Saturday 19 June 2021

Akkad at 125k + 400 Pages

Yikes, finally made it to 125,000 words on Akkad. That's just over 400 pages of double-spaced TNR 12pt. You may have noticed I've slowed down a bit. After a very productive couple of weeks, I wrote myself into a corner during a battle scene, and it's taken several days to figure out how to get out of it. 

On the move again now, marching towards Uruk to take down Lugal Zage-Si. 

I must admit, I do not enjoy writing battles very much. I either feel like I haven't thought it through carefully enough or that I've thought it through too carefully. But I think I'm managing to keep the pace rolling on this lengthy campaign. Sargon was a sort of Alexander the Great character of his day, so he covered a lot of ground. 

I feel there's still quite a bit left to go and the word count did worry me a little as it's now the longest book I've ever written, but then I look at George R. R. Martin's wordcount and I feel totally fine again. His Song of Ice and Fire books ranged between 293,000-415,000 words (rounded). 

I know that editing this is going to be seriously tough. Without blowing my own trumpet, most of my previous books came in without too much editing required. Even Children of Lir (120,000) was pretty well formed. But this one is going to be utterly crazy. Usually my edits drop the word count, but I think there's quite a bit of detail and a little extra research to add here, and some scenes to insert to make sure the whole thing feels like it was well conceived from the beginning - which it absolutely wasn't. That wonderful Neil Gaiman quote: the second draft is the step in the process where you make it look like you knew what you were doing in the first draft.

I must admit, I am looking forward to it, though. Mostly, I do enjoy editing, because it means the hard part is over. I know editing isn't easy, but it's not as difficult to be creative when you have material to work with. Filling up that blank page in the first place is way harder. 

So, plodding along.

See how it all turns out.

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