My current story Deep Embrace is progressing nicely. It has breeched 33k and looks like it might even go past the 60k mark which would make the rough draft a decent sized little novel. I know that after editing the final word count is going to be much, much lower, because as I get further into this book the more I realise how much it is going to need a damn good edit.
Deep Embrace has really come alive. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. When a story evolves past its outline and goes in a new direction you can either end up with great stuff you never intended to write or hundreds of pages of babble that will need to be ripped out like weeds.
I think most of DE is good. I spend some days worrying about it. I ask myself 'Does it all make sense? Is that scene crap? Have I written myself into a hole here?' The problem is that as I get deeper into the story I am following the outline less and less because I like to let my characters grab the wheel and go in the direction they want to go in.
For example: Perse has been given Tethys's trident to use in battle. She is told it will not work too well for her because it is not her own and yet she manages to use it expertly not long after although she is rough with it in the beginning. I'm starting to wonder if this is a big honking red flag and will piss readers off. I'm considering revealing that the trident is in fact HER OWN and that her mother only lied and said it was hers...but I'm not convinced that is a good idea. I might just keep on plodding on in the direction I'm going and make Perse state that she was able to do things with the trident that she could not imagine and it was all instinct somehow.
The problems with DE are not that bad. I have alot of scenes in the beginning that need trimming, which is not surprising considering I wrote them almost 12 months ago now. It's common for the beginning of a book to be crapper then the end of it. At least for me anyway. I take so long writing a book my style changes and evolves from start to finish. When I look back at the start of DE now all I can see is long, choppy sentences and too many commas that can be taken out. But for the most part it is all okay.
I reckon at the end of the day I will cut maybe 20k out of DE give or take. I am hoping that the final copy will be above 30k which will make it a decent little novella or a small novel depending on who you talk too. I just hope that I will be able to stifle my inner editor between now and the end of the book. It's terribly distracting and frustrating to see a badly written paragraph. I get compelled to go in and fix it. A few weeks back I decided to touch up the beginning of DE and ended up tweeking the first 20 odd pages before I forced myself to back away from the computer and turn the damn thing off.
I think I have written a good fantasy novel. I just need to let it finish growing, ignore my fear and self doubt, and then get out the pruning shears.