17K more words as of last night, bringing it up to 82K total. Best week yet word count-wise, but at least one significant chapter felt underdeveloped, and may need serious expansion and revision once the draft is done.

I’m actually sitting at 83K right now with about two and a half chapters to go and plans for an interstitial story. I’m guessing the first draft will end up somewhere between 95-98K words. A little under my final estimate, but that’s good: I find I tend to expand my word count in revisions, focusing on characterization, setting, and world details that puff up my final count. My first draft should leave me with 5-10K words to play with as I expand the second draft before the manuscript starts getting beyond agentorial comfort zones.

After that, I’m thinking my third draft should be about cutting every excess word I can. Having done this with several short stories, I’ve found I can trim anywhere from 5-10% without compromising the story in any meaningful way.

This process, ideally, will leave me with a manuscript that’s got everything it needs and leaves out everything it doesn’t. Revisions are a bitch, but I’m looking forward to seeing how I do with this new approach.

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