Number of the Beast

One more day to go, but the experience of being in Cornwall now has the distinct feeling of winding down, mainly because I’ve gotten to roughly the point where I wanted to be. I now have a slightly shambolic but considerably slimmed down version of the book- and the current word count?

160,920

That’s about 27,000 words shorter than the previous version, which is making me feel like I’m actually getting somewhere. Of course, a reasonable proportion of the book- especially the last third- is a bit on the underwritten side, and is going to need a small amount of expanding to read well, but I’m hoping it’ll all equalise out with the other stuff that I’m sure I’ll be hacking out at some point. I think I’m roughly looking at a book that- theoretically speaking, and depending on type size- would be about 350-450 pages long, which is a little longer than I was aiming, but not by much.

The plan now is to get back to London, print the thing out, get George to read it through, then sit down with the manuscript and note down every single problem (which may, to be honest, take a while). Then, I’m going to go through the thing with a fine-tooth comb, and fix as many of the technical problems as I can. Once it’s as polished up as can be… then I’m going to send it out to people. Whatever the problems that come back, I don’t want silly, trivial spelling mistakes and grammar errors to be coming between them and the story. If they don’t like it, then they don’t like it- I just don’t want to be giving them reasons not to like it.

I’m happy, though. It feels like I’m making progress, and I’m another step along the way towards making a book that I’m proud of.

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