Final chapters of Labyrinth of Fire

Posted on September 11, 2009 (Subscribe to Blog)

I've been keeping tracking of my daily word count as I approach the last few chapters of Labyrinth of Fire. In my last post I said I needed to do an average of 2909 words a day for the next 11 days. Well, I have something like 14,300 words to go, which is now an average of 2860 a day for the remaining 5 days (including today). I'm getting there, and am still on target!

Of course, word count doesn't mean a whole lot. Page count is probably a better system to work to, in my case. Being fussy, I have this idea that I'll match Island of Fog's exact page count (218) and number of chapters (23). Well, if that's true, I have 41 pages and 5 chapters to go, which is just over 8 pages per chapter – spot on!

Then again, I also expect to cut out some rubbishy bits and do some serious tightening up throughout, so that will probably mean the overall length ends up shorter. I could compensate by writing more now, knowing it will shorten... but I don't think I need to do that. I'm well on the way to ending the story and don't need to pad it unnecessarily. If it ends up shorter by 10-20 pages, then so be it.

On a slightly different subject, I'm already thinking about my next book. When I say "my next book," I don't necessarily mean the next book in this trilogy. The third book will be ready sometime early 2010, as planned, but before then I'd like to do something totally different, a one-off novel that I can actively send out to publishers. As fun as this self-publishing lark is, I'd still like to be published in the "traditional" way, and I need to attempt that with something entirely new and original. So my next project will be, er, something entirely new and original, which I'm afraid YOU, folks, won't see any time soon unless I find a publisher.

The theme of this entirely new and (hopefully) original book will be along the lines of ghosts and ghouls, but I haven't settled on any specific idea yet. Something very dark though, and aimed at the same 9-12 age group.

With the word counts I mentioned above, I could conceivably write a first draft novel in a month at a push, but more likely two months. Then the editing would be a further month or two. So I think 3-4 months is reasonable without killing myself in the process!

Oh – and I have some "brilliant" ideas for this website. I plan to do some free online webisodes focusing on non-essential but maybe interesting scenes in the life of Miss Simone and some of the others – like "fill-in" scenes that don't need to be in the books but might be fun to read anyway. For instance, what was it like for Miss Simone when she first transformed? Or, closer to the book, how about Abigail, or Darcy, or Lauren? We've only heard their stories secondhand and I thought it might be interesting to expand on that. Comments, anyone?

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