After just over 5 months and about 115,000 words, the first draft of Daughters of Darkness is complete!
I found the experience of writing this draft different from my previous manuscripts. Most of the time, I’ll struggle to keep a good pace going early on, but as I near the end, I’ll finish strong, usually averaging a lot more words per day over the last 10-20% of the book than the first 80-90%. In this case, though, I pushed forward faster than normal through the first 70% of the book, but slowed down quite a bit after that.
The main reason is that as I neared the end of Act II, I got a bad feeling about a couple of the plot threads, and I stressed out for awhile, unsure what to do about it. As I talked about in an earlier post, I did far more outlining in this project than I’ve ever done before, and I thought I had all the subplots mapped out nicely. But when I got to a particular part in the story, I started to think what I had planned was going to come off as contrived, messy, and wrong for the characters.
In the end, I decided to cut out a pair of subplots. Or maybe I should say I cut them short. Because of this, the draft ended up shorter than I expected – I had a target of 125,000 words, and I usually overshoot. At the time, I was worried about the decision I was making, and I think that slowed down my progress going forward. As I look back on it now, though, I’m pretty sure I did the right thing.
But now the real work begins.
I’ve always enjoyed writing more than revising. For me, writing is something like 75% play and 25% work, whereas revising is more like the reverse, 25/75. Still, I figure I’ll (mostly) enjoy working to make this MS super awesome.
I thoroughly enjoyed writing this book, though somewhat less after I reached that sticking point. Not every character came out as I expected, but I think some of them ended up better than I’d originally hoped. I don’t know what will come of this project (statistically speaking, almost certainly nothing), but it’s still been a cool experience.