I have a funny little writing habit. Well, I have a bunch of them, but one is this habit of writing BOOKMARK anyplace I need to come back to the text to clean something up, add a scene, or pick up with tomorrow’s writing. That way, I can just search “bookmark” and find the next thing I need to work on. When I get into the last phases of a project, I can jump to the top of a document, do this search, work on that bit, search again, and keep doing this until I reach the end.
Inevitably, I’ll add one or two BOOKMARKs for every one I clean up. Which means the last few weeks of revisions and edits will see a dozen or more of them. When I get to the end, I can jump back and find that I still have a lot of work to do. I whittle away; the draft improves; I move on to the next BOOKMARK.
Until I do a search, and I see the following screen:
Not Found! And then I know I’m just about done. A full and complete rough draft of DUST now exists. 114,502* words, which should grow by a couple of thousand as I do the next two passes from beginning to end.
So that’s it. I should get my next two passes in this weekend. On Monday, I’ll fire it off to editorial (I.E. my wife, mother, and David Gatewood) and work on their suggestions while I’m on vacation. This is the home stretch, which means it’s almost time to start a new novel! And finish the fifth Molly book!
*Incidentally, when I first put up the word counter for DUST, I pegged it at 120,000 words. I moved this down to 100,000 while I was on book tour, as it saved me a minute with the calculator every day. I could just look at 54,000 words and know that was 54%. It looks like I’ll have a finished size of 116K – 117K, which is the length of a MOLLY FYDE novel or two SHIFT books. It feels like the perfect length to me.