Here are some stats on ASHFALL:
· The basic idea was born back in like 2003. Over the course of like a year I fiddled around and wrote maybe 30k?
· I pulled the idea out of the trunk for 2010 NaNoWriMo, and after re-reading and editing, got the draft up to around 75k during that month. I stopped working on it because I was bouncing between projects.
· In July 2011, I committed to Ashfall as my next project, the next manuscript I was going to finish and send to my agent. I gave myself a goal of January 2012 to finish.
· I finished the first draft August 30, 2011, which came in at 123k.
· On September 7, 2011, I finished a rough edit, cutting the draft down to 119k, and sent it off to my betas. I gave them a month to read, and since they’re so wonderful, they all got back to me by October 11!
· I spent about two weeks organizing my notes for my betas, asking questions, brainstorming, and plotting out a revision plan.
· I created my draft 3 doc on October 24, 2011 and started working. Most of this work was rewriting almost EVERYTHING. I think maybe 20k survived from the original draft.
· November 11, 2011 – Skyrim released, and I’m ashamed to admit it, but I played for about three weeks straight, and didn’t do hardly anything on Ashfall.
· December 1, 2011 – I realized that playing Skyrim is not going to finish the book. (Crazy right?) So I did some hard math, and set aggressive goals to get myself back on track for my January goals.
· I finished the rewrite during the first week of January 2012, except for the last couple chapters. For most of January, I’ve been line editing, consistency checking, etc – which I did on paper. Then, I spent lots of hours keying these changes.
· Last week I finished line edit inputting, and yesterday I finished the ending rewrite.
· Today, January 29, 2012, I finished my third manuscript, which clocks in at 125,038 words.
This is good. I know this manuscript isn’t quite a perfect example because I started the idea like a decade ago. So, not counting that brainstorming/concept work/little bit of words in 2003, it took me about eight months to finish ASHFALL. And since Skyrim won’t ever be coming out again, I think I can safely say I’m capable of writing a book in about seven months. ;)
My goal is to do the next one in six months.
Now, if I know myself, I’m going to spend today super excited, tomorrow super anxious, and start working on my next book the day after that!
Other fun facts:
· Before my line edits, ASHFALL’s highest word count was close to 150k.
· My main character’s name was originally Alacrity, and is now Caylix. Changing her name was super therapeutic, and helped me change her character as the novel required.
· My first draft had one POV. The current draft has three.
· I had seven beta readers for the entire draft this time, the most I’ve ever used. I’ve learned that number is too high, and I don’t think I’ll use more than five in the future.
· I’ve rewritten my synopsis for ASHFALL at least 15 times. I think I like my current one…
· ASHFALL was my Clarion West submission material. I’ve haven’t looked at the first two chapters since sending my application in, and I don’t plan on it!
· The first two chapters have been read by like 16 people. Some multiple times!
· Don’t tell my other characters, but I think Dust is my new favorite character.