Guess what, peoples? I did it. I finished the first draft of Isto this year. *deep breath*
If you’re at all familiar with me, you’ll know that I’ve been working on this book for years. Just how long? Well, when I released the last book, my little boy was only a few months old. He’ll be five this coming month. Sheesh.
For a bit of fun, I’ve compiled a few stats comparing Thanmir War with Isto to see how books in the same series line up. Here’s what I’ve got so far:
|First Draft Word Count||210K||190K|
|Final Draft Word Count||170K||TBD|
|Years to Completion||3||5|
|Kids Raised While Writing||1||2|
|Drastic Plot/Character Changes||1||3|
|Total Chapters (including Prologue/Epilogue/Bonus)||37||59|
|Average Chapter Length||4700||3200|
|Average Scene Length||1180||2380|
|Total Number of Scenes||148||81|
|Average Scene Count/Chapter||4||1.15|
I opted for shorter chapters with fewer scenes per each this time around. Even though average chapter length is 3200, the majority of the Isto chapters are in the 2K range, where most of Thanmir War‘s chapters are 5Kish. In the previous book, it was easier to have longer chapters because the flow had more than half the book in Derek’s POV. This one, things panned out a little more evenly. Derek’s got 31%, LaTonya’s 27%, Cameron is 26%, and MaTisha’s 15%, with 1% belonging to a couple of one-off scenes from someone else’s POV.
(If you can’t tell, I might be slightly analytical.)
Since analyzing things is one of those constant behaviors with me, I look back at the past few years and wonder “where have I improved?”
Well, for one, I’m better at managing tension. I admit with no small amount of flinching that tension was one of those areas that Thanmir War could use more of. I think I’ve got a better mastery of it in Isto, though. Maybe. Okay, so I’m not really sure, but gosh darn it, I hope I’ve improved!
I’ve also gotten better at writing a cleaner first draft. I like to use a tool called Pro Writing Aid, and when I first tried it out with Thanmir War, it gave me a laundry list of stuff to address. It taught me about -ing verbs at the beginning of my sentences and how they imply simultaneous action that can’t always take place. I learned about how my “was” usage translated to passive voice, unnecessary past-progressive verb usage, and boring telling description. This time around? No such horror. *thumbs up*
But with even with my improvements, I can still see my flaws. I’m terrible with relaying convincing emotions. Yes, I use the Emotion Thesaurus, but I have the issue of not knowing what emotion I’m supposed to be trying to convey. Even now, my characters wind up inappropriately unconcerned, and I’m not sure it’ll ever be something I can catch by myself. (Thank goodness for critique partners.)
Well, if I haven’t bored you enough (perhaps my issues with tension haven’t been resolved), then I’ll leave you with this. *hands over confetti* Let’s celebrate because the first draft is DONE!
Do you enjoy comparing numbers? Do you ever sit and think about the ways you’ve grown in your talents?