“The End.” Aren’t they wonderful words?
a contract offer for my YA Scifi FIRE IN THE WOODS.
And not just any contract, but a three-book deal.
Suddenly, I needed to come up with two more novels continuing a story that I had already typed “The End” on in my mind. That’s right… no planned sequels.
But never to be thwarted, I accepted the challenge, despite what looked like impossible-to-meet deadlines for getting the sequels out. I had a light outline of a concept, and I hit the ground running.
Now, I would be lying to say that I wasn’t pantsing ASHES IN THE SKY to begin with. I started off simply re-kindling my love for the voice and characters of FIRE IN THE WOODS, but within a few chapters I was able to scroll out a decent outline.
Here I am today, with a clean, completed rough draft of the novel. I have five weeks to edit the story, send it to beta readers, and make it sparkle before it is due in my editor’s hands.
So I am here to say: It can be done. Now I move on to editing, which is actually one of my favorite parts. Now is the time to add the little extra zing that will make my characters pop, and the explosions… well… explode.
For all you stats lovers: Here are the numbers…
Started writing June 18th
Finished CLEAN* first draft September 26th
Total time from start to finish=98 days
Total number of those days actually spent writing=60 days
One three-day weekend dedicated two writing = 10,392 words
Average words per day = 1,114, but the actual words per day ranged from 249 to 3,366
Let the editing begin!
*Clean just means that I didn’t write NANO-style. I corrected my typos and spelling as I went along, and re-read each chapter at least once and edited whatever did not work before I started the next chapter.