*throws confetti and does a happy dance* Yes I have finally, FINALLY finished writing book four of Ilyon Chronicles! Technically, I finished it last Thursday (August 7th), but since I was without internet all last week (torture!), I didn’t get to do a celebration post until today. I don’t think I can adequately describe just how insanely relieved I am to have this book finished. I began writing it on July 23, 2013. Over a year ago. I don’t think I’ve taken a whole year to write a book since Every Tear. And that was a long time ago. It seriously fought me every single step of the way. Every time I thought I had gotten past a difficult part and hoped things would go more smoothly, I’d hit another snag, and another, and another. I got to the point where I sort of hated the book and even contemplated what it would take to just scrap it. Of course, every time I did that, I was faced with the undeniable truth that the story was necessary for the progression of the series. So I pressed on. And now I can finally shove it away for a good long while and not have to look at it again until it comes time to edit it. I’m kind of scared for that time to come, but then, I’m sure in a few months I’ll feel much more charitable toward it.
Not only was this the hardest book of the series to write so far, it also turned out to be the longest. It was the book that never wanted to end. This first draft weighs in at a hefty 137,000 words. I was not expecting that. All this time I thought book three would be the longest. But nope, this book has turned into the longest book I’ve ever written. And considering this first draft is only the bare bones of the story, I’m expecting the word count to rise to at least 150,000 words by the time it’s ready for publication. I almost can’t imagine that. But like I’ve always said, I love long books, so the word count can rise all it wants in order for the story to be satisfactory.
What boggles my mind even more is that 88,000 of those words I wrote in the last eight weeks. Up until June 16th, I had only written a total of 49,000 words in the book! O_o Yeah, that makes my eyes bug. But it actually wasn’t that hard. Mid-June was when I implemented my new strategy of writing at least 1,500 words a day, five days a week. Many of those days I wrote even more. I’ll definitely be using this writing strategy as I go on to write book five. I’m even hoping that maybe, possibly I could even finish the book or come close by the end of December.
I gave myself a much needed break from writing over the weekend and now hope to get a start on book five today. I’m quite excited about it. I’ve been looking forward to this book for a very long time. And it’s always fun to start a new book no matter what it is. I’ve added a word count meter to my side bar to track my progress. This will probably be the shortest book of the series. It doesn’t have this huge, epic plot, but it digs deep into a very weighty personal dilemma for one of the characters. I can’t wait to delve into it. HOPEFULLY this book will progress much more smoothly than book four. *winces and prays it will be so* If I can finish it by the end of the year, I could be looking at the potential to finish the entire series by the middle of next year. That would be so awesome.
However, as much as I’m looking forward to writing book five, my main focus for the next couple of months will have to shift to editing book two so I can send it to my beta readers. Instead of writing in the mornings as I have been the last several weeks, I’m going to be editing instead. I’m actually about a quarter of the way through editing. Praying that goes smoothly as well. I’m so looking forward to sharing more of this adventure!