Righto, I’ve just cleared 60,000 words on a book that now has only a remote chance of being called Penny Royal. As I implied before, there’s just too much going on and too much yet to happen for this whole story to fit into one book. Characters and plot threads are sprouting like jungle saplings in much the same way as they did with The Voyage of the Sable Keech. I now have to take care to prune carefully and not allow them to turn into said jungle.
For those of you that don’t know a modern day writer’s contract often specifies a minimum number of words and mine specifies 120,000. The only time I’ve ever come close to that is with Cowl, which weighed in at 126,000. Everything else has been above that – the biggest one being The Line of Polity at 172,000 and others generally loitering around the 140,000 word mark, so 60,000 words is nearing halfway for me. Every week day I’ve sat down at my computer I’ve done my 2,000 words and, over the last few weeks, I’ve been hitting my target of 10,000 per week. At this rate, then, I could have a first draft done by April … except I’m not going to do that.
The next book I deliver, after Jupiter War (which Caroline is reading through now), doesn’t really have to be delivered until around about September 2013 so I have about one year and seven months in hand. What I intend to do (once I’ve gone through Jupiter War for the last time and sent it in) is just carry on writing. I’m not going to aim to complete a book, but to complete the story, which may be three books long. This will also help with the continuity since all the stopping and editing between books should be cut out. When I’m done, I’ll then think about how it should be divided up.
Then again, there’s always the possibility that this will just end up as one large book, which will have to be called Penny Royal…