A Hundred and Twenty Thousand.

‘The Hunted Angel’ now tips the scales at 120,173 words, according to Word’s word counter, which may or may not be totally accurate. It is only a few days ago that I posted having passed the 115,000-word mark, which shows how things are developing. When I start writing at this speed, it means that the end is nigh. I haven’t quite reached the denouement yet, but it is imminent. How many more will it take? Difficult to be precise, but I doubt it will exceed another 10,000 (that’s about thirty pages). Then comes the editing, of course, which will reduce the overall figure and sharpen the text up generally.

For what it is worth, the 120,000th word was ‘deliberately’.

I have also selected the image that will form the basis of the cover. I won’t reveal it yet because it is just a picture at the moment. It needs digital manipulation and text adding before it becomes what it is intended to be. I will post it soon.

Strictly speaking, having passed the 120,000 word marker, ‘The Hunted Angel’ is no longer a novel, but an epic. That may change, of course, because the editing process may drop it back below 120,000. It all depends on how much waffle and needless repetition I find to cut out. There was a lot of that in my early works, but less so in recent years. My skills have improved with experience, I suppose. My writing technique involves getting down the action and dialogue of the section I am working on first. Often this is quite basic. Then I go back over it and refine it with description and fleshing out. Then I will go back over it again and refine it further. Thus, each section is in decent shape before I move on to the next.

The first novel I published was ‘The Planning Officers’, but that wasn’t the first that I wrote. That honour goes to ‘Usurper’, the first of my ‘Avalind’ books. In its initial form it clocked in at a whapping 135,000 words. By the time it was published, it had come down to just over 92,000. I had cut 43,000 words – nearly a third of the book. That did involve deleting whole passages (and in one case, an entire chapter) but most of it involved trimming unnecessarily long and rambling sentences into something sharper and more meaningful. As I mentioned, my skills have improved since then, so I no longer need to be so draconian because I write far less waffle these days.

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