Those of you following me on Facebook might have a good idea of how hard I work at my writing. You might also know what kind of word counts I keep. I only posted a few things here, sorry, this blog often takes a back seat to FB and my author blog... but I wanted to post how I got to where I am right now with this last book in the Soul Born Saga, FLESH ENDED, exclusively here.
I began writing Flesh Ended back in 2010, almost immediately after finishing the early drafts of book two. Then in 2011, I added some more words to the WIP... I was at around 60K and I knew I was not even half way done. When I started working on it again in 2012, determined to finish and polish it to perfection, I had to literally re-write almost everything. See, I had changed a major plot point, so I had to adjust.
Back in May I started posting my word counts. I was just under 120K when May started and by the end of that month nearing 150k. In June, I pressed forward and topped 180K, finally completing the novel in the first week of July. When I went back to look at my notes I had written about 40K words in June alone. It was an amazing accomplishment. See, this was not NaNoWriMo* word counts on my pages... it was studied and structured and well thought out writing.
*(nanowrimo is a month of the year when authors are encouraged to write 50k words)(it can get sloppy)
After finishing the book, and re-reading it once, I sent it off to my editor in Portland. She gave the book back to me in Sept. I scheduled two months to edit it and guess what, that is how long it took. All of Sept and Oct I worked editing Flesh Ended and for the past two weeks I have been re-reading it again. That last pass to make sure my I did not make typos while editing. It happens a lot. You need to be vigilant with that stuff... It kills me BLOOD DIVIDED has a few typos and dropped words.... kills me.
So it's hard to say how long the book took to write. But for the most part, I wrote it from Feb-July this year. Reaching 181K words was a new record for me and proved that I could write a longer novel if I wanted to. My normal word count goal was 100-110K. Now that feels small.
I remember feeling a little intimidated when it came time to edit that monster. 181K words... how long with that take to edit? I knew editing 100K felt like forever and was, at times, back breaking work. But I went into it calmly and tried not to think too much. I took breaks and managed pretty well.
Final word count for Flesh Ended is around 172K. I trimmed it almost down 10K. I think that is a pretty good streamlining. I would not have minded compacting it a little more even. Also, in the process I wrote a new ending. The mood hit me, and well, I wanted to reflect how I was feeling in the book. Conclude it properly, and still leave a few openings just in case. I am not saying there will be a book 4. There will not. I will say this. I do promise at least one more short story in the Soul Born Saga universe. I also will release a timeline some day. Will there ever be another book? If so, it would begin a new series. And when you read Flesh Ended you might wonder... hmm, who would the series follow next?
In conclusion, I wanted to mention where the book stands right now. At the moment it is in the hands of two of my trusted fans/friends. They are proofreading it. When they are done, I will make a few more small fixes and then ship it off to the publisher in Dec. I am not sure what Dark Quest Books' schedule looks like, but I can safely say it will not be printed until at least mid 2013. I will keep you all updated.
As for the cover art. I have to save up some money for Dan Dos Santos. He IS waiting for me... ready to paint another home run cover.
Kevin James Breaux