray Metal Faces, during NaNoWriMo 2018. It’s now past time to report on how that worked out.

Awesome.

Yes, well enough to deserve a one-word paragraph. Italicized, even.

I completed the updates to the eighth chapter weighs on November 30, and after added my work to the draft of the previous seven chapters, I used the consolidated document to validate my results. This means I “won” the NaNoWriMo challenge of fifty thousand words — yeah, it’s supposed to be all original work, and my updated chapter weighed in at “only” 24K words. They say you’re not a cheater if you’re never caught; I say it’s impossible to cheat if nobody ever checks up on you.

At the beginning of December, I took inventory of the novel. Finishing the update to chapter 8 left me with one more chapter still in rough draft format; revising chapter nine would give me a second draft of the entire novel. My annual holiday vacation was coming at the end of the month. Did I really want to devote a good chunk of time during those two and a half weeks to working on that update?

Oh yeah, baby.

It wasn’t easy, and I doubt I’ll ever work on another major writing project during that time — but on January 8, a few hours before my flight back home, I posted the final entry to the chapter 9 revision.

The second draft of Gray Metal Faces is now complete. At over two hundred a five thousand words (a number so large that it must be spelled out in letters), it is far too large to be published as one novel. A number of options are available (cut out a third? separate the nine chapters into three trilogies? market the work as nine novellas?), but I’m not in a rush to deliberate among them.

What I want to do at the moment, is appreciate having reached this milestone. When I began working on this novel almost eight years ago, I had no idea how I could even complete a first draft. Completing this revision was an enormous accomplishment, and for the moment, I am content.

4 thoughts on “Milestone Checkin

    • Well I did reuse a few words (“the” comes to mind, as well as “nausea”), so the dictionary still reigns.

      But yeah, 205k words is insane. Need to make a major decision about how to restructure and/or where to make cuts.

  1. Congratulations. I am grateful and thankful that length of novel and time frame have not been part of my journey. For years and years I had the idea and framework for Beyond the Ashes. I will be grateful all my days that I finished it. I certainly did not spend my life rewriting or attempting to make it a great novel. It just IS. I am pleased and when I received a comment via Amazon from an American reader who simply said ‘This book has both inspired and informed me. I have found out more about Australia than any guide book. Thank you. I AM HAPPY.
    This is why I write in the first place. I hope for you the same. ENJOY YOUR WRITING.

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